Since there is no practicing exclusive Buyers Agent between Ballina and Newcastle, I am sometimes asked to head that way. I have researched and purchased property for people in places like Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie. But Yamba and Angourie are also very popular and are now seeing price increases.
The Next Byron Bay
David Lovell is the principal of First National REA Yamba. In a recent interview he is plugging his town as the next Byron Bay. It can now join the list of 1770, Cabarita, Maclean, Evans Head, etc and other towns that have had that billing over the years.
“People no longer see Yamba as being 15 years behind Byron Bay; that’s now seen as one of its key attractions. We have a sufficiently broad range of restaurants and cafes to compete, but we’re also a lifestyle and boatie’s haven.” Mr Lovell said suburbs like Angourie, considered Yamba’s version of Wategos Beach, have experienced a noticeable increase in demand since January.
Angourie Vs Wategos
“And this has further intensified since the election,” he added. “By comparison to Wategos, where a non-beachfront home recently achieved $6.5 million and the top of the market is around $18 million, a humble Yamba Hill or Angourie cottage can still be bought for around $1.5 million to $2 million.
“Angourie is a land-locked hamlet that feels uniquely insulated from the buzz of Yamba, so prices are coming under pressure from some very well-heeled individuals. Billabong co-founder, Gordon Merchant, has a $12M shack there. “The sense is very much that this special part of our community has been discovered, but the increased desirability isn’t restricted to just Angourie; it’s also spreading throughout the Yamba region.”
Market is growing
Mr Lovell said growth in this market has been significant in recent years. “The rate of growth in Angourie prices has more than doubled, year-on-year since 2016, climbing from around 4 per cent per annum to more than 16.5 per cent in 2018. “In that same time frame, growth rates for Yamba steadied from 21.9 per cent per annum in 2016 to a slight contraction of 1.4 per cent in 2018, but surged to 23.5 per cent per annum in 2019.”
The 155-kilometre Pacific Highway upgrade between Ballina and Coffs Harbour is due for completion next year. That will dramatically improve access to Yamba for people from South East Queensland – and hopefully take some tourism pressure off Byron.
Lifestyle changers in their 40s from Sydney are now discovering Yamba just as they have done in Byron. With Sydney having ceded its mantle of Australian’s most expensive median house price to Byron Bay, Yamba may be one of the last bastions of affordable beachside property. It will never outcompete Byron area for lifestyle and amenities but it certainly has its charms.