Topics:  baby boomers, bangalow, byron bay, farmers markets, festivals, first national real estate, herron todd white, mullumbimby, northern rivers, real estate, retirees, travel, wooden floors

Retiring boomers favour Northern Rivers

THE latest monthly report from independent property advisers Herron Todd White has tipped that there will be increased demand from the baby boomers and retirees for North Coast property over the coming year.

"This retiree market has not yet peaked and any residential product that is well suited for this market will hold in value," the report said.

"We also consider that some residential product could also increase in value if it specifically meets the requirements of this growing market."

Principal of First National Byron Bay, Chris Hanley, who is also the chairman of the Byron Bay Writers Festival, agrees that retirees and boomers will continue to be attracted to the Northern Rivers.

"To borrow an idea from renowned Australian author Robert Drewe, I believe there are two types of people who move to the region," he said.

"These are the tree people or the water people.

"The tree people dream of having acreage and they don't necessarily want a big house.

"They appreciate our North Coast architecture and like wooden floors and plenty of glass but are not necessarily focused on expensive fixtures.

"Having access to water from a dam or a spring is something they value as well."

Mr Hanley said "water people" looked for a similar type of house but set within walking distance to town, the cinema, the hotel and the beach.

"The water people want to live near the coast in an area that has the same cosmopolitan feel as inner city Melbourne or Sydney except close to the sea," Mr Hanley said.

He said overall the GFC had made baby boomers and retirees cautious.

"They spend less of their money on a home preferring to put some money aside to travel," he said.

"This is easy to do here with our proximity to the Gold Coast airport and the Ballina/Byron Gateway.

"The other huge factor is the availability of good organic produce here.

"They are always really passionate about their food and nutrition and have done their research about the organic farmers markets in Mullumbimby, Bangalow and Byron Bay.

"They are also keen to be involved in the cultural activities in the community like the writers, film and music festivals."

The Herron Todd White report said baby boomer/retirees preferred dwelling was a single level three and four bedroom with two bathrooms, excellent main bedroom and ensuite facilities, a modern style kitchen with good quality appliances and good indoor/outdoor living options.

"This sector of the market are noted to be specific in their requirements and ...will only purchase if the right product is available," the report said.

Mr Hanley said a good kitchen and bathroom would always sell a home but this market segment was not looking for a major renovation project.

"They are often planning to spend the rest of their lives in the house," he said.

"So they also want it to be close to facilities such as hospitals and doctors."



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