Good news for local property owners, according to local experts, the Nambucca Shire could avoid the market downturn facing the major cities.
If you've been following the property markets, then you've probably heard about the drop in prices for major cities Sydney and Melbourne. There has been a lot of speculation on whether rural areas will suffer the same fate, according to local experts though, the Nambucca Shire could avoid it altogether.
Martin Wells the licensee for McGrath Estate Agents spoke to the Guardian about his organisation's experiences in the market over the last 12 months.
"We are getting some excellent buyer activity, it slowed over Christmas and New Years, but that is to be expected," he said.
"At the moment we are receiving buyer inquiries daily about Nambucca Heads and Valla beach, they are really starting to come out of the woodwork. Prices are a bit higher than this time last year, and there is a lot of positive growth in the area."
People are attracted to the lifestyle; many of our inquiries are people looking to escape the rat race in the cities, coupled with our access to health facilities, education and easy access to major centres with the new highway.Martin Wells
Aside from the interest that McGrath Estate Agents has been receiving, based on his experience, Mr Wells doesn't think the local market will see a significant drop in value.
"We are fairly insulated from the downturn facing the cities, we have a steady influx of people to the valley, and we don't have enough property to meet the demand," Mr Wells said.
"People are attracted to the lifestyle; many of our inquiries are people looking to escape the rat race in the cities, coupled with our access to health facilities, education and easy access to major centres with the new highway, the area is very attractive to buyers."
Craig Bellamy, a sales associate from @realty, believes property prices are at an acceptable level and will remain for the foreseeable future.
"We have a nice steady market, over the last 20 years we have seen growth periods like this before, and as soon as Sydney slowed we felt that too, however at the moment we still appear to be going along nicely, we are still holding on," he said.
Mr Bellamy is also confident that the valley has many attractive qualities to interest potential buyers.
"The Nambucca Valley is a viable option for buyers; we are probably in the cheapest part of the Mid-North Coast, the new Macksville hospital is coming, and the new highway provides, safe, easy access to Coffs Harbour and other major centres," he said.
Pamela Pearse ( Roberts), the General Manager of Roberts Nambucca Real Estate, is sceptical our local market will suffer the same fate as the major cities.
"If agents price properties correctly for the area then they will sell, if it's overpriced, forget about it, it might never sell. People are sensible; they know what property is worth," she said.
"I'd say property prices are the same as this time 12 months ago; we have been in a little black hole, Nambucca is finally starting to catch up to where we should be."
Ms Pearse has 35 years of experience to draw upon, and in her opinion, rather than a downturn, the prices in the major centres are just returning to their natural state.
"I don't think what's happening in Sydney should be called a downturn, the prices are returning to where they should be, the prices we have seen there the last few years were astronomical," Ms Pearse said.
David Winton, the joint principal and licensee of Nambucca Valley Property (NVP), is also sceptical that our region's property will lose significant value any time soon.
"What's happening elsewhere doesn't appear to be affecting us; the local market is still very affordable," he said.
If agents price properties correctly for the area then they will sell, if it's overpriced, forget about it, it might never sell. People are sensible; they know what property is worth.Pamela Pearse ( Roberts)
"Prices are probably similar to where they were 12 months ago, the market is reasonably strong, and we are dealing with a lot of prospective buyers."
Mr Winton maintains the area has a lot of attractive points to interest potential buyers.
"Our affordability is what attracts a lot of buyers; along with the new highway, which provides easier access to major regional centres such as Coffs Harbour, and the airport," Mr Winton said.
Jesse Stanton, the licensee for GJ Kennedy & Co, believes that our proximity to a variety of locations makes the valley a desirable place to buy property.
"We get a lot of interest from buyers looking to escape the cities, the congestion and live that rural lifestyle, the beach is just around the corner, and there is a promise of a new hospital," he said.
"I haven't seen a fall here yet, at this stage it isn't doom and gloom, I still see a lot of interested buyers."