Skyrocketing prices drive Suffolk boom
By RACHEL AFFLICK
HARVEY NORMAN chairman Gerry Harvey predicts beachfront Suffolk Park could one day become one of the most exclusive addresses in Byron Bay.
New statistics have revealed Suffolk Park as the new real estate hot spot of the Northern Rivers.
Mr Harvey, who owns properties in beachfront Alcorn Street, said he wouldn't be surprised if the area became equal with Wategos Beach in terms of exclusivity.
"I can't speak more highly of the area. It's got a fantastic beach," Mr Harvey said.
"We bought a couple of properties a year or so ago and they've gone up a fair bit in price. We just thought the whole area would be a fantastic street."
Valuer Tod Gillespie, national director of Herron Todd White, this week released figures identifying Suffolk Park as an area to look out for in the lead-up to the opening of the Tugan bypass next year.
He said beachfront property prices in the village had risen 15 per cent since October last year.
It's a number which does not surprise LJ Hooker Byron Bay co-director Sharon McInnes, who for the past six months has been watching prices for properties in the trendy village skyrocket.
"Along the beachfront in Alcorn Street houses have started reaching prices in the $3 million-plus bracket," she said.
"Prices are going up so quickly. We've been doing evaluations based on recent sales, and by the time houses go to auction they are selling for even more."
Byron Beach Realty sales manager Elizabeth Crawford said a 15 per cent price rise was conservative.
"Since August it has taken off. A lot of the sales are from people who want to move here in the next one to five years and who are watching the market, and realising prices are not going to go down," she said.
Last May, Ms Crawford made a list of all Suffolk Park properties under $600,000 on the market and came up with 40.
By October, the list was empty. "Right now we only have one house on offer for $675,000. The next is $965,000," she said.
"Everyone wants to get in here. I've just about sold everything in the shop.
"I have buyers who have over a $1 million to spend and I can't find them anything."