PROPERTY VALUES TO SOAR

By RACHEL SCOLLAY

SEVENTY-year-old tyre repairer, Neville Pond, fears his retirement plans may be shelved after just learning his Lismore property has more than doubled in value.

He discovered this week that the land at his Ballina Street property had shot up in value from $22,000 in the Valuer-General's valuation in 2001, to $54,000. "And everyone I've spoken to, theirs has gone up too," he said.

The skyrocketing values in Lismore and Kyogle, which will be officially released on December 12, follow strong increases in Byron Shire, Ocean Shores and Evans Head.

In Byron Shire, valuations added from 80 to 190 per cent to residential land values, while Ocean Shores jumped 300 per cent.

In the Richmond Valley Council area, Evans Head land went up an average of 126 per cent, while Casino recorded a paltry 11 per cent rise.

Mr Pond is just one of 6000 Lismore ratepayers to receive valuation notices in the mail this week.

Kyogle ratepayers and the remaining 10,800 Lismore ratepayers will have to wait another fortnight.

Regional valuer for the NSW Department of Lands, Bill Heath, said a computer glitch was sending valuations to the wrong addresses.

"So we pulled the plug on all of them," he said.

Meanwhile, Lismore real estate agents were not surprised at the increase in Mr Pond's property.

Principal for Wal Murray, Peter Brown, said Lismore land was currently selling for between $110,000 and $140,000, depending on how flat it was.

"That's the average price," he said. "Even floodprone land would sell for more than $70,000."

By comparison, three years ago, the average price was between $55,000 and $75,000.

Lismore Real Estate principal, Peter Butcher, said VG valuations didn't reflect the true market worth of the land.

"Because of the complexities and time frame of getting those valuations done and processed, they are out of date before you get them," he said.



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