Prices cool off


CLARENCE Valley property vendors can expect to fetch lower prices for the remainder of 2005, according to Grafton real estate agent Allan Gough.

Mr Gough, principal of Bailey and Gough First National Real Estate, said despite strong sales so far this year, he expected the market to slow by the end of 2005.

"I expect 2005 prices to drop by about 10 per cent and then stabilise," he said.

Mr Gough said the expected drop could be attributed to a likely rise in interest rates and supply outstripping demand.

"Interest rates should rise over time (and) there's more listings available and less buyers, so supply and demand will determine market price and force prices down," he said.

Figures released yesterday by property analysts Residex, indicated 2004 median housing prices had increased slightly in Grafton and Maclean, but had jumped by around eight per cent in Yamba.

For the final quarter of 2003, the average sale price was $188,000 for Grafton, $218,000 for Maclean and $329,000 for Yamba.

In 2004, the final quarter price had risen to $195,000 for Grafton, $227,000 for Maclean and $355,000 for Yamba.

Matt Leonard from LJ Hooker Yamba, said the figures showed the market had righted itself in the wake of the boom period.

He said although the market had slowed, he didn't expect prices in Yamba to drop.

"The limited supply and strong demand will keep pushing prices up," he said.

"Yamba's different because we've got a very limited product here, there's only a certain amount for sale. We've had a dip in the investor market due to Bob Carr's taxes, but we're pretty safe here in Yamba."

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