Port Macquaire Property Watch Q3 2014

This following Property Watch report analyses the current trends and performance of the Port Macquarie residential market as highlighted in the adjacent Port Macquarie Regional Map.

Situated approximately 380 kilometers north of Sydney, Port Macquarie is a nationally recognised tourism center as well as a services hub for the surrounding region. The Pacific Highway acts as the main north/south access point while the Oxley Highway provides easy access to rural NSW. There is also a regional airport with direct links to Brisbane and Sydney.

Port Macquarie has a diverse range of property types ranging from beachside apartments to full sized family homes which provides opportunities at all ends of the market. This Property Watch report will aim to further highlight the regions characteristics, analyse the market and forecast the future trends of the Port Macquarie market.

The metro Port Macquarie housing market had House Sales Unit Sales House Median Unit Median registered a total of 853 transactions in the annual period to March 2014 which represents an annual increase of 19.4 per cent. Median prices have also shown a strong increase of 6.6 per cent over the same period. Over 10 years however median prices have increased at a marginal 1.7 per cent per annum.

The unit market is also showing positive signs after years of subdued growth with an increase in transactional activity of 26 per cent and an increase in median value of 3.8 per cent in since March 2013.

This pattern of growth is expected to continue in the long term with an increase in population of 19.3 per cent by 2031. The increase in population will be predominately fueled by the ageing NSW population looking for an affordable seaside lifestyle.

The Port Macquarie price point chart indicates the shifts in MAR 2013 MAR 2014 MAR house prices across the area over the past five years. Overall there is a trend towards the middle of the market with many buyers attracted to the mix of affordability, convenience and lifestyle that the $4000,000 to $500,000 range can afford. The price point that dropped the most in activity was the $300,000 and below range which dropped 6 per cent since 2010. This is due to affordable stock increasing in value after increases in demand. This results in properties being pushed into higher price points.

At the $450,000 plus range the market has been bullish since 2010. The price point that has increased the most is the $450,000 to $499,999 range which over the five years has grown a positive 7 per cent. The highest end of the market has also reported growth however at a lower rate.

Port Macquarie is already a well established city however there is continual investment in infrastructure and new residential dwellings which should see continual growth moving forward. Currently there is approximately $1.7 billion worth of development in the pipeline with a healthy mix of public infrastructure, commercial, industrial and residential developments planned or recently completed.

Highlights include the planned $630 million Pacific Highway upgrade from the Oxley Highway to Kempsey which will see improved north/south regional access and hundreds of construction jobs.

The metro Port Macquarie rental market, similar to the Port Macquarie housing market has recorded reasonable growth recently. As at March 2014 median rents registered $320 per week which is a rise 4 per cent over the previous year. The strongest growth can be found in the one bedroom market which increased from 5.3 per cent since March 2013. The one bedroom market offers a significantly lower entry point than other property types which has fuelled demand. The rental data indicates an approximate yield of 4.8 per cent. This is typical of the north NSW coast which makes it a solid investment particularly when considering capital growth opportunities available.

Vendor discounting for house and units has been shrinking over the past six quarters to June 2014 which provides indication that vendors are becoming more aware of market conditions and buyers are more willing to meet vendor expectations.

Throughout 2013 there was a disparity of approximately 1 per cent between houses and units however that has shrunk in the first half of 2014. For houses vendor discounting lowered from 2.53 per cent in Q1 2013 to 1.85 per cent in Q2 2014 while unit discounting contracted from 3.43 per cent to 2.35 per cent.

Average days on market for all residential property in Port Macquarie has remained relatively level over 2013 and the first half of 2014. Interestingly units have eclipsed houses as the fastest selling property type. Average days on market for unit shrunk from 123 days to 109 days representing a decrease of 11.3 per cent which indicates that the unit market is becoming a more popular option for buyers.

It is believed this is due to the increase in retirees who prefer location over space. Average days on market increased for houses by 10 days since 2013 which represents an increase of 9.25 per cent.