The South Coast town giving Byron Bay a run for its money

138 Headland Drive, Gerroa recently sold for a suburb record of $7.1 million. Picture: Supplied
138 Headland Drive, Gerroa recently sold for a suburb record of $7.1 million. Picture: Supplied

If ever one street were to represent the extent of the 2021 boom in regional property prices, Gerroa's Headland Drive would be a leading candidate.

Since January the NSW South Coast street has recorded 12 transactions bringing in a recorded $31,138,000 in sales, with its most recent sale lobbing in at $7.1 million.

Three of the 12 transactions reported did not have a recorded price.

These big-ticket sales have contributed to a dramatic rise in Gerroa's median house price - $2,625,000 in July - to the point where the suburb now regularly battles it out with illustrious Byron Bay for the most expensive regional market in the country.

Sales on the headland so far in 2021. Data source: CoreLogic

Sales on the headland so far in 2021. Data source: CoreLogic

Holding out to sell in 2021 certainly paid off for the seller of 138 Headland Drive, which sold for $7.1 million last week.

The vendors had listed at $2.9 million in early 2020 but decided to hold off selling during the initial stages of the pandemic.

That sale represented a classic tale of a buyer willing to pay above market rates to secure a property in the location they wanted according to selling agent Ryan Stalgis of First National Real Estate Coast & Country.

"It is a bit of an outlier at $7.1 million. I had a particular buyer who wanted something in that position on the peninsula and were looking to pay [to secure it]," Mr Stalgis said.

"Most of the homes [sold on Headland Drive] before this were knock downs, or homes needing a lot more work ... This one was one of the first that was a really good quality home," he added.

The buyer was Sydney-based - not uncommon given the suburb's tight market and growing reputation.

"I have a lot of buyers out there who I've been working with for years, some of them have been sitting around for years waiting for [a property like that] to come up," Mr Stalgis said.

Easy access to the highway meant Gerroa was a major attraction to Sydney buyers, as well as those from Canberra, Kangaroo Valley and the Southern Highlands, but scarcity of stock was the primary reason behind the area's rapid price growth.

"The other thing is it's landlocked. It's a very small headland there ... You know its not going to be overdeveloped," he said.

"You know its not going to be overdeveloped, one of the reasons being there's no more land. It just gets harder and harder to buy down there," he added.

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Kate Morgan, of Ray White Gerringong, sold an original condition property at 58 Headland Drive in August to a regional NSW buyer, and said it was rare to have so many listings come up on the street.

"It is always tightly held in Gerroa. Because there is no future development, what you see is what you get in Gerroa, so it's pretty rare for there to be more than two or three properties on the market," she said.

The flurry of recent activity on Headland Drive - with eight sales since January, all above $2.4 million - was likely the reason why Gerroa's median house price had nearly doubled from $1,324,000 in October 2020 to $2,615,000 in July 2021 (the most recent figures available), Mr Stalgis said.

That figure placed Gerroa within striking distance of Byron Bay's median price of $2,625,000 and there were many similarities between the pair, he said, though Gerroa's smaller size made the market's median price more susceptible to listing numbers.

"It's followed a very similar trajectory to what's happened to Byron Bay in recent years, with their recent price growth," he said.

The entire Gerroa market really took off in October 2020, Mr Stalgis said, after the first wave of lockdowns had ended in NSW.

"I think its not hyperbole at all to say the majority of the Gerroa market has doubled in just over 12 months," he said.

"It wouldn't have been out of line at all to say you need $6 million when it was $3 million 12 months ago [to buy on Headland Drive] ... I'd say theres very little [in the broader Gerroa market] you'd pick up for under $2.5 million now," he said.

Ms Morgan said that it was difficult to to find a compromised property in Gerroa, and values were consistently high as a result.

"Almost all of Gerroa has good advantages nearly every street has good views. Views and access to the beach are what people are fighting over in the market," she said.

"The only properties you'd get [for less than $2 million] are those with no ocean views," she added.

Another strong contender for top sales is neighbouring Stafford Street - each enjoying spectacular views of the beach and a original condition and renovated stock.

Among its top sales was a vinyl weatherboard beachfront home with spectacular views which sold $4.75 million in April this year.

Along with Burke Parade, which is closer to town's centre and overlooks Seven Mile beach, they form the prestige streets of Gerroa, Mr Stalgis said.

"I don't think it's so much that the Headland Drive side is more expensive than the Stafford side, it's just been more active recently," he said.

"We went through a period where a number of properties sold on Stafford Street side, including a couple of records there, and then it's been a bit quiet on Stafford Street and there's been a run of sales on Headland Drive."

This story The street where $31 million of property has sold this year alone first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.