NSW North Coast "resembles a poker hand" in the sub-$500,000 property market: HTW

NSW North Coast
NSW North Coast "resembles a poker hand" in the sub-$500,000 property market: HTW

In NSW North Coast, there's little change from 12 months ago in terms of what one can score in property with a lazy half a million, according to valuation firm Herron Todd White's July 2016 residential market report on homes in the sub-$500,000 range.

The product mix may have varied slightly, particularly in the more regional areas within the Richmond Valley and Kyogle Council areas.

"In a lot of ways it resembles a typical poker hand," say HTW. For example, consider the five of a kind:

• Five $100,000 (or less) vacant steep timber 40 hectare bush blocks in the rural localities of Drake or Tabulam; or

• Five $100,000 standard vacant residential blocks in Casino or Kyogle. Relatively flat but may ask slightly more than $100,000 individually, so a package deal of say five at the nice round figure of $100,000 each would be hard for a vendor to pass up in the current subdued market.

"Alternatively, secure a nice three- to four-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a garage for around $300,000 to $350,000 and throw in another vacant residential block at $100,000 to $120,000."

There are not too many residential properties within Casino or Kyogle that would use up the whole $500,000 in one transaction, however, those that do usually deliver the full quota of features from air-conditioning, good quality appointments, pool, established landscaping or full renovation of an older style character home.

For those inclined towards a more rural residential setting, there are opportunities to use a substantial part of the $500,000 to acquire established properties of modern four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes with double garages in close proximity to the town centres of Casino and Kyogle.

Typically, such properties would comprise lots ranging in size from 4,000 square metres to five hectares. Semi-remote rural localities with properties on lots from 40 hectares to 100 hectares may still be purchased under $500,000 and provide semi-modern homes with established ancillary improvements, however, distance and maintenance of the land are factors that any potential purchaser must consider.

"Within Lismore city, the lazy half million is somewhat more restricted in its purchasing power, however, opportunities are still available. Good quality level vacant residential lots are around the $200,000 mark in the new, developing residential estates, so buy two and possibly use the remaining $100,000 as a $50,000 deposit for a house to be built on each of the lots, or purchase one of the steeper vacant blocks for around $100,000 (just keep in mind that your building costs will rise significantly)."

It should be relatively easy to find two residential house properties for around $250,000 each, however, they are likely to be located in a flood prone area, need some cosmetic attention or front a busy road.

There are a number of two-bedroom, one-bathroom, brick and tile residential units with single carports available within reasonable proximity of shopping and educational facilities in Lismore city which have an expected price range of $130,000 to $170,000 and attract a rent of around $175 to $200 per week.

Failing that, and if you so wish, $500,000 would go a long way to fully or near fully acquire or brand new four- or five-bedroom, two-bathroom, double garage residence in the modern residential estates of Goonellabah or Lismore Heights (where most of the new build action is) with pool and established landscaping.

The rental assessments can vary widely depending on features, but expect something in the order of $450 plus per week.

"At present, even with the record low interest rate levels, the future of any significant price improvement is not generally clear or warranted as there is still the overriding climate of that old age concern....is my job secure?” say HTW.
"Therefore, don’t expect any significant rapid sales activity any time soon."

Property Observer tracked down a three-bedroom house at 36 Keen Street, Lismore, NSW 2480 that sold recently for $252,000, leaving another $250,000 to invest as HTW suggests.

NSW North Coast  

the Clarence Valley

Further to the south in Yamba, $500,000 does not get you as close to the beach as it did 12 months ago where the June 2015 entry point was for a circa 1980s canal home or an older circa 1950s dwelling close to the beach.

Entry point now is in a modern four-bedroom, two-bathroom modern dwelling in Yamba’s residential estates located west of Yamba town centre. However, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom strata townhouse complex by the beachside is still within reach and includes resort facilities and holiday rental income.

In Yamba, the $500,000 and above market is driven by steady interest from the capital cities due to the town’s good proximity to proposed large infrastructure developments such as the Pacific Highway. In the region surrounding Grafton, $500,000 is considered to be in the premium residential range and has stayed pretty steady in comparison to 12 months ago. Properties may include large residential grazing cattle farms of over 50 hectares to modern quality built residential dwellings on acreage parcels close to Grafton.

Byron Bay/Lennox Head/Ocean Shores

There is little that can be purchased in or around Byron Bay or Lennox Head for a lazy half million and your money will take you only as far as a basic two- or three-bedroom townhouse or villa located just west of Byron Bay township in the Sunrise Estate.

Lennox Head has even less to offer and you would be lucky to see a duplex unit on the market for around $500,000. Buyers around Byron Bay and Lennox Head will almost need a lazy $700,000 to enter the market. A lazy half million will be easier to spend in Ocean Shores where a semi-modern to modern three-bedroom house can be purchased around the $500,000 mark. There has been relatively little change in the past 12 months in Ocean Shores.

Property Observer found a two-bedroom, two bathroom house at 5/20 Sunrise Boulevard, Byron Bay, NSW 2481 recently sold for $457,500.

NSW North Coast


The options of what $500,000 can get you are somewhat limited and more so than 12 months ago. Finding a house in West Ballina or Ballina Island is becoming more difficult and similar to 12 months ago, you will need to settle for a circa 1970 to 1990 two- or three-bedroom unit if you wish to be close to the beach. There are still opportunities to purchase a house in Alstonville or Wollongbar around the $500,000 mark.

The other alternative is to purchase land in an Alstonville or Wollongbar residential estate and build a project home. This can still be done in Ballina (Ferngrove and River Oaks Estate) and Cumbalum (Ballina Heights), however, a basic project home is really all you will get for your lazy half million.

Byron Bay Residential Sales

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