Neighbourhood Notes: Bronte, Sydney
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Neighbourhood Notes: Bronte, Sydney

The seaside suburb offers laid-back living and luxury properties.

By Sue Wallace
Tue, May 10, 2022 9:41amGrey Clock 6 min

A fresh sea breeze often whistles around Bronte the laid-back seaside suburbs that boasts a beautiful beach, historic sea baths and a charming coastal culture.

Known for its healthy lifestyle vibe with a dusting of glamour, activewear is the norm here as many stride out on beachside walks, stretch in a Pilates class or do a downward dog at beachside yoga. Then there are those who chase the surf, all year long.

Sprawling luxury properties with uninterrupted grandstand views of the beach and Pacific Ocean include California-style bungalows, Italianate villas and Art Deco apartments.

Bronte Park has many attractions with barbecues, a miniature train track and a playground. Bronte Beach is home to the historic Bronte Surf Life Saving Club founded in 1903 that runs educational and fun events.

There are two picturesque rock pools including a natural one called Bogey Hole that creates a sheltered lagoon and is popular with families while a man-made ocean-fed lap pool that dates to the 1880s, sits beneath the southern headland.

Bronte is on the popular Bondi to Coogee coastal trek that spans 6kms and between two and three hours to traverse with stops along the way.

The Sydney International Airport and Sydney Domestic airport are both about 17km from Bronte, or a 40-minute drive.

Aerial view of the Bronte Baths in Bronte, Australia.Felix Cesare / EyeEm / Getty Images

Boundaries

Bronte is an attractive beachside suburb of Sydney, the capital of the Australian state of New South Wales.

Located in the Waverley Council local government area of the eastern suburbs, it is 7km from Sydney’s central business district.

Bronte is bordered on the north by the suburbs of Bondi and Tamarama, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, south by the suburb of Clovelly and on the west by the suburb of Waverley.

Price Range

A surge to embrace a healthy lifestyle and a strong community saw real estate prices hike during the pandemic with quality properties snapped up as soon as they went on the market.

According to Eliza Owen, head of research at CoreLogic, Bronte has a median house price of $5.6 million and $1.5 million for an apartment.

Property price growth across the suburb was 18.9% over the year, comprised of a 20.3% growth in house values and 14.6% across the apartment segment.

“Median house prices in Bronte are high relative to neighbouring suburbs of Coogee ($4 million), Clovelly ($4.6 million), and Bondi ($4.4 million), but lower than the suburb of Tamarama ($6.2 million),” Ms. Owen said.

Of 596 house markets analyzed across Sydney in March, median Bronte house values were the seventh most expensive, while Bronte apartments ranked 17th of 321 markets analysed.

“The Bronte dwelling market has been in an upswing since mid-2019, following a fairly broad downturn environment over the two years prior,” Ms. Owen said. “Through the current upswing, Bronte dwelling value annual growth rates had a cyclical peak in the 12 months to September 2021—where values rose 35.5%. Now however, growth rates are easing, and quarterly changes in value reveal a -0.2% decline in dwelling values over the three months to March.”

The luxury segment—or the top 25% of the market—in Bronte starts at around $7 million for houses and $1.8 million for apartments, she added.

This five-bedroom, Bronte, beach house is currently listed for sale.
Mitch Cameron Photography for PPD Real Estate

Housing Stock

“There’s a lot of character charm in the housing stock across Bronte, as well as potential value add,” Ms. Owen said. “While this suburb has obvious exclusivity and beachside appeal, the pandemic may have also exacerbated demand for such an incredible lifestyle market, which contains parkland, coastal walks and a stunning beach for plenty of outdoor activity residents could enjoy during lockdown.”

Bronte now has more houses and units for sale compared to the last six months of 2021, when houses barely spent days on the open market before being purchased.

Alexander Phillips from PPD Real Estate said buyers had little choice back then, but the market has stabilized and there are now more housing properties for sale.

CoreLogic recorded 39 properties on the market over the month of March, 20 of which were added over the month.

Ms. Owen said that represents around 1.3% of stock and is higher than what they saw this time last year, with just 27 listings available.

“Hold periods in the area do seem to be relatively high, at around 12 years for houses—based on the median on what sold in the past 12 months,” Ms. Owen said.

This four-bedroom, contemporary beach home in Bronte was recently sold.
Mitch Cameron Photography for PPD Real Estate

What Makes It Unique

It’s the lifestyle and strong community that makes Bronte so attractive to young professionals and families, according to Mr. Phillips.

“It differs from neighbouring beachside suburbs as there are no pubs and no backpacker accommodation, so it is very family orientated,” he said. “There are great schools, and community activities are centred around the Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club with lots of great events.”

As of 2021, Bronte’s population was just over 7,100.

Mr. Phillips said it is one of the easiest Eastern suburbs to get to the city for work and the seaside views were often a sale clincher.

“There are houses with views over split levels which are very appealing,” he said.

Ms. Owen added that Bronte Beach and the surrounding park are the obvious attractions, as well as the stunning coastal walks.

This five-bedroom, resort-style luxury home in Bronte recently changed hands.
Mitch Cameron Photography for PPD Real Estate

Luxury Amenities

You can pick up supplies from QE Grocery Store, which features a great range of organic produce. Frank’s Deli brings a quintessential New York deli experience and a dash of European flavour, with delicious sandwiches and produce. Iggy’s Bakery is known for its fabulous sourdough and has a big following.

Some great coffee spots include Frank’s Deli, Bellagio and Cali Press, which also has tasty juices.

For a sweet treat head to Huxton’s at Bronte—their panna cotta lamington is a treat and Pilgrims Vegetarian Cafe has healthy food including veggie burgers and pancakes. Cafe Salina, adjacent to Bronte Beach has great ocean views as does Bogey Hole Cafe.

Pick up fish and chips at Bronte Fish and Chips for a picnic on the beach.

For beautiful homewares, Water Tiger in nearby Waverley, offers a great selection including furniture and Volange Paris features French inspired clothing.

There are excellent schools in the area including the Bronte Primary School, Waverley College, a Catholic school for boys from Years 5 to 12 and St Catherine’s, a private Anglican junior and senior day and boarding school for girls.

Who Lives There?

Bronte is home to many young professionals and families who enjoy an active seaside life utilizing all that the great outdoors has to offer..

Notable Residents

F45 gym founder Rob Deutsch sold his Bronte beachfront home at 12 Bronte Marine Drive at auction for a whopping $17.7 million in April.. Australian actor Simon Baker of “The Mentalist” and “The Guardian” fame sold his house for $17 million last year. Australian Test Cricket captain Pat Cummins recently purchased a lavish $9.1 million house in Bronte.

Outlook

The market could continue to appreciate long term however the short-term prices may have peaked, according to Ms. Owen.

“If more listings are added to the market, we could be looking to move into the downswing phase of the cycle,” she said.

“Now, however, growth rates are easing and quarterly changes in value reveal a 0.2% decline in dwelling values over the three months to March.”

Ms. Owen said it was not uncommon for high-end, affluent markets of Sydney to lead a decline in values more broadly.

“It’s a lifestyle market, so I think it had a lot going for it during the pandemic,” she said.” The exclusivity of the area would have also been exacerbated by lockdowns. Now that social distancing and travel restrictions have eased, it’s likely there will be a lot more people flowing through the area, which may erode some of the appeal of this market.”

 

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication:  May 7, 2022.



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Hong Kong Takes Drastic Action to Avert Property Slump

The city’s real-estate market has been hurt by high interest rates and mainland China’s economic slowdown

By ELAINE YU
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Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.

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