A Shoalhaven real estate has labelled the South Coast real market the best since 1981.
With properties selling on average 20 per cent above expectation and days on market down from a long-term average of 45 days to just five, it's not hard to see why.
Tony Hopper, director of Raine and Horne Mollymook/Milton said the Shoalhaven market is at 'fever pitch'.
"Open home numbers have increased significantly, attracting groups of up to 20 to properties in the Mollymook and Milton area, compared to previous years where two to three groups were considered the norm. Property sales have also increased and are about 50 per cent higher than the first quarter of last year," he said.
Several factors are driving the demand for Shoalhaven real estate, including historically low-interest rates, improved infrastructure and the region's real estate market affordability.
"We've enjoyed our single best start to the year in the 40 years I have been working in this market. Central to this activity are Sydney buyers who have realised they don't need to live in the city to earn a decent living," Tony said.
"If buyers want access to a waterway but still looking for real estate affordability, then Fisherman's Paradise is worth some consideration where the median house price is closer to $500,000."Tony Hopper
"Thanks to the successful rollout of the NBN, we have excellent internet connectivity, and this has enabled a new demographic and new generation of professionals to live and work from home in Mollymook, Milton, Ulladulla and surrounding suburbs and towns."
Improved road infrastructure is another factor helping entice Sydney buyers to the region, according to Mr Hopper.
The $400 million Berry to Bomaderry Princes Highway Upgrade will improve more than 30 kilometres of highway between Gerringong and Bomaderry and will shave commute times to Sydney.
"Various road improvements and bypasses over the last decade or so, have reduced commute times from southern Sydney to the region to just 2.5 hours."
Mr Hopper reports that conditional, unconditional, and settled sales for the first quarter of 2021 are about 50 per cent stronger than for the same period last year.
"These are amazing results given I was anxious and concerned that the pandemic was going to hit the business hard and especially after the impact of the recent and terrifying bush fires," he said.
"Then once COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted and people could travel again, the market shifted and has been growing ever since.
"People just wanted to get out of Sydney, move down here and start working from home. This activity continues and has grown increasingly feverish since the summer holidays, with our February 2021 results our best ever."
On the flip side, a lack of sales listings presents a challenge for local buyers and those new to the Shoalhaven.
"With an average of 20 groups through each open home, lots of buyers are understandably missing out," Mr Hopper said.
"To avoid missing out, the best advice is to make sure that your finance is ready to go with a preapproved loan.
Any property close to a beach or waterway are attracting colossal attention and are hotly contested, whether its Mollymook Beach, Narrawallee Beach or Lake Conjola, where median house prices are now nudging $1 million.Tony Hopper
"A preapproved loan gives buyers the confidence and option to move swiftly on a suitable property once it hits the market."
If buyers miss out because of borrowing limits, Mr Hopper recommends spreading the property search further afield.
"Any property close to a beach or waterway are attracting colossal attention and are hotly contested, whether its Mollymook Beach, Narrawallee Beach or Lake Conjola, where median house prices are now nudging $1 million.
"If buyers want access to a waterway but still looking for real estate affordability, then Fisherman's Paradise is worth some consideration where the median house price is closer to $500,000."
Finally, with listing numbers down by about 20 per cent compared to autumn 2020, Mr Hopper is urging vendors considering a sale in 2021 move before it's too late.
"I've seen markets come and go over the last 40 years. The trouble is that you never see a booming market coming, and you never see it going either. So, if you're a home owner and have decided to sell, make a move now before it's too late."