A shifting market in the Hunter Valley has prompted a local agency to make a change of their own.
Moving on from their long-time brand, Kurri Kurri agents Carolyn Wallis-Tomlins and Ryan Mitchell have joined forces with Raine & Horne while looking to capitalise on a recent influx of movers and investors buying in the area.
Ms Wallis-Tomlins, who started the office in 2016, said the median house price in Kurri Kurri had risen $50,000 over the last 12 months to $419,000. While a significant increase, she noted that the affordability of the area in comparison to metropolitan centres was attracting tree changers in droves.
“While our property values are rising, they are still very affordable compared with Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast. This affordability is driving buyer enquiries.”
Mr Mitchell, who has been a principal at the business since 2020, agreed that they were seeing a lot of activity from buyers looking for a lifestyle shift away from busy cities.
“These owner-occupiers realise they can now work from home in the Hunter due to improved technology,” he said.
And he noted that the appeal of the area was driving investor activity, too.
According to Mr Mitchell, a median house worth $400,000 can attract a weekly rent of $400. “This is a rental yield of 5 per cent and is very attractive when Sydney investment properties would be lucky to generate yields of 3 per cent,” he noted.
The duo, previously with Ray White, said they spent 12 months considering the change while looking for a brand that would support their expansion aspirations.
“We decided to switch to Raine & Horne because there is a lot more support from corporate as well as the opportunity to expand across the Lower Hunter, which we didn’t have with our old network,” Ms Wallis-Tomlins said.
Mr Mitchell agreed: “We have the opportunity to service more significant parts of the Hunter, whereas our previous group limited us to Kurri Kurri.”
Carlie Forsdike, Raine & Horne Kurri Kurri’s administration and marketing executive, also said the brand’s tech offerings were a motivating factor for making the move.
“Amplify and Digikit offer a seamless marketing platform that no other real estate agency has,” Ms Forsdike said.
According to Ms Wallis-Tomlins, they expect this to be a significant point of difference. “Being in a small town, our marketing and advertising is crucial to our success.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.