You won’t regret buying a weekender

Cathy Baker from Belle Property sheds light on the performance of holiday homes as an investment. Plus Cathy shares why she believes the NSW Central Coast is a better buy for property investors than places like Byron, Berry or the Blue Mountains.  

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We’ve seen a significant upswing in buyer interest across all classes of property on the Central Coast in recent months – in particular with rentals, first homebuyers and prestige property. 

Our region’s rental vacancy rate is at an extraordinarily low 0.5 per cent and according to Domain data, median house prices rose 3.8 per cent in the past quarter.

Sydneysiders are leaving the city in droves, relocating to regional areas such as the Central Coast in search of a better lifestyle. Exercising their freedom provided with flexible work from home arrangements. 

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The new normal sees people choosing to live and work somewhere scenic and peaceful, for almost half the price than the cost of living in Sydney – and, why wouldn’t they? 

But what’s been most interesting is that there’s been a knock on effect to holiday homes, with people now purchasing a second home on the Central Coast which they rent out in between using it themselves.

Of my last 90 property sales, 75 buyers were holiday house investors. These buyers share a similar tale; having found it difficult to book accommodation in Byron Bay they reconsidered places, such as the NSW Central Coast as excellent alternatives and better still only a stone’s throw from Sydney city enabling them to vacation more frequently. 

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Plus with overseas travel off the table, government lending criteria lifted and interest rates at an all time low, buyers are finding they can save deposits and secure home loans more easily.  

As an example, an acreage we advertised at 38 Mittara Road, Terrigal received 220 inquiries in the first 24 hours, 40 inspections on the opening weekend and issued a couple of contracts almost immediately. Most interested parties were looking for a weekender investment.

People are starting to recognise that the Central Coast is extremely well located. Gosford is just 1 hour and seven minutes from the Sydney CBD without traffic – that is closer than Leura in the Blue Mountains or Wollongong. The new Northconnex motorway is saving motorists about 15 minutes overall, alleviating pressure on Pennant Hills Road, one of the state’s most congested highways.

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Because people can’t travel internationally, they are looking closer to home for their holidays. Most of the holiday homes rented through my business Belle Escapes are booked several months ahead of time. Investors are therefore more comfortable investing in holiday houses whilst there’s this guaranteed return. Top end holiday homes can earn up to $250,000 per year, with entry-level cottages bringing in around $40,000 per annum.

Home buyers also like having a dual living option to consider for the future. COVID has made people more conscious of their lifestyle needs, and now see home life closer to the coast as an inspiring alternative to Sydney suburbia or Sydney city.

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As a long time resident of the Central Coast myself, I can tell you that you will not regret investing in a house here, or moving to the region permanently. Every day, I am inspired by the beauty of our surrounding landscape, our easy going community and ever evolving entertainment culture.

With the affordability factor (in comparison to Sydney) it is a joy to sell and rent property on the NSW Central Coast. As we witness the start of a property boom across our region it’s great to see that people now recognise that its truly a great place to invest.  

Cathy Baker

A well-known, and loved, local on the Central Coast, Cathy runs community events, is owner of Central Coast Life & Style and has cemented herself as the market leader for prestige home sales. If you don't yet know Cathy then seek her out.