A BOOMING property market in Sydney has sparked a rush on Port Stephens real estate by investors and baby boomers preparing for retirement.
The number of property web searches recorded by Domain Property soared in 2013, with many Hunter suburbs put on the shopping lists of cashed-up Sydneysiders.
In Port Stephens, the suburbs of Nelson Bay, Medowie, Raymond Terrace, Salamander Bay and Corlette were the most ‘‘clicked on’’ suburbs in 2013, according to Domain Property spokesman Stuart Benson.
‘‘Searches for property in the broader Hunter Region over the second half of 2013 were extremely strong,’’ Mr Benson said. ‘‘There’s a bit of a perfect storm in the market at the moment and investors are returning to areas like Port Stephens in a big way.
‘‘It’s also become more popular with people working in Newcastle, and people who want to be close to the airport.’’
In the Newcastle area, Merewether, New Lambton, Mayfield, Charlestown and Wallsend were the most searched suburbs. Merewether, Mr Benson said, was popular because it is a big suburb, has more housing stock and is close to the beach, but many people looking for properties online use Merewether as a starting point for the Bar Beach, Junction and Adamstown area.
In the Lower Hunter, East Maitland remains the most popular property search, followed by Cessnock, Thornton, Rutherford and Aberglasslyn.
‘‘East Maitland is big among investors because the area offers good rental returns, but it’s also popular because it has good transport access, has plenty of good schools and is close to the two main highways,’’ Mr Benson said.
In Lake Macquarie, Belmont, Cameron Park, Valentine, Eleebana and Belmont North were the most popular searches.
‘‘Interest in Lake Macquarie is always strong, especially in suburbs such as Belmont because it has a very diverse market, which appeals to a wide range of buyers,’’ Mr Benson said..
‘‘It’s definitely a suburb on the move with a lot of new development in the wings.’’
In the Upper Hunter, falling prices due to a mining downturn has sparked interest. Singleton, Muswellbrook, Scone, Branxton and Greta were the most common searches, the latter two booming due to the imminent opening of the M1 motorway extension.
■ INCREASING home-loan approvals are another sign the housing recovery is in full swing, suggesting that another cash rate cut is unlikely.
The number of home loans approved in November was up 1.1per cent to 52,912, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.
That meant the end of the road for rate cuts during this cycle, Commonwealth Bank chief economist Michael Blythe said.
He said the cash rate was likely to rise late this year, from its record low of 2.5per cent, as a weakening Australian dollar added to inflation. AAP