What a difference a decade makes in the Australian housing market. Back then, more than half of all capital city houses and more than 60 per cent of all capital city units sold for under $400,000.
Today, this type of capital city housing, below $400,000, is becoming increasingly harder to find without long commute times from the outer suburbs, whereas these decade old city ratios still hold true today for many ‘affordable’ regional areas – including the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales.
The centrepiece of the Northern Rivers area is Byron Bay; anyone who has visited would wish it to be under the magic $400,000 mark, however Byron is priced well above that mark at a staggering $1,530,000 reflecting what a sort after property market it is.
However, drive 45 minutes to the south east, and you will find yourself in the surrounding regional inland area of Lismore ($365,000), Casino ($240,000) and Kyogle ($260,000) that currently are well under the $400,000 mark.
The area is attracting two types of buyers, couples and families who are looking to relocate from the city to a more affordable and relaxed regional centre lifestyle, and investors who are looking to not pay the higher city prices; plus Lismore is an education hub for the region with the Southern Cross University located there.
Lismore is the major business hub with the largest shopping centre in the Northern Rivers area, and in the 2480 postcode, of the 758 houses for sale, 358 were listed for sale under $400,000.
As soon as you look to move back towards the coast, to enjoy a cool sea breeze, a morning surf or spot of fishing and some relief from the at times humid subtropical Lismore climate, the prices rise to reflect this with the coastal town of Ballina ($500,000) and East Ballina ($675,000), which are located on the pristine Northern Rivers coastline, a 35-minute drive east from Lismore.