House prices surge ahead
HOUSE and unit values in the Grafton region rose 4.8% and 5.6% respectively over the past 12 months.
About 178 houses sold from July to September for an average of $262,000 - an increase of 4.8% - and 14 units made an average of $236,000 - up 5.6%.
The Domain Group quarterly House Price Report also reveals an increase in value of Richmond Valley houses, which rose 6.8% to $275,000. No units were sold there during the September quarter. The national median house price increased by 1.2%.
Domain Group senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson said Grafton was becoming an affordable option for buyers priced out of the Coffs Harbour market, where values rose 9.2% for houses and fell 9.4% for units.
"Those buyers looking for affordability advantages in the region will look towards Grafton, and particularly as we see the big difference between Grafton and Coffs Harbour, that's a key driver - it's nearly over $100,000 difference in the median there and that's a part of the driver," Dr Wilson said.
"Affordability will always be an advantage, particularly as Coffs is growing quite strongly and it represents a significant affordability advantage."
Mr Wilson said Grafton was undergoing a bounce-back from a flat market.
"Grafton has been struggling recently so that data is a positive," Dr Wilson said.
"I think it's a question of a bounce back from a low position due to those looking for affordability and there's been a lift in government activity, infrastructure development in the area is pulling up the local economy but it remains a market that's bouncing around on the bottom a bit and is starting to lift now."
AT A GLANCE