Tweed defies slump

By PETER CATON

STATISTICS showing a NSW slump in building approvals are hard to believe from watching development along the Tweed Coast, according to Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president Des Ireland.

According to Australia Bureau of Statistics figures, NSW was leading the nation-wide slump with a staggering 20.8 per cent drop in new building approvals. And nationally, this was made up of a 21 per cent slump in approvals for townhouses, units and apartments

"Anecdotedly I would have said that is not the case, but I don't have the statistics," said Mr Ireland who is also the principal of Kingscliff Professionals Real Estate.

"At Pottsville, Salt and Casuarina there's quite a lot of work going on. You observe it just driv-ing through."

Mr Ireland's observations have been confirmed by figures recently released showing that in Casuarina Beach, the latest stage of the the Drift apartment development had drawn strong interest.

The project's marketing agency, PRDNationwide's Greg Taylor said that the Drift development had now reached total sales of more than $49 million, including $11.5 million alone for the fourth and final stage.

Mr Taylor said that buyers were taking advantage of the opportunity to buy into beachside living in a very popular area of the country.

Also bucking the trend was the Salt village, with sales last week reaching an all-time high since the launch of the development in 2002.

Ray Group sales director Shane Royle said more than $11 million in sales was posted for the week, after the purchase of 18 different land and apartment packages, at an average price of $556,000.

Nine sales were for apartments in the Peppers Resort and Spa, two were for multi-million dollar apartments in the adjoining platinum-finish Beach House and seven were for house blocks.

"There's a real buzz here at the moment," Mr Royle said.

"The scaffolding has come off Peppers Resort and Spa, and with the village now looking less like a construction site, it's really beginning to thrive.

He said 15 of the sales were made by Friday of last week, with the last three, two Peppers Resort and Spa apartments and one Beach House apartment, made on Sunday, as a direct result of buyers attending last Saturday's Michael Buble concert at Salt.



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