As a buyer’s agent in a regional area, the investor market is not what pays my bills. Lifestyle property for Tree Changers and Sea Changers is what has traditionally kept my boat afloat. But the Northern Rivers real estate market is forever changing and I may have more investors knocking on my door or, more likely, googling me.
All-time low interest rates and big city markets running hot have combined to make regional towns more attractive for the investor market. Recently I had clients building property portfolios and they were happy with what I could find them. Regional towns like Tweed Heads and Lismore have units 2 or 3 bedroom units under $250,000 with rental yields of 7% gross. Factoring in council rates and body corporate fees provides a return better than 5.5%, which beats current bank interest.
Lismore is a university town and Southern Cross University needs more student accommodation. Tweed Heads has high demand from retirees and young families. Ballina has investor options with a growing Baby Boomer retirement population. Murwillumbah is a regional centre with a unique rural lifestyle and is a commercial hub for the interesting and alternative towns of Uki, Kyogle and Nimbin.
Terry Ryder of Hotspotting.com.au agrees that regional areas are being grossly overlooked because of generalized statistics. Mainstream media and property columns have been reporting that inner city prices have been growing at 2.4 times that of regional areas. His point is that not all regional areas are the same and if you look more closely there are gems to be found. More here.
Byron Bay postcode 2481 has the demand and median price range of the major cities (it actually has a higher median than Melbourne). As a buyer’s agent working the beat between Ballina and Tweed Heads, the vast majority of my clients are looking for something in 2479, 2481 and 2482. Think Bangalow, Lennox Head, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby. It will be good to see these other regional towns, that I know and love, get some well-deserved attention.