THE property market at Old Bar is attracting investors, retirees, and people from outside the area looking for a sea change, but developers are wanting to keep the land for local clientele.
Old Bar real estate agent Adam Stevenson said there has been a lot of interest from investment companies trying to secure land on the recent releases in the area, including the Medowie Estate and the Riverside Estate.
However, developers of these estates have told the investor groups "no," he said.
"The developers at both estates have tried to keep it to local clientele or people who are going to be owner-occupiers, they try not to give too much to those investor groups," Adam said.
On November 3 2021, 51 blocks were released at Riverside Estate in Old Bar and by 10am, 49 of the blocks were under offer.
Adam said the average price of the land released was around $380,000, compared to the average price of released land in Old Bar in January 2021 which was $260,000.
"It is unbelievable in such a short period of time how quickly things have changed," he said.
From January to now (November) land prices in Old Bar have gone up significantly even up 40 to 50 per cent give or take.Adam Stevenson Old Bar Beach LJ Hooker
"From January to now (November) land prices in Old Bar have gone up significantly, even up 40 to 50 per cent give or take."
Adam said around 60 to 70 per cent of the blocks at the Riverside Estate were local buyers or people with ties to the area.
"It is not like they are just out-of-towners who are just coming here for the sake of it. A lot of them actually have connections or ties here locally as it is."
Four months earlier, 21 blocks were sold off the plan at the Medowie Estate in Old Bar within 24 hours. The average price for the estate was around $305,000 per block, and 90 to 95 per cent of the buyers were local, Adam said.
Although there are a lot of local buyers, there is still a huge demand from people outside of the area who are on waiting lists for a property in Old Bar.
"At one stage I had around 150 contacts to get in touch with for any land available in the Old Bar area. My business partner had around 40," Adam said.
"When land does become available it is tough because I can't physically get on the phone to 150 people and give them an equal opportunity to the property."
For every one house there is 30 buyers, whereas it used to be one buyer for every 30 houses.Adam Stevenson
The day the land was released at the Medowie Estate, Adam said he probably did 120 to 150 in and out calls.
Adam has been a real estate agent since 2006 and says he has never experienced anything like this.
"We are 10 times busier than we have ever been with 10 times less the amount of homes on the market.
"For every one house there are 30 buyers, whereas it used to be one buyer for every 30 houses."
Adam said sometimes he gets to the end of a day and scrolls through to the bottom of his call history which holds 100 calls and the very bottom of the list is 10am.
He thinks the reason Old Bar has performed so well is because of the limited land availability up and down the coast.
"Harrington is all but sold out, Forster has only got one small development on the cards and another they are working on. Port Macquarie is very limited and so is Wauchope," Adam said.
"So what is happening is any town that has got a reasonable development is getting a lot of interest.
"It is unbelievable some days."
Adam said the area desperately needs more land and infrastructure to accommodate for the influx.
I have had a lot of young families who keep missing out and they are getting frustrated. It is tough, it really is.Adam Stevenson
A property in Old Bar went online on Thursday, November 11 and by Sunday 10 people had put an offer in, Adam said. The property then exchanged contracts the following Tuesday at $80,000 more than the initial guide price.
"Everything is just getting sold at way above the asking price expectations because there are just so many people wanting to get in."
Adam said he feels for the younger people who are trying to get into the market but are getting five or six offers ahead of what they can offer.
"I have had a lot of young families who keep missing out and they are getting frustrated. It is tough, it really is."
Adam started his real estate career in 2006 and bought into the LJ Hooker Old Bar Beach franchise in 2011. He is the principal licensee at Old Bar Branch LJ Hooker.
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