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Northern NSW market on the move, driven by ScoMo and FOMO

20 June 2019 Tim Neary

The Northern New South Wales regional property market is undergoing a stark demographic transformation, driven by a post-federal election bounce in confidence, a cut to official interest rates and FOMO, according to one of the region’s largest real estate agencies.

First National Real Estate Yamba said there is lots of development in the region and buyers are clamoring to be part of it.

“The 155-kilometre Pacific Highway upgrade between Ballina and Coffs Harbour that’s due for completion next year will dramatically improve access to Yamba for people from South East Queensland,” said David Lovell, principal of First National Real Estate Yamba. 

“But it is also lifestyle changers in their 40s from Sydney that are discovering Yamba and they are in a big hurry. With Sydney having ceded its mantle of Australian’s most expensive median house price to Byron Bay, there is a palpable sense that Yamba is the last bastion of affordable beachside property and that prices will bolt when the highway upgrade is finished.


“People no longer see Yamba as being 15 years behind Byron Bay; that’s now seen as one of its key attractions. We have a sufficiently broad range of restaurants and cafes to compete, but we’re also a lifestyle and boatie’s haven.”

Mr Lovell said suburbs like Angourie, considered Yamba’s version of Wategos Beach, have experienced a noticeable increase in demand since January.

“And this has further intensified since the election,” he added.

“By comparison to Wategos, where a non-beachfront home recently achieved $6.5 million and the top of the market is around $18 million, a humble Yamba Hill or Angourie cottage can still be bought for around $1.5 million to $2 million.
“Angourie is a land-locked hamlet that feels uniquely insulated from the buzz of Yamba, so prices are coming under pressure from some very well-heeled individuals.

“The sense is very much that this special part of our community has been discovered, but the increased desirability isn’t restricted to just Angourie; it’s also spreading throughout the Yamba region.”
Mr Lovell said growth in this market has been significant in recent years.

“The rate of growth in Angourie prices has more than doubled, year-on-year since 2016, climbing from around 4 per cent per annum to more than 16.5 per cent in 2018.

“In that same time frame, growth rates for Yamba steadied from 21.9 per cent per annum in 2016 to a slight contraction of 1.4 per cent in 2018, but surged to 23.5 per cent per annum in 2019.”

Northern NSW market on the move, driven by ScoMo and FOMO
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