There’s plenty on offer for buyers and investors in laid back family friendly Coogee.
A thriving café scene, countless bars and restaurants and recreational areas, as well as planned transport upgrades, have Coogee real estate in hot demand.
Coogee has long been synonymous with the idyllic Australian dream of a beachside suburb – fostering that laid back and relaxed surf vibe but, at eight kilometres from the Sydney CBD, just close enough to the sights and sounds of the big city.
Long dwarfed by the flashier Bondi and Bronte, Coogee is no longer Sydney’s best-kept secret, and real estate prices have taken off. But there’s still plenty of reasons why I think it would be wise to keep Coogee firmly on your radar.
1. The best family friendly beach in the eastern suburbs?
With easier swimming than Tamarama and fewer tourists than Bondi, Coogee Beach could well be the most family friendly beach in the eastern suburbs.
This coastal enclave fosters an unpretentious work/life balance culture – something I’ve witnessed directly, having worked in the area for over 30 years.
The famous Bondi to Coogee cliff walk provides the perfect route for a morning run or weekend family activity, while a huge stretch of beachfront parkland provides cooking facilities and tables – perfect for a picnic or family gathering. It can get busy in the summer, but in the winter you’ll likely have it all to yourself.
2. The light rail means transport connections are set to improve
Coogee has been well served by the bus network, but the under-construction light rail line will stretch all the way from Circular Quay to the top of Coogee Bay Road. Set for completion in 2019, it provides access to the CBD with a high frequency ‘turn up and go’ light rail service and frequent bus connections to the rest of Coogee.
Coogee also provides quick access to Sydney airport and the inner-west via Gardener’s Road – bypassing inner city traffic.
3. Coogee’s café culture is starting to emerge
For a long time, Coogee was distanced by its more northerly cousins when it came to food options.
But the suburb is now buzzing with new dining options – a key factor in many younger buyers’ decision to move in. Options vary from the ubiquitous fast food outlets along the seafront to some of Sydney’s best cafes and restaurants tucked away in surrounding streets.
That’s not to mention Merivale’s iconic revitalised Coogee Pavilion – a hotspot for beachside drinks and dining and a drawcard for tourists and locals alike.
And it’s just a short distance to Randwick’s huge range of eateries.
4. It’s close to amenities
With UNSW located a short commute away and the Prince of Wales Hospital nearby, Coogee is perfectly positioned for quick access to amenities, and to attract international students and hospital workers as tenants, while enjoying a quieter location tucked away from the hustle and bustle.
5. Coogee’s eclectic architecture
Being a well-established suburb, Coogee features an eclectic housing mix consisting of impressive freestanding federation bungalows, large double storey family houses, gorgeous art deco apartments and brick walk up units – many of which have been renovated – as well as a wave of modern apartment developments.
Houses are significantly outweighed in number by apartments, and this lack of supply has significant upward pressure on prices, although block sizes tend to be generous with many houses featuring a backyard.
The majority of apartments feature balconies designed to capture the impressive views and sunny outlook afforded by the sloping landscape.
Of course, being in such close proximity to the ocean and with increasing demand in recent years, Coogee is also home to its fair share of architecturally designed executive properties, many of which command water views and significant price tags.
6. It’s vibrant beachside community
Coogee is home to a broad range of demographics, with a solid contingent of long term residents as well as young professional couples and young families – with three primary schools within the suburb. The average age of Coogee residents is between 20 and 39-years-old, with healthcare and professional industries making up the largest employment areas.
Can I still buy in Coogee?
It‘s pretty clear that Coogee is no longer a local secret and property prices in the suburb reflect this, having risen substantially in the last three years and clearance rates consistently above 80 per cent – a trend I don’t see changing anytime soon.
Those looking for an entry into the market are best set to target a one bedroom apartment in an unrenovated walk up block, where deals can still be made for under $800,000, although it should be said that these properties are tightly held and don’t come to market that often.
Families looking for a three-bedroom house will need to be prepared to spend upwards of $2 million. Houses are in tight supply and high demand – with clearance rates of over 90 per cent for those rare properties that do make it to market.
The proximity to the beach, as well as nearby universities, mean rentals in Coogee fetch a strong rate and long vacancies are almost non-existent. So homebuyers will often need to battle it out with investors come auction day.