The north coast property market continues to strengthen and is in a better position than just three months ago. We now have more stock for buyers, with the traditional Spring market bringing out a moderate rise in new properties for sale. What’s on offer? Right now we’re seeing investors selling, with a number of units and investment properties up for sale, and their owners capitalising on the excellent market. Some of these properties are being purchased by non-investors, and this is having a direct impact on rental market availability.

Whilst things have improved and prices remain strong, the housing market remains relatively tight, with plenty of people missing out. Those that miss out are widening their net and looking further afield to areas like Alstonville and Lismore, and this inland migration micro trend is helping to push up prices right across the region.

For our immediate area, Lennox and East Ballina remain on parity for the hot spot tag, with interest in these two locations proving unstoppable.

Cumbalum is also becoming a popular destination for people looking for new homes. This region is rapidly becoming more established and offers a better price point.

First Home buyers are a strong presence in the unit market. This is a more affordable property option for this demographic, although unit prices remain strong.

We still continue to operate in unprecedented times, particularly within the high-end luxury property market, with some crazy prices rewriting the record books. And this is one of many factors helping to drive the overall market upwards.

Byron Bay remains the main real estate market driver, with our northern neighbour’s sale prices regularly making headlines. We’re also seeing a flush through effect, where former Sydney siders are buying in Byron, and sellers from Byron are then relocating to our region. With the Byron market effectively twice the price of Ballina/Lennox, these buyers are in an excellent position to outbid everyone, and this is in turn affects prices and availability in this market. When you consider that Byron looks cheap to a Sydneysider; and then Ballina/Lennox looks cheap to a buyer from Byron, it’s likely that this trend will continue to affect our market for some time.

Having said this, we are also not expecting to see a significant new wave of migration from Sydney to the Northern Rivers. Our feeling is that those who can move have most likely already done so. We’ll see how this prediction plays out in the months ahead.

With state borders opening up, we are seeing people moving more freely. This welcome change has had a knock-on effect within the market, as people who were previously sitting on the fence with their property and waiting for things to settle now becoming more confident about committing to a sale and moving on.

It is hard to predict what the next twelve months will look like as we remain in unchartered waters. From this point in time the market could go up or it could go down. However, one thing remains true, and that is to never try and pick the ‘top’ of the market. It may have already peaked, or the peak may be yet to come. Our advice to anyone considering selling is to sell when the time is right for you, and to then own that decision.

Read more in my Summer 2022 newsletter . . .