Ballina LJ Hooker principal Michael Shay:
Ballina LJ Hooker principal Michael Shay: "There’s a lot more confidence in the market now."

Northern Rivers commercial sales improving, say agents

COMMERCIAL property sales on the Northern Rivers are starting to improve, according to local agents.

Principal of LJ Hooker at Ballina, Michael Shay, said he had just sold the Commonwealth Bank building in River St at auction for $2.34 million.

He said it was a sign of things to come.

"It showed a net yield before acquisition costs of 8.28%," he said.

The marketing agents, Dean Shay of LJ Hooker Ballina in conjunction with Darren Beehag of Burgess Rawson, said they had received very strong inquires for the property, which previously sold 17 years ago.

"There's a lot more confidence in the market now.

"We're also starting to see a lot of enquiries about properties in the main street."

Meanwhile Chris Harley, the principal of Ray White Lismore and North Coast Commercial Real Estate, agreed that he was now seeing "a ray of sunshine".

"There is a renewed interest in the commercial sector," he said.

"We're seeing more consistent enquiries, better quality of enquiries and more sales.

"And it's been good across the board - from Grafton to Tweed Heads."

Mr Harley said it was great news for the industry, particularly given that it had been a challenging market for so long.

"We're feeling optimistic for the first time in a long time," he said.

"There are some very good opportunities for developers and business people who are looking at the commercial market at the moment.

"Timing is everything."

Wilson Cregan from Wal Murray & Co First National Real Estate said the market was definitely picking up.

"There is a general feeling of optimism, particularly since the election," he said.

"Regardless of whether anything will change as a result of the election, it's just that it's over with, done and dusted, and people start returning to the market

"And it's spring, which is always more active for real estate

"Things are moving grad- ually upwards.

"There is confidence returning to the commercial market.

"It's been slow.

"But I think next year will be much better than this year, but it's hard to say how much better."



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