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South Coast real estate buy up pushes locals out of the market | The Canberra Times


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Mass migration from the city is driving locals out of the property market on the South Coast with the cost of family homes almost doubling in the last two years. Moruya resident James Engelbrecht said he’d been looking to purchase property pre-pandemic but the price rise since lockdown meant the delay of any action. “It means accepting that my first mortgage will probably be somewhere close to the million-dollar mark,” Mr Engelbrecht said. “Which is a pretty bitter pill to swallow when only a few years ago, the same houses were going for around $300,000.” The 27-year-old coffee wholesale manager said some friends who hadn’t managed to buy before prices escalated now likely found themselves trapped in the rental market. “I feel like it’s any of the little coastal towns at the moment,” Mr Engelbrecht said. “I think they’re all kind of booming, just drop a pin basically.” Elders Real Estate Batemans Bay principal Luke Allan said locations like Catalina and Batehaven, which once would’ve been a starting point for families, had seen prices rise from around $400,000 to $750,000 or $800,000 in typically less sought after suburbs. Mr Allan said properties in places like Broulee were being sold prior to listing and the concern was locals going into serious debt to be able to afford them. “I don’t know how they’re getting finance for them. Apart from the tradies, who are doing very well at the moment, the average wages down here really haven’t kept up with the inflation of house prices,” he said. “There’s a lot of young locals here that have borrowed very, very highly on their properties. So if interest rates go up, which is going to happen at some stage, there’s probably going to be quite a lot of late-20s, early-30s families potentially in a lot of strife.” Property developer Rowan Liebke said local councils bore some of the responsibility for the price hike as they made it too complex for businesses like his to get approvals to provide more housing. “There’s just a total lack of supply for everyone who’s coming coming into the area,” Mr Liebke said. He said the concentration of private schools in Broulee meant everyone had flocked there, with Moruya the next port of call. “That is just putting a huge demand on whatever stock is on the market, there’s limited stock and there’s absolutely no development,” Mr Liebke said. READ MORE: He said a 12-acre property on the river in Moruya worth $580,000 three years ago was now worth over a million now. A three-bedroom townhouse worth $280,000 was now going for more than $500,000. Mr Liebke said for every family home listed there was at least seven buyers going for it. “They won’t be able to offer anything for it, they’ll have to take the list price if not go above the list price. “It’s going to happen more and more so there needs to be more supply come on the market. “My generation is sort of going, ‘we’re going to move where we want to live, we’re not going to wait until we retire, we’re going to create a life where we want to be,'” he said. “And people are doing just that: they’re moving. They’re moving out of Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and they’re coming to the coast.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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