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Curl Curl and Malabar are Sydney’s best-performing beach suburbs

Next Saturday: 20 Farnell Street, Curl Curl has a price guide of $2.9 to $3.2 million. Photo: Supplied Spectacular views: 114 Victoria Street, Malabar is expected to be hot property. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

William Phillips with his girlfriend Renata Marie. Photo: Supplied

Renata Marie on the terrace of the Bronte apartment she and William Phillips bought on Saturday. Photo: Supplied

The beach at Little Bay. Photo: Supplied

Sea change: 2/2 Millard Drive, Little Bay has a price guide of $1.5 million. Photo: Supplied

Families priced out of Sydney’s eastern beachside suburbs are swarming around the tiny northern beaches pocket of Curl Curl, pushing up prices more than 40 per cent in six months.

“It’s been insane,” says James Smyth, the agent known as “Mr Curl Curl” since he sells 80 per cent of the properties there.

“I had a Maroubra family come over and say that there, two-storey semis go for $3 million to $3.5 million and here they can buy a finished home on full block, so the eastern suburbs find it very good buying,” he says.

Smyth has got seven contracts out on the four-bedroom house at 20 Farnell Street – one of the last double-sized blocks of 873 square metres – which has a price guide of $2.9 to $3.2 million ahead of next Saturday’s auction. It’s been the McMurray family home since 1956, though Robert McMurray and his wife, Lesley, are now downsizing.

“I grew up here at Curl Curl and we used to have the surf to ourselves in the early days and no-one wanted to come here,” he says. “Now it’s loved to death by board riders and families on weekends.

“Lots of young families are moving in and are rebuilding all the older places … In the late 50s, my father and myself planted the grass in the common walkway to the beach beside our house.”

Once people arrive in the sleepy beachside paradise, they rarely leave. Curl Curl was the best-performing beachside suburb for price growth in Sydney for the six months to September, according to figures from Domain Group chief economist Dr Andrew Wilson. Though it’s still a pricey proposition with its $2.5 million median price.

Another place that beach lovers who can’t afford the pricier eastern suburbs options are heading to is Malabar, which recorded the second-highest growth of 33.2 per cent. The median price has shot up to $2,405,000.

A three-bedroom home on a huge 885 square metres at 114 Victoria Street – with spectacular views a street back from the beach – is expected to be hot property at the first open on Saturday before the October 29 auction.

“Malabar has a bit more of a village feel rather than tourism,” agent Alex Udler of Laing and Simmons Randwick says.

“If there is turnover, it’s usually just the locals trading up or down.”

News in May that the Baird government will accelerate plans to close the nearby Long Bay jail and sell the 32-hectare site to developers could be one of the reasons Malabar has grown in appeal – even though no closure date has been revealed.

North Curl Curl had the third-highest growth of 17.76 per cent with its median of $2.27 million, with those highly desirable eastern suburbs Bronte at 15.9 per cent and $3,415,000 and Clovelly at 15 per cent and $3,012,000.

Dr Wilson says it’s no surprise that growth levels in “secondary locations” are now experiencing higher price growth than the “iconic” beach suburbs. “It’s still the same Pacific Ocean, but more affordable,” he says.

Perhaps interestingly, Bronte apartment prices dropped 1.5 per cent over the six months and were flat over the year. “Though price growth will wax and wane … it’s still a barbecue stopper to say you are a resident in those areas.

“And demand will always be well ahead of supply.”

That was front of mind for leading inner Sydney agent William Phillips – a director of BresicWhitney – who offered $200,000 more than the reserve price in his opening bid for a two-bedroom apartment at 16/107 Macpherson Street, Bronte last weekend.

He blew away the 10 others who registered with his $1.7 million offer, within seconds of the auctioneer calling for bids and snatched the keys at $1.72 million after just one other raised his paddle.

“I looked at what else you can buy in the area at $2 million and at $1.7 million I thought it was really good value,” he said, who will move in with girlfriend Renata.

He said they were both “over the moon”, having posted “Happy birthday darling. We bought a house today!!!” on social media. It was Renata’s 28th birthday, though apparently the apartment isn’t a birthday present.

The best-performing beachside suburb over the six months was the eastern suburb of Little Bay, which after years of apartment development is now a hot spot. Prices grew 35.8 per cent in six months to reach its median of $995,000.

“Nowadays, people want to come to live here to get away from the hustle and bustle and congestion,” says NG Farah principal Martin Farah.

“And it’s still good value, so that’s why we’re seeing good growth.”

He says he has had a lot of interest from inner-east apartment owners wanting a sea-change – particularly in the three-bedroom apartment with north-facing terrace at 2/2 Millard Drive up for auction on October 29. It has a price guide of $1.5 million. “It’s a dog-friendly apartment with plenty of indoor and outdoor space,” Farah says.

Little Bay resident of five years Morris Lombardo, who owns the Coogee Italian restaurant La Spiaggia, says the suburb is even better now than when he first moved in.

“My wife and I always feel like we’re on holidays there – it’s quiet, community-oriented, there’s the beach and golf course,” Lombardo says.

“And now there’s a supermarket, a few restaurants a doctor’s surgery and all the little things that a small community needs to keep going.

“It’s just perfect.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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