Changing Times For Our Local Suburbs

Sean Richardson, one of the principals of Freshwater Financial Services, in Freshwater, and a resident of the area for almost 20 years - considers just what is driving the building boom on the Northern Beaches. 

You need to be walking around in a fog not to have recognised the amount of property development being undertaken in our local areas.

These range from a major redevelopment of the iconic Harbord Diggers, to the construction of the Kahana & Freshwater Oasis residential units in the heart of the Freshwater village, to single family homes undergoing extensive renovations.

What is driving the need for expansion and renewal? Some obvious but not extensive points to consider are:

  1. Freshwater remains the preferred destination for families with many buyers searching from outside the Northern Beaches wishing to tap into the known culture and laid back village atmosphere.
  2. In comparison to property values in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs and the Inner West, these buyers see greater value for money in the Northern Beaches and are prepared to push their “relative value” proposition to buy compared to local buyers.
  3. Migration of Australian expatriates together with new migrants, predominantly from the UK with a favourable Australian Dollar (AUD) conversion, has swelled the number of buyers in the local market.
  4. The supply side of properties being offered for sale has dropped considerably as the locals reconsider their own options to up or downsize in an active local property market and their ability to sell and buy in the same market. Are they really obtaining the financial and lifestyle outcomes they expected from selling?
  5. Homeowners are also weighing up the cost of agency sales commissions from any sale and the entry cost of property stamp duty on any new purchase, as part of their assessment of their financial benefit to move.
  6. The above costs put back into the existing family home to knock down and rebuild, extend or upgrade, can enhance the liveability of the older homes and families retain their local favourites by not moving.