Byron's property takes upward turn

BYRON property owners may have been nursing their financial wounds during the last 12 months, but there is plenty for them to cheer about if they take a long term view.

New figures from property monitoring group RP Data showed median home prices fell in the Byron local government area during the last 12 months by 6.4 per cent.

The drop was the second largest of the major coastal areas surveyed.

There were 353 properties sold in the Byron area in the 12 months to January this year, one of the lowest turnovers of the major coastal areas analysed.

By comparison, and although a much larger market, 10 times the number of homes were turned over in Geelong in Victoria, and 20 times as many were sold on the Gold Coast.

Byron Bay Ray White principal Michael Gordon said while turnover had been lower last year, last month was much stronger.

“February was a bumper month,” he said.

“Our turnover would have doubled from February 2009 to February 2010.”

However Mr Gordon said the doubling of turnover last month only brought sales back to where they were prior to the global financial crisis hitting in late 2008.

Byron was by no means the only coastal region to suffer a mini slump in the last year, with 23 of the 29 areas surveyed flat lining or suffering a drop in prices.

The greater Geelong had the largest increase in the last 12 months, with home prices rising by 2.1 per cent.

But despite the last 12 months, the median home price in Byron Bay has increased by an annual average of 13 per cent during the last 10 years; more than making up for any short term loss. The 10-year Byron growth rate is the second highest for any major coastal region surveyed by RP Data behind Broome in Western Australia.

At $508,000, Byron’s median house price is still the most expensive of any major coastal area apart from Broome.

Mr Gordon said Byron’s relatively expensive real estate market came back to the basics of supply and demand.

“We don’t have a lot of supply,” he said.

“It doesn’t take a lot of inquiries to put pressure on supply.”

In terms of units, 163 were sold in Byron in the last 12 months, with a median price of $429,000; the third most expensive region behind Broome and Victoria’s Surf Coast.

This price went up by just less than one per cent in the last 12 months, with an average 9.4 per cent annual growth rate during the last 10 years.

The median rent of $430 a week is easily the most expensive coastal rent price of the areas surveyed. It went up by 17.8 per cent in the last 12 months.



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