Displaying items by tag: Byron bay real estate

News Around the Traps


Are You Living in a Heritage Home?

Many people in the shire do not know they may be living in a heritage-listed property. All of Bangalow and Mullumbimby central is a heritage area. In  Mullum, if you live west of the railway line, south or east of the river, or north of Saltwater Creek, your house may have restrictions or even a full conservation order on it.

Bangalow residents are more aware of the town’s heritage listing as most residents are obviously committed to maintaining it’s rustic charm. This is ironic as in the early 70’s, the shire council wanted to eradicate all the overhead verandas throughout the shire as they were dangerous and kept in bad repair. At the time Bangalow was so broke it could not afford to remove them so just refused to do it. That’s the only reason why Bangalow was lucky enough to maintain the charming pioneer style residents and tourists appreciate so much today.

Byron Shire Council is offering a “Free Heritage Advice” session on 18 August. If you have any questions or want to understand more about your property, contact Noreen Scott on 6626 7062 and make an appointment.

Masterplan Progress

Look out for the pop-up chat rooms in Byron, Mullum or Bangalow. Each of these towns are at different stages of a masterplan development and council is giving an overview and asking for community feedback. Please don’t be one of these annoying people who do not participate when community consultation is offered and then have nothing but bile when the proposals are presented.

Farming Out The Farm

The good people at The Farm are currently under pressure. It may be they have been too successful for some neighbours and competing businesses. As you can see from the car park driving by it is almost always full. They wish to enable the restaurant Three Blue Ducks, plus Flowers at The Farm, The Produce Store, Farm Kids and Farm Tours and all the organic food growing to continue to operate as they do currently.

They are asking for people to write to council to support their DA. Address it to Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219, Mullumbimby, NSW 2482 and tell them why you appreciate all the work The Farm is doing. Especially the community and charity work. Or write an email and send it to community at thefarmbyronbay.com.au.

Brunswick Fish Co-op

There is some controversy around with whats going to happen to the Brunswick Fish Co-op. The police has been shut down unexpectedly and staff have been let go. Maybe it could be handled better but this building and business could probably do with a makeover. Many of the old fish co-ops up and down the coast of been reinvented and they often turn out to be excellent establishments - still catering to a mum and dad fish and chip shop, while still providing a full compliment of restaurants and shops. Lets hope they do it well in the end.

Sustainable House Day

Applications are now open for the annual Sustainable House Day Expo. These are very popular events and highlight our local area’s creativity and expertise in sustainable house building and design. This year it will be held in Tweed Heads on September 16. If you want to enter a design or concept you can find the application form google it at sustainablehousedaynr. Or just turn up and see for yourself.

Discussions on Alternative Housing Options

Thursday 10th of August at the Brunswick Picture House there will be a discussion on all of the shire's alternative housing projects. It is being put on by the Green Institute which is a national progressive think tank promoting community cohesion. It is $20 at the door which will include a meat or veto meal, drinks will be available, but bring your own alcohol. Tickets at the door. 

Then on Wednesday 16th of August there will be the second meeting for Social Habitat Housing. This is for the people interested in becoming residents at the proposed Tiny House/Land Lease Community starting in Mullumbimby. It will be at the Mullumbimby RSL 5 - 6.30 PM. For more information on this, go to the website at shh.socialhabitat.com.au. 

Heritage Train to Start

The 2 km train trip from Elements Resort to Byron CBD is progressing and will be up and running by December. The Byron Bay Railroad Company, and Elements of Byron, is owned and operated by coal baron Brian Flannery of White Energy. When the project began it was to be a heritage, two carriage diesel train but has now converted to solar power and is the first solar powered train in the world. There are solar trains in India but they only power the lights and fans.

Mr Flannery is not the only coal baron putting an eco gloss on their activity in the shire. In a valley near Federal, the ex co-owner of Whitehaven Coal (remember the Nathan Tinkler debacle), has been attempting to recreate the big scrub by regenerating over 600 acres of degraded grazing land. 

How They Do It In China

Resident action groups in Byron Shire are often active and successful in protecting the shire from rampant development. They should consider the plight of Chinese homeowners, residents and community groups opposing plans for new works. Lack of democracy in China certainly makes it easier for local government to get things done as this example shows.

The city of Chongqing, which has a population of 8.2 million, recently installed a two-lane road running across the rooftop of a five-storey, mixed-use building. But if you thought that might be noisy, spare a thought for the residents of another building, which has a light railway running through its 6th-8th floors – pictured here.

 Byron Bay Writers Festival

The BBWF starts is on this weekend and for anyone who has not participated you are missing out. It is the biggest and best literary festival in regional Australia and well worth the time and effort. Get lost in good conversation and interesting discussions. Kids day is on Sunday and they love it. Google the website and get a ticket.


Will Prices Come Off?

After any period of strong property growth, the next question is usually: are we going to see a downturn? Potential new buyers are wary to buy at the top of the curve, that’s understandable. But mainly if you are an investor planning to flick a property after a quick reno. If you are a buying for the long-term, buying well anywhere along the trend line is not a problem.

Currently there are pundits saying we are looking at a downturn while others are saying this demand will continue. Interestingly, the NSW state government is one that is confident. They have a bullish forecast for stamp duty earnings for next financial year, which means they don’t expect the housing market to crash any time soon. Last year the transfer duty was $9.63 billion which was the largest ever recorded.

Unsurprisingly, there are many in the real estate industry predicting extended growth. John McGrath, for example, has said renewed first home owner grants will boost prices in NSW (see next BPS article). Also Mark Bouris, property and business guru and chair of financial planning group Yellow Brick Road says don’t wait around for property prices to drop. Especially those homebuyers who are, "waiting for prices to drop because of some sort of government intervention, they’re kidding themselves. Forget it! The government won’t intervene in markets like that. They just won’t do it. We’re not in China. It’s just not going to happen,” Bouris says.

The issue over recent years, he says, has been an affordability shift, rather than a crisis, because some locations that used to be affordable are no longer that way. He goes on to say that the affordability argument is nothing new; “In 2001 or 2002, John Howard launched his election campaign on affordability. Affordability has been an issue for a long time.” His advice to prospective property owners is to look outside their suburbs and invest in other locations.

But they don’t have to physically move into their investment property, he says. “You live and rent where the jobs are and you buy where you can afford but also where it has some fundamentals,” he says. “It shouldn’t just be because you can afford it, there’s also fundamentals such as if there’s infrastructure there, a hospital, a university, jobs and there’s population growth in that area.” Homebuyers and investors may have more access to research and data these days but Bouris says they are also operating in a more complex environment that requires professional guidance.

“The best piece of advice that I can give someone today, which didn’t exist years ago, is that borrowing money is complex today compared to what it was two years ago or even a year ago. It’s quite complicated,” he says. “Make sure you’ve got someone who can direct you because it’s very complex out there. It’s not as easy as it was. It’s much harder.”   

Bouris has been a long-time proponent of regional locations with solid fundamentals that can provide investment opportunities as well as cash flow potential. That way, he says, a new investor can afford to hold their property until it has achieved upside growth and they decide to either sell down or borrow against it to build a portfolio. By doing that, he says, then maybe one day they can afford to buy their dream home.”

Advice from these industry professionals needs to be taken with a grain of salt. They are obviously pushing their own barrow. But here in our shire, I do not see immediate signs of a downturn. The demand remains high here and prices will only come off we see a surge in new listings which I also do not see in the immediate future. 

Some quotes via Property Observer Online


Hot Property for February

Town for sale

Sick of the overblown prices for houses you have to pay in Byron Shire? Maybe you need to look further afield – like central Queensland. How about a whole town with 16 houses, a school hall, three saw mills, streetlights and complete infrastructure. All of this is for around the same as a 3 bedroom, 2-bathroom unit in Byron Bay.


For $750,000 you could have called yourself the mayor of Ailies Creek. Sutton Nationwide listed the central Queensland town, 373 Km NW of Brisbane, just before Xmas and were expecting a quick sale.

Top end rural

You can contrast that with this 108-acre property in Binna Burra, which has been reduced from over $4m to $3,852,000. This luxury property includes productive macadamia trees and is zoned for a rural tourist facility. It has 8 bedrooms 7 baths and parking for 45 cars as it has been used as a wedding venue.

Or, why not build your own dream home? 10 acres of vacant land on the ocean view strip at Coopers Shoot (overlooking the golf course and Suffolk Park) has just been listed with Nick Dunn at McGrath. This is the last vacant acreage on this strip and is asking $5 – 5.5M. A similar block just up the road sold for $4.5M. Tom Misner, who built the SAE College on Ewingsdale Road, sold his luxury 5-acre property on this strip for $8M in 2014. That was a record at the time.

Christian Segiacomi from Byron Bay Property Sales has listed a magnificent home on possibly the best site in all of Byron Shire. 605 Goonengerry Road, Montecollum, just to the east of the Crystal Castle, is a majestic 16 acres with expansive 270-degree views. The spacious 5-bedroom house is a combination rammed earth and eco/passive solar design with a pool. Expressions of Interest.


When residential gets too hot, some people look towards commercial as a better deal. Unfortunately, freehold or leasing in the Byron Industrial estate is almost as fraught as residential. Just for an overview:

-       4 unit industrial units in Byron Bay Arts and Industry with 903 M2 floor space - $2.9M

-       Wicked Weasel bikini factory, behind Mitre 10, bottom end (no bum pun intended) of Jonson Street Byron - $6.75M

-       6 Acacia St Byron Industrial Estate (Colin Heaney’s old glass blowing factory) is asking over $1M.

-       The Burringbar servo, shop and café with commercial kitchen and 3 bed 2 bath home is for sale at $630K

Businesses for sale

What are killing many of our local home grown businesses are the exorbitant rents. We wonder why we are being taken over by chain stores its because only big chains can afford to have a profile address here.

Home wares/gift shop

An example of this is Life of Byron. Long term resident originally from Brazil, Mita Malta, has been running the clothes and home wares retail shop at 2/17 Lawson Street for decades. Go in and and get some quality stuff or a valentines gift at its closing down sale before Feb 14. The shop is selling and a purchaser could not be found, as the rent could not make the numbers stack up. There was a day in Byron when shops were so sought after, key money of $100,000 plus would often change hands with a lease.

Retail clothing small boutique chain


A very special opportunity exists to purchase a small unique clothing chain that has established a niche shopfront and online presence. It has a $1.6M PA turnover, 4 shops in the Northern Rivers and the Gold Coast with loyal and dedicated staff. WIWO for $450,000. Please contact Michael here at BPS for more information.

Rice Restaurant in Brunswick Heads


Have not been to Rice in Brunswick for a while but always enjoy it when I do. The restaurant is for sale and lets hope the new owner can cook the red duck curry as well as Hendra.

Small developments:


Byron Shire Council will at some time be looking at the Rural Settlement Strategy in the years ahead. Don’t hold your breath, but for anyone in the position and the patience to look at some land banking for the future, there are some areas that I think will have potential for some much needed land release.


An example is this 2 acres in Newrybar. Going to auction on Sat 11th it is expected to get $1.2M – 1.3. The existing house is reasonable with a non-approved studio that needs work. Can be rural dual occupancy now allowing building a second dwelling. But the proximity to Newrybar township would suggest 3 or 4 subdivision

Lennox Head

Popular among small developers is finding a residential block big enough to split into a duplex block. One at Lennox head has just been listed and will go to auction and expected to get somewhere around $1.3-1.4M. New 3 bed 2 bath duplexes in this area (close to the beach) are getting around $1.5M each. Contact BPS if you want more info. 

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I will be interesting to see if we get our first million dollar plus sale on the eastern side (wrong side of the tracks) of Mullumbimby. Tara Torkkola from Byron Bay First National has listed 23 Ann Street looking for $995,000 - $1,085,000. The home is very nicely renovated and looks out on the southern aspect to green pastures. Prices in this area have been steadily appreciating over the last year with serious demand in Mullum. But still, a $1M sale will be interesting.

Chris Hanley – Citizen of the year

Local real estate principal Chris Hanley has been honoured as Byron Shire’s Citizen of the Year and recipient of the OAM. He has been recognised for his work with the 25-year success of the Byron Writers Festival as well as other community work.

All of this is fair and appropriate but as we both work in the real estate industry, I have dealt with Chris for well over 30 years. His other unrecognised attribute is his dedication and skill in business management, coaching and mentoring. First National Real Estate in Byron has an excellent business culture and is always a pleasure dealing with. I credit that to Chris and the other principals.

Elysium, Byron Bay


The project to completely redo Lawson Lane in the centre of Byron is only 4 weeks away from the launch. The Creative Road team has been tasked to reinvent Lawson Lane with murals and lights and activity – a la Melbourne’s thriving back lanes. This is the first in an ongoing project to revitalise Byron’s lanes. They have raised $80K but are still short the final $20K. If you can support this great project, Google it find its FB page or contact Rebecca on 0404 087 443

 Johnson St High res 01


Hot Property for December

Our local market has gone past a normal description like hot. It is hard to find the correct term: overheated, feverish, boiling, Over The Top. Just believe me that I have seen things I have never seen or heard about in my 30 years involved in local property. Lets hope that the Xmas break will impose a well-needed breather on the hysteria and things could return to some kind of normalcy in the new year.

Interesting Recent Sales:

158 Lighthouse Road, Byron Bay

Last month I mentioned an auction coming up on Lighthouse Road, Byron Bay. This strip of ocean-view properties looking over the Pass and north to Mount Warning has seen strong interest lately. This almost-tear-down property, land value only, saw intense bidding from many parties and finally settled at $6.2M.

Ian Daniels from McGrath was the agent responsible. He in July he took #134 Lighthouse Road to auction in September for $5.6M.

36 Marvel Street Byron Bay

This very basic property in the heart of town was sold to “interior stylist” Taliah Lowry in 2009 for $1.2M. Ms Lowry’s present occupation is now an “accommodation entrepreneur”. After doing an extensive makeover she was able to get it into glossies like Vogue Living and Country Style. A nifty new name is also de rigueur in these flips and the house was rechristened Pineapple Cottage. The backyard granny flat now answers to the name Chapel Studio, and I quote: “in the style of a New York loft apartment featuring soaring ceilings and recycled brick exposed walls”. Sue Reynolds from First National finished it off nicely by getting a cool $3M for the place only days after listing.

58 – 58A Jonson Street, Byron Bay

A piece of local recent history was under the hammer during November. #58 Johnson Street was once the Byronian Café (opposite the Post Office and beside Railway Park) and has been a local institution for many decades. It's now the Byron Café as well as a pop-up gallery and Patagonia clothes store. One section of it was originally the RSL hall up until the 70s when it moved to its new digs. For many a bunch of irregular guys would meet each morning for the Breakfast Club. A skeleton version still exits. This was where millionaires really would mingle with Creative Government Grant Recipients (PC for dole bludgers). It was owned at the time by ex-Mayor Tom Wilson. It sold for $4.725M with DA approved plans allowing for units and shops to three stories. I will soon be developed as that kind of price cannot be sustained on a commercial rental yield of 5%.

Interesting Current Listings:

There are a few but by the time I write this and you read it, they will be sold. So why bother?

Capital gain will next be found in the outer villages. The postcodes including 2479 to 2483 are over-cooked. Best to be looking at the next stage villages like Crabbes Creek, Billinudgel, Moobal, The Pocket, Corndale, The Channon, Eureka, Eltham, Tintenbar. I would be happy to take on clients who wanted to look here as I would know what to do.

Celebrity sales

It’s a sad thing that many of us are fascinated by what media people, actors and blowhards are doing with themselves, but that’s the state of the world we live in. Here is what is happening in the da hood:

Irish-flavoured comedian Jimeoin has listed his 7-acre property on the blue ribbon Coolamon Scenic ridge. It is a 3 bedroom home with pool and entertaining deck with expansive ocean views. He and his wife, actress and writer Catherine Arena, paid $1.35M for it in 2003. Liam Annersley from LJ Hookers Byron Bay is expecting in the range of $1.8 - $1.85M. Jimeoin has said that what he likes best about Byron Bay is that it is “full of rich people, poor people, and best of all - Swedish backpackers.”

“A” list actor Chris Hemsworth is planning a rebuild on his Seven Mile Beach property. Byron Shire Council has received a Development Application to demolish all the existing structures and rebuild the house, outbuildings and pool. Estimated expenditure to be around $8M with a major Sydney architecture firm getting the gig. That’s a shame as this region has some of the best architects on the country.

I happened to catch an international chat show where the star actor was showing pictures of his unusual houseguests at Seven Mile Beach - snakes, lizards and spiders, to many oohs and ahs. Even our wildlife and varmints are now getting attention. Mr Hemsworth is often around as a sequel to “Thor” is being shot on the Gold Coast. By all reports he is a really down to earth guy and not up himself so please don’t be an a’hole by  hassling him or his family for a silly selfie.

Market Movements

National housing trends are shown here on these graphs from CoreLogic. Especially the second one where we see the median price growth within regions. Sydney and Melbourne have left the rest in the dust. Regional areas, with a median price of around $300,000, are at the bottom. Our region is an aberration and we would have trend line somewhere between Sydney and Melbourne. 

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That’s all for this month.

Watch out as the banks are putting up interest rates under cover of darkness and the silly season. This is outside of the RBA announcement and probably with the tacit approval of the Gov as a way to cool down sections of the property market.

Stay chilled, see you next time.

We are on holiday early January so expect a very curtailed report. I am never on holiday to your emails or texts though.

Happy Xmas and have a great holiday season from Michael Murray and all at BPS.

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