When you think of life on the Northern Beaches, you think of stunning water views, tree-lined streets, cute cafes and a relaxed, family vibe. Balgowlah, on the southern end of the peninsular, has all this and more.
A haven for families, it offers highly sought-after schools, a strong community spirit, sports fields, lush green spaces and a short, easy commute to the city. And with the Stockland Centre at its heart and Manly down the road, life is pretty good in Balgowlah.
In this article, we dive into the suburb in conversation with Angus White from Whitehouse Real Estate.
Angus White, Whitehouse Real Estate
Angus, let’s start with an overview of the property make-up of Balgowlah? Is there a mix or is it only for the wealthy?
Balgowlah has something for everyone and is definitely not only for the wealthy. There are three main segments to the market. We have apartments available from $500,000 to $600,000, including options on Cross Street, Ricard Street, and Balgowlah Road. Then we have the middle section of the market, with properties around $2 million to $4 million. Our high-end market can go all the way up to a record-breaking $8.5 million for a waterfront property on King Street.
We like the variety Balgowlah offers as it means our team can target different markets depending on how the market is tracking. For instance, if the high-end market is performing well, we can target the cream of the crop in Balgowlah Heights. We have a variety of properties to offer, from units and middle-range houses to waterfront properties with harbor and ocean views.
Where are Balgowlah buyers coming from? Are they all locals?
The pool of buyers has significantly expanded with the advent of technology. Traditionally, 85 per cent of buyers would come from within a five-kilometer radius of the suburb. Nowadays, up to 40 per cent of buyers are coming from the upper and lower North Shore or Eastern Suburbs.
Additionally, there are investors coming from places like China. So, the potential buyers for properties are diverse and constantly increasing.
What makes Balgowlah an attractive place to live?
Balgowlah is often referred to as the gateway to the Northern Beaches and is the first stop after crossing the Spit Bridge.
The area has a lot to offer, including the Harbor Foreshore walk into Manly, the beauty of the local area, North Harbor Reserve and terrific schools. It’s a clean and safe area to live.
There are also many local amenities, such as the B-Line bus service that offers a direct route to the city, and ferries that can take you straight to Circular Quay.
Balgowlah offers something for everyone, including dog walks, harbor walks, golf courses, schools, restaurants, shops, and even a new club – Club Totem. With all these great features, there are many reasons to consider buying and living in Balgowlah.
What’s your view on the proposed Beaches tunnel? Do you think it will go ahead?
The idea of a tunnel has been discussed for more than 30 years and I believe it will happen at some point.
The RMS has acquired numerous properties in Dudley Street and Serpentine Crescent, indicating that they are moving forward with the project.
I see the tunnel as a positive development, as it will provide faster access to and from the area. Although it's unfortunate that the Balgowlah Golf Course will be lost, overall, it will be a beneficial change. The design aims to preserve as much green space as possible, and I believe the tunnel is going to be constructed regardless of any opposition.
How has Balgowlah faired in the recent market downturn?
Certain pockets of the market have been heavily affected with declines of 10 to 20 per cent, and a few even dropping by 30 per cent after the big increases the previous year.
Other parts have held their value well. Take the Stockland apartments, for example, which have weathered the storm as the downsizers who buy them are less affected by interest rates.
The middle part of the market – properties priced between $2 million and $4.5 million – has been hit the hardest. I think this is because young families seeking to borrow between $1 million and $2 million dollars to enter these areas have seen their borrowing capacity dramatically reduced, resulting in a 15 per cent drop in prices across the board.
Have you noticed an increase in buyer activity lately?
Yes, there has been a significant uptick in buyer interest in the past two weeks. It's almost as if a light bulb went off in their heads and they realised that the market is not going to get much lower, so now is the time to make their move.
This has translated into more people attending open houses and making offers. It's great to see that buyers have finally made the shift and are taking advantage of the market conditions they have been waiting for.
Want to get in touch with Angus? Head to https://www.whitehouserealestate.com.au/