By Herron Todd White
June 2019

Ballina /Byron Bay Property Updates

The coastal region spanning Ballina to Ocean Shores is tracking well. As Sydney and Melbourne markets have significantly cooled off, this market has steadied given the lack of interstate buyers entering the market (which has been the case for the past few years). Whilst this market has steadied there is no evidence to suggest that it has fallen. It is evident however that longer time periods are being spent on the market in the current conditions.

Price sectors for entry to mid-level buyers seem to be faring well, as new home buyers enter the market and local purchasers trade up. The prestige market and rural residential market, however, appear to be slowing with a lack of transactions given interstate money has predominantly exited this price point.

Houses and more importantly houses that include a dual occupancy, appear to be faring better than most given the rental potential of a secondary dwelling and its ability to help service the loan. As land has rolled out in the past 12 months in these areas, it is apparent that a large percentage of new builds are including a secondary dwelling (dual occupancy) for this reason.

Some extra special information to share in this particular region is that Byron Bay is faring better than anywhere else in Australia. People have continued to migrate from capital cities into these coastal resort towns for work and lifestyle balance.

Clarence Valley Property Updates

Across the Clarence Valley, median prices remain strong. Most localities are still recording median price increases across all property types, however, some are beginning to show early signs of stabilising. For instance, Grafton has shown a 6.2% rise in median house price from 2018 to 2019, while Maclean and Yamba remain steady.

Recently, the rate of sales has slowed with some speculation surrounding the election. Rural residential properties have remained popular with considerable interest being recorded, particularly those with multiple dwellings and the possibility for additional income. Similarly, the prestige housing market has proved resilient with market-leading sales being recorded in sought after positions in Yamba.

As predicted, the significant majority of sales recorded recently remain in the $300,000 to $500,000 price point and it is likely the second half of 2019 will mirror the first two quarters.

Coffs Harbour Property Updates

The Coffs Coast saw a fairly subdued start to 2019 with definite buyer negativity creeping into the market. This negativity is a result of a combination of factors including the fallout from the Royal Commission into banking practices and the impact this has had on lending policies and available finance, plus the reduced interest from capital city markets, increased APRA lending restrictions for broader investment loans and continuing media reports of declining market conditions in the capital cities (Sydney and Melbourne). The recent state and federal elections which have seen extensive campaigning with regard to property affordability (first home buyers), potential changes to negative gearing and superannuation tax laws, have all combined to put a very negative or uncertain picture in a potential buyer’s mind.

Notwithstanding this, the local market remains generally firm although sale volumes and general activity have softened. Current anecdotal evidence indicates that although most good quality property types are holding value, there is noticeable buyer resistance for a property that is either overpriced, lacking in key features or in a secondary location. There is still reasonable demand and some continuing increases in value being experienced for an entry-level residential product or blue chip areas where supply is low and demand high. The rural residential market is continuing to remain strong with a noticeable increase in activity with short selling periods. The market most affected by the general softening is the prestige sector ($1 million plus) which is predominantly driven by out of town purchasers.

There are no real surprises in the market to report so far in 2019.

Speak with a Coffs Harbour Mortgage Broker today.

Lismore/Casino/Kyogle Property Updates

Since the beginning of 2019, it was expected that the residential and rural residential market in Lismore, Casino and Kyogle would soften with reduced sales activity and weakening demand. From a general viewpoint, this has occurred, albeit with some pockets of the market kicking this statement into touch.

Firstly, following on from the ravages of floodwaters inundating parts of North and South Lismore and parts of Lismore Central during April 2017, the volume of sales activity and demand came to a virtual halt, however over the past six months, we began to see some positive movement. With the stringent banking regulations now in place, flood-affected areas with an estimated habitable floor height level below the estimated one in 100-year flood event height level will experience a lot of difficulties securing mortgage finance. Nevertheless, those dwellings with a floor height above the estimated one in 100-year flood event height level have fared better and it is not uncommon now to see prices above $300,000 for part renovated dwellings in South Lismore and North Lismore.

The modern residential estates in the suburb of Goonellabah have continued to improve over the past six months with well improved, four-bedroom, two- bathroom dwellings sometimes breaching the $600,000 mark.

Casino and Kyogle, on the other hand, have seen a general slowdown in activity with only well-presented properties that have special features garnering more interest. Being close to the town centre and providing modern appointments to help improve the overall appeal. We note a recent construction of four good quality two-bedroom attached units within close proximity of the Kyogle CBD having no trouble securing tenants at the $350 per week price point.

Speak with a Lismore Mortgage Broker today.

Central Coast Property Updates

The half-year mark has been reached and a quick review of the year thus far has been ordered.

Contrary to what some foresaw at the beginning of the year, the NSW Central Coast real estate market hasn’t stopped functioning – some adjustments have been made, but overall the transition to a slower market has gone well. As with any region with a diverse property range, some suburbs have felt the pressure of price adjustment more than others.

The data coming through is suggesting that the suburbs at the southern end of the region have seen price falls more than others. This includes the suburbs of Umina Beach and Woy Woy where values seem to have fallen by around 10 to 15 per cent. This, however, is on the back end of higher than average value increases compared to most other parts of the region.

As we near the halfway point of 2019, units within the Gosford CBD are also the subject of conversation. We are hearing (and seeing) a loss in confidence in this market and as settlements on new developments are being called, the evidence suggests a close eye and extra caution needs to be observed by buyers before committing. We are stopping short (just) of saying we are in an oversupply situation right now as we believe that the plans for the expansion of both the public and private hospitals in Gosford will ease this situation.

Towards the northern end of the region, the market has definitely slowed with some price corrections noted in newer and older suburbs. There hasn’t been much of a drop in values overall, but the evidence suggests that it is happening.

The northern end of the region is generally more price dependent with a higher reliance on continuity of employment and stablisation of homeowners.

Vendor expectations have been a little slower to adapt to the changing market with real estate agents indicating that more time is being spent on the current values. This is then affecting those buyers out there and the meeting of minds. Buyers and their ability to deal are further impacted by changes in lending policies which in a nutshell is making borrowing harder. But that said, the property market appears to have swung in favour of buyers with more choices available.

We are certainly in for an interesting second half of 2019 and if the signs are being read correctly, then we should expect the market to slow further. These signs include a higher level of valuation assessments being queried by lenders and mortgage brokers, slightly higher levels of owners opting for renovations and extensions rather than selling and real estate agents having to work harder to get their deals across the line. The property market work cycle is in the correction phase after solid increases in property prices throughout the past few years.

The higher end of the market range seems to be tracking reasonably well at this stage and we are seeing little change to volumes of transactions and values seem to be less affected.

Speak with a Central Coast Mortgage Broker today.

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