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Coastal property markets enjoy post-Christmas sparkle

Media release - 8th February, 2013

Holidaymakers turn into buyers along eastern seaboard 

Popular holiday destinations in NSW and Queensland enjoyed strong real estate activity in the first weeks of 2013, due to strong numbers of Christmas holidaymakers, negligible rainfall and infrastructure improvements.

“It’s part of our DNA that we head for popular coastal locations along the eastern seaboard for the Christmas holidays, and anecdotally this creates a bigger pool of potential buyers, both owner-occupiers and investors,” said Mr Raine.

“For many of our coastal offices, December and January are major selling months and it has been all hands on deck to cater to holiday enquiry levels.”

Brett Hunter, General Manager, Raine & Horne Terrigal / Avoca Beach, reports that when compared to same period in 2011, buyer enquiry soared 25% in the week between Christmas and New Year.

“2013 has exploded from the starting blocks and our property sales in January were up by 30%,” said Mr Hunter.

“Apart from zero occupancy rates for our holiday lettings, it’s fair to also attribute the strong January to lower interest rates and more market confidence.”

“Homes priced between $400,000 and $750,000 enjoyed the biggest improvement in sales, while the market above $1.5 million is also experiencing stronger enquiry levels, although there haven’t been any exchanges yet,” added Mr Hunter.  

The real estate market in scenic Port Stephens, 60 kilometres north of Newcastle, is also exceeding expectations, with Raine & Horne Port Stephens / Lemon Tree Passage almost tripling its sales in January compared with the same month last year.

“The last quarter of 2012 was the best quarter that we have seen for a long time and the momentum has carried over into January,” according to Michael Stewart, Co-Principal, Raine & Horne Port Stephens / Lemon Tree Passage.

“This is a very encouraging sign that the market will continue to turn in 2013, with properties between $300,000 and $400,000 selling remarkably well.”

However, to be fair, it’s not only holiday makers driving coastal real estate activity.

For instance, transport developments are set to underpin real estate values in the picturesque bay-side town of Huskisson on the NSW south coast.

Kathy Lewis, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Huskisson, said the recent upgrade of the MR92 – a 54-kilometre section of road stretching between Nowra and Nerriga – has cut commuter travel time between Canberra and the coast.

“The modern upgrade of the road has made it easier for buyers from the ACT to experience our wonderful coastal lifestyle,” said Ms Lewis.

“Thanks to the upgrade, there’s even talk that Huskisson could become the new Batemans Bay.”

According to Ms Lewis, Huskisson is already experiencing movement in the market valued under $800,000.

Raine & Horne Huskisson recently sold a three bedroom residence at 100 Waldegrave Crescent, Vincentia, in just 10 days for $755,000.

“This modern home sits on 795 sqm of land and has sweeping views overlooking Jervis Bay. Such high-end sales are positive signs that there is growing buyer confidence in the region,” said Ms Lewis.

Infrastructure spending is also set to underpin real estate growth in Hervey Bay, on Queensland’s popular Fraser Coast.

“Hervey Bay is geared for growth as a consequence of a spate of major development projects scheduled to begin in 2013, such as construction of the new $87.5 million St Stephens Private Hospital,” said Graham Cockerill, Principal of Raine & Horne Hervey Bay

“The hospital is estimated to create approximately 300 local jobs and an extra 140 beds.”

In addition, mining company GVK Hancock Coal recently announced its intentions to hire 6,300 workers for the coal mines at Alpha Coal and Kevin’s Corner in the Galilee Basin.

“The Fraser Coast is set to receive a jump in population from these new developments and the demand is likely to push local property prices northward,” said Mr Cockerill.

“First home buyers and fly-in/fly-out workers are already conspicuous at our open homes.”



For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, CEO, Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Andrew Harrington, National Marketing & Communications Co-ordinator on 02 9258 5400