The Disadvantages Of Beachfront Properties: Advice For Home Buyers In New South Wales

The idea of an idyllic beach home is a dream for many Australian buyers. With nothing but the sound of the sea and the sight of the surf as your neighbours, it's easy to see why there is such a high demand for these properties. However, if you're thinking of buying beachfront real estate, you should carefully consider some of the downsides to this type of property. Make the right buying decision by thinking about the following disadvantages of beachfront properties in New South Wales.

High prices

Demand for beachfront properties across Australia means that you will often pay a premium for a house or apartment with a sea view, and New South Wales is no exception. With booming house prices in Sydney, properties in some of the most popular beachside resorts like Bondi are also subject to massive annual price hikes. 

Those high prices don't necessarily correlate with large plots and mansion-style living, either. With demand in certain areas so high, you may have to pay a significant sum for a relatively modest two-bedroom unit. Unsurprisingly, some buyers in NSW quickly become disappointed when they realise what their budgets will stretch to.


If you buy a beachfront property as an investment, tourism is a great thing because it creates a demand for short and long-term rentals. However, some homeowners may feel differently about an invading deluge of tourists.

Tourists bring money into a town, but they also put pressure on resources. Road congestion can become a serious issue, and if you can't get in and out of your street because of a tourist-led traffic jam, you may feel differently about your new beachfront residence. What's more, if you live near a popular beach, you'll need to share your sea views with plenty of visitors as soon as the sun starts to shine. As such, for some beachfront property owners, tourism is a curse.

Coastal erosion

The appeal of an ocean view can quickly wear off when a massive expanse of water starts to threaten the structural integrity of your home. For many homeowners around New South Wales, coastal erosion is a serious problem, and your home may not benefit from the sort of protection you would expect.

Coastal defences may solve a problem in one place, but any type of defensive structure can quickly and easily cause issues for property owners further along the coastline. Ironically, NSW coastal protection laws may actually stop you doing anything to protect your home, too. Any common law right that you have to defend your property may not stand up against increasingly strict state laws, so if your home really does sit on the edge of a cliff or beach, you could face serious problems.

The weather

Poor weather is disruptive and annoying, but when a seasonal storm or cyclone hits land, it nearly always strikes coastal areas first. As well as heavy rain and winds, cyclones can generate high waves and damaging storm surges, both of which take their toll on coastal towns and properties. A storm in April 2015 caused extensive flooding, disrupted ferry services and severe gales across coastal areas of New South Wales.

Coastal properties are more vulnerable to storm-related damage. As well as the risk from storm surge and flooding, storms and cyclones generate high winds that can batter your new beachfront property. After an extreme weather event like this, it's often the beachfront property owners who face the largest repair bills.

Beachfront properties can offer an idyllic, healthy lifestyle, but there are also disadvantages to owning a home like this. Talk to a real estate agent from a company like Carter Real Estate for more expert advice about the right property for you.