The national media continue to misrepresent the property market. It is true that Sydney and Melbourne are in decline and have seen a reduction in median price since this time last year (6% Sydney, 3.5% Melbourne). But as Paul Keating could have said, “This is the downturn we had to have”. The market in the major cities was overheated and an orderly controlled pullback is just what the doctor ordered.
Not at all like the recent “60 Minutes” episode. For those who missed it, the programme was outrageously sensationalised and predicted a massive price collapse (40%). Many of the interviewees are complaining and saying they were taken out of context. We would need a combination of a few problems for a property collapse of that nature: economic downturn, rise in unemployment, restriction on immigration, overdevelopment of new housing, collapse of rental market, etc.
Sydney and Melbourne make up 60% of the national market so it is a something that needs to be observed and considered. But the national market is a patchwork quilt of hundreds of smaller markets all reacting to their own micro levers and influences. For the national media to state the property market is in distress, as a whole, is not accurate.
In general, lifestyle destinations like Byron Bay and Northern Rivers are still seeing high demand and strong sales. CoreLogic data service records a median house price in Byron Bay 2481 to $1,625,000 and has had a decline of 4%. But this is after a rise of 101% since 2014. The ongoing movement of baby boomer retirees from the major cities is not dependent on price fluctuations or investor sentiment. Most agents I talk to say that things have levelled off but there remains a strong demand.
Other local median house prices are: Brunswick Heads $1,400,000; Myocum $1,490,000; Ewingsdale $1,280,000; Mullumbimby $754,000; Suffolk Park $1,040,000; Bangalow $955,000.
Local architects win awards
Most people not following the local building scene will be unaware our shire is becoming a hotbed of sexy architecture. Our rolling green hills provide excellent sites for the modern built form. Luckily, our “ridgeline and scenic escarpment” regulations remain firmly intact. This forbids development on the crest of a visible ridgeline or a scenic ridge, protecting the priority of our rural outlook.
Local finalists in the NSW country division are SpaceSTUDIO, Dominic Finlay Jones Architects and Harley Graham. Dominic Finlay Jones is responsible for Habitat in Bayshore Drive, which is turning into a new hub of interest. Curious folk should go down and have a sticky beak while catching a bite at the Barrio restaurant/café. Stage 2 of the Live/work units are about to be released. I have assisted clients into this project and happy to take enquiries on this.
Local builders, Atlanta Building have also continued their winning streak. They have been consistent finalists in the NSW Master Builder Awards. This year have won the Best Free Form Pool and the Best House for $4-5 million. The house is in grand proportions with 6 bedrooms, six bathrooms, 12 showers, sauna, wine cellar, visitor quarters, indoor-outdoor dining, beachfront sunset bar, etc.
Mullum Hospital site a done deal
The paperwork is done and Byron Shire Council is set to officially purchase the old Mullumbimby Hospital site from NSW Health for $1 and start remediation works. Cr Jeanette Martin is the chair, a Green councillor and is diligent, hard-working and effective. Please be nice to her so she will run again next term.
“We know it’s a valuable site with some ideas for future uses including affordable housing, child care, commercial use, community facilities, education, environmental facilities, mixed-use development, recreation, and residential care. Our community has had a strong sense of ownership of the site since the original hospital opened in 1969,” Cr Martin said.
The site is not without its challenges like asbestos and an existing lease with a Catholic aged care provider. But this is a good opportunity if enough people can coordinate, to make something good happen here.
Enova also seeking funds
Locally based and community-owned renewable energy retailer, Enova Community Energy, says it has partnered with one of the country’s first equity crowdfunding platforms, Crowd88, to fund its expansion across NSW, Qld, Vic, and SA.
Enova’s managing director Tony Pfeiffer says the appetite for renewables across Australia ‘continues to grow rapidly and provides a strong business case for investors looking share in and support Enova’s expansion plans to meet this demand’.
You can sign on to the crowdfunding investment page here. Always consider the offer document before applying for shares and the general risk warning for Crowd-sourced funding.
Independent financial advice
Regular readers know I harp on constantly about the financial planning industry. Much vindication has been happening now with the royal commission uncovering a legion of malfeasance. The lesson is easy to learn: stay away from the major banks and greedy corporations with your capital. Park your super in an industry super fund and find a financial advisor who does not sell investment product for trail commission. The AIOFP is the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals and you can go to their website and find an advisor in your location. Most of them do “fee for service” and do not put you into funds that benefit themselves over you, the client.
Support the Liberation Larder
The liberation larder feeds homeless people in Byron Shire. It’s a great organisation to support as they do great work. They are holding a Trivia Night and silent auction on October 25that the Bangalow Bowlo. $55 a seat includes food and the trivia entry fee. Put a table together and get involved. More info here.
Local artist Laith McGregor has taken to social media and Pozible crowdsourcing platform. He wants to raise the cash to build a working studio for himself and the community. He has the loan of the land and wants to put an art studio on it that will be available for school groups and the wider community. Have a look at his offer and very entertaining pitch here.
Renewable Energy Showcase
This October the Macadamia Castle together with Light Touch Solar and Electrical will host some of the most innovative names in renewable energy. Tesla’s Tiny House comes to town for the Renewable Energy Showcase event on Saturday, October 13 from 10am to 2pm.
Author of ReNew Economy and The Driven, Giles Parkinson will lead an exciting program of talks and visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about groups such as Enova Energy, Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby, Zero Emissions Byron and RePower Byron Shire.
For more information or to register for your free ticket Click Here.