Houses selling like hot cakes
THE OLD saying "selling like hot cakes" could probably be replaced by Clarence Valley houses, with real estate agents measuring listing times in days, even hours, and struggling to meet demand.
Maclean Valley 2 Coast principal Ingrid Nott said some houses had sold within 24 hours, with a lack of listings helping to push the market higher.
"The market is very strong now, a few years ago there was a downturn but it was an overall downturn in everything, but this is very positive," she said.
"A lot of people have sold up and moved to the area and are currently renting while they're waiting for a property to buy.
"There's been quite a few new clients coming from Victoria and South Australia who are purchasing in Gulmarrad and Maclean."
Ms Nott said the buying market in Maclean and Gulmarrad was driven by retirees or soon to be retirees who are attracted to the area.
"I think they're finding the area affordable for what they can achieve for the price," she said.
"They love the area, the beaches and the country town atmosphere of Maclean, so they feel they have everything.
"Especially with retirees who have family north towards Brisbane and south towards Sydney, we are in the middle to see family both north and south.
"It seems to be that they're buying into the market now and retiring in a few years, so they're comfortable and have security for their retirement now."
Meanwhile, Yamba Iluka Real Estate principal Denise Gillies said the housing market was as strong as she had seen in her 29 years in the real estate industry.
"We've had strong markets before but they were short lived," she said.
"This one is gong to take us into a good 10 years of growth. The Clarence Valley has always experienced the problem where we couldn't give our kids jobs, they had to move elsewhere because there just wasn't the opportunities, but now hopefully we will be able to keep people in the area.
"When you've got people employed, it creates a positive effect on other businesses in the area, so I think we're in for a good time."
Ms Gillies said the market has been driven primarily by long term employment opportunities.
"When people have job security it takes them into an area where they're confident in borrowing money, which is still relatively cheap," she said.
"When you've got the ingredients of job security and cheap money that drives a good, strong market, and we are experiencing a shortage of stock as well, and a shortage of vacant land in the Yamba area."
With properties getting sold hours within being listed, Ms Gillies said it was essential that prospective homebuyers do their homework and have their finances in order.
"With the shortage of stock at the moment, so many buyers are putting in offers on the same property, so you need to make your offer knowing your finance," she said.
"There's still opportunities out there, but people need to do their research to avoid being disappointed."