With the median price in Sydney continuing to climb in 2014, buyers increasingly turned to the state’s regional and coastal property markets, according to the CEO of a national real estate group.
Bendigo Bank/REIA’s Real Estate Market Facts for the September quarter 2014, showed the median house price in Sydney exceeded $840,000, prompting buyers to shift their focus to areas such as Bathurst, Tamworth and the south coast, Raine & Horne said.
“Buying a home in a regional town makes enormous sense, with the median house price ranging from $283,000 in Tamworth to $330,000 in Bathurst and $453,000 in Mollymook,” said Angus Raine, CEO of Raine & Horne.
The real estate group said investor interest had been particularly strong on the Bathurst region recently.
Homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000 proved to be a hot commodity during the spring selling season, said Michelle Mackay, co-principal of Raine & Horne Bathurst, and rental properties are easily securing tenants.
“Hotspots in Bathurst include the newer areas of the town such as Marsden Heights, Riverview and Wentworth Drive, where many first home buyers are opting to build in order to claim the First Home Owner Grant,” Ms Mackay said.
“Developers and builders are supplying us with new homes, which are hitting the market at prices between $380,000 and $420,000, and these are selling very quickly.
“Overall, listings are a little light at the moment, but I’m expecting that to change after the Christmas and New Year break is over.”
Tamworth, approximately 400 kilometres north west of Sydney, was also on investors’ radars this year, according to Raine & Horne.
Bryan Bolitho, principal of Raine & Horne Tamworth, said investors in the region had done well in 2014.
“The trouble is that we’re running out of stock, which is great news for Tamworth property owners considering a sale,” he said.
“Basically any property that is priced to sell will transact in weeks.”
Mr Bolitho said yields of 5.5 per cent to 7.0 per cent were attracting investors from Sydney and the NSW Central Coast.
“And owner occupiers are moving to Tamworth from the Central Coast because we have jobs growth as a consequence of a significant investment in major infrastructure such as the Tamworth Base Hospital upgrade, while Newcastle University also built some new facilities," he said.
Mr Bolitho said talk of even more interest rate cuts will further drive up demand for Tamworth real estate in 2015.
Despite mixed economic news, Tony Hopper, co-principal of Raine & Horne Mollymook/Milton, said the south coast region of NSW was primed for further growth in 2015.
“Lower interest rates and demand outstripping supply is driving up prices in some south coast towns,” he said.
Mr Hopper said even though the Budget blowout may impact consumer confidence in 2015, he predicted interest rate cuts would help strengthen prices in the region.
“Anywhere close to a beach will be popular, and entry-level three-bedroom homes in Mollymook Beach and Narrawallee Beach starting at $350,000 are set to attract plenty of attention from buyers in 2015,” he said.
According to Mr Raine, homeowners who do their research before making a regional shift have the best chance of generating good long-term growth.
“Look for regional towns with viable and growing economies and populations – the Australian Bureau of Statistics or the local council are great sources of data about the demographics of a town,” he said.
“A regional or coastal town with excellent long-term growth prospects should have decent infrastructure in place – public transport, major roads, hospitals and schools.
“The growth towns will essentially have all the lifestyle benefits we associate with city living, such as cafés, restaurant and cinemas.”