Merewether is setting the pace for property in the region, with prices soaring more than 20 per cent in the past 12 months, according to sales data released by the state government this week.
The 2291 postcode, comprising the beachside Merewether, Merewether Heights and The Junction, boasts a median price of $882,000, up 22.5 per cent in the year to March.
Robinson Property’s Mike Flook, who has been selling homes in Merewether for 26 years, said demand remained at a premium for the suburb.
“There is no doubt it’s always been a desirable beachside suburb and I’ve always likened it to the Double Bay of Newcastle,” Mr Flook said.
“But the past 12 months to two years has been where there has been some very significant price growth and that’s been reflected on prices achieved. I’ve seen some properties that were sold two years ago had recorded increases of up to $600,000 in two years.”
Mr Flook said his Merewether properties were selling within 14 days of being listed and estimated around 20 per cent were being sold before they even hit the market. He said there was local, national and international interest in 107 Frederick Street, which sold for $5.05 million in May.
Last month he had nine registered bidders for an older-style home set on a 613sqm corner block at 47 Berner Street, which sold for $1.95 million by auction.
Mark van Huisstede and his wife Julia are selling their “dream home” along the road at 37 Berner Street with a price guide of $2.7million to $2.85 million.
The 49-year-old italktravel owner bought the block in 2001 before knocking the original house down and rebuilding in 2011. They are selling their five-bedroom, four-bathroom home with a view to downsizing. They moved into the suburb in 1994 and haven’t “wanted to move out”.
“I’ve been surprised with the growth [in Merewether], that is has been so great,” Mr van Huisstede said. “But, in saying that, it doesn’t surprise me because of the environment we live in. It’s just a beautiful place to live, not just Merewether, but Newcastle.
“Anywhere is not too far from the beaches and the restaurants and the life that is in that Newcastle area is just phenomenal.”
The postcode of 2289 – Adamstown, Adamstown Heights, Garden Suburb, Highfields and Kotara – experienced the highest increase for the region of 23.7 per cent for a median price of $636,000.
Emily and Brendan McGrorey relocated to Newcastle from Sydney nearly 12 months ago and have bought a family home in Adamstown Heights. She said “housing affordability” and “lifestyle” were key factors. To purchase something in Sydney for a similar price would have meant “a one, maybe a two-bedroom apartment”.
The report also showed house prices had risen in Lake Macquarie by 8.3 per cent with the 2284 postcode, including Speers Point and Boolaroo, recording a yearly growth of 22.2 per cent and an average sale price of $510,000.
George Rafty of First National Newcastle City listed 14 Berkeley Street in Speers Point on Tuesday with a price guide of $680,000 to $730,000 and said within 24 hours he had already received offers at $730,000.
He said Speers Point had always been popular but Boolaroo “has gone off its head” in the past three to five years.
“These two suburbs are great family lifestyle locations,” Mr Rafty said.
“There’s a changing of the guard where a lot of people who have been living in those areas a long time are now empty nesters and are selling and a new brigade is coming in.
“If you said to a Sydney buyer that you can buy a house with incredible lake views below $800,000, that represents incredible value.”