From the country to the coast
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From the country to the coast

Buyers are falling in love with the many charms of Mollymook

By Kirsten Craze
Thu, Oct 26, 2023 11:15amGrey Clock 5 min

Mollymook is a small town cooking up a huge reputation. Although its permanent population sits at about 3,500, thousands more descend on the coastal patch and surrounding villages each year for a slice of its laidback lifestyle and five star culinary offerings.

Like its beachside peers across the country, Mollymook on NSW’s South Coast turned heads during the pandemic years. City slickers narrowed in on the space, serenity and affordability of the region transforming the sleepy holiday town into a desirable destination among more permanent buyers.

A return to normal

In 2020, the median house prices in Mollymook Beach and Mollymook were $785,000 and $750,000 respectively.

By the time the property cycle hit its peak in 2021 those figures

had almost doubled. Domain data reported that Mollymook Beach clocked up the highest house price growth of any suburb in Australia over the five years to July 2022, registering an incredible 106 per cent price hike.

Today, however, the extraordinary flight to the country has eased with

interest rate rises pouring water on boiling house prices.

While down 2.4 percent from peak prices, Mollymook’s house median is still $1.22 million while Mollymook Beach sits at $1.05 million, down a significant 21.3 per cent over the same period according to REA Group data.

Andrea Tucker, principal of McGrath Estate Agents Mollymook said the region has travelled through a price adjustment and is coming out the other side.

“We’re still ahead if you round those figures up,” she says. We’re really trading back in a normal market after quite a bullish time.

“There’s a little caution from buyers now, but they’re still quite active in the market. They’re
just sitting back waiting for opportunities, particularly if they’re looking for investment properties.”

Tucker adds that when it comes to home prices, Mollymook has several sweet spots.

“If you can pick up anything in Mollymook under $1 million, you’ll have people all over it,” she says. “Then you go up in gradients but once it gets over $2 million the buyer pool starts to thin out.”

Local agents place the luxury market in excess of $3 million, however in the heady days of 2021, a beachfront house in Mollymook sold for $10 million via online auction. Just five years prior, the same four-bedroom house at 15 Shipton Crescent was bought for $2.26 million.

Dishing up the good life

Motel Molly, Mollymook – Review | The Australian
Once known as the Surfbeach Motel, Motel Molly has been restored and updated by interior architects Richards Stanisch with an eye on our nostalgia for the classic beach holiday.

In addition to its popular surf beach, Mollymook has a large natural rock pool known as the Bogey Hole and Mollymook Golf Club maintains two prized golf courses; an 18-hole championship course known as the Hilltop and a smaller 9-hole beachside course.

“One of the beautiful things about living here is you’re less than 10 minutes from the beach or the countryside. We’re really blessed,” Tucker says. “Not to mention we’re quite spoilt for fantastic restaurants.”

In 2009, English celebrity chef Rick Stein put Mollymook on the national food map when he opened his first Australian restaurant, Rick Stein at Bannisters. Other high-profile restaurants include the Asian-inspired Gwylo and The Beachside Bistro with nearby fine dining spots such as Cupitts Estate and Small Town are also attracting the tourist trade.

With the food scene flourishing, the accommodation landscape is developing in Mollymook too. Earlier this year, Motel Molly became the latest in a string of revived retro motels across the country. Following the multi- million-dollar refurbishment of a former beachside motel by Knox Developments and Richards Stanisich — also responsible for refitting historic Sydney joints Hotel Rose Bay as well as The Woollahra Hotel.

Sensing its saleability, developers are also waking up to Mollymook. Peniche, a four-storey luxury development of eight three- bedroom apartments, was given the green light by Shoalhaven Council in early 2023. The
project at 1 Buchan Street is currently being marketed through McGrath Mollymook and is set for completion in late 2024.

Its perks will include a shared pool, views to the ocean as well as Mollymook golf course with prices starting at $1.75 million.

Holiday home trends

Local buyer’s agent, Matt Knight of Precium, says while investors making the most of the tourism trade had stepped back after a flurry of activity post-COVID, there still is a holiday home market in Mollymook.

“While we’ve seen a softening in tourist numbers, they’re still very large tourist numbers. When international borders were shut there was a captive audience of tourists with nowhere to go except for where they could drive to. As a result, we had a very high hotel and holiday home occupancy rates and a subsequent massive spike in prices,” he said.

Airdna, which analyses the performance of short-term rental properties listed on Stayz and Airbnb, revealed that by December 2022, demand for Mollymook Beach holiday rentals was down 27 percent for January compared to
the previous summer. As Australians began venturing abroad once again, owners invested in the short term rental market started rethinking their strategies according to Knight.

“The Airbnb occupancy rate has dropped a little and some of those properties have come back to a more normal holiday vacancy rate,” he says. “A few people may have decided in response to pull their property off the holiday let market and put in a permanent tenant, particularly in the light of all the interest rate rises. So that’s caused a bit of an easing in the long term rental market.”

What buyers want

House hunters turning to Mollymook cover a wide cross section, Tucker explains, but the hottest properties are four-bedroom houses with retirees, investors and families all in the mix.

“I get really excited about the young professionals still moving here,” Tucker says. “We had a lot come through COVID, and although some have had their corporate companies claw them back into the office, they’re still coming.

“They’ve had their eyes opened. They realise they can take up surfing, there are smaller class sizes for their kids, they’re not spending so much time in traffic.

“There’s still a lot of enticement for young professionals to move here.” Knight agrees the stream of buyers is a mixed bag from expats hoping to return Down Under, to retirees and digital nomads.

“There’s still a small number of people leaving the cities because they can work from home. I’d say the volume has gone down, but it’s still there and people are making real estate choices based on that,” he says, adding that Mollymook and its surrounds has something not all quiet coastal towns can offer.

“It’s really become a place where a sophisticated buyer, who wants the beach but also the mod cons of life, can have it all. Whereas some of the more remote beaches are beautiful, but they just have a little general store.”

Ultimately, Mollymook’s “critical mass” offers something for almost everyone according to Knight.

“I left Sydney more than 15 years ago and raised four children down here. It’s actually a viable area with schooling options and an economy that’s holding its own. It’s not just a one-club town for retirees, it certainly appeals to a wider age demographic and a wider set of expectations.”



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Anger Does a Lot More Damage to Your Body Than You Realise

We all get mad now and then. But too much anger can cause problems.

By SUMATHI REDDY
Fri, May 24, 2024 3 min

Anger is bad for your health in more ways than you think.

Getting angry doesn’t just hurt our mental health , it’s also damaging to our hearts, brains and gastrointestinal systems, according to doctors and recent research. Of course, it’s a normal emotion that everyone feels—few of us stay serene when a driver cuts us off or a boss makes us stay late. But getting mad too often or for too long can cause problems.

There are ways to keep your anger from doing too much damage. Techniques like meditation can help, as can learning to express your anger in healthier ways.

One recent study looked at anger’s effects on the heart. It found that anger can raise the risk of heart attacks because it impairs the functioning of blood vessels, according to a May study in the Journal of the American Heart Association .

Researchers examined the impact of three different emotions on the heart: anger, anxiety and sadness. One participant group did a task that made them angry, another did a task that made them anxious, while a third did an exercise designed to induce sadness.

The scientists then tested the functioning of the blood vessels in each participant, using a blood pressure cuff to squeeze and release the blood flow in the arm. Those in the angry group had worse blood flow than those in the others; their blood vessels didn’t dilate as much.

“We speculate over time if you’re getting these chronic insults to your arteries because you get angry a lot, that will leave you at risk for having heart disease ,” says Dr. Daichi Shimbo, a professor of medicine at Columbia University and lead author of the study.

Your gastrointestinal system

Doctors are also gaining a better understanding of how anger affects your GI system.

When someone becomes angry, the body produces numerous proteins and hormones that increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can raise your risk of many diseases.

The body’s sympathetic nervous system—or “fight or flight” system—is also activated, which shunts blood away from the gut to major muscles, says Stephen Lupe, director of behavioural medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s department of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. This slows down movement in the GI tract, which can lead to problems like constipation.

In addition, the space in between cells in the lining of the intestines opens up, which allows more food and waste to go in those gaps, creating more inflammation that can fuel symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating or constipation.

Your brain

Anger can harm our cognitive functioning, says Joyce Tam, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. It involves the nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex, the front area of our brain that can affect attention, cognitive control and our ability to regulate emotions.

Anger can trigger the body to release stress hormones into the bloodstream. High levels of stress hormones can damage nerve cells in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, says Tam.

Damage in the prefrontal cortex can affect decision-making, attention and executive function, she adds.

The hippocampus, meanwhile, is the main part of the brain used in memory. So when neurons are damaged, that can disrupt the ability to learn and retain information, says Tam.

What you can do about it

First, figure out if you’re angry too much or too often. There’s no hard and fast rule. But you may have cause for concern if you’re angry for more days than not, or for large portions of the day, says Antonia Seligowski, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who studies the brain-heart connection.

Getting mad briefly is different than experiencing chronic anger, she says.

“If you have an angry conversation every now and again or you get upset every now and again, that’s within the normal human experience,” she says. “When a negative emotion is prolonged, when you’re really having a lot more of it and maybe more intensely, that’s where it’s bad for your health.”

Try mental-health exercises. Her group is looking at whether mental-health treatments, like certain types of talk therapy or breathing exercises, may also be able to improve some of the physical problems caused by anger.

Other doctors recommend anger-management strategies. Hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness can help, says the Cleveland Clinic’s Lupe. So too can changing the way you respond to anger.

Slow down your reactions. Try to notice how you feel and slow down your response, and then learn to express it. You also want to make sure you’re not suppressing the feeling, as that can backfire and exacerbate the emotion.

Instead of yelling at a family member when you’re angry or slamming something down, say, “I am angry because X, Y and Z, and therefore I don’t feel like eating with you or I need a hug or support,” suggests Lupe.

“Slow the process down,” he says.

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