While a majority of coastal suburbs saw a growth in annual median sales price for the past 12 months, many also saw a downturn in the volume of homes sold.

Although Scarborough’s sales dropped from 292 to 215 for the year, homes sold in Rockingham declined from 333 to 279 and Warnbro dropped from 310 to 257, each suburb’s annual median sales prices rose by 6.5, 7.4 and 8.6 per cent respectively.

O’Rourke Realty Investments principal Rory O’Rourke has specialised in the coastal areas for more than 40 years.

He said he had seen many ebbs and flows in the coastal market and attributed Scarborough’s decline in sales numbers to a drop in the first-homebuyer grant for established homes and a rise in incentives to build.

“Scarborough is changing from the ugly duckling to the beautiful swan, ” Mr O’Rourke said, adding that it was still more affordable than surrounding coastal suburbs and rezoning and development were big drawcards.

Alkimos recorded an increase in sales numbers from 35 to 65, pushed by its new suburb status, Halls Head sales jumped from 361 to 388 and Kallaroo’s sales numbers were up from 80 to 100.

Wannanup recorded the highest growth in annual median sales price for a coastal suburb in the last 12 months, growing by 18.6 per cent to $525,000, despite the number of sales falling from 106 to 94.

LJ Hooker Mandurah saleswoman Jennifer Watt has seen interest in Wannanup increasing, with buyers starting to appreciate the uniqueness of the area.

She said it was a tightly held suburb just 15 minutes from the Mandurah town centre, bordered by the ocean, estuary, Dawesville Cut and canals.

“This area has been great value for many years with its amazing location and affordability, ” Ms Watt said. “Residents are drawn to its coastal lifestyle, offering superb fishing, crabbing, boating and swimming. The marina is a haven for locals and the golf course is popular.

“There’s a rich array of housing in Wannanup, from quality homes on the oceanfront and canals through to Mediterranean- inspired villas, and even family homes on large blocks. The diversity adds to its appeal.”

Ms Watt said while there had been a slight decrease in the number of properties sold in Wannanup, there had been greater competition among buyers.

Swanbourne had the second highest growth in median sales price for a coastal suburb, increasing by 18.3 per cent to $1.65 million, followed by Golden Bay up 17.4 per cent to $417,500.

Coastal living was in the blood for Ryan and Laura Sudano, who grew up alongside the ocean and recently bought a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Sorrento.

“Ryan grew up in Doubleview and spent a lot of time surfing in Scarborough and my family home was in North Beach and I spent a lot of my childhood at the local beaches, ” Mrs Sudano said.

After living in Kallaroo for the past decade, they were keen to remain along the coast, close to their children’s schools, with son Daniel, 12, in his first year at Sacred Heart College in Sorrento and daughters Lily, 8, and Rianna, 4, attending Whitford Catholic Primary.

Daughter Jayden, 22, who lives away from home, also comes for regular visits.

“As a growing family we were looking for a home with a bit more space and a pool, ” Mrs Sudano said. “The thought of being a little bit closer to Hillarys Marina and Sorrento Beach was really appealing, also having the school so close that Daniel (and later on Lily and Rianna) is able to ride to school quicker than I can drive him.

“There’s so much to love about living by the coast . . the main things we love include walks to the marina — just a short five- minute walk and we are there — with heaps of fantastic restaurants and fun activities for the kids plus a few good fishing spots for Dan and his mates.

“We spend most weekends during the summer at the beach with friends, swimming, surfing and mucking around.

“We also like to go for family bike rides and walks along the coastal strip, stopping along the way for coffee or ice-cream, and barbecues at one of the picnic spots are also a favourite.”

‘This area has been great value . . . residents are drawn to its coastal lifestyle.’


© The West Australian

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