NOW could be the time to grab a bargain property at Byron Bay, with figures from property research group PRDnationwide showing big decreases in prices in the town.
The report reveals that since January 2010 Byron Bay has had decreases in median price for units and houses of 25.4% and 19.3% .
"Many coastal markets have experienced significant drops in value over the past three years, through the double-hit of tightening credit from the banks and a softening in the tourism industry," said PRDnationwide's head of research, Aaron Maskrey.
"Prices have become very competitive over the years, with vendors selling at a discount to meet the market."
Dave Sullivan, director of independent property advisors Herron Todd White, confirmed there had been a drop in median property values in Byron but put the figure at 10%.
He cited the example of a single-level, modern three-bedroom home in Sunrise Bvd.
"First National Real Estate originally sold this property in March 2010 for $550,000. The same agency recently resold the property in February 2012 for $500,000, which analyses to a discount of 10%."
However Mr Sullivan cautioned that the complexity of the Byron market could make it difficult to draw any firm conclusions from sales data.
"Due to the diversity of residential product within Byron Bay, it is difficult to provide an overall analysis of discounting sale prices over the last two year period," he said.
"The Byron Bay prestige residential market has also been affected by increasing numbers of 'forced sales' which are impacting on value levels. Three of these forced sales have, or are currently occurring, in the Belongil Beach precinct and, due to the well publicised issues in relation to coastal erosion and council town planning policy, there had been larger discounts.
"Their resultant sale price impacts on value levels for similar style properties," he said.
Graham Dunn, of Byron Bay Property Sales, rejected the PRD figures, agreeing the drop was closer to 10%.
"My office has done $24 million in exchanged unconditional contracts in the last two weeks," he said.
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