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Maroubra in Focus

By Phillip Elmowy

Along Maroubra’s 1 km stretch of beach, urban professionals-turned-weekend surfers share the waves with third- and fourth- generation residents and a diverse mix of Housing Commission tenants. It’s unique demographic that sets Maroubra apart from its northern neighbours. It lacks the self-consciousness of Bondi or Bronte and there is an incredible pride in the suburb among its nearly 30,000 residents.

Locals say it’s a suburb that nobody ever leaves. Ray White Maroubra director Phillip Elmowy said generational buyers make up a lot of the growth in the market. “People came to Maroubra in the 1970s and their kids have stayed around here. A lot of the growth is internal.”

The first waves of development started in the late 1980s, Mr Elmowy said, and haven’t stopped. “Everywhere you go you see development, and that just means people are coming to this suburb.”

The housing mix includes 44 percent units and 19 percent townhouses. “The proximity to the University of New South Wales and the central business district and the fast transport corridor attracts investors,” Mr Elmowy said. Rents have shot up (from a median of $480 for a unit in 2010 to $520 in 2011), and with units on the market from as low as $500,000, the offerings remains attractive for investors and first-home buyers.

This year has showed a dent in capital growth for houses (down 6.5 percent), making it a good time to save on Maroubra’s luxury $1.5-$1.6 million buys.

Mr Elmowy said the figures just reflect the market: “That’s not isolated to Maroubra.”

He reported an increase in buyer activity as interest rates remain steady, and predicted that it would grow.

“People like to follow other people,” Mr Elmowy said. “Maroubra is attractive. People get on the bandwagon and it generates interest, which generates value.

“That’s a good indication of strength in the market.”

More than 500 properties sold in Maroubra in 2011, he said.

Source: Southern Courier 27/03/12

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