Merimbula’s property prices have shot up by 5.3 per cent in the last 12 months, the highest increase of any other major coastal tourist destination in NSW.
The median price of Merimbula properties was $418,500 the second highest of the 12 destinations listed in the Sydney Morning Herald report that drew its information from Australian Property Monitors. (See table below).
Property in the coastal resort of Byron Bay was the most expensive with a median price of $597,500.
However, just 25km away Eden’s real estate market was the poorest performer of any of the coastal resorts. It slid backwards by 14.2 per cent and had the second lowest median price of $313,000 with Nambucca Heads $266,500 on the bottom rung.
It, Eden and Tweed Heads were the only resorts to fall into the minus bracket.
It was a positive figure for Bermagui where prices jumped 4.5 per cent to a median of $350,000.
In the SMH report Property Editor Stephen Nicholls said the figures indicated that the tide is turning for the coastal property market with bargain prices and strong rental returns encouraging buyers to again consider investing in holiday resorts.
“Agents in many seaside villages say they have seen signs of improvements in the past six months,” Mr Nicholls reported.
The positive number for Merimbula was great for the town, said Graeme Fowler of Merimbula Lake Real Estate and reflected his local market observations.
He said his sales for the last three months were the strongest for the comparable period for the past three years.
“I feel that the market has strengthened over the last three months and we have sold some of the $500,000 to $600,000 stock that had proved to be more difficult to shift.”
Mr Fowler said the base stock of mid to high $300,000s was limited and this would force the market up to the high side of $300,000s to the low $400,000s.
“This pretty much reflects what the data quoted stated on Merimbula’s median price.”
Mr Fowler said that with the lift in prices and revival of interest and with February, March and April the traditional strong time for sales, interested purchasers would be wise to get in and snap up the property of their dreams now.
Steve Haslam, of Sails Real Estate, said the SMH report pretty well matched his perception of the local real estate scene.
“It is noticeably better than it was six months ago,” Mr Haslam said.
“There seems to be a steady increase in sales activity and a noticeable difference compared to six months ago.”
Mr Haslam said he had not noticed either an increase or decrease in property values, but based his opinion on sales activity.
“It has been consistent and that is translating to strong results,” Mr Haslam said.
He said Merimbula’s median price of $418,500 was about right.
In mid December he had exchanged contracts on a “big“ one, a Bald Hills property for $780,000 and had sealed the sale of a $515,000 Oaklands Road, Pambula home on 1.25 acres. A home in Lakewood Drive, Merimbula sold for $400,000 and Mr Haslam was poised to finalise sales on two 3-bedder townhouses at the lower end of the market.
“The market has come back and is quite buoyant.”
Mr Haslam said the economy had picked up and that had revived market interest. He said the public perception that it was still a buyers’ market and buying and selling in the same market had helped push it along with good sales outcomes.
“The real estate market will continue to lift and in 2013 it will be even better,” Mr Haslam concluded on an optimistic note.