McGrath Opens A New Office In Wollongong
Leading residential real estate group, McGrath Estate Agents, has reaffirmed its commitment to the Wollongong/Illawarra region of NSW having assigned the franchise to its long-time franchise partner, the McCarthy/Sutherland Shire Group led by Patrick McCarthy.
Christopher Mourd, Head of Franchise Network for McGrath Estate Agents said, “We continue to believe that Wollongong, as the gateway to the south coast, is an important and evolving property market that has a deep connection and synergies with Sydney.
“Wollongong itself has undergone a significant transformation over the past 15 years from a blue-collar industrial town to a desired coastal lifestyle hub known for its pristine beaches, renowned university and educational facilities, international trade centre and a strong retail and tourism industry. Along with its gentrification and emerging bar and café culture, its affordable lifestyle strongly resonates with Sydney commuters, downsizers, families and holiday home buyers, particularly with the improved infrastructure that is well underway.”
McGrath Wollongong will service the area of Thirroul in the north to Shellharbour in the south. Key areas will include Wollongong City, and Northern Illawarra beaches.Mr Mourd said that McGrath Wollongong will be the fifth office under Mr McCarthy’s leadership, already with a strong presence with offices in Cronulla, Engadine, Menai/Illawong and Sylvania.
“Pat and his team are well known and respected in regions neighbouring the Illawarra, so this presents an ideal opportunity to expand their footprint from the Sutherland Shire to further down the coast. He will be joined by Joshua Kersten, who will lead the sales team. Joshua has had an outstanding career in real estate in Wollongong and won numerous accolades both within the industry and as a professional athlete.
“Importantly Pat was raised in the northern suburbs of the Illawarra and has deep roots with the area as well as a knowledge and understanding of buyer demographics and migration patterns particularly as the demand from Sydneysider’s is on the upturn as they are in search of both liveability and affordability,” adds Mr Mourd.
Mr McCarthy sees great potential ahead as many Sydneysiders, particularly those from the Sutherland Shire want to escape the congestion of city living. The 2016 Census shows that almost 11,000 people moved to the Wollongong LGA from Sydney in a 5-year period.
He adds, “Illawarra is unique in that it has many intimate villages around its beachside communities, and that in itself fosters a sense of belonging that appeals to families, first home buyers and empty nesters alike. Shire residents are recognising buying opportunities that offer value for money as they are attracted to the low density living of the beachside communities of Stanmore Park, Thirroul, Austinmer, Bulli and Woonona, for example. It is also attractive to many Sydneysiders buying beachfront holiday homes, who love the anonymity of the south coast.”
Mr McCarthy points to the differential of buying a two-bedroom apartment in Cronulla, compared to a four bedroom family home in Thirroul. “There is without a doubt, outstanding value for money for families to relocate, send their kids to school or university, and commute back to Sydney for work if necessary.”
An example of the comparison is illustrated by Corelogic.
- A two-bedroom unit at 3/18 Arthur Street Cronulla sold for $1.3 million (March 2018)
- A four-bedroom, two bath home at 38 Arunta Drive, Thirroul sold for $1.2 million (Feb 2019)
The NSW Government has committed $648.2 million towards the modernization of rail infrastructure to improve the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line, benefiting both Wollongong residents and improving accessibility to the city.
Mr McCarthy said “McGrath has operated in the area since 2009 and the brand has a deep connection with the community and its clients. Our team is excited to be once again servicing the area under McGrath and Josh and I feel it is important to create an environment for agents to do what they do best, as we provide all the necessary systems and support for them to service their clients to a broad buyers database.”
Joshua Kersten, in his role as Sales Director for McGrath Wollongong agrees. “I’m thrilled to join the McGrath brand. It is known for setting exceptionally high professional standards and has a unique culture of striving to achieve the best experience for its client. Added to this, we plan to recruit some of the best local agents as we grow the business.”
Mr Kersten and his sales team of four have hit the ground running, with more than 50 property listings under the McGrath banner. The property management business also has an impressive rent roll with more than 900 properties under management.“While our listings represent a wider variety of price segments, one luxury listing worth noting is a beautifully designed 4 bedroom contemporary home with views across Mount Kembla. Located at 90 Williams James Drive, Mount Kembla, it has a price guide upwards of $2.5 million.
Well-known local resident, Mr Kersten himself has over 15 years in the industry, previously Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Wollongong. A professional world class cyclist, he competed in the Commonwealth Games, wining Bronze in 1998. Transitioning into Real Estate with no experience in 2005, he soon won many accolades within the industry, including Young Business Person of the Year in 2007 Award by Illawarra Business Chamber, and the Raine & Horne Chairman’s Award for outstanding sales results in 2008. He credits commitment and dedication to his success in the industry, which he explains are similar traits required to be a professional athlete.
McGrath Wollongong 1/55 Kembla Street Wollongong Phone: 02 4226 6055