House sales in Ballina holding firm
By DAWN COHEN
ROB McGOLDRICK is a very happy real estate agent.
The Ballina Professionals coprincipal reports the agency has averaged one sale a day this month ? compared with 15 for the whole of November.
It has given out 10 contracts on properties in the town this month.
"It is the best start we have had to a month in a while," Mr McGoldrick said.
Not only is 2005 starting with strong sales, there remained bargains aplenty across the town.
Properties sold this month ranged from a two-bedroom house in Broadwater which fetched $132,000 to a four-bedroom Angels Beach property that went for $615,000.
Ballina's best buy at the moment was a recently-renovated two-bedroom cottage on busy Kerr Street selling for $275,000, he said.
The owner had recently re- placed the bathroom and fixed up its timber floors. The cottage had also been re-stumped and given front and back decks.
The downside was the size of the house and the fact it sat next to the Pacific Highway ? but that wasn't slowing interest.
Neville Foster, from Century 21, agrees there is increased demand from buyers.
"Values have not increased, but sales have," he said.
Century 21 has sold four properties this month.
About 30 per cent of Century 21 sales are to new arrivals and 70 per cent to locals.
Michael Shay, of LJ Hooker, said there was standing room only at the agency's auction last Thursday night.
"There were 34 bids on a small three-bedroom East Ballina property," he said.
"It sold for $400,000. The owners were over the moon."
Local agents report most buyers are after homes valued between $300,000 and $400,000.
Unlike Sydney, Ballina has a shortage of stock contributing to a stronger market, said Mr McGold- rick.