Owner Kate Stead outside the old Maclean Brewery in Stanley Street, one of the properties on the books of LJ Hooker Maclean.
Owner Kate Stead outside the old Maclean Brewery in Stanley Street, one of the properties on the books of LJ Hooker Maclean.

Agents hold on in tough conditions

TIGHTER lending conditions and the looming federal election has seen the Clarence Valley property market flush with real estate stock on the coast, but a slump in listings in Grafton.

Agents in Yamba and Maclean have reported a levelling out of prices with buyers still reluctant to jump at properties.

Bailey and Gough First National principal Derek Morgan said though sales in the Grafton area had slowed, there was not a glut of properties for sale.

“It’s slow, but with that I wouldn’t call it dead either – it’s just steady,” he said.

“We have got fewer listings than we would normally have, probably between five and 10 per cent fewer.”

Mr Morgan said the uncertainty created at election time affected real estate sales.

“It’s one of those things where people go into shutdown mode when an election is coming, they think they need to be concerned about spending,” he said.

Lending has also become tighter, Mr Morgan said.

“It’s a lot harder to borrow money now than it was a couple of years ago,” he said.

Denise Gillies of PRD Yamba said June was the slowest month for the Yamba market in recent times.

“This is the biggest decline since April 2008 ... it is the slowest annual growth in eight months that we have seen,” she said.

Ms Gillies said she believed the market could take some time to turnaround once the election was over.

“People need to have the confidence to enter the property market ... people are very cautious, they are sitting on their hands and not entering into new mortgages,” she said.

Although, Ms Gillies said she had seen a new trend slowly emerging from potential buyers.

“The mums and dads investors are actually talking of restructuring their superannuation and putting those funds into bricks and mortar rather than the share market,” she said.

Travis McConnell of LJ Hooker Maclean said properties were not selling as quickly as they had in the first half of 2010.

“In the last month or so for us we have seen the slowing of the market,” he said.

“There is probably a few more properties for sale than usual, but I wouldn’t say it’s a spike in our office,” he said.

However, the amount of prospective buyers walking through the door had dropped.

“The traffic through the door has been quiet from a buyer’s perspective and properties that would normally sell within a three-month period, might be selling within a five-month period,” he said.

The looming election and the tightening of people’s ability to obtain finance were contributing factors, Mr McConnell said.



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