What’s ahead for the Central Coast market in 2023?
The Central Coast attracted a huge surge in buyer interest during the pandemic – but exciting opportunities are still to come.
With greater work flexibility and record high prices in Sydney, the NSW Central Coast saw a large increase in buyer activity, explains Angus Moore, economist, realestate.com.au.
Now, despite rising interest rates, enthusiasm for the area’s property looks set to continue in 2023.
“We saw a lot of people moving up from Sydney — in particular inner-city Sydney — and we saw prices respond as a result,” Moore explains.
In fact, while capital city median house prices dropped in 2022 by -4.05%, regional prices were up by 2.08% (December 2022), according to PropTrack. Units in regional areas fared even better, with the median price in regional areas up 5.25% compared to -3.71% in capital cities.
One strong performer was the Central Coast town of Gosford, where the median unit price was up 4.8%.
“The broad trend that we’re seeing is that more affordable areas and segments of the market are holding up a little bit better than more expensive parts in the face of higher interest rates,” says Moore.
As we head into 2023, interest rates will nudge higher, continuing to impact borrowing capacity, Moore explains. Unit prices should hold up well in the suburbs as well as regional areas such as the Central Coast.
“We might see buyers favouring apartments in the face of reduced borrowing capacity,” he says.
One thing Moore doesn’t expect will be shaken by interest rates in 2023 is buyers’ attraction to regional lifestyle areas, like the Central Coast, particularly as the work-from-home revolution grows.
“We continue to see more appeal in lifestyle commuting areas like the Central Coast in Sydney, the South Coast, Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts in Brisbane,” he says.
Todd Campling, development director at Alecon, says the Central Coast’s commutability makes it an attractive option for Sydneysiders looking for a more attractive lifestyle destination.
The new NorthConnex tunnel has already cut travel times into the city, while long-term the NSW Government’s proposed fast rail between Sydney and Gosford, if developed, could see people make the journey in 30 minutes.
“We identified the Central Coast as an area with massive growth potential, based on a number of factors, predominantly around government and industry investment,” Campling explains.
He points out that Gosford is a key recipient of this focus, with improved local amenities, hospitals and more bringing a refreshed and revitalised feel to the town.
“The University of Newcastle has a new medical campus in Gosford as well, attracting students and medical professionals,” he says.
While things are changing on the Central Coast, its famously relaxed lifestyle remains, Campling says. The area is renowned for having some of the best waterways for boating, along with extensive nature and wildlife.
“That’s what people are drawn to. There are beautiful rock wallabies, echidnas, every sort of wonderful little critter you could imagine. It’s that coastal feel, it’s relaxed, time runs a bit slower,” he says.
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