It is still a very strong property market in the Northern Rivers – especially the postcodes 2479 to 2483. I see no let up on the strong demand that we were experiencing in the last two quarters of last year. Supply may increase a bit as more people decide to list to take advantage of the current high prices. But many are deterred from that unless they are moving from the area, as they will still have to buy into a high market.
Sydney’s median house price rose 4.7% during the quarter to December. The Sydney median is now at $1,123,991 while Byron Bay is at $1,208,950. There is a reasonable assessment around that we have plateaued and there should be some easing off, but at present, I and no one else I am dealing with, is experiencing that. The above graph shows the recent spike in price growth over the last two years.
If interest rates remain low and the current policy settings stay in place, the market should stay strong for the foreseeable future. The three major property research firms are predicting 11% annual rise for Melbourne and 16.7% rise for Sydney during 2017. The NAB bank have increased their national price growth expectation to 3.4% and have halved the expected capital city apartment price drop from 1.6% to 0.8%. Their report also stated that a price drop would be imminent only if there was a rapid increase in unemployment or interest rates. Even respected ABC TV commentator Alan Kohler confirmed the present market is sound and a long way from a bubble.
Byron area is usually 12 -18 months behind the Sydney trend. If this remains true, even if Sydney and Melbourne come off the boil this year, we will still have some time to cook. The main demographic fuelling the local market is baby boomer retirement to lifestyle locations like Byron Bay. Currently, I see no let up to demand with associated price rises all through 2017.
Engaging a buyer’s agent is highly advisable in a strong market. Entering this market requires certainty and decisiveness. By the time many buyers have missed out, been gazumped or outbid at auctions, they can get rattled and are likely to make rash, ill-conceived decisions. Recognising good value and potential only comes with long experience and deep local knowledge. Getting the ear of local agents and being told the truth also helps. Knowing how to get to the pointy end of a negotiation and keep a property away from a competitor is a good skill to have in these times.