‘Five-year land values boom comes to end in Kiama, market adjusts’

First National Coast & Country's Andy Wharton says "to be by the ocean in Kiama is a highly attractive lifestyle change for Sydneysiders," but the area's property market has been affected by the nation's financial issues.
First National Coast & Country's Andy Wharton says "to be by the ocean in Kiama is a highly attractive lifestyle change for Sydneysiders," but the area's property market has been affected by the nation's financial issues.

A newly-released state government report on land values from 2017-18 proved accounts of strong gains in the local real estate market.

Residential land value soared, rising by 18.5 per cent from July 2017 to July 2018, and overall, land value in the Kiama Local Government Area increased by 16.1 per cent.

Six months into the future, and real estate agents are reporting a significant change.

Kiama real estate agent Andy Wharton said the area “is not insulated” from the crash affecting the property market along Australia’s eastern seaboard.

“Things have changed a bit since July,” Mr Wharton said.

“Given the market was on an upward trend for so long, it had to adjust. Sales have flattened out, they’re not rising at the same rate or rising at all.”

Prospective buyers in Kiama have reported they are having trouble gaining approval for home loans.

“What happened in June-July last year was the Banking Royal Commission,” Mr Wharton said.

“It had quite a sudden affect. Loans were being tightened up. A good percentage of people able to borrow money in March went back to the bank and were unable to borrow money to the same degree. Money is harder to get. They aren’t buying properties like they were.

“It’s the same for investors. They need a larger deposit and are expected to repay the loan at a higher rate.”

It’s not all doom and gloom according to Mr Wharton, who works for First National Coast & Country.

“Free standing homes are still performing well and seeing dramatic increases in value,” he said.

“The homes built in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s are very attractive, particularly in well-established areas like Gainsborough.

“People can make them their own.”

Residential overview by the NSW Valuer General

Kiama residential zoned land has shown a strong increase in land values from July 2017 to 2018 but the increase was not consistent across all locations or zones with Gerroa headland residential properties and Minnamurra riverfront lots showing very strong increases in values. The improved demand for residential property is reflected in strong residential sales prices in 2017 and 2018 and increased activity in the construction of residential apartments.

Commercial overview by the NSW Valuer General

Commercial zoned lands showed a moderate increase in values, these properties are predominately represented by the Kiama town centre retail area. Strengthening demand appears to follow the additional development underway in the locality, and confidence in Kiama retail is demonstrated by the redevelopment of several sites within the Kiama central business area.

Industrial overview by the NSW Valuer General

There are only fourteen industrial properties in the Kiama local government with limited sales within the area (at Marks St, Kiama and Terralong St, Kiama) showing a strong increase in land value.

Rural overview by the NSW Valuer General

The rural-zoned lands showed a moderate increase between 2017 and 2018. The Kiama rural market is principally a rural residential market, however there is a diverse range of properties with varying zoning, sizes and features within this market. In 2018 demand continues to be returning but is selective with greater interest in cleared sites and particularly sites with views. This market is also benefiting from improved road facilities with the upgrade of the Princes Highway and the Berry bypass improving travel time from Sydney.