They came,they saw, and they fell in love
By RENEE REDMOND
YUKI DRAKE fell in love with Ballina when her husband, Paul, first took her to the area for a holiday four years ago.
The Sydney couple and their two-year-old son, Ryan, were checking out the real estate available at LJ Hooker in Ballina yesterday.
"We're on holidays for a couple of weeks and we're looking at moving to the area soon," Yuki said.
"We just can't afford the Sydney prices any more."
Paul said Sydney was getting too hectic for his family, and it was time to move somewhere relaxed and quiet.
"Everyone's in so much of a hurry down there. The Northern Rivers is a beautiful place. Our son is another reason we wanted to move," he said.
"The prices here don't compare with Sydney. We have two investment properties and live in the third. To live the way we want to in Sydney we'd have to sell everything."
Paul said that if his family moved to the area, they'd still be able to keep their two investment properties and have a nice house and acreage.
LJ Hooker Ballina principal Dick Campbell said sea changers were keeping the local housing market strong.
"In the past three years most house prices in Ballina have doubled," he said.
"Sales are down, but the house prices are holding up exceptionally well."