Housing market low but expected to pick up

It seems now is the time to score a property bargain, with new figures showing a slump in median house prices in Batemans Bay and Moruya, while Broulee is on the increase.

Figures released by Australian Property Monitors show a drop in median house prices in Batemans Bay and Moruya from 2011 to 2012.

Only 19 houses were sold in Batemans Bay last year, going for a median of $280,000 - an 8.2 per cent decrease on 2011’s median price of $305,000.

The median house price was the same for Moruya last year, which had dropped by 10.4 per cent compared to 2011.

However Broulee’s median house prices grew by 10.8 per cent between 2011 and last year.

The changes have also seen a decrease in median prices for the past five years – 0.9 per cent for Batemans Bay and 0.4 per cent for Moruya – but a growth of over five per cent since 2002.

Australian Property Monitors senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson believes the housing market is at the bottom and will only improve in the next 12 to 18 months.

“I think what we’ve seen generally in most coastal and regional areas has been a lack of activity over the last couple of years,” he said.

He said seaside resort-type areas, like Batemans Bay, were affected by discretionary buyers and retirees wanting a sea change.

Factors, including lower city housing prices, lower superannuation and tourism, were partly to blame for the downturn.

“What we’re seeing now is the bottom of the market and we’re waiting on confidence to return,” he said.

“The positive thing is the things that attract people to these areas aren’t going away.

“It’s just a question of when that prosperity and discretionary buyer re-emerges.

“We’re certainly moving in the right direction at the moment.”

He also said the figures showed that Batemans Bay and Moruya weren’t losing out on the number of sales.

In 2010, there were 18 houses sold in Batemans Bay, 20 in 2011, and that decreased slightly to 19 last year.

However, this has dropped by half since 10 years ago. In 2002, 40 houses were sold in Batemans Bay and 41 in 2003.

In Moruya, 29 houses were sold in 2010, which increased to 40 in 2011 and 47 last year.

About 10 years ago, in 2002, 102 houses were sold in Moruya.

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