The median price of homes in the 2481 postcode is now higher than the equivalent in Sydney, according to two property price monitoring companies.
According to RP Data’s latest report, the Sydney median home price is now $914,056. Its most recent report on Byron Bay, taken in January, pegged it as $915,000.
Meanwhile APM/Pricefinder estimates Byron Bay’s median house price to be $936,660.
The principal of Byron Property Search, Michael Murray, told Echonetdaily this placed Byron Bay at the level of some of Sydney’s ‘blue ribbon’ suburbs.
‘It’s a much smaller demographic so it’s not like comparing applies with apples.’
By comparison, he added,‘in other rural towns, your buy-in would be $300,000 or $400,000. Even out at Lismore or Tweed, you’re comparable to a lot lower.’
The buyers’ agent is finding it increasingly difficult to find places to suit young buyers hoping to move to the area.
‘I get young couples saying, “I can’t buy in. I’m trying to find something at Sunrise or West Byron and I get pipped all the time by investors. I can’t find a home. I have the money but when I go up there to an auction I can’t even buy when I try to.”’
Nevertheless, Mr Murray was sceptical about the touted sale price of $850,000 for properties at West Byron, as proposed by developer Terry Agnew in The Australian newspaper on the weekend.
‘I think that’s a bit high, what Terry said.
‘I’m assisting people to get into get into Tallowood, that’s about $300,000 for the land.
‘My main comment and annoyance about that is that all that people can afford, once they buy their vacant block for $250-$300,000, is to get a project home for $250,000. Because if you start looking at architect-designed home on a block like that it’s at least another 50 to 60 per cent higher.
‘I look at the brick-and-tile tracts that greenfield developments turn into and it’s not so much the choice of the owners but an economic factor.’
While Mr Murray believes West Byron won’t necessarily solve affordability issues in Byron he says ‘it’s one of the only levers we’ve got’.
‘You can imagine any state or federal government is not going to stay in power if they start to manoeuvre levers to lower the median house price because everybody sitting on their assets are going to panic.
‘And that’s the only way that you’re going to lower house prices. To get more affordable housing means that the vast majority who are sitting on an asset of a house are not going to be happy. How do you please everybody?’