How the northern beaches real estate market performed in 2018

How the northern beaches real estate market performed in 2018

The northern beaches property market switched from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market this year, but even though house prices softened, many first buyers couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities because of borrowing limitations.

This was the year of transition as the five-year property boom ended, investors stayed away and banking institutions tightened up how much they were prepared to lend.

It has been a year of extremes too, with the northern beaches’ most expensive house selling for $18 million in Palm Beach. This contrasted with the most affordable house selling for $843,000 in North Narrabeen.

Property buyer Peter Kelaher, of PK Property, said 2018 was a two-speed market with mixed results.

“The luxury end has held up, the downsizer market is as strong as I’ve seen it, but investments and units were down ten per cent,” he said.

Some suburbs probably saw house price drop 5-10 per cent, he added.

The top sale of the year was in April with new home 40 Ocean Rd, Palm Beach trading.

Down the road, at 98 Rickard Rd, North Narrabeen, an old three-bedroom cottage sold under the hammer last month to a local tradie for $843,000. It was billed as the most affordable house on the beaches and managed to fulfil that claim.


1. 40 Ocean Rd, Palm Beach……………..$18 million

2. 68 Bower St, Manly……………..$16 million

3. 167 Pacific Rd, Palm Beach……………..$15 million

4. 44 Bower St, Manly……………..$14 million

5. 20 Iluka Rd, Palm Beach……………..$12 million

6. 3 Pavilion St, Queenscliff ……..$12 million

7. 1 Monash Cres, Clontarf…………$11.5 million

8. 3 Riverview Rd, Avalon Beach…………….$11.1 million

9. 1a Monash Cres, Clontarf……..$10.56 million

10. 394 Wyong Rd, Duffys Forest.$10.25 million

11. 975 Barrenjoey Rd, Palm Beach…..$10.2 million

But these were exceptional sales. The median house price on the northern beaches dipped from a high of $1.866 million in February to $1.77 million this month. Units prices also drifted down from a median high of $925,000 in January to $890,000 now. So the median house price has dropped $96,000 in 10 months and the median unit price has dropped $35,000 in almost 12 months.


Almost 3000 properties were auctioned on the beaches throughout 2018 and 57.2 per cent of them sold. According to CoreLogic, 2944 homes were auctioned and 2434 of them sold.

Eleven properties on the northern beaches sold for more than $10 million this year, mostly at the two ends of the peninsula, in Palm Beach and in Manly.

And 10 suburbs notched up new suburb records, from Manly to Bilgola Beach. One suburb, Narrabeen, saw its suburb record smashed by $2 million in November to a new high of $7.55 million.


* ALLAMBIE HEIGHTS: 14 Maroa Cres, in May, $3.03 million

* BILGOLA BEACH: 32 The Serpentine, in January, $8.1 million

* CLONTARF: 1 Monash Cres, in June, $11.5 million

* COLLAROY: 43 Beach Rd, in September, $8.25 million

* DUFFYS FOREST: 394 Wyong Rd, in February, $10.25 million

* MANLY: 68 Bower St, in May, $16 million

* NARRABEEN: 197 Ocean St, in November, $7.55 million

* NORTH BALGOWLAH: 16 Hunter St, in June, $3.815 million

* NORTH MANLY: 62 Riverview Pde, in May, $5 million

* QUEENSCLIFF: 3 Pavilion St, in September, $12 million

While the northern beaches fared better than many Sydney regions with higher auction clearance rates and minimal falls in median prices there were major influences at a low level.

The much-awaited Northern Beaches Hospital opened this year amid hopes of rezonings within Frenchs Forest lifting property prices.

Many homeowners close to the hospital sat on their properties waiting for a possible windfall. When it became apparent that the rezonings would be much more limited than at first thought a rush of houses came to market.

According to CoreLogic, more houses sold in Frenchs Forest this year than any other northern beaches suburb. There were 211 houses traded with a median house price of $1,511,500 which is down 8.4 per cent over 12 months.

In Dee Why, the largest two residential unit towers on the northern beaches opened adding hundreds of apartments to the suburb.

Lighthouse by Meriton consists of 351 units across four buildings, two of which are 17-storey tower blocks.

In addition new apartments were released in the Osprey and The Carlyle developers in Dee Why’s Pittwater Rd plus new units in Clyde Rd. The sudden increase in new apartments has given buyers a big choice.

More units have sold in Dee Why this year than any other suburb on the peninsula. According to CoreLogic, 529 units have traded in Dee Why with a median price of $762,000 down 5.6 per cent over 12 months.

In addition to changes in Frenchs Forest and Dee Why there have been other local infrastructure changes.

News that the expansion of Ingleside would be scrapped has disappointed property-owners.

And homeowners in North Balgowlah are keeping a wary eye on announcements over the Beaches Link tunnel to see if it impacts their property values.

Northern Beaches Council endorsed the tunnel which is an $8 billion State government project to better connect the northern beaches with the rest of Sydney via a tunnel under Middle Harbour.

Sales that hit the headlines this year included a one-bedroom house in Queenscliff that sold for $5.55 million, a double block on Collaroy Beach that sold for $15.5 million and a leasehold sale in Manly that sold for a new suburb record of $16 million.

Sydney’s last original clifftop house, at 17 Pavilion St, Queenscliff, with just one bedroom and no parking, sold for $5.55 million in March.

The former fisherman’s cottage was on a block of only 340sqm. It had a guide of $4.8 million and five people competed for it. Agent Anthony Calacoci, of Belle Property Manly, said he was surprised the property with 70sqm of living space sold for the price it did.

“It just goes to show that the Queenscliff headland is the new Bower St, without the leasehold,” he said.

That comment proved prescient.

A unit development called Aquilam also in Pavilion St was launched in August with prices from $5.4 million. Then on the first day of spring 3 Pavilion St sold for $12 million, a new record for the suburb.

The oceanfront tri-level home was only on the market for four days and sold through Peter Kelaher of PK Property and Jake Rowe, of Rowe Partners.

Another trophy purchase was on Beach Rd, Collaroy where businessman Russell Staley has paid $15.5 million for two oceanfront blocks. number 43 Beach Rd is now the suburb record at $8.25 million but Mr Staley also paid $7.25 million for number 41 Beach Rd. He has now listed his Peter Stutchbury-designed property at 51 Beach Rd, Collaroy.

Manly’s Bower St continues to be blue-ribbon buying even though most of it is leasehold land leased from the Catholic Church. Number 68 Bower St sold for $16 million in May and was once the trophy home of former motorcycle world champion Wayne Gardner.

Sporting celebrities Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy continued to build up their portfolio on the beaches buying a block of land in Forestville this year and a large house in Collaroy Plateau. The couple continue to live in a designer house in North Curl Curl previously owned by model Jennifer Hawkins.

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