The Weekly 23 September 2022

Greening up…

Whatever your views on royalty, and its relevance to modern Australia, the life of the Queen, and her 70 years on the throne, certainly provided inspiration here, as it did the worldover, culminating in yesterday’s day off.

We’ve also enjoyed a little break of glorious weather! And what a wonderful day the inaugural Market On The Green at The Bowlo in Avalon was. Fun stalls, food, and The Bowlo stepping up again! That said, the BOM has just confirmed a third consecutive La Niña, and it’s looking increasingly like the rainfall may break all time records.

One of the consequences of all this rain is that it’s changing the way we design our homes. Up until now, particularly in Sydney, we’ve built houses for summer, and heat, with outside space and open doors, rather than winter and cold, with great insulation and heating.

We are seeing that there is a movement to upgrade homes and address energy efficiency; to switch to solar electricity, reduce dependence on gas, and improve insulation, in walls and ceilings. Put simply, we’re trying to sit lighter on the land, and pay more attention to orientation and design efficiency.

Buyers already prefer homes that cost less to run. In my opinion, you’ll never lose money installing solar panels, or even batteries (when they become more affordable) nor in upgrading insulation. Over time, it may become more worthwhile to do this – than install a swimming pool…! Time will tell. There are a great many angles to look at, but this article is a pretty good place to start if you’re looking at addressing energy in your build/home…it does not need to be too hard or expensive: Read more about energy efficiency and passive house requirements.

Market wrap

The market remains solid locally. Whilst there is ongoing expectation of a broad decline in prices, with 10-15% off the top mooted for Sydney, do bear in mind that there are huge variations between areas. Where mortgage stress is high, financial buffers small, employment uncertain, and homes oversupplied, we are going to see stress sales. Locally though, not so much. There’s no oversupply of homes here, and the lifestyle appeal remains strong. And even the most negative forecasters don’t expect prices to return to pre-pandemic levels.

We have also flagged the possibility that inflation, and the interest rate rises expected to address it, may ease sooner than expected earlier in the year. No guarantees, but it may be that the early outlook was very much worst case scenario! If buyers are financially stable over the longer term, timing your buy becomes much less important than the buy itself. Read more about boom and bust cycles.

Council to review LEP conservation zones

We are fortunate to live in an area where so many people care deeply for ‘Our Place’ and members of the community actively participate in keeping it as natural as possible. Northern Beaches Council are reviewing how they apply conservation zones in the current Local Environment Plans (LEPs) to create a consistent approach to their use in the new Northern Beaches LEP. Council documents can be confusing and are hard to read for the layperson, but it’s worth having a look at the zoning if you can…Local Greens councillor Miranda Korzy has flagged this.

Reminder, coming soon, the Northern Beaches Readers Festival. It’s happening in Avalon! At the Avalon Recreation Centre from September 23-25…it’s selling out so if you’re interested, get in now!

We’re very spoiled for Arts and Music around here. Loads of places pumping live music; The Bowlo in Av, On Wednesdays with jazz, and Sundays with bands, the Avalon RSL with regular band nights, Leonardo’s with live on Fridays, Bookoccino with mellow Sundays. The Newport Bowling Club…And, add to that list Bilgola SLC on the last Sunday of every month…sunset drinks and tunes.

And, as we often say, there are many creatives locally. And when they turn their hand to houses, it can be pretty cool. Here’s a great example…

For more great homes, keep an eye on our listings.