A forecast property downturn for the Clarence hasn't eventuated yet says real estate agents.
A forecast property downturn for the Clarence hasn't eventuated yet says real estate agents.

Clarence property boom reveals region’s winners and losers

Predictions of a post-highway bypass property downturn have been smashed as real estate agents struggle to keep up with demand.

One agent said there were plenty of property sales over the Christmas-New Year period.

"During that week, I had a lot of offers and acceptances, and at least 14 inspections, and we still haven't stopped," Grafton real estate agent Allison Whaites said.

"We're also doing a lot of private inspections during the evenings and on weekends. Sunday seems to be the most popular time."

Ms Whaites said that continued industry growth for the region, such as the opening of the Clarence Correctional Centre and Grafton Base Hospital upgrade had led to a population increase.

"Serco has made a huge difference in the number of workers moving to town, and the hospital; there are lots of nurses and aged care workers needing a place to live."

While the property investment sector is booming for the region, low-to-middle-income earners are slowly being priced out of the rental market.

"Five years ago, you could rent a three-bedroom fibro house in South Grafton for $290 a week, but these days you're looking at over $400 for the same place," she said.

"I'm finding a lot of people are moving from Sydney because of COVID; they're sick of being in the city and realise the benefits of living in an area like Grafton.

"This region is definitely becoming known as an ideal place to move."

In July 2020, Grafton and Yamba experienced significant increases in the median house price.

Grafton led the pack with an increase of 20.8 per cent during May-July 2020, while Yamba showed 12.2 per cent growth over the same period.



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