Rural land is hot property
By ANITA HULM
RURAL property prices are booming, up 44 per cent on last financial year's results, according to the latest research from Elders.
In its Rural Property Index, Elders described the Australian market as "soaring" with the 2004-05 results leaping more than the two previous financial years combined.
The average sale price climbed 44 per cent from $536,000 to $770,800.
In the 2002 financial year the figure was just $416,000.
And in NSW, the average broadacre sale (for more than 40 hectares) is now nearly $900,000, while the average lifestyle property fetches almost $600,000.
One of the reasons for the surge in prices is the scarcity of rural properties on the market and a long drought which affected most of the eastern half of the country.
The number of properties on the Australian market fell from 15,556 to 14,520.
Murwillumbah Elders Real Estate principal Peter Wade said yesterday that the lack of rural properties available in the Tweed valley was a big factor in the jump in prices for the region.
While the rest of NSW has suffered severe and prolonged drought, the Tweed has escaped this and Mr Wade puts rural property prices in the valley in the upper levels of the Australian market.
Mr Wade said another major factor in the massive rise in prices was the lack of rural properties available to buyers, a situation which began when Tweed Shire Council stopped the subdivision of rural land.
"There are not hundreds of properties available," Mr Wade said.
"There are probably 10 or 15 at most, you can count them on your hands."
The Elders report says rural prices have been on a rising plane for the past four years and recent sales indicate the run is not yet finished with new economics driving the market in many areas, particularly the resurgent forestry industry.
The report covers the two sectors, broadacre and lifestyle properties.
The total value of broadacre sales for 2001-02 was $4.68billion. At the end of the 2005 financial year, it had risen to $8.6billion.
Elders tipped that the lifestyle market would remain above average prices in and surrounding Adelaide, the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, the Southern Highlands in NSW and the hinterland between the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Tasmania still continues to attract strong interest given its seasonal climate conditions with strong enquiry from the mainland, particularly from Melbourne and Sydney.