Data expert explains how Byron’s property market has exploded

by Mike Wood11 Oct 2021

It’s not news to say that Regional Australia has seen property markets explode in the last year, but new figures have emerged that lay bare just how big an explosion it has been.

According to InvestorKit, a data-driven service that helps investors choose where to sink their cash, the Richmond Valley statistical area – including Byron Bay, Ballina and Brunswick Heads – has seen 27.3% in property prices in the period between June 2020 and August 2021.

Even the least well-performing area, Port Macquarie, saw double digit growth.

“The growth numbers are double digit across all of these regions, so clearly there is a huge amount of activity happening on the coastline of New South Wales,” said Arjun Paliwal, head of research and founder of InvestorKit.

“There is a shortage of houses and as long as that continues, this trend will continue. That’s what’s creating such a large amount of price growth at the moment.”

“It’s a combination of so many factors. One is the fact that you’re in a place where mobility is restricted, but the place is aspirational. You don’t have an urge to move somewhere with all these restrictions and lockdowns versus what you might have in the regions.”

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“What happens is that the way that people move in and move out in a way that is a bit more fluid outside of Covid, has restricted movements, creating a blockage.”

“Alongside that, there is a lack of investor activity in these regions, which are quite high percentage owner-occupier also means that there are less frequent transactions and longer-term holdings, as is traditional with O/Os.”

“It’s a combination of mobility, housing construction, population, O/O v investors: it’s put tight pressure on rental yields as well as property prices.”

“Working from home has made a substantial difference. I laugh at how many people think that it is immediately going to switch off and suddenly everyone will run back to the office. It doesn’t take a huge dial in change in working conditions to make a substantial move in markets across the country.”

“None of these markets on the coast are full of millions of people. One or two percent in Sydney that changes their lifestyle will make a large relative difference to them.”

“There’s also relative affordability. A home in Sydney might be $2-3m, so when someone in Sydney now goes to the North Coast, $1-2m is now seen as affordable. But for a local market, that might not be seen as affordable.”

“Work from home and relative affordability is creating a huge spike in some of these markets.”