Camden Haven Property Watch Q2 2013

MARKET OVERVIEW

This report is the result of an investigation into the Camden Haven residential market. The region is defined by the suburbs of Bonny Hills, Camden Head, Dunbogan, Kendall, Kew, Lake Cathie, Lakewood, Laurieton, North Haven and West Haven.

Since the beginning of 2013 a resurgent market activity saw an increase in demand across all dwelling types, with strong absorption of stock toward the top end of the market. Rental vacancy increased as some tenants vacated rental properties to become owner occupiers, although short supply of properties for rent led to incremental rent increases. The February half year period recorded the highest house activity in the past three years, with 140 transactions, equating to a 12-month growth of 1.4 per cent. A rise in the number of transactions was noted in Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie and Laurieton, while sales in Lakewood, Dunbogan and Kendall eased.

The House and Unit Sales Cycle graph pointed to a rise in median house and unit price. The middle price of a house closed the February period at $390,000, representing growth of 6.8 per cent over the corresponding period in 2012. The median unit price also increased from the August 2012 period to close $5,000 higher than the February 2012 figure ($295,000). While the rise in median price was encouraging, it was mostly the result of sales in higher price brackets, with no evidence of material capital growth in the past 12 months.

Since the beginning of the year enquiry levels have increased in the Camden Haven region, with a particular rise in the number of locals looking to purchase. While the number of investors and first home buyers remained low, downsizers were encouraged by an increasing interest in their family home; several of these properties had been advertised for a period of 120 days plus. New residents relocating to the area allowed down-traders to sell their large home for a smaller house or unit, adding liquidity to the market.

The House Price Point chart highlighted the changes between the February 2012 and 2013 periods. It pointed to a decline in sales of sub-$400,000 houses and a rise in transactions above $400,000. Anecdotal evidence points to further demand for high end property, with a house on Iluka Way, Dunbogan recording the regions highest sale price in May.

The Days on Market graph below depicts the number of properties available for sale in each suburb over the 12 months to May 2013, along with the period the properties have been advertised for sale. The graph points to a low number of properties coming on the market compared with stock that has been advertised for an extended period (120 days plus). Most properties were advertised in Lake Cathie, where 54 per cent of houses and units remained on the market for 120 days plus, compared to 29 per cent of current stock (30 days of less). In Kendall and West Haven no current stock was found, offering minimal selection of dwellings to interested buyers.

The rental market

Rent prices recorded small increases in the year to March 2013, with two-bedroom dwellings representing the majority of stock available for rent. The increase in sales activity led to a higher rental vacancy rate, increasing to 2.4 per cent in the year to April 2013 as tenants left their rental properties to become owner-occupiers.

The Advertised Rent Price chart revealed affordable tenancies for one and two-bedroom units, with weekly rent prices of $300 or less. All three-bedroom houses for rent were advertised in the $300 to $400 per week range, while seven four-bedroom houses in the region were advertised for a weekly fee of $400 plus.

A record low interest rate and the stable investment environment brought positivity back to the Camden Haven market, with Sydneys high auction clearance rate helped to improve buyers confidence in regional areas. While significant increase in dwelling price is yet to be observed, it is likely that once the existing stock is absorbed, new properties will come on the market at higher prices.