Well, it’s finally happened.
For years locals have been saying that Byron is the most expensive place to live in the land of beer and bananas.
Now it’s official – well, as far as buying a home is concerned.
Last week market research firm Propertytology reported that the Sydney had ceded its mantle as having Australia’s most expensive median house price to, you guessed it, the Byron Shire.
Do we get a trophy of some description? A scale replica of the disco dong perhaps?
Propertytology (which is a little too close to ‘proctology’ for The Echo’s liking, but anyway) reports that as of December last year the Shire’s median house price was $987,500.
‘Byron’s median house price increased by a whopping 64 per cent over the past five calendar years, propelling it to the top of the national table,’ the firm’s chief proctolo… sorry, managing director said.
‘Sydney and Melbourne both produced a 44 per cent increase over the same five years to be $950,000 and $772,500, respectively.’
And as if we hadn’t had enough good news, Mr Pressley informs us that Byron is likely to extend its lead over Sin City because while prices there are falling, ours are continuing to climb.
‘Byron’s median house price has increased by an average of 10.1 per cent over the past 20 years – the highest rate of growth of any Australian town or city,’ he says.
‘It’s staggering that Byron has averaged double-digit growth every single year for two decades. I doubt whether there’s another city anywhere in the world that has done that.’
‘Back in 1998, the median house price in Byron Bay was just $140,000.’
The driving force behind all of this? Again, few surprises – it’s cashed-up silver-haired folk moving up from Sydney and Melbourne.
‘Demand is primarily driven by the affluent, middle-aged, Australian-born couples,’ Mr Pressley says.
‘Census data shows Byron’s median household age is 44 – compared to the national average of 38 – and there’s a below-average number of children per household as well.’
Our older population means less babies are being born here, and that is keeping a lid on the rate of population growth.
‘Byron’s average annual population growth rate of 0.9 per cent is well below the 17-year national average of 1.5 per cent,’ according to our learned friend.
‘Byron’s status is the ultimate proof that the size of a city’s total population or the annual rate of population growth are not the biggest drivers of property prices …’
Proof at last that, as far as Byron is concerned, size doesn’t matter – except when it comes to our bank balances.