House prices on the rise
MOVING to Ballina is looking better and better for Michael Green.
Property prices in the Northern Rivers are poised to buck the state-wide trend and post a relatively healthy gain over the next year, with Ballina tipped as one of the State's hot spots by two independent reports.
It is the second consecutive year that property monitors Hotspotting named Ballina as a major growth area.
Another report by RP Data, which monitors property price movements, cited Ballina as one of three regional hot spots.
RP Data's analyst Tim Lawless said falling interest rates, improved affordability and rising rental yields will drive prices higher.
Also supporting prices is the expected 26 per cent jump in the area's population over the next 25 years.
John Nicolson, licensee of Elders Real Estate Ballina, has already noticed the improved first-home buyers grant has led to an increase in potential buyers.
“This is usually a sign that demand will also move up into the middle and top-end of the market,” he said.
“It's not only lifestyle but Ballina's proximity to major cities with the airport and improved roads putting us within two hours of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.”
Mr Green, who is currently a Lismore resident, is moving to Ballina 'for better prospects', having felt that Lismore has come to a developmental standstill.
“Ballina is slowly changing its character, and is becoming a lot classier than it was when I first moved to the area in 1981” he said.
“There are no more cheap houses around.
“I think prices will continue to rise, especially after the Ballina bypass goes in.
“Prices can only go up.”
For Mr Green, Ballina offers more, and has 'a welcoming feel'.
“It's close to the water, and seems to have everything we want there,” he said.
“It's still got a bit of an older person feel, but it is nice, quiet, and flat.”
Mr Green agrees with independent reports that Ballina is set to take off in the near future.
“Ballina is probably going to be the destination, especially because Byron has priced itself out of the market,” he said.
Casino real estate agent Amanda Johnson, who specialises in sales, and is a stock and station agent with JM Realty, thinks Ballina had 'better watch out'.
“I don't think rising prices in Ballina will have an impact on Casino, but I do think people looking to move to the area will see better value for money in Casino,” she said.
“I think Casino will be very popular soon.”