The Clarence Valley is yet to experience the boom of Sydney.
The Clarence Valley is yet to experience the boom of Sydney.

Valley property market yet to boom

THE housing price surges being seen in Sydney are worlds apart from the Clarence Valley’s slow and steady market.

Real estate agents in Grafton, Yamba and Maclean are united in the opinion that the Valley is yet to encounter the boom being experienced in Sydney, where the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded a 21 per cent increase in house prices in the past year.

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, with predictions of a local flow-on effect within the next year.

LJ Hooker Grafton licensee Matt Dougherty said the trend in Sydney was not reflected in Grafton.

“What’s happening in Sydney is not happening in Grafton,” Mr Dougherty said.

“It’s the affluent suburbs where the market’s on the way up.

“In the working class, regional and rural areas, the market is slow.”

Mr Dougherty said interest rate rises and the withdrawal of the government stimulus packages had a number of negative impacts on the local market.

“The number of transactions are down considerably on the same period last year,” he said.

He said it would take a ‘year or two’ for the rises to occur in the bush.

“Further interest rate rises and an upcoming election mean people will hold off making decisions,” he said. “I don’t believe a rush will happen here any time soon.”

PRD Nationwide Yamba sales manager Grant Gillies agreed the local market was not comparable with Sydney.

“It’s a completely different market,” he said.

“If Sydney’s house prices are increasing, it’ll be 6 to 12 months before that reaches other parts of the state.

“Those increases are certainly not happening in Yamba.”

Mr Gillies said house listings in the popular $300,000 to $420,000 bracket were ‘few and far between’.

“It hasn’t been a dreadful market but it hasn’t been a buoyant market either,” he said.

Maclean’s Yuraygir Coast Real Estate principal Fiona Beamer said looking to Sydney’s history put the recent boom in perspective.

“Sydney went back a long way and now they’re coming forward again,” she said.

Ms Beamer said providing the correct information to vendors was ‘vital’ given the current market.

She said marketing, out-of-area promotions and presentation were all tools being used more than usual.

“There’s a lot of competition out there,” she said.

Housing Price Facts

House prices in Sydney are up 21 per cent since March 2009, and up 5 per cent between the December and March quarters.

Agents in the Valley report no similar rises for the local area.

Interest rate rises, a looming federal election and the withdrawal of government stimulus packages are factors in the ‘slow’ bush market.

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