Humble shack could sell for $2.5m
A PIECE of Byron Bay’s colourful history is about to be lost for ever.
The town’s last beachside fisherman’s shack will go under the auctioneer’s hammer on January 23.
The humble two-bedroom timber cottage sits on a piece of prime real estate in Lawson Street, straight across the road from the popular seaside playground of Clarkes Beach. It is surrounded by modern glitzy dwellings and up-market rental apartments on ‘Millionaire’s Row’, the road that leads to the heart-stoppingly expensive realestate of Wategos Beach.
A comparable home on a subdividable block in Casino is on the market for $258,000. But Byron Bay real estate sources said the Lawson Street property could fetch up to 10 times that figure, as much as $2.5 million.
Measuring 948 square metres, the block has two titles and is likely to see a substantial development on it, consisting of two houses or two apartment complexes.
Details about the age of the cottage are difficult to come by, but it is known the original subdivision took place in 1916 and the home was built some time in the 1930s. It was on the site when the current owner bought the property in 1947, where he lived until recently.
David Gordon, of Elders Byron Bay, the selling agent, said he had been ‘overwhelmed’ with inquiries, including one from overseas and several from metropolitan areas, including Sydney and Brisbane. There also had been some local interest.
A purchaser could build their own home, build two separate homes, or redevelop and build up to three or four units.
Mr Gordon said the inquiries came from a variety of types of potential buyers, including some who would redevelop the site and some who were interested in maintaining and renovating the house.
The auction comes amid strong signs of an emerging recovery in the housing sector. Latest Bureau of Statistics data shows investor housing finance approvals for NSW increased strongly in November. Year on year, NSW investor housing approvals rose by 32.7 per cent in Nov-ember. This was better than the national average of 31.3pc and stronger than Victoria (25.9pc) and Queensland (31.5pc).
However, renters on the North Coast may be in for an even rougher year.
Sydney tenants have been warned to expect rising rents, a trend that could flow through to the Northern Rivers. Australian Property Monitors economist Matthew Bell said a healthier economy, rising interest rates and land tax increases would cause a surge in rental costs in 2010.