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Buyers battle for Cronulla beachside apartment

A large crowd of interested buyers at auction of 4/13 Coast Avenue, Cronulla on Saturday. Photo: Fiona Morris The beachside apartment sold for which sold for $1,563,000. Photo: Fiona Morris

Agents say a similar apartment in Bondi would have sold for as much as $3 million. Photo: domain苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

A two-storey beachfront apartment that sold under the hammer for $1,563,000 in Cronulla on Saturday, showed how far a dollar can stretch in Sydney’s south.

A mix of investors and owner occupiers were among the seven groups who registered to bid. Some of them were from out of the area, which was a growing demographic according to sales agent Ivan Lampret of Gibson Partners.

“Something like this would go for $3 million in Bondi, and we are seeing a lot of people from areas like the eastern suburbs where they can’t afford to have a beachfront,” Mr Lampret said.

The three-bedroom unit at 4/16 Coast Avenue was one of 630 auctions on Saturday – a record for a July weekend that is expected to be trumped in coming weeks.

By Saturday evening Domain Group had collected 476 results and put the clearance rate at a strong 83.1 per cent. Last weekend the clearance rate was 80 per cent.

“Just when we thought the market was on the slide it bounces back again with a good result,” said senior economist for the Domain Group, Dr Andrew Wilson.

The Cronulla property was declared on the market at $1.47 million, a price that auctioneer Andrew Cooley of Cooley Auctions, said wouldn’t go as far elsewhere.

“The Sutherland Shire market is performing incredibly well because there is a lot of value and buyers are seeing value in these apartments positioned on the Esplanade,” he said.

“If you were to put this same property over in Bondi, you’d be paying $2.5 million to $3 million for it,” Mr Cooley said.

A waiting crowd of more than 100 swelled throughout the bidding to about 200 spectators as coastal walkers interrupted their jaunts for a peek at the action.

Those who did found themselves parked for more than 20 minutes, watching as two parties slowly crawled beyond the initial $1.3 million mark in $1000 bids.

An investor, who did not want to be identified, was the eventual buyer. He will lease the property for several years, before settling there in retirement.

The apartment was formerly two north-facing units before being amalgamated using an internal staircase. It is metres from the esplanade coastal walk and cafe strip.

Domain group data shows the median price for units in Cronulla is $640,000, while the median house price there is $1.6 million.

Domain’s senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson said the June quarter would reflect an acceleration in price growth for the region.

Upcoming data would reveal South Sydney, including St George and Sutherland Shire to have among the strongest regional growth rates in Sydney, he said.

“There has been a rediscovery of the amenity and lifestyle aspects of the Shire, and as other regions become more expensive, it has affordability advantages.”

In comparison, the median price for a Bondi Beach unit is $900,000, with price growth of 9.8 per cent in the 12 months to April, and relatively flat growth in house prices, according to Domain Group data.

Within a several-metre radius, there were two simultaneous open homes, with unit five in the same building also up for sale – despite July traditionally being a quieter listing period.

It was one of many stops in the day for both agent and auctioneer, who literally ran to their next appointments.

“This is one of 10 auctions this month, we are getting so much stock down here,” Mr Lampret said.

Within the hour, the duo dropped the hammer on a double-brick home around the corner, when 8 Chelmsford Avenue sold for $1,811,000.

Another three-bedroom unit down the road at 4/19 Coast Avenue, sold for $2,114,000 on Saturday, $314,000 above its reserve price of $1.8 million.

Sales agent Ben Pike of Pulse Property Agents said in that instance interest came solely from owner-occupiers from the southern suburbs who were looking to downsize.

“The three who registered to bid were all active in pursuing the property, and all contested it beyond the $2 million mark,” Mr Pike said.

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