Hot Property

Hot Property

Byron Property Search is a Buyer's Agency operating in Northern Rivers of New South Wales. This page offers interesting properties listed for sale monthly.

Hot Property - July

Roundhouse site for sale 

The Roundhouse site in Ocean Shores is certainly the saga that keeps on giving. Council copped a serious degree of flack for selling off this site that was once going to be community land. The sale process seemed rushed and haphazard and many thought they were undersold and should have gone to auction. There may be some evidence in that claim now as Lot 8 has just been relisted and asking $600,000 to $650,000. It was sold by council on the 15th of September 2015 for $450,000. That is an increase of $100k PA for the lucky buyers who were queued up outside the Brunswick Heads Professionals REA at the time they were listed. 

 

36 Carlyle St Byron Bay

This is vacant land on the flat side of what they call the Byron “Golden Grid”. 1012 square metres with an old tear-down cottage. So, basically: vacant land listed for $2.6-2.8M. Late last year I helped clients get into a newly renovated, four-bedroom home in a better position for similar money. That about says it all in what has been happening this last 9 months.

 

Cabarita acreage

Why doesn’t anyone listen to me? A great fixer-upper is going to auction this week at Clothiers Creek, the hinterland of Cabarita. Mid 700s is expected and it has fabulous ocean views. This is the classic worst house in the best street story. 

 

Murwillumbah

Murwillumbah is going from strength to strength and I am currently spending more time there. I was going to feature a two-bedroom house on a big block in a good part of town. But, yes, you guessed it; it sold before I was to send this out. Still a few interesting and decent houses there for under $400,000 – but not for long.

 

Car park space - $400,000

 You really know property is huge when a car space is listed for around what a house would sell for. This double car space in a complex in Bond Street, Sydney has been listed for $400,000 and is said to be “reasonable".

 

Piccolo Bar closing 

Speaking of Sydney, allow me some nostalgia. The Piccolo Bar in Kings Cross is closing and that’s the end of an era. Long-term owner operator, Vittorio Bianchi is turning 82 after coming to work there in 1964. The Piccolo Bar was where I whiled away many midnight hours after working in one of my previous careers as a stage manager and theatre producer. The Piccolo was once the favoured late night haunt of many in the film and TV industry, politicians and other low life. Vittorio blames the lockout laws and the ban on smoking inside, and outside cafés, for the likely end of the Cross's oldest coffee bar. "The politicians have done a good job of killing the place,” he said.

 

Iconic Aussie Castle For Sale 

The house featured in the hit Australian film “The Castle” can be yours for as little as a few thousand dollars. Pictured above, the classic suburban weatherboard at 3 Dagonet Street Strathmore, where the Kerrigan (“Tell em they’re dreaming!”) family lived, is going to auction. The sale has been delayed by talk of it being heritage or used as a promotion for a whiskey company. The owner, Vicky Cosentino, wants it gone so she can build a duplex. Yes, you need to spend another $40-50,000 having the house moved away from the block adjoining the Tullamarine airport.  

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Hot Property - June

Wategos

There is Byron Bay.... then there is Wategos. Marine Parade is the premium strip in the premium town in the premium part of the world. 23 Marine Parade is a two-bedroom renovated cottage on 796 M2. Its for sale with Byron Property Sales and looking for $10M. Yes, sounds like a lot for a two-bedroom house but this strip along the Wategos beachfront has been achieving eight digit prices for a while now.

Lighthouse Road

On the way to Wategos is Lighthouse Road. Janis Perkins of Real Estate of Distinction has listed “Enzo” at 178 Lighthouse Road with hopes of $6.5M. The property is owned by artist Susie Brockhoff, of the Brockhoff Biscuits family dynasty, the Salada crackers producer swallowed up by Arnotts. It is a five-bedroom, three-bathroom home with national park on three sides, and panoramic views across the ocean to the hinterlands.

144 Lighthouse Road is also on the market. Currently listed for $8M it was built by “spa king” Eddie Phillips who must be driving his agents crazy. Its been listed for a number of years and the price keeps going up as the market rises to meet it.

64 Carlyle Street Byron Bay

This house is in the old, extremely sought after, part of Byron Bay. Built in 1915 it has been tastefully maintained in its original splendour. Four bedrooms, three bathrooms on 561 M2 and an easy walk to town and beach. Listed by Su Reynolds and Luke Elwin of First National Byron Bay and is in the range of high twos to $3M.

BTW: For all the animosity built up over holiday letting. This problem has settled in some way by using the forces of market capitalism. For example, this property at that price will be unsustainable as a commercial investment for holiday letting. Even though it is in the prime location for tourism accommodation, the return now achieved in relation to its cost is no longer attainable.

Xavier Rudd House, New Brighton

700 rudd

Popular singer songwriter Xavier Rudd is selling his house in New Brighton. The timber high-set home is on a small acreage and comes already fitted out with a state of the art recording studio. Its listed with Raine and Horne Ocean Shores/Brunswick Heads and looking for somewhere between $2.45M and $2.7M. Rudd, originally from Torquay, Victoria heads off for a European tour this month starting in Denmark and finishing in Spain.

Bangalow

4 Cedar Court Bangalow looks good in high-demand Bangalow. Listed Todd Buckland of Byron Shire Real Estate for offers between $895,000 - $955,000.

Keith Street Bangalow is a street I know well as I used to live there. 3 Keith Street Bangalow is a beautiful house on the corner with good views and looking for $1.2M. It is for sale by the owner who is the agent Trent Stana for GNF Bangalow (pictured below)

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Mullumbimby

Surprised to see this little bohemian charmer at 54 New City Road did not get the asking price at auction last weekend. Please see my accompanying article about the strong state of the Mullum market. $629,000 asking price is still too high in a place which should be entry level but recent sales in this area, unfortunately for local first home buyers, have been getting 7 and 8s. Picture of 54 New City Road below)

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Selling Tip

In a strong market like we are having now, many home owners suffer from what is known in the industry as "vendor expectation”. When I do the rounds I see properties listed for a while are probably overpriced. It can be a mistake to go to market with a listing price that is not in the range. There are many good agents out there and they can offer an accurate listing range but many people choose to ignore them and get greedy. The properties can then end up with a bad agent and spend 6 months in the market getting into all sorts of bother and trouble. If you are thinking of selling and need help navigating this process you may benefit from the services of a Vendors Advocate prior to engaging a listing agent. See my vendor’s advocacy page on my website for more information.

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Hot Property - May

Byron land block

An indication of the intense price increase experienced in Byron over the last couple of years is evident here. 36 Carlyle Street, in the heart of the Byron Bay golden grid, last sold for $1,300,000 in April 2014. It is now back on the market for $2.6-2.8M – over double last sold price. This is land only as the house is fibro tear down and no work or improvements have been done over those few years.

 

Mullumbimby fixer-uppers

Mullumbimby also is seeing no let up on demand. The biggest little town in Australia needs to watch out or it will become a BIGGER little town.

 

47 Station Street (opp Woolworths)

is for sale at $695,000 and listed with Chincogan. A bit more placid than Byron – this one last sold in 2001 for $205,000.

 

Gordon Street, Mullum

There a few for sale in Gordon Street and I am surprised these are still on the market. I like Gordon Street as its pretty, treed and quiet

 

17 Gordon is For Sale By Owner. Listed for $750-825,000, it is on a corner and has some interesting aspects and would make a good reno job for the right historical enthusiast.

 

10 Gordon is interesting. It has the original home at the front of the block – needs (a lot of) work. The back of the block has a new 1-bedroom studio which is already sold. The front house is available for $590,000

 

21 Gordon is similar to 17 Gordon in that would suit some wanting to do classic renovation. It is going to auction with Paul Prior on May 13th and looking for ----

 

 

 

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Byron Bay Hot Property - April

What’s happening with the Byron Woolies site?

The new construction at the south end of Woolworths Plaza site has gone dead and people are asking what’s happening. It seems there has been a hitch with a major underground power cable. Someone with the right size clipboard needed to come in there and sign off on it but it took forever. But it's all back on track apparently and heavy machinery is about to start again soon.

The old cinema will not be the same, even though they have left that section. It will be redone into a new 7 screen complex. The photo store, Byron Photo Magic, and the Italian restaurant, Cicchetti, will continue (you have to try their Tiramisu). Sophie Christou from Raine and Horne Byron Bay told me that leasing is going well. They are curating the mix of shops and wanting to have a good balance. There are still a few more shops left and the lease is anywhere between $550 – 1000 per sq metre Per Annum which is quite reasonable compared with Jonson/Lawson prime strip.

Rare Bit of Beachfront

The Wollongbar Motel on Shirley Street is up for sale. It is tipped to exceed $10 million. The 4542 square metre site at 17-21 Shirley Street Byron Bay comes with approval for 17 luxury apartments. (Apartment prices in Byron Bay have surged 31 per cent in the past 12 months, to a median of $770,000, according to Domain Group data.)

The site has 60 metres of direct beachfront access, is within 300 metres of Byron Bay’s retail and dining precinct, and is in walking distance of the Beach Hotel. It’s currently occupied by the 22-room Wollongbar Motel, which is run by a private operator, as well as a house next door.

“Byron is extremely hot at the moment and the owners are taking advantage of the existing market and its strength, as part of their exit strategy on the investment”, said selling agent Blake Goddard from JLL Brisbane. The owner, Mathew Hogg, said he is selling with a heavy heart but has decided to concentrate his concerns in Melbourne. 

Beachie for sale

The iconic Byron Bay Beach Hotel is back on the market. This time asking between $75 – 80 million. The present owner, Melbourne businessman Max Twigg, who made his money in waste management, bought the hotel in mid-2007 from its developer, John Cornell, who co-wrote with Paul Hogan, and produced the global box office hit, Crocodile Dundee, in 1986.

Cornell built the hotel on the Byron Bay foreshore for about $9 million and it said to be our most lucrative entertainment venue. The hotel is leased to Melbourne pub industry identity John van Haandel until mid-2017 with a further two 10-year lease options and currently brings in annual income of around $4.2 million. Should it sell for $80 million, the yield would be 5.3 per cent. Mr Twigg, who is also a racecar driver, paid $44 million in June 2007, according to CoreLogic records.

Wicked Weasel

The only other interesting site in Byron town is the Wicked Weasel bikini factory. Anyone interested in well-proportioned swimwear should have a look at their website. Wicked Weasel was owned by ex Midnight Oil bass player John Gifford and is named after his girl friend's nick name. Unfortunately the new owners will betaking the bikini factory manufacturing to Fiji - with the loss of a lot of local jobs. 156 Jonson Street is 3122 sqm and 90% of that land is under roof. This site will have premium frontage when the Butler Street bypass is completed. This building should be developed into a mixed use, retail and food.

Agency gossip

McGrath, the relatively new and aggressive local agency, has some interesting things going on at head office. The McGrath agency set up in Byron Bay only a few short years ago as an offshoot of the Ballina Branch, but quickly took market share from the big three – First National, Hookers and Byron Property Sales. The national agency has a strong brand following the lead of the colourful and provocative principal John McGrath who has been known to do a bit of Trump-like reality TV spots.

Last year McGrath listed on the ASX, which is unusual for a real estate agency. The stock price is not doing well with all the trouble at HQ. Many of the top executives are fleeing the mother ship and opening a new agency to be called just that – “The Agency”. The stock price is down to 0.68 cents after floating at $2.10. Leader of the revolt is Matt Lahood who disagrees with Master John's premise that a good agency is all about the brand. The rebels disagree and affirm that property is sold by the individual agents and not the brand. 

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Hot Property - March

Hot Property

Byron Bay

Who wants a home in Byron Bay for under $300K?

A manufactured home in the Discovery Park on Ewingsdale Road, Byron has come on the market for $259,000. I site rental charge if $200 PW is on top of that though. Look out for potentially more of these "Manufactured Home/ Caravan Park Estates" coming online as a quick and simple way to alleviate the housing/affordable home shortage.

Keats Street Byron Bay

W.B Keats is one of my favourite poets and our forefathers named a great street after him. It is one of the cross streets over Bangalow Road just south of town. One of the older period houses is coming to auction soon expecting 1.2-1.25M. It is on 1271 M2 with an existing 3 bedroom 1 bathroom cottage. Suitable for reno or redevelopment.

On the other side of Bangalow Road, to the west, there is a small eco-village Community Title subdivision of six houses. One of these properties has been listed for a while and starting to look like good value at $1.05M. It is a modern two story, 2 bedroom, one bathroom home on 1050 M2.

Bangalow/Talofa

Karen Heller from Parkinson Real Estate just listed and sold a property outside Bangalow last week. It was three seperate houses on a few hectares and sold at auction for $2.85M. Only thing of interest in that is that the same place, with no intervening renovation, sold only two years ago for $650,000 less. That is about right for the 23% increase we have had in two years on well located rural properties

Brunswick Heads

The former CEO of Channel Nine David Gyngell has teamed up again with his mate, local identity John "Strop" Cornell to expand their Brunswick Heads holdings. They've spent $3 million on a house on 1,012 M2 in the heart of Brunswick Heads (pictured above). It comprises two stories with four units in a fibro structure with a large back yard. It’s in the back lane behind the Brunswick pub, which they already own, and I am sure the duo will be doing something interesting with it.

Rural Acreages

There is outstanding demand for small rural acreages within 20 minutes of Byron Bay. I know of half a dozen small community title subdivisions in process with council but no more after that. The present council has shelved the draft Rural Settlement Strategy that was rushed through during the dying days of the last council. That’s fine but how long will the new draft take before it is ready?

The new council made it an election issue and they were solidly voted in so no one is disputing they have a mandate to protect the rural and agricultural priority of the shire. What makes our shire beautiful is being able to drive, walk or bicycle through our emerald green hills and valleys. The problem is what to do when everyone wants a piece of it. At present the only two options are to chop it up into little pieces and destroy it (which our present zoning does not allow so don't worry) or leave it as it is and those that have one are lucky enough to see it rise exponentially in value. Council will have to relook at the Draft Settlement Strategy soon and many will be looking on with interest to see how they can resolve this thorny problem.

Milton, NSW South Coast

It is worth noting that Byron Bay hinterland is not the only hot rural region in the country. Milton on the NSW south coast is also experiencing a boom. It had a 29% increase in the last 12 months easily beating Byron’s 11%. It has the advantage of being only half a day drive from Sydney. It also has the uncrowded and pretty beaches of Mollymook a stone’s throw away. A median price of only $649,000, a bit over half that of Byron, is also a big attraction.

Why the sustained demand for quality coastal real estate? Social demographer and commentator, Bernard Salt, had an interesting article in the weekend Oz. The idea is that every region has its desired destination for the uber rich. Dubai has boomed because the Saudi’s and other Middle East high flyers want to work and paly there. London is the chosen destination for the Russian Oligarchs. Sydney, and to a lesser extent Melbourne, are places that Chinese billionaires want to have a safe haven, have a holiday home and educate their kids.

Byron Bay and towns like Milton and Mollymook are the secondary beneficiaries of this largesse. Sydney retirees can sell up for big money and come to these lifestyle destinations for the good life. As long as China keeps growing and Australia maintains a stable currency, strong civil society and legislation this will probably continue.

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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.

Commercial

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.

Newrybar

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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Mullumbimby

 

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

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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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Hot Property - November

Possum Creek - top end

This property is built on a high spot in magical Possum Creek with great northerly rural views. EOI stands for Expression Of Interest and it is looking for someone to express an interest that starts with a "4" followed by six zeros, at least. Ticks all the boxes for a top end lifestyle - 5 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, studio, orchard, 80 acres, close to town but private. 

 Wategos - top end #2

This three bedroom house with adjoining villa is currently listed in Wategos Beach. It is an established Holiday Let property with an income of $200,000 PA. It was purchased in 2003 by London based surveyor, Charles Lee. He was in Oz following the Rugby World Cup, visited Byron and fell in love - as you do. It is listed by LJ Hooker Byron and looking for offers between $6 - 6.5M.

Lighthouse Road - Top End #3

A Mortgagee in Possession auction coming up on Lighthouse Road will be interesting. This is one of the last of the old houses along Lighthouse Road on the way to Wategos. These properties have perfect north views looking over the Pass and the hinterland. Renovations or rebuilds along this premium strip have been getting over $6M sales. 

Mullumbimby - mid range

My favourite part of Mullumbimby, north of town and south of the river, has had a bit of activity. There have been a few sales but not as surprising as the ones at New City Road which went for well over market expectations. 2 Tyagerah Street, original home on a large block, went for $795,000 at auction the previous weekend. There is another property in this area which has good potential and is listed off-market for offers over $750,000. 

Vacant Land, Wilsons Creek

Hen's teeth are easy at the moment compared to small acreages. This one just listed in Wilson's Creek - 5 acres for $500,000 with creek frontage.

Lismore, Casino, Kyogle

Property valuation firm Herron Todd White (HTW) have placed a firm "buy" notice on these three Northern Rivers  locations. I tend to agree with them. The low purchase price (under $300,000) plus the reasonable rents (at least 5%) make them interesting especially as other, more coastal, markets stay strong.

Alternative Digs

1. Dream Domes

This company in Billinudgel has been making dome dwellings for many years. The Dreamdome is a modular prefabricated building system. They are offering the first 22 people a discount price on the Dreamdome model to get the new product out there and be tested in the market place. 

RENDER DOME 5M DESERT 963x475 1

 

2. Glamping 

"Glamping" is all the rage around the world so we have to have it here in groovy Byron. "Glamorous Camping" is soon to pop up at the Byron Holiday Park between Byron and Suffolk this Xmas. Local accomodation provider, Cameron Arnold, already has a history of Glamping at the Falls and Splendour Festivals so this is not such a stretch. The luxury tents will be fully catered with a pop up restaurant and bar from Harvest cafe.

Title Tattle

Sydney property developer and major land owner of the West Byron development site, Terry Agnew, is in the news. His iconic Sydney home in Bellevue Hill is on the market for an expected $70M. "Rona" is a gothic style residence built in 1883 on an acre and a half. The Agnews have completed extensive renovation. Agnew is also the owner of the adjacent property on Ewingsdale Road as his company purchased the old chicken factory off the Ingham family for an estimated $3M. He became the majority owner of the West Byron site after most of the original local owners took their bat and ball and went home after facing too much local resistance. 

The sale of "Rona" will easily surpass in cost another Sydney property with a Byron Bay connection. Altona, previously Sydney's most expensive home in Point Piper, sold for $46M by Wategos beach resident, Deke Miskin. That sale is now in the news again as it was sold by a Chinese born real estate agent. It looks like the agent put the sale in the name of her mother's name to save the mainland Chinese billionaire, Mr Wang, not having to go through the Foreign Investor Revue Board. The mother got the land tax bill and other complications and now everyone involved is in a world of pain. 

Win for AirBNB

Short term holiday letting in NSW got a boost recently. The Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning spent 18 months looking into the industry. The report just released said that the industry is "operating successfully" and "with the right amount of legislation and compliance regime, can be operated in residential areas". Byron Shire at least us well advanced on this issue with what is hopefully a successfully negotiated compromise between residents and HLO (Holiday Let Organisation).

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Hot property for October

Around the traps

Auctions:

This month I attended an auction for local clients who got a new home at Lofts Road Coorabel. There were three strong bidders on the day so it went to the top of where I was comfortable for my clients to go to - $1.2M. It is a nice 4 bedroom house on a very beautiful 6 acres in Coorabel. The land has an excellent aspect, private and quite and will accommodate any degree of expansion or renovation into the future so plenty of upside potential here. Agent was Kaye Wilkie from Ray White Byron Bay.

A client and I were close to bidding on interesting property in Byron’s Pacific Vista Drive. The owners made a new build looked old and distinctive. The three story house had the distressed industrial look with recycled timbers and windows. These things can be hit and miss but this one was finished fairly successfully. It auctioned last Saturday and got to $1.783M after some tortuous bidding. Auctioned by Tara Torkkola from First National Byron Bay.

Currently For Sale

Shirley Street Byron Bay.

As I already mentioned not a huge amount of stock out there at the moment. I am sure many of you have noticed all the new activity along Shirley Street as you are entering town from Ewingsdale Road. All those stuck in traffic coming in to Byron Bay will notice some of the new apartments. 

First on the left is "Kaylani" which is still under construction. The large, almost 300 M2 4 bed 2 bath townhouses are listed for 2.1M for street side and 2.2M for off the street. Further down on the same side at 51 Shirley are four new town houses recently completed and sold fairly promptly also at the $2M mark. 

Then on the right just before the old hospital site is a holiday let property for sale. It has been renovated very efficiently and is a rental machine. All bookings and reception is handled online and guests see themselves in and out with pass-codes. All up it is 6 seperate rentals - four of them single room bedrooms with shower, toilet and breakfast bar. It is expected to sell for mid $2M but nets a tidy $250K PA so has an almost 10% yield.

Places of interest:

I am keen on the northern end of the shire at the moment. I like the Pocket and Middle Pocket at the moment and think there are a few things of good value. Also have had cause to look more closely at beachside New Brighton lately and also think we have upside here. These properties may already seem overvalued at $1.5M and over for absolute beachfront but I think they are yet to be discovered for the hidden gems they are. I think its more peaceful and pleasant than Alkorn St Suffolk Park. 

Rail Trail update

While I am at the Northern end of the shire, it was a bit woeful the council’s recent decision not to take up Tweed Shires offer of extending the Tweed rail trail all the way to Billinudgel. The sensible middle path here is to push on with the Rail Trail for bikes and walking while we have the chance. Mayor Simon Richardson is adventurous to go for a multi use option, and being a visionary is to be applauded, but think it unlikely he will pull it off. As for TOOT (trains On Our Tracks) idea that we will ever get the rattlers back on the outmoded track I put in the same category as climate change deniers and flat earth enthusiasts. 

Elements of Byron – coolest on the planet

Congratulations to the Elements of Byron Resort for being named one of the 25 coolest places on the planet as decided by Forbes Magazine. The only other Australian location was the Old Clare Hotel in Sydney. At the same time the hotel was shortlisted by the Society of British Interior Design.

Local artist were asked to contribute to the interior – including my good friends Suvera McDonald and Jules Hunt. When I look back at all the heartache this site has caused the community over decades lets be glad it finally got settled with a good outcome.

Bangalow Industrial Development

This one will be a tough one for the new council. Actually it will probably miss the BSC and go straight to the Land and Environment Court. The Bangalow Progress Association is against the proposed “Food Hub” opposite the existing industrial park on Lismore Road in Bangalow.

It is understandable the residents want to maintain the charming rustic feel of Bangalow. This development will also be pretty big: 65 acres and with a $23.5M price tag. I have mentioned in previous blogs how our local food industries are taking off and this is another example. The keystone tenants here will be Brookfarm, the makers of the excellent muesli and Salumi Salami currently in Billinudgel.

Both businesses are long-term local providores with deep community connections and commitments as well as being Byron Shire success stories. They, and other prospective tenants, need room to expand their businesses. If they cannot build this they will have to leave the shire and set up shop somewhere else. It needs to be big for the big trucks to pick up and deliver but they do not need to go through town. This is a tough decision and lets hope we can get it right. Its a thin line that needs to be walked between allowing the right development while retaining our unique charm and flavour. 

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Hot Property for September

Hot Property for September
Business News:

Whenever First National agent Tara Torkkola enters East Mullumbimby, the resident’s eyes go “Kaching! Kaching!” Tara’s recent auction efforts have gone off like fireworks. She first had a hand in her own property sale at #12 New City Road, which sold for $758K – well above the mid 600s expected range. Then last month, #24 went under the hammer achieving a remarkable $900,000 with a price guide of $785,000. Admittedly, this home had a studio with dual access, but still a massive price in what I believe is not the best area of Mullum.

There have been a number of excessive sales in Mullum of late. Many locals are concerned about losing that special, distinctive vibe Mullum has managed to cultivate over the years. There is understandable concern these prices are starting to mimic the craziness of Byron and will change the nature of the town. If it is any consolation, nearly all of the people I help to settle here are trying to add to the vibe, not change it. But yes, it is getting richer and we will be forcing out long term residents that cannot afford the rents. Anyone with a workable idea on how to fix this, please send in your plan (then we will send you to the Middle East to fix that as well).

Renovations in Town

Beach – Byron Bay

The humble Beach Café on Clarks beach has seen a number of transformations over my time here. It is now called “Beach – Byron Bay” and this latest renovation comes after the successful beachside business was partly purchased by Sydney arts couple, Leon and Margaret Fink. Menu prices have also had a major face-lift as well. But the location and view is still priceless.

Margaret Fink is a successful Film and TV producer (My Brilliant Career, Candy). Leon Fink, who turns 80 this year, is a developer, entertainment entrepreneur, restaurateur and philanthropist. This should be viewed as a stamp of approval for local owner Ben Kirkwood. The Fink Group has a history of only partnering with Australia’s leading chefs and restaurants, like Tetsuya Wakuda, Tony Bilson, Peter Kuruvita and Guillaume Brahimi.

Byron Bay Brewery and Buddha Bar

Also under renovation is the Buddha Bar and Brewery at the old Arts Factory site in Gordon St., Byron Bay. The Byron Bay Brewery was recently purchased by multinational, Lion Nathan and the premises housing the brewery and Buddha Bar are being revamped. The spa and cinema are a separate business.

The Byron Bay Brewery was under pressure a few years ago for licensing its Pale Ale to Carlton United without a public disclosure. The local brewery has wanted to sell for some time after failing to get expansion plans through council. This story brings up a few interesting issues. How do we as a community when "Byron Bay” is being used for branding, especially if the product is not actually manufactured in Byron Bay? Also, a main reason they had to sell up was because they were not able to expand their business because of compliance regulations and the council generally being anti development. I know of a few businesses in this predicament. How do we balance limiting development while still wanting to provide room to grow to those businesses capable of giving full employment to more than a few?

More Beer - Stone and Wood

Another local brewing business is Stone and Wood. They managed to side step the expansion issue by opening a bigger brewery in Murwillumbah but have decided to stay local as much as possible. They are very much part of the community and are big supporters of local events, charities and community organisations. They run a funky brew house and small retail outlet at Boronia Place in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.  Try their Pacific Ale as its excellent.

Spell and the Gypsy Collective

Screen Shot 2016 08 31 at 12.00.45 PM

Wow! Since I am talking up local Byron businesses. How about this small independent local fashion label scooping the Telstra Business of the Year prize? Sisters Elisabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather employ 50 women in Byron Bay, have over 800,000 website followers, sell online to over 130 countries and have the likes of Katy Perry, Mylie Cyrus as fans. They run a small retail showroom at the Browning Street roundabout at the south side of town, opposite the Green Garage. Check it out!

Brunswick Picture House

Something that is not to be celebrated is the sudden closure of the Brunswick Picture House. A few issues ago, I lauded the resurrection of this derelict building and was thrilled to see it was resurrected into an arts and cabaret venue able to support the many talented local performers. Seems like there has been a complaint from a neighbour, and coupled with a not completely kosher "existing rights" zoning approval, council have forced it to close. Please google "change.org save Brunswick Picture House" and sign the petition to support this unique and worthy asset to our local venues. 

HOT PROPERTY:
Wategos Beach stunner

Screen Shot 2016 08 30 at 2.21.30 PM

Janis Perkins from Real Estate Of Distinction agency secured the sale of “Wattai” 4 Palm Valley Way, Wategos Beach for $5.6M. The property was owned and renovated by architect Peter Maddison who is the presenter of Grand Designs Australia. He purchased the property in 2004 for $3.7M and now has sold it to Melbournian, Alan Sinclair.

2 X Byron Bay development sites

There is a block of land in Byron going to auction soon on the south side of Byron. It is just over 2000 M2 and can be subdivided into 4 X 500 blocks. If the agent estimate for $1.8 – 1.9M is accurate this could be a good buy considering how much half blocks are selling for now in Byron. Council contributions will still need to be paid as well.

Large block in Byron 

This double block on Paterson Hill is one of the last ones left. It has ocean views north west to the bay as well as north east to the lighthouse. Original house is in OK condition but will need some work. The back block is in a great quite street and only a hop and skip to Clarkes Beach. All be like for mid to high 2s.

Ocean Shores

As I have predicted in previous newsletters, Ocean Shores is now getting a lot more buyer attention. There are still some entry level properties coming on the market - under $600,000 but do not stay listed for long. I have been helping clients lately offer full price to good properties and have it taken off the market. Entry level buyers may soon be left behind I am afraid. I can understand the desire of wanting to limit any further development in our beautiful shire. Opposing all development while still supporting affordable housing, helping struggling renters and young couples getting their first home - this is conflicted thinking. 

 

 

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Hot Property for August

Pottsville Unit

And the little bird goes cheap cheap cheap! $100K-$150K per single unit. This small hotel complex in Pottsville has been converted into strata units. 150m to the beach with car space. This is a good investment or good part-time home for someone coming back and forth. Cannot be lived in full-time though as part of the on site management.

Pville2

 

Large acreage, Middle Pocket.

This has to be one of the most beautiful valleys I’ve seen in a while. Rich forest with lakes and creeks. Very private and secluded off Middle Pocket Road. Interesting, two-bedroom house with character. $1.2M

402MidPoc

 

Habitat, Byron Bay

The creative industry complex on Bayshore Drive, Byron Industrial estate has just been listed. As expected, most of the live/work options (homes with offices attached) already have a red dot on them. Still some interesting retail and commercial. Destined to be one of Byron’s more interesting developments. Stage One will be completed Easter 2017.

habitat

 

Brunswick Heads, double block

Calling all renovators or wannabe developers: a double block in Brunswick Heads on quiet street. Classic 50’s brick house needing to be dragged into this century and a back block with own access. Auction next week is expecting mid $800s???

 Brunz

Recent completed projects:

BPS has had a very strong last quarter of 2015/16. Coorabell seems to be the flavour of the month. We have helped two clients into very nice properties along Coolamon Scenic Drive, $1.3M on one and over $4M on the other. Another large acreage with home, studios, pool and recording studio for $1.9M. Also have helped people into a lovely family home in Lennox Heads for under $1M. Numerous successful Vendor Advocacy jobs were completed all over the shire. Below are happy clients after the successful conclusion to an auction in Byron Bay:

AugHotProp

“Being from Sydney and busy workers, we found Michael’s services invaluable in our Byron Bay property search.  His knowledge of the local market is superb, but more than that, his personal manner and relationships allowed us great insight into the competitive sale environment.  I would not hesitate to recommend Michael to anyone looking for that extra bit of assistance with their search.”

J and L, Sydney

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Hot Property for July

Here are a few interesting things I have seen around the traps.

A couple of years ago, vacant land was very hard to get rid of. These days the good listings dont last long. Hot Property options this month focus on vacant land sales. 

Beachfront apartment

Fortyfive Lawson is the new beachfront unit development at the end of Lawson Street. It was the old Holiday Inn. Most of the luxury, top end units were sold off the plan. A ground floor, three bedroom, three bathroom apartment is now listed for $3.5M.

Habitat Lists

The long awaited Creative Industry Hub, Habitat, in the Byron Industrial Estate has finally gone on sale after much delay. Stage 1 of the 7 acre complex offers retail, residential and commercial space for people wanting to live work and entertain in the same place. 

Byron Bay – house

The centre of Byron Bay I believe is just too hot. Prices have gone into the stratosphere. But there is a small house close to town but not in the hot zone going to auction and expecting mid 800s. It has some charm but will be a tear down soon.

Byron Bay – three vacant land options

1. A strange skinny block of land in town has been listed for a while. Its price tag of just over $1.1M is still too high but is getting close. Most of the 8 acres is zoned wetland with only one acre residential where you could build. Would suit someone who wants to be close to town but maintain a rural aspect.

2. Stage 2 of Sea Cliffs, a small development that I like has just been released. It is up the back of the Byron Hills estate, inland from Suffolk Park. Blocks start at $495K and some of the higher ones have ocean glimpses while all have good views into forest.

3. A small development block will be getting a lot of interest when it goes to auction at the end of the month. The 1132 M2 is a short walk to Tallows Beach and is being sold by the State Housing Authority. Will be possible SCTA for 2 houses or 3 units.

Ocean Shores – two vacant land options

There is a small block in New Brighton on the canal for $425K. And an even smaller block on the hill in OS with ocean views for $395K. Comes with building plans.

Two sites (2.2 acres and 14 acres) are now available between Ocean Shores and New Brighton. They border Simpsons Creek and other wetlands. Will have lots of nature protections and fire restrictions but will suit someone who wants to be close to nature and civilisation at the same time. Expressions of Interest close 22 July. 

Big Land Bangalow

In relation to my earlier noting of major interest in foodie exploits. Anyone with big dreams and deep pockets could look at the two large acreages just outside Bangalow. Both blocks are over 100 acres and can be joined together with some value adding. This would leave enough land for two titles on excellent farm land with major tourist potential and enough fertile soil to fee an army. Lucky we dont need one.

Small land Bangalow

The popular "The meadows" development on the south side of Bangalow is now releasing stage two. The last 12 lots will be auctioned on site on July 30 and will be in high demand. Blocks range from 648 - 1227 sqm.  

 

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Hot Property for June 2016

Lots of interesting local listings and sales recently. Here I have pulled out of the pack a few properties I would love to own if I had plenty of money - oh to dream! Also a couple of celebrity sales as well as some interesting architecture and unique properties. Basically property porn – get into it!

Interesting listings

Federal home with commercial zoning

Is Federal the next Mullumbimby? Federal has a good vibe and its own Japanese restaurant and some interesting residents - like our mayor Simon Richardson and singer Tex Perkins to think of a couple.

In the centre of Federal is a small 2 bed cottage with shed with commercial zoning. Something for the budding entrepreneur wanting to take advantage of this burgeoning village. It is 900 M2 of land and listed for $460,000. 

FederalStudio

 

Cabarita

Many of you know that I am a fan of Cabarita and think it has lots of potential. How about a 3 bedroom home with a 3 room studio on 5 acres for under $550K? I know this property and will it will shine with a bit of polish.

Small acreages

Last month I talked about the growing demand of buyers for small vacant acreages. That is still true and there are a few listings this month that fit that category and I thought I would talk about them.

Mullumbimby Road, Myocum

This is a great location - in the middle of Byron, Mullum and Brunswick Heads. This small development has been in process for a number of years and now finally on the market. Six lots ranging between 1.5 to 17 acres some with excellent rural views. Still not cheap between $650K and $1.3M but as I explained - low supply/high demand.

Upper Wilsons Creek, Mullumbimby 

Anyone who has never driven up Upper Wilsons Creek west of Mullumbimby should do so one day. It is a special unique valley with exceptional rain forest.

wilsons creek

I have not inspected this delightful looking 5 acres of vacant land on Upper Wilsons Creek. Looks like fair value at $560,000.

 

Mullumbimby with MO/CT potential

Someone adventurous and with time and perseverance could look at this one. This 100 acres close to Mullumbimby town is part of the land earmarked in the council Rural Settlement Strategy for Multiple Occupancy or Community Title subdivision. No one should rush out and bet their future on decisions pending in the BSC but this one is interesting for someone able to be patient and relaxed about the vagaries of due process.

Huonbrook 

The cheapest vacant land block I can see at the moment (outside of MO) is 3 acres in Huonbrook with fully approved building plans. It is on the market for $329,000.

Celebrity Sales

McLeods Shoot

Co-host of Ch 9’s The Block series, Shelley Craft, and her partner, sold their ridge top home on McLeods Shoot. The property was seeking $3.7M at auction and has sweeping 360 degree views. On the set, Shelley met her partner,  Christian Sergiacomi, a cameraman on the series. They sold their home on the hill and have since moved into town. 

ShelleyCraftBlock

Christian is now working as a sales agent with Byron Bay Property Sales, and Shelley is no doubt pursuing her passion in home renovation.

Crabbes Creek

Rugby League star Billy Slater recently sold his acreage at Crabbes Creek. Demands of the Melbourne Storm were just too much for the Queensland born full back and he only got to fly over it. The property was 36 hectares with a four bedroom farm house in desperate need of renovation. I was involved in the property for a client doing due diligence on the possibility it had fertiliser toxicity from the banana farm. But it was bullishly swooped on by a Sydney solicitor, paying close to the asking price of $1.395M. 

BSlaterFlyover2

 

Celebrity property - Coolamon Scenic Drive

(see featured photo at top)

This property is a celebrity. The owner/builder of this home on Coolamon Scenic Drive went to extreme lengths to complete such a quality build and finish. But the location and position is itself the star. The home, even though it is special, is still understated allowing the view over green rolling hills on to the ocean and Julian Rocks to be the main star. It is four bedroom main property with a number of smaller out buildings and studios. It is under offer for $4.25M. 

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Hot Property for May

 
Cheapie in Myocum

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This property in Myocum has a good north aspect with rural views on a neat 10 acres, 4 bedroom 2 bathroom with a seperate studio. What?! It's under $1M?!! There must be something wrong with it .... and there is. It is just near the quarry and also the Myocum tip. But my job is mainly about managing compromises and I believe these compromises can be managed to a certain extent. Listed at $995,000 a property like this with no road noise and no tip would be pushing $1.5M. It also needs some work as it has been let go a bit.

 
Big Views with Road Noise 

Another compromise situation is this one: 35 acres with massive views, close to Byron and Bangalow, existing original farmhouse, converted bales, 190m2 brand new machinery shed, and DA approved plans for new home. WT...?! Only $1.5M plus? That sounds cheap. Well, yes, priced due to road noise off the old highway. Can you live with that?

 
Coorabell Scenic Drive Luxury 

09336494

If you have the cash and want everything in place with no compromise, try this one: Architect designed home by Peter Hobbs, magnificent dress circle location on Coolamon Scenic Drive, Coorabell. 4 bedroom, 3 bath with separate studio, horizon pool. Nothing to do here but lie back and enjoy the view.

 
Mullumbimby house and studio

 9fad4a7d2f0854dd50e80059b737ee8380179d23

A funky well renovated house and studio is going to auction on the 28th in Mullumbimby. Nothing to do here and the fit out is stylish and comfy. Agent is expecting low 600s. 

 

Reno Opportunities in Byron, Bangalow and Mullum

Still watching a few options that have good value adding potential in all of these towns. I am always on the look out for properties or sites that have easy conversions of garages or master bedrooms into secondary rentals, houses with back lanes or secondary access. Call me for details.

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