Green shoots in property market

THE number of aspiring property owners descending on the Northern Rivers for a sea change is decreasing, or at least on hold, real estate data shows.

But while the number of properties being snapped up may be lower than average, that hasn't stopped some big spending.

According to RP Data, in the past year the Northern Rivers was hit the hardest by a downturn in property buyers with the Byron, Tweed, Lismore and Richmond Valley council areas experiencing a 30% decrease in transaction volumes. In the Ballina area, the number of dwelling sales was 30% below the five-year average.

In a column written for the Sydney Morning Herald, RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said the trend was similar around the country.

Lifestyle regions were struggling to attract buyers due to a halt in the sea change phenomenon and slow tourism had created higher than normal vacancies, he said.

Despite the statistics, buyers were stilling willing to spend big to live in their ideal location, if recent property sales are an accurate gauge.

Nick Dunn from First National Real Estate Byron Bay recently sold a Coopers Shoot lifestyle property for between $4.5 and $4.6 million.

"We don't have any problem selling property in the area," he said.

"People want to be here, they want to live in the location and they want to bring up their kids here. But like any market, it is always still price sensitive."

Jeremy Bennett of Byron Bay Property Sales said his agency had managed to sell two $6 million properties during the quietest part of the year. Mr Bennett and fellow agent Graham Dunn sold the properties on the same day.

"It definitely slowed during winter, but at the moment it's started to rise again with the spring selling season," Mr Bennett said.

"The volumes have dropped. Talking to people, (I have seen) there are a few more people who are excited about getting into property again."

Mr Bennett said there was also a drop in the number of real estate agents in Byron Bay.

"Some agencies have been forced to look for less prime positions because of the overheads," he said.


Has the real estate market suffered a downturn? Leave a comment below.

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