Property market buoyant despite disaster

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MURWILLUMBAH HOUSE prices continue to grow with the median house price recently rising above $400K and despite the recent floods local real estate agents are confident the market will return to normal.

Six months ago, in October 2016, The Weekly reported that an investment boom had made it to Murwillumbah with a median house price of $385K and 6.21 per cent growth in 12 months.

According to CoreLogic the current median house price in Murwillumbah is now $410K, which has increased by 9 per cent in the past 12 months.

Across the river South Murwillumbah has seen minimal growth (0.7 per cent) in the past 12 months with a current median house price of $363K. This comes off the back of a massive increase of 15 per cent over 12 months to $360K in October 2016.

Murwillumbah units have also seen high growth over the past 12 months by increasing 23 per cent to a median price of $240K.

Sales have been strong across the past year with a house sold almost every second day in Murwillumbah (171 houses) and taking an average of 81 days to sell with only 3.6 per cent discounting.

In the past year, 27 houses sold in South Murwillumbah taking an average of 92 days to sell and an average discount of 4.7 per cent.

Local real estate agent Sally Mather of First National Murwillumbah said that demand for properties is currently high, with fewer properties being listed and properties listed below $450K selling fast.

“We are finding that listings are getting tight and we are seeing less properties coming onto the market,” she said.

“There are still buyers looking but are finding it harder to secure the right property for them as there is less to choose from or another buyer is beating them to the sale.

“Properties under $450,000 sell a lot quicker than properties priced higher as there are more home owners and investors looking in that price range.

“We hardly see properties in this price range being listed lately and when they do they are usually snapped up quite quickly.”

Ms Mather said that with attractive yields Murwillumbah remains popular for investors, both locally and interstate.

“There is a mix of home owners and investors buying in the area,” she said

“Our rental returns are quite high, so we are always getting enquiries from investors, some local and some interstate.

“We have also sold a lot of homes to locals who are upsizing/downsizing.”

Murwillumbah houses currently offer investors a yield of 5.1 per cent, whilst South Murwillumbah is a slightly higher yield of 5.5 per cent.

Units in Murwillumbah have the sixth highest yield in the state with an average rent of $340 per week attracting a 7.4 per cent yield.

The rental market in Murwillumbah remains tight and with some residents unfortunately unable to return to their homes after the floods demand for rentals has increased.

“The rental demand is very strong and with a lack of investment properties available we are receiving numerous applications per property,” Ms Mather said.

“At the moment we are only listing approximately five new rentals per month.”

The current median rent in Murwillumbah is $400 for houses and $340 for units whilst South Murwillumbah is slightly lower at $383 per week for houses.

Back in October The Weekly reported a lower median rent for Murwillumbah houses at $385 per week, but higher for units at $380 per week.

Ms Mather said she believes the market should go back to normal once the hype from the floods settles down.

“The floods to South Murwillumbah, Condong, Tumbulgum etc were terrible and I feel for everyone who has been affected,” she said.

“The good news is that in time I believe when the hype dies down, the market should go back to normal.

“There will always be some buyers who avoid flood areas, and this was the case before the recent flood, but there is a buyer for every home.

“Buyers are aware that when they buy in a low lying area there will be a risk of flood but there are other advantages which may draw them to that area for example river views, closer to Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, the home.”