A quaint town of Port Stephens is considered one of the best investment areas in the state.
Shoal Bay, a town of around 2,000 on the far east side of Port Stephens, was one of two high-flying Hunter suburbs featured in a new report on Monday.
Well Home Loans’ Green Shoots report, which highlights the 20 NSW markets showing the clearest signs of future price growth, ranked Shoal Bay and Wickham unit markets at 8 and 13 respectively.
The Acsai family from Sydney recently purchased the area after spending the last 10 years holidaying in the town’s caravan park.
Sarina Acsai said she, her husband Karl and their three children hope to visit at least twice a month and eventually downsize the property.
“We love this place, we can’t get enough of it, so any vacation we could have, Shoal Bay was always at the top of our list,” Ms Acsai said.
“We were looking for an investment property and we thought ‘why not invest where we like’?
“We looked elsewhere along the central coast like Davistown, Wamberal, but nothing appealed to us like Shoal Bay.
“We love that everything is so close, but still quiet and nice and peaceful when you’re up there…that’s bliss.”
The report considered three main factors when compiling the list: changes in the median asking price; marketing days before sale; and inventory level.
Inventory level refers to how quickly a location would “sell” properties if it continued to sell at the current rate and no new properties were added.
In the three months to January, Shoal Bay units saw one of the largest inventory declines in the report (3.2 months to 2.1 months), indicating a low inventory count.
Shoal Bay units also saw the third largest increase in median asking price, an 11.1% increase from $450,000 to $500,000.
Ben George of PRD Port Stephens said apartments were hard to come by in the area.
The two units sold this year, two bedrooms on Ronald Avenue, sold for $625,000 and $650,000, while a three-bedroom executive apartment in the Breakwater building sold for $1,785,000 in December.
“It’s very tight … there are a lot fewer announcements in Shoal Bay than there are probably in other suburbs,” Mr George said.
“If they’re on the market, they usually sell out pretty quickly and at pretty good prices.”
House prices in Shoal Bay have already seen a 29.5% rise in the year to October 2021, almost double the Port Stephens average.
“Shoal Bay is the only suburb of Port Stephens where you can be both on the bay and on the coast,” Mr George said.
“It’s big enough that you don’t need to leave, there’s plenty to do in terms of nightlife, restaurants, cafes… not oversupply, but enough that if you have to go at the grocery store you are literally five minutes from Nelson Bay.
“It’s a suburb that seems to tick a lot of boxes for a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons.”
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