- Posted By Amit Pall
Prospective buyers in the Illawarra should get their finances in order, be confident and take advantage of stamp duty exemptions in 2020, agents suggest.
Daniel Hastings, director and head auctioneer at MMJ Wollongong said the Illawarra property market started 2019 with the "finishing off of the correction from the peak of the cycle that we saw in late 2017".
"We all thought that (the result) would be a positive for the market," he said.
"The latter half of 2019 (was) really positive.
"I think seeing activity in late November and into December from our point of view has been very positive, at a time (of year) that can sometimes be patchy and unpredictable."
Mr Hastings said there should be an optimistic outlook for the Illawarra property market in 2020.
Mr Hastings predicted that "we're a good chance to see, at worst, a solid, balanced market" in 2020.
"And there may be some growth still there," he said.
As for those looking to buy next year, Mr Hastings advised getting your finances in order.
"Don't just presume that you're okay for finance," he said.
"There's also plenty to be positive about. So go in with confidence that the correction has now happened, and we have started to see a rebound."
Meanwhile, Andy Wharton from First National Coast & Country in the Kiama area said 2019 had been a year of two halves for the market.
He said while prospective buyers had been cautious prior to the election, the second half of 2019 was "quite strong'.
"What we lost in quarters one and two were made up in quarters three and four," he told the Mercury.
Mr Wharton said there was still some uncertainty about just how well the market in the region would fare in 2020, but said it would continue to benefit from improved transport services.
"That means Sydney is getting that much closer to us now," he said.
"So we do have buyers moving here for lifestyle choices, and still commuting to Sydney.
"Maybe not five days a week, it could be three or four days a week."
Mr Wharton advised prospective buyers in the Illawarra to try and take advantage of stamp duty exemptions, particularly for first home buyers.
"I don't know how long those benefits will last... But at the moment it's probably a good time to buy if you're a first home buyer," he said.