'Perth's most affordable usually means worst, but not any more'

An artist's impression of the redevelopment, Scarborough Square
An artist's impression of the redevelopment, Scarborough Square
Scarborough Beach

Scarborough Beach

An artist's impression of the redevelopment, Scarborough Square

An artist's impression of the redevelopment, Scarborough Square

Perth's coastal suburb of Scarborough has come a long way since its heyday as a hub for holiday homes and single detached houses built in the post-war era.

The northern suburb, named after a beach resort in 1892 of the same name in North Yorkshire on Great Britain's east coast, is in the midst of a $100 million transformation of its iconic Scarborough Beach, which will include a vibrant foreshore, with facilities and events year-round for all ages.

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and the City of Stirling are working to turn the popular coastal area into an "exciting, world-class tourism destination and are building on all that's great about Scarborough Beach - its rich history and unique identity, and make it one of Western Australia's 'must see and visit' beach destinations".

The heart of the development, Scarborough Square, will be bordered by cafes, restaurants and shops, while Sunset Hill will be a sloping hill offering scenic views over the ocean, with access to the beach and new promenades.

Other components of the project include The Beach Hub, which will offer a mix of recreational and retail spaces for the community to enjoy and The Snake Pit, a multi-use space for sports activities and events featuring a skate park, climbing wall and half-court basketball area.

The hive of activity has seen savvy buyers snap up properties in the locale, keen to get on the front foot ahead of the beach's transformation and anticipated growth in property values.

Sam Mannino, Peard Real Estate Scarborough licensee, said buyers were confident about the positive effect the development will have on the suburb.

"Can you name another coastal suburb only 15km from the CBD that is still affordable?" he said.

"Add in the $100 million dollar facelift and it's a no brainer really."

Sean Hughes, director of Realmark Coastal, said it was great to see so much positive change in the area.

"A long time ago, you would not walk down Pearl Parade in Scarborough at night, and now it is all development with some beautiful houses and has completely transformed," he said.

He said average selling days for private treaty sale was about 68 days.

"However, with the market on the improve, we recently sold a townhouse in Scarborough after just one home open - six days on the market and six offers presented; a sign of the number of committed buyers in the suburb," he said.

Mr Hughes said though Scarborough was bordered by affluent suburbs City Beach and Trigg, yet was substantially more affordable than both.

"It is a great beachfront location, 15 minutes to the city with public transport facilities and great schools in the area such as St Mary's, Hale School and Newman College. People are taking advantage of this opportunity before it changes," he said.

O'Rourke Realty Investments general manager Jarrad O'Rourke, said demand was high and his company was selling more properties than what they had in listings.

"I have been now selling in the area for over 25 years and the family has for over 40, and we have seen the demographics change from being majority of tenants 20 to 30 years ago to now a majority of owner-occupiers," he said.

"Scarborough still has a great holiday feel all year round and it has become quite affluent, and even though people are generally doing well, it is still super friendly."

The median house price in Scarborough is $690,000 - a 22.1 per cent increase since October 2008, according to Domain Group data.

Median land prices have risen 27.1 per cent since 2008 to $489,500.

Preliminary data to October shows 300 homes have sold in the locale this year, while the suburb has a median rent of $420.

Property valuer and analyst Gavin Hegney said there was no question Scarborough property values would lift; the area set to become a niche beachside suburb with its own character identity.

"I think it's the most affordable precinct area in Perth; most affordable usually means worst, but not any more," he said.

This story 'Perth's most affordable usually means worst, but not any more' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.