Manly investors cash in their units giving first home buyers choice

Manly, seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care, has a flood of units on the market as investors cash in. Picture Rohan Kelly

Manly investors are cashing in and selling their long-held apartments giving first home buyers a real chance to buy into the premier beach suburb.

There are currently 64 units for sale in Manly this week – more than any other northern beaches suburb and many have been held for years by investors and rented out.

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A Manly unit is the dream of many and now there is choice and value on offer as investors sell off.

However a diminishing return on their investment, a shrinking pool of tenants and the current economic environment has prompted dozens of investors to sell up flooding the market.

In particular there are many older-style units up for grabs with prices starting as low as $610,000 for a one-bedroom unit. reports that Manly has the highest number of units for sale than any other peninsula suburb, higher even than Dee Why which has worn the crown for a couple of years.

According to the median price for a Manly apartment is $1,357,500 based on 246 sales over 12 months.


Agent Matt McEwan, of McGrath Manly, said the big choice on the market allows first home buyers to get into the coveted market and downsizers, who often seek the Manly lifestyle, also have more to choose from.

“The number of units trading in Manly had been getting smaller but I think this year that number will go up,” he said.

“I am seeing a lot of vendors who have been long term investors who had always had their units rented out now seeing diminishing returns,” he said.

The character unit for sale on West Esplanade.

Inside the two-bedroom West Esplanade apartment.

Mr McEwan is auctioning online on Saturday April 4 a character unit on Manly’s harbourfront that has a guide of $1.35 million.

Number 5/80 West Esplanade is a two-bedroom unit circa 1940 with no common walls and the layout of a house. It was listed on the rental market late last year for $1000 a week. First and second home buyers are interested in the freestanding unit which has no common walls.

The top floor Manly apartment in Empire Mansions.

The Belgrave St unit has three bedrooms.

A second Manly unit going to auction on Saturday is a three-bedroom unit opposite the central tennis courts at 6/30 Belgrave St, Manly. The three-bedroom, one bathroom unit is in a character building called Empire Mansions from the 1920s and was previously rented for $975 a week. The top floor apartment with 96sqm of accommodation goes to auction online at 3pm through Belle Property Manly.

Luke Burgess, of Belle Property Manly, said the apartment has direct sunlight and elevated district views from two of the bedrooms and would be an ideal home or investment.

Jake Rowe, of Rowe Partners, wrote in his recent newsletter that his office was currently seeing a steady flow of investment properties coming onto the market as some owners decide to free up some funds due to the current economic environment. Mr Rowe has three Manly apartments for sale at the moment.

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