Wednesday 1 Apr 2009
April 1, 2009 – Sydney – Leading residential agency, McGrath Estate Agents, today announced the opening of a new regional office in Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands. This is the first office outside McGrath’s traditional core selling areas of Sydney and the NSW Central Coast, and is a key strategic move in McGrath’s ongoing roll-out of its premium national franchise network.
John McGrath, Chief Executive of McGrath, said having a Southern Highlands office was a long-time personal goal. Following 20 years of operations in Sydney and the Central Coast, it was fitting that McGrath expanded into this new territory in 2009.
The Southern Highlands is among the most beautiful and desirable lifestyle locations in Australia, and it’s definitely one of my favourite places in the world,” Mr. McGrath said.
“It has long been a hot spot for Sydney executives and their weekenders, and it is increasingly attracting retirees who want that peaceful country life with the benefit of being just an 80-minute drive from their Sydney-based families and CBD recreational facilities, such as the major theatres, museums, galleries and Sydney Harbour.”
The region offers a range of properties, from cute country workers’ cottages built in the late 1800s to magnificent acreage estates. Prices range from the first home buyer level below $500,000 to the millions for large estates on several hectares.
In contrast to many other areas of NSW, Bowral house prices have grown over the past year from a median of $467,000 in the six months to August 2008 to $485,000 in the six months to February 2009, according to APM. The two other major towns in the Southern Highlands, Mittagong and Moss Vale, have recorded falls of 12% and 11% over the past year, creating new buying opportunities for today’s investors and retirees.
The rolling green hills around Kangaloon and Wildes Meadow are similar to the English countryside. Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale are the retail centres for the region, which includes Exeter and Bundanoon to the south; Wildes Meadow, Burrawang and Robertson to the east; and Colo Vale and Hill Top to the north.
Local education facilities include Frensham College, Tudor House and Chevalier College.
Mr. McGrath said the Southern Highlands area had grown enormously over the past decade and there was now a need for a far more structured and professional approach to real estate sales in the area. This included out of area marketing, higher quality newspaper advertising, the use of professional photography and sophisticated technology.
“The ability to reach not only local buyers but Sydney-based buyers is now imperative for local vendors,” Mr. McGrath said. “The Southern Highlands is very attractive to Sydney executives and retirees and local sellers need to have their properties exposed to that audience. McGrath has an extremely strong presence in Sydney that is supported by our advanced marketing tools that includes our award-winning website and database of 50,000 buyers. This will enable us to more effectively market Southern Highlands properties to a highly qualified and motivated audience of Sydney executives and retirees. I feel our Bowral office will become one of our biggest success stories within a very short period of time.”
McGrath Bowral Principals, Anne Stone and Kathie Frost, have been running Bong Bong Real Estate for several years as a boutique independent agency.
Ms Stone said their partnership with McGrath to form McGrath Bowral was key to their business’s ongoing success and future growth.
"We want to be the best real estate business in the Southern Highlands and we are thrilled to be joining one of Australia’s most progressive real estate groups,” she said. “This is such an exciting time for us – we can’t wait to list our first property under the powerful McGrath Estate Agents banner.”
McGrath Bowral has seven salespeople - Anne Stone, Kathie Frost, Sue Hunter, Carol Green, Nick Cleary, Vicki Alfonso and Craig Elias. The office also has a property management/holiday rentals division offering a high quality service particularly for Sydney executives looking for an income on their existing weekender properties.
Servicing the entire Southern Highlands region, McGrath Bowral is located at 5/291-295 Bong Bong Street, Bowral. The telephone number remains the same as it was under Bong Bong Real Estate, 02 4862 2122.