Hotspot: Sea-changers shining a light on Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie

Hotspot: Sea-changers shining a light on Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie
Hotspot: Sea-changers shining a light on Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie

Offering camel rides along 20 kilometres of unspoiled beach and only seven kilometres from the Port Macquarie CBD, Lighthouse Beach is attracting sea-changers and investors from Sydney and other parts of New South Wales. It has also caught the eye of John McGrath as one of his 10 price growth regional hotspots. 

Location and demographics

Lighthouse Beach forms part of Lighthouse Beach-Greenmeadows, one of 14 small areas that comprise the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council area. 

While it is not a distinct suburb (all addresses in Port Macquarie share the post code 2444) it is understood by local real estate agents to be the region bounded by Lighthouse Drive, Matthew Flinders Drive, Ocean Drive and Pacific Drive. 

According to the 2006 census, Lighthouse Beach-Greenmeadows has a population of about 10,600 people, with 4,000 dwellings, of which 20% are rented. 

Key property data 

According to RP Data, Port Macquarie has a median house price of $400,000 with prices up 1.3% over the past year and a median unit price of $279,000 with prices flat during 2012. The median weekly house rent is $360 and $270 for units. 

Jeff Collyer from PRDnationwide Port Macquarie says Matthew Flinders Drive is the only street in Port Macquarie where you can buy a home directly across from the beach. 

He says house price along Matthew Flinders Drive range from $600,000 to $1 million. 

Top prices are paid for houses on Summit Road, which offers elevated spectacular views of the ocean. Collyer says prices range from $1.1 million to $1.2 million on Summit Road. 

According to Collyer, who has sold homes in the area for 13 years, house prices on Lighthouse Beach have risen gradually over the past few years, but outperformed an overall flat market in Port Macquarie. 

Collyer says there has been some investment interest from cashed-up buyers in Sydney while other buyers have come from Canberra, Orange and Tamworth, primarily to relocate permanently as sea-changers. 

Why buy here? 

Lighthouse Beach is one of 10 regional hotspots picked by McGrath Estate Agents boss John McGrath as a “best buy for future growth”. 

“Lighthouse Beach is one of the few areas in Port Macquarie that offers a beach view.  It has a great lifestyle with its café culture, beach and popular stair and cliff walks that are appealing to Sydneysiders who see good value, particularly in the premium sector,” he says. 

“Here you can find a new home with outstanding views for around the $1 million range.  Alternatively, classic older beachfront homes are relatively affordable in the $700,000 to $800,000 range, or with no view in the $400,000 range.” 

What the location has to offer:The chief drawcard for buying on Lighthouse Beach is the beach itself, which offers 20 kilometres of unspoilt sand as well as camel rides for the adventurous. 

Dog owners are also allowed to walk their dogs along parts of the beach.

Aside from the beach, Collyer says the area has two golf courses, a shopping mall, a Coles, a local tavern and local restaurants and shops. There’s also a primary school and three day care centres.

Andrew Meldrum from Laing + Simmons Port Macquarie, who besides selling homes in the area also lives near Lighthouse Beach says a local landmark is the Bitter Sweet Patisserie on Watonga Street run by local couple Lance and Georgia Dunn. Meldrum says Dunn is famous in the area for having been a chef to Nicole Kidman when she was filming the movie Australia.

According to Meldrum, the area appeals to young families with professional parents who both work. 

“It has a very good public primary school. A child that goes there would come from a relatively well-off family with combined income in excess of $100,000.”

Recent sales 

Earlier this month Meldrum sold this three-bedroom house on Vendul Crescent, one street up from Matthew Flinders Drive and 150 metres from the beach.

The property was bought by a Canberra couple before auction for $640,000, having previously sold for $585,000 in 2006.

Meldrum says anything close to the shops is in high demand.

“We are a little bit short of stock in $300,000 to $400,000 price range but having more success in properties prices above $600.000,” he says. 

In May last year, this three-bedroom house (below) sold through First National Real Estate Port Macquarie for $442,500. It previously sold for $425,000 in September 2009.

Reasons to buy:

  • Sea view properties supported by good local cafes and shops
  • Three bedroom houses selling around the $600,000 mark
  • Camel rides and pets allowed on the beach 

Reasons not to buy:

  • No dramatic increase in prices over past few years

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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