Mur-bah retaining property values
THE Murwillumbah property market is still on the boil - even though house prices have cooled in most surrounding areas, including Tweed Heads and parts of the coast.
But according to some agents the hottest properties are hardto-get small acreages just outside the town.
And one leading agent has cautioned that while values are healthy and not expected to go into decline as in some major cities, "we are returning to more normal market conditions".
Figures from Australia's largest home lender, the Commonwealth Bank, show that average house prices jumped seven per cent or $20,000 in the last three months in the Murwillumbah district. That compares to growth of just one per cent around Tweed Heads in the same period and five per cent around South Tweed, Banora Point and Terranora.
Too few properties have changed hands on the Tweed Coast for reliable figures, while slightly further south the Ocean Shores/Brunswick Heads area also saw prices edge up by only one per cent.
According to the bank, average house prices across New South Wales have remained steady, although in Queensland in the last three months they rose by 3.8 per cent.
Statistics on the bank's website www.commbank.com.au/pro
pertyvalueguide show a different story for the Murwillumbah 2484 postcode area which includes most of the Tweed Valley.
While prices eased around March last year they have steadily risen through August and the last three months.
Chris Wheeler of Wheeler's Real Estate said back in 2001 a typical three-bedroom, 40-to-50 year-old home in Murwillumbah sold for $120,000. They were now selling for just over twice that price - $240,000 to $250,000.
Mr Wheeler said figures from the Estate Agents Co-operative revealed though prices began to plateau in late 2003, residential values grew about 2.25 per cent in the last half of last year.
Values of rural properties however rose by four per cent after taking out large purchases of large holdings.
He said demand was pushing up prices of small acreages near town.
Since a State Government ban on subdividing rural properties to less than 40ha (100 acres) small acreages had become like hen's teeth but, he said, "nearly every day people walk in saying they are looking for five to ten acres".