Byron land values dropped in 2009

LAND values in the Byron Shire dropped by nearly half-a-billion dollars in the past year.

The value of all land in the shire has just been released by the NSW Valuer-General Philip Western and stood at $6.35 billion at July 1, 2009.

This compares with $6.84 billion at July 1, 2008 – a 7 per cent drop.

However, land values have gone up overall by 17pc since 2006.

All land in the shire is included in the total, from residential, commercial, industrial and rural.

It is believed that coastal properties suffered particularly in the 2009 year.

Some beachfront home owners claim they are the victims of scaremongering about rising sea levels.

A Belongil Beach property owner, who asked not to be named, said the valuer-general’s rating of some beachside blocks had slumped by up to 50 per cent.

This could cause a major redistribution of the rates burden, with some beachfront owners’ rates bills dropping by up to a third, some from a staggering $15,000 a year, he said

But the land value readjustment did not mean gloom for the property market, said Paul Nicholls, sales consultant with Byron Bay professionals.

“It has had some effect on the coastal fringe, but many properties were overvalued in 2007 and they’re just back to where they should be.”

Byron Bay had weathered the storm of the past two years very well, he said, and was now moving ahead steadily.

In Lismore the total land value at July 1, 2009, was about $3.2 billion, $1.32 billion of it residential.

The land value of an 800m2 property in North Lismore had soared by 50pc, while hikes of 20pc and 29pc were not uncommon.

Some properties in Goonellabah experienced increases ranging from 4pc to 10pc, one in Woodburn went up 11pc and one in Nimbin 13pc.

Other residential blocks in Clunes, Bexhill, Caniaba and Dunoon saw rises from 7.5pc to 10.5pc.

Asked whether such rises would automatically lead to a rate increase for individual properties, a Lismore council officer said: “If an individual’s land value increases by more than the average in that category (such as residential, rural etc) then it is likely that their rates will go up.”

However, he added, there is never a uniform increase in rates.

Figures for Casino and Ballina were not available, as properties in those areas were not valued in the relevant year.

In the Kyogle region the value of rural and village land was stronger over the previous year, the valuer-general said, while values within the township remained steady.

Total land value in the region was $1.25 billion.

Byron Shire Council said a 17 per cent land value increase did not mean council rates would go up by 17pc.

LATEST LAND VALUES

Byron: $6.35 billion

Lismore: $3.2 billion

Kyogle: $1.25 billion

Byron Shire Council rates: Average residential, excluding water, sewerage and garbage – $898 (2008/09) and $925 (2009/10); average residential, including water, sewerage and garbage – $1804 (2008/09) and $1880 (2009/10).



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