Central Coast Highlight report

CENTRAL COAST HIGHLIGHT REPORT Q2 2013

The Central Coast and Lake Macquarie Highlight Report analyses the performance of the residential real estate market within the Gosford, Wyong and Lake Macquarie Councils. The report contains detailed investigations into five sub-markets within the region which include the Charmhaven Region, Swansea Area, Wyong Area, Gosford Area and the Toronto Area.

The three Councils are located 40 kilometres north of Sydney, across the Hawkesbury River. With the inclusion of Lake Macquarie, the region is Australias sixth largest population centre with a population of 523,000 residents. Population estimates indicated that the regions average population growth has exceeded that of the Newcastle Council figures, with a particularly strong performance in the Wyong Shire despite Newcastles strong economic performance over the period. Government initiatives developed through The Central Coast Regional Development Corporation (CCRDC) focus on the revitalisation of the Gosford City Centre and The Entrance regions. Efforts are focused on improving the amenities offered for residents and promote local employment. That said, the local economy in the Gosford and Wyong Regions remained heavily dependent on health, retail and construction, with 36 per cent of jobs concentrated in these three sectors. Manufacturing accounted for over 10 per cent of employment in the Lake Macquarie council area, making the sector the second largest employer in the LGA (Local Government Area).

The residential real estate market remained steady over the past three years, exhibiting resilience while other markets contracted over 2011 and 2012. The first quarter of 2013 experienced an influx of investors seeking high yields, and first home buyers from Sydney who were attracted to the affordable housing stock within driving distance to the metropolis. The median house price increase by 3.6 per cent over the 12 months to January 2013, equating to a 15.4 per cent rise over the past four years, while the median unit price softened. House activity in the January six month period (4,236 transactions) equated the five year average, while unit sales closed 5.4 per cent below the average.