When Nick Slater started selling homes in King Creek on the NSW Mid North Coast ten years ago, a seven-figure price tag was “unthinkable”.
Most important points:
- CoreLogic report finds median home prices in nine Mid North Coast suburbs have risen above $1 million for the first time
- Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast CEO Kerry Grace says unattainable house prices exacerbate homelessness crisis
- Regional housing markets show stronger growth compared to capital markets
Now, he says, it’s the new norm.
“About five years ago in the King Creek market, we would have seen the first property cost over a million dollars,” said Mr. Slater.
“Then we gradually saw that the first properties were sold for more than two million.
The semi-rural area saw the median value of homes sold in the year to May increase by $425,000, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.
King Creek is one of 170 regional housing or unit markets across the country to record a median value of $1 million or more for the first time.
The total number in the regions is now 270.
It’s a common trend in the area, with eight other Mid North Coast suburbs also joining the million dollar median club: Sapphire Beach, Moonee Beach, Korora, Bellingen, Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie, Emerald Beach, and Bonville .
Mr Slater said the rise was likely due to shifting buyer demographics, with the area’s “acreage lifestyle” in a hinterland location near a regional coastal center attracting Sydney’s retirees.
“The share of city buyers has increased enormously,” he said.
He said younger families were being priced out of the area.
“These large homes on acreage are absolutely perfect for families,” said Mr. Slater.
“However, in recent years, prices have risen significantly, causing the market to become disproportionately skewed toward semi-retired and retired couples.”
Housing affordability crisis deepens
As home prices rise, affordability continues to plague many potential buyers.
Kerry Grace, chief executive of Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast (RDAMNC), said unattainable housing prices exacerbated a homelessness crisis and a vital staff shortage in regional areas.
“There’s just such a lack of available housing on the market, whether it’s the dire shortage of rental housing or the number of homes that are actually affordable for people to buy,” Ms Grace said.
RDAMNC’s survey of key figures in a variety of industries, including healthcare, aged care, childcare, hospitality and agriculture, showed that many were looking for real estate in the region, but it was impossible given low availability and skyrocketing prices.
“We’re hearing some harrowing stories from people who can’t find a rental home or get into the real estate market,” said Ms. Grace.
Ms Grace said the organization’s investigation into the housing affordability crisis revealed not only a shortage of available accommodation but also a problem of empty spaces in large homes.
Byron Bay remains popular
The Byron and Tweed region of NSW achieved four of the top five median values in regional NSW.
Homes in Byron Bay topped the list with a median value of $2,741,847, up about $400,000 from this time last year.
Casuarina, Myocum and Suffolk Park also made the top five, with medians over $2 million. Burradoo in the Southern Highlands had the fourth-highest median at $2,416,897.
The majority of new million-dollar regional markets are concentrated in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven,18, Illawarra,16, and Newcastle and Lake Macquarie,23 regions.
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