Property Consultant Gary Walsh, from Wal Murray & Co First National Real Estate in Alstonville, believes that the demand for property in the area is outstripping the number of available properties.
Property Consultant Gary Walsh, from Wal Murray & Co First National Real Estate in Alstonville, believes that the demand for property in the area is outstripping the number of available properties.

Alstonville bypass assists house price

REAL estate agent Gary Walsh’s vision of a post-bypass Alstonville as ‘another Bangalow’, with prices to match, may well come true if north coast property prices join the national market’s upward trajectory.

Australian house prices grew at their fastest pace since 2003, rising 3.7 per cent in the three months to September, according to a report by Australian Property Monitors.

While Alstonville was one of a few suburbs in the region where house prices fell – by 3pc in the six months to September 2009 compared to the six months to March – Wal Murray Alstonville agent Mr Walsh attributed the dip to hesitation over the Alstonville bypass.

“Now that people can see the bypass is on its way, we’re seeing a lot more interest, Mr Walsh said. “It will become a little village, another Bangalow,” he said.

Mr Walsh said the 5-bedroom 2-storey house he was selling at 3 Adele Place represented amazing value for someone who was after that ‘village atmosphere’.

The six months to September saw median house prices in Lismore grow 6pc, well above the rest of regional NSW which only rose 2pc. The big winner for homeowners, however, was in Casino with house prices rising 12pc for the six months to September.

On paper, the biggest upset for the region was in development-embattled Byron Bay, where the median house price according to the Australian Property Monitors spiralled from $740,000 to $550,000, a plummet of 26pc. Sales of units, however, dipped only 1pc.

However Professionals sale consultant Michelle Jackson said the figures from Australian Property Monitors were “just not justifiable. You can’t get a doer-upper on the main drag for $550,000. Prices in Byron Bay are steady,” she said.

The Byron Bay real estate agent said diplomatically that Mr Walsh’s dream of Alstonville as ‘the new Bangalow’ was ‘very, very hopeful’

Alstonville doesn’t have the ergonomics of Bangalow. It doesn’t appeal to the young yuppie kids,” she said.

However, Mr Walsh said unlike Byron Bay and affluent city suburbs, Alstonville and Wollongbar didn’t have the boom and bust trends.

“The area will fall into line with the rest of the country and we’ll see sales growth which will remain steady,” he said.

APM economic analyst Matthew Bell attributed the surge in capital city house prices to improving employment results and a rising sharemarket.

The figures

Median house prices for the 6 months to September 2009 compared to 6 months to March 2009 (according to Australian Property Monitors)

Casino $251,000 12%
Lismore  $275,000 6%
Ballina   $280,000 3%
Alstonville  $378,000  -3%
Kyogle  $227000 -8%
Byron Bay  $550,000  -26%



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