Steady growth tipped for Valley real estate

By ADRIAN MILLER

IF YOU speak to real estate agents it seems that any time is the right time to buy a house, but figures recently released indicate the market has stabilised and prices could be rising.

Analysis of local markets through real estate information web site RP Data shows growth in Maclean and Grafton, with median prices in the six months to January 2006 rising seven and 11 per cent respectively.

But that growth, when compared with Yamba's drop of one per cent during the same period, shows that the market is still delicately poised. And because of that inconsistency, local agents have urged buyers to be wary.

Mike Macqueen First National principal Mike Macqueen said their figures reflected some growth, but buyers should be cautious.

"We've found there's probably a bit more buyers' confidence at the moment, but it's still very tough," he said.

"The signs are there for improvement, but I'm very cautiously optimistic and I think people need to be very cautiously optimistic also."

Ray White Grafton principal Adam Sydenham said he believed the big commercial developments in Grafton would help the market grow steadily over the course of this year.

"Certainly activity in the commercial sector has a big impact on the confidence of the town and there is a bit of excitement in the air and on the lips of some people," he said.

"The market won't be booming, but it will be steady, controlled growth of around two or three per cent this year."

LJ Hooker Maclean principal Ken Giese said local people looking to buy should do so sooner rather than later.

"If you're a local person ... don't wait for the next wave of people come along before you decide to buy, you should be looking at it seriously now," he said.



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