The Acting NSW Valuer General, Michael Parker recently reported that residential land values have increased strongly in the Mid Coast local government area between 2017 and 2018.
While the strong increase has been driven primarily by increased demand for land in well located coastal locations, Wingham has seen a rise in land value from 15 to 20 per cent.
Tim Bale from LJ Hooker Wingham says most real estate agents have been running low in stock over the past 12 months, and that’s when most of the growth has happened.
“What probably concerns people if you look back 10 years we haven’t moved very much at all, but most of that activity has been in the last 12 to 18 months,” Tim says.
“Where normally we’d get a fairly consistent rise, when we got big rises from 2003 to 2006 that was massive and it was probably too much, and it took a long time for the market to catch up.”
Tim says the amount of the rise of value in Wingham is largely dependent on the style of the house and where the land is situated.
“There’s been a market shift in your old Federation homes that people have put a fair bit of money into and then realising the value because they’re fairly popular and attractive. And Wingham has become a little bit more like a boutique country town,” Tim says.
“Out of town, as far as rural values go, they are a bit slower to lift. In some cases they’ve lifted around the same 15 to 20 per cent, however it’s more about your closer to town stuff, or your special stuff like river fronts or flats or good farming land. As you get a bit further out of town prices are still similar, however interest has increased.”
While Tim puts the increase down to simple supply and demand, he says he’s not seeing more people than usual coming from Sydney, and those from the city buying in Wingham are not moving north due to the cheaper prices of property necessarily, but more because of lifestyle factors.
“It’s been consistent over the years; I don’t think we’re seeing any more, though,” he says.
“You’re cheaper markets in the residential is more a local market. We’ve seen a lot of investors sell their extra properties because there was a bit of a rise. I think people are seeing that Wingham, as opposed to beachside suburbs, may not see the real hikes, but it’s more consistent - we never really go down.
“And also what’s happened over the last few years is the average price for the same house is 10 to 15 per cent dearer in Wingham than it is in Taree.
When asked what he thinks the reason for the disparity between Wingham and Taree is, Tim laughs.
“Everyone wants to live in Wingham!”
Recently things have slowed down somewhat, but Tim is not worried.
“We’ve seen probably in the last couple of months probably a softening however it’s more seasonal than anything. It’s after Christmas; it’s hot, people don’t want to be traipsing around properties looking in high 30 degree heat,” he says.