Ballina Shire residential market remained steady through 2018: HTW residential

Ballina Shire residential market remained steady through 2018: HTW residential
Ballina Shire residential market remained steady through 2018: HTW residential

Values throughout the Ballina Shire stabilised throughout 2018 after strong increases throughout the 2016 and 2017 calendar years, according to the latest Herron Todd White residential report. 

The report noted agents who actively market property throughout the Ballina Shire generally report lower numbers of enquiry.

Some Ballina regions experienced declines in value on the back of weaker Sydney and Melbourne markets, although the lack of available stock generally prevented any notable falls in value throughout the sought-after areas of the shire, HTW noted.

A lack of stock did drive the market and buyers were seen moving out of the suburb of Byron Bay into the more affordable coastal resort town of Lennox Head which saw the market in Lennox Head climb in 2018.

"The overall market started slightly sluggishly in January and February, however lack of stock saw the market continue to surge throughout 2018. Early stages of flattening were evident throughout the October to November period," the valuation firm said.

The buy in price point of $750,000 to $1.2 million did well throughout the year of 2018. Larger allotments located in Ocean Shores with future subdivision potential did particularly well with a spike in sales. In Lennox Head, sales also spiked with buyers wising up and moving away from the iconic town of Byron Bay towards a smaller township where their money could be spread further.

"At the beginning of 2018, it was predicted that the oversupply of vacant land in Lennox Head may be of some concern. 

"We have yet to see any signs of an oversupply of vacant land, with value levels within new residential estates remaining firm, however it would appear that the developer’s conscientious release of land without flooding the market could be partly responsible to this," the report noted.

The prediction for the Byron Shire market that was made all the way back in February was mostly correct.

A recent sale in Ocean Shores is a four bedroom which has been sold for $950,000. 

Sitting elevated on a 923sqm block, the house at 18 Goondooloo Drive (pictured above) comes with multiple living zones,four bedrooms, eat-in kitchen,  and double garage.

It's within walking distance to the Ocean Shores cafes and shops or a short hop to New Brighton, Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay.

Ballina Shire residential market remained steady through 2018: HTW residential

A two bedroom Lennox Head townhouse has been recently sold for $1.17 million.

Situated at 1/43 Stewart Street (pictured above), the beach house feautres two bedroom, sunroom, study, modern kitchen with stone benches, salt water plunge pool and high ceilings.

It's located within easy walking distance to Lake Ainsworth.

The report mentioned a large portion of the buyer demographic in this locality were people coming from Melbourne or Sydney.

"The market was majorly influenced by investors and baby boomers looking for a sea change. More recently though we have seen buyers in the 30 to 50-year-old bracket with young families sustaining city job opportunities whilst living away from metropolitan areas." 

There continues to be renovation, renewal and gentrification activity occurring within established residential areas of Ballina and in particular the Ballina Island and East Ballina precincts, according to an earlier Herron Todd White (HTW) residential report. 

The report suggested this is due to requirements from both owner-occupiers and also from potential buyers, and there remains good demand for quality renovated product.

However, the majority of new development within the Ballina Shire is occurring in housing estates such as Epiq at Lennox Head, Ferngrove and Riveroaks at Ballina, Ballina Heights at Cumbalum and the new estates located to the north-west fringe of Wollongbar.

"It is interesting to note that over the past five years, we have seen a significant increase in construction of self-contained flats and second dwellings of house lots, both in established residential areas and also in new housing estates." the HTW report noted.

The increased construction of self-contained flats and second dwellings can be attributed to the strong rental demand across the Ballina Shire coupled with the fact that there remains limited one and two-bedroom residential units being constructed within established suburbs. 

Subsequently properties which possess rear lane access and allow approval and construction of second dwellings in established residential localities have become more sought after, the report said. 

"In the Byron Shire, home renovation and new construction in established areas are on the rise. We see the renovation aspect of this market evident in all suburbs within this locality. An example is Suffolk Park, where homes built in the 1960s and 1970s are being extended and externally remodelled to a more contemporary design," the valuation firm noted.

A Suffolk Park renovated beachfront home was on the market with the price guide of $1.1 million to $1.2 million. It sold in December at $1.1 million.

Set on a 922sqm, the 17/2 Alcorn Street house comes with two bedrooms, open plan kitchen/dining/living, and study.

It has been recently renovated with the new kitchen and bathrooms. 

This is also evident in the township of Mullumbimby, where 1930 to 1940 built homes are being updated to compete with new builds occurring in the fringe Tuckeroo Estate.

The majority of buyer types in this market within the Byron Shire are more of the owner-occupier variety rather than house flippers or spec builders. The suburb where they would achieve the most profit is isolated to that of Byron Bay. Buyers have been capitalising on the increased margin of the price point buy in for this particular coastal resort town.

There has also been an increase in the number of sales as well as price point within the prestige residential market for centrally located properties in close proximity to the Byron Bay CBD, beach and facilities. The increased sales activity in the $2 to $4 million price bracket for standard residential property has been occurring since 2014.

There is generally strong demand for Federation style dwellings which have been renovated to a very good standard and offer the owner a high quality of fitout that is also appealing to the holiday market.

Evidence of first home buyers wanting to make quick equity can be seen in suburbs such as Ocean Shores within the price-points of $750,000 to $850,000. Other strategies for first home owners have been trending in the purchase of land, where dual occupancy is created, divided and sold.

Ballina Shire residential market remained steady through 2018: HTW residential

An example is a Ocean SHores three bedroom house which has been listed for $770,000 (pictured above). 

Nestled on a 921sqm block, the house at 7 Rajah Road include three bedrooms, renovated family bathroom, three spacious living areas and covered outdoor areas.

It's within walking distance to cafes, restaurants and Brunswick Heads.

Upgraders who want to stay put but need more space for a growing family are taking advantage of creating detached granny flats. This extra space caters for older kids who may still be at home saving for a deposit of their own, or for an ageing relative.

The buy-in price points for homes with upgrade potential in the below mentioned suburbs are as follows:

• OceanShores- $750,000 to $850,000

• ByronBay- $1million to $1.5million

• LennoxHead- $800,000 to $950,000

The suburban infrastructure that helps drive construction within these established areas include the proximity to local airports (both the Ballina/ Byron Bay Gateway Airport and the Gold Coast Airport). This has seen an increase in interstate buyers taking advantage of the versatility of living locally and in either Sydney or Melbourne to cater for their fly-in, fly-out occupations.

Home renovation and new construction in established areas do have some guidelines and limitations. The biggest limitation we see home buyers face in the Byron Shire is the restriction on secondary dwelling sizes. Where there are dual occupancies on one title in one line, the secondary dwelling must not exceed a total floor area of 60 square metres.

There are changes in the town planning process that are encouraging new construction. The biggest change is seen in the reduced minimum lot sizes. Vacant land was once sold with an average land area of 700 to 800 square metres, however with each new estate that has been developed, we have seen a reduction to 450 to 500 square metre blocks being sold.

The market of home renovation and new construction within the Byron Shire may track a little differently in the future. The cost of building is rising at such a rate that it may have an effect on those speculating to be a part of this market.

"Even now we are seeing vacant land blocks within new estates being resold at a much higher price-point, which may affect the home buyer’s decision about what they can afford to build," the report said.

Ballina Property market

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