Ballina ?the new hot-spot? in district real estate
By PATRIZIA REIMER
IT'S tipped to be the Wategos of Ballina and Peter Savage couldn't be happier.
With a record house sale for the year at $1.7 million and other million-dollarplus sales in the last few years, the streets lining the Richmond River have become the new elite zones of Ballina.
Century 21 licensee Peter Savage said this latest sale at Tweed Street confirmed his theory that Ballina is becoming the new hot-spot of the Northern Rivers.
"We've got so many buyers wanting property," he said.
"I think that people want to live in this part of the world. It's so close to all the major places ? we've got Lismore, we've got the Gold Coast hospitals, Byron Bay on your doorstep."
PRD Nationwide franchise research manager Jonathan Rivera said Byron Bay was becoming too expensive and people were looking for alternatives. He said trends nearby were expected to follow the pricey town's real estate history.
"Byron Bay has become less affordable, so people are focusing down the coastline," said the analyst.
"They can pick up something there with water views that's a little bit more affordable than Byron Bay.
"We all know that getting elevated ocean views or water frontage in Byron Bay is very scarce, so when it comes to Ballina and Lennox Head, there's a bit more of an opportunity to purchase.
"As the population grows, these properties will become scarce, and you can use Byron Bay as a blueprint.
"At the moment Byron is the main hub of northern NSW and we all know the seachange phenomenon is occurring.
"In this area the bulk of the seachangers are between 45 and 59, they are more senior and they want to live in areas where they can relax. The classic coastal, country community is what they want."
Mr Rivera said improvements to the Pacific Highway coupled with this desire for affordable coastal living could easily see the Lennox Head and Ballina areas replace Noosa as Brisbane's leisure centre.
PRD Nationwide sales statistics show house sales in Ballina experienced a 16.4 per cent growth over the past five years compared with 8.8 per cent in Sydney.
The Tweed Street Ballina property was bought on Tuesday by a Casino family who intend to live in the 1940s three-bedroom home.
The land is zoned medium density and could be redeveloped to accommodate units.
"You could probably put three units on this site," said Mr Savage.
"But the current owners are happy to live in it as it is and enjoy the river- front home.