A real estate For Sale sign.
A real estate For Sale sign. Kevin Farmer

Will Grafton real estate be 'insulated' from crash?

EVERYONE is talking about the looming housing market crash, but is Grafton in for the same fate as Sydney?

According to Ray White Grafton licensee and principal Ben Hottes, the answer is no.

"Our market is quite strong, there are still a lot of buys and the average days on the market is still quite low, it's around 38 days," Mr Hottes said.

"It's quite a positive market. We've also got very low vacancy rates ... the rental market is very strong.

"Because of that, prices are remaining at an all-time high ... We've never seen prices this good."

In Grafton, the median house price is $315,000, up 2.31per cent from 2017 when it was $300,000.

In fact, this is a trend across the whole Northern Rivers region, with the Ballina median house price up 9.4per cent, Lismore up 13.4per cent and Mullumbimby up 2.4per cent.

CoreLogic's head of research, Tim Lawless, said healthier affordability was a key driver of housing demand across many regional areas of Australia.

"Demand for lifestyle properties is also ramping up," he said.

"With homeowners often in a much stronger equity position following the strong capital gains in Sydney and Melbourne, we are seeing this capital flowing into coastal and tree-change markets, with buyers seeking out second homes or lifestyle upgrades.

"Finally, we have also seen economic conditions become more broad-based, with stronger jobs growth outside of the major cities, higher commodity prices and changing interstate and intrastate migration flows, which has supported demand across many regional markets."

Mr Hottes said Sydney's market was being hit by banks tightening their lending purse strings.

"It's happening here too ... but with all the capital works that are happening in Grafton and the influx of people, it's insulating our property market," he said.

"While there is still plenty of capital works going on and money getting injected into the local economy with the jail and things like that, (the market) should remain quite steady."

The last time Grafton experienced a drop in the housing market was in 2012-13.

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