Tweed solid in face of rate rise

MULTIPLE interest-rate hikes have done nothing to kerb the enthusiasm of investors who are busily snapping up properties on the Tweed Coast. Last month's rise did not kill off property pundits' fascination with Kingscliff, and it is too early yet to know if yesterday's increase will trigger an overall decline, says Kingscliff First National sales manager Matt Mitchell. The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday announced it would raise its official cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 7.25 per cent, making it the highest in 12 years. It is the 12th consecutive increase by the RBA since May 2002, and will add about $51 to the monthly repayment on a $300,000 mortgage. Mr Mitchell, however, said Kingscliff was cushioned from the interest rates fallout because it remained a very desirable location to live and invest, especially for cashed-up or superannuated baby boomers attracted to Kingscliff's established streets as well as the new estates at Salt and Casuarina. He said Cabarita and Pottsville, while progressively cheaper than Kingscliff, are also retaining steady interest from home buyers. He said it was difficult to know how many more rate rises it would take before the Kingscliff market reached a tipping point. "We're lucky in Kingscliff, people just want to be here," he said. "It's really the first place south of Brisbane with a three-storey limit and a laid-back village atmosphere. It's close enough to the Gold Coast and Brisbane, where there is work." Mr Mitchell said a record price of $1.625 million for a Rob Roy Crescent, Kingscliff, home was set after the previous rate rise, showing that buyers with money to spend at the top end of the market are still active. "January was slow for us because of the rain, but we've had a cracker of a February, there's been a lot of inquiries and we're coming into our busy season which runs until June. "Interest rates do hurt buyers at the lower end, and people with investment properties might get rid of one or two. But people at the top end who are ready to spend are still active."



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