Northern Beach Towns NSW Highlight Report Q1 2011

Local Area Characteristics
The northern beach town region of New South Wales spans 90 kilometres along the coastline, offering a combination of national parks and golden beaches. The area is located between 742 kilometres to 828 kilometres north of Sydney and 110 kilometres to 191 kilometres south of Brisbane. It is typified by quiet beachside communities with undeveloped landscapes, representing a haven for holiday makers and retirees. Recently, improvements to the accessibility of this region has made it possible for residents to utilise the ever expanding employment nodes of the Gold Coast and Coolangatta, but still retain the quieter beachside living that the northern beach towns offer. Access to the region is made possible by the Pacific Motorway, running parallel to the coastline. Ballina offers a domestic airport, while the international airport of Coolangatta is only a short drive north of the region.

Demographics & Population
At the current rate of population growth, the Northern Beach towns will require over 900 new dwellings per year.
According to the most recent June 2009 figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Estimated Resident Population for the Tweed LGA was 88,993 residents. Population growth from the previous year equated to a solid rate of two per cent. This places the LGA at 14 th place for the highest growth of residents per annum over the past five years in New South Wales. The Ballina LGA recorded 1.4 per cent growth to 42,432 residents, while Byron increased by 1.5 per cent over the year ending June 2009, to 32,126 residents.
If this growth rate remains steady (as it has for the past five years), the Tweed LGA can expect the population to reach levels as high as 121,410 by 2031, while Ballina will reach 54,190 and Byron 46,490. To give an indication of the future demand for housing, PRDnationwide Research uses the increase in population and divides it by the current average household size of 2.7 residents per dwelling. This has yielded an estimated figure of future demand for housing at 19,381 new dwellings on the North Coast of New South Wales by 2031, equating to a required 969 new dwellings per year.
The fastest expanding suburbs in the North Coast of New South Wales have achieved extreme growth of above 10 per cent. To put this in perspective, an area is considered to experiencing high growth at level above 2 per cent. The suburb of Ballina registered an increase of 15.6 per cent in residents during the 12 month period ending June 2009. This was followed by Pottsville with 10.5 per cent and Casuarina at 9.5 per cent.
Both Tweed and Ballina have a high proportion of family households, equating to just under 70 per cent of all dwellings respectively. In Byron, approximately 66.6 per cent of total households are considered to be in a family. The median ages of the three LGAs in review are over 40, ranging from 41 to 44. This is considered to be a slightly elderly population and could reflect a desirable location for retirees.
In the Tweed LGA, 71.5 per cent of dwellings are owner occupied or currently being purchased. Out of the three LGAs in the North Coast of New South Wales, Byron has the largest portion of dwellings in the rental market, at 32.6 per cent. Tweed has the smallest rental market, with 27.6 per cent of total dwellings.
The majority of dwellings within the Byron LGA are separate houses, equating to 81.3 per cent of residences. The largest unit market is in the Ballina LGA, with 13.8 per cent of total dwellings. Tweed has the largest semi-detached dwelling type, at 18.8 per cent of total dwellings.

Future Development and Infrastructure
Just over an estimated $8.25 billion of investment has been committed to the region.

There is a large amount of development currently being looked at in the three coastal LGAs. Just over an estimated $8.25 billion has been committed to the area in development of industry, infrastructure, construction and employment.

Kingscliff is poised to receive the slight majority of potential investment, with 31 per cent ($2.5 billion) of the total planned investment. Cudgen is set to receive 28 per cent ($2.2 billion), while Byron Bay is anticipating 23 per cent ($1.8 billion) of planned investment.

According to the ABS Census 2006, employment in the coastal LGAs is heavily focused in retail trade and health care. This is to be expected from a desirable coastal location, where tourism and an ageing population play a large part in the local economy. Only slight differences occur between the LGAs employment industries, with Tweed having a larger portion of their market taken up by construction, while Byron and Ballina have a larger portion in education and training.

Housing development slowed during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), but has since picked up again. The largest increase to the trend in housing development occurred in Ballina, with an increase of 33 per cent which continued for the month of December 2010. Housing development in Byron has increased since October 2010, with 16 new developments per month granted approval. Tweed registered a decrease in the month of December, softening by 10 per cent to only 18 approved new dwellings. Whilst only a rough indication, this information highlights the need for increased housing development if the area is to cater for the increasing levels of skilled workers wanting to reside in the region.

Developer Leda has the two largest projects in the Northern Beach Towns Area. The first is the Cobaki Lakes residential masterplan community, currently awaiting development approval. Located in Kingscliff, this project alone is estimated to require a total of $2.25 billion and is currently in the design stage. The second development is Kings Forest, in Cudgen. This also has a value of $2.25 billion and has been referred to the Department of Planning.

The Byron LGA is looking to centralise its local health network and build a new hospital at a value of $1.8 billion. A rezoning application has been submitted, with sketch plans to commence in 2012.

Construction has commenced on the Banora Point highway upgrade and when completed, will allow for uninterrupted highway traffic flow from Barneys Point to the completed Tweed Heads bypass.

Tweed Coast Market
Tweed Coast houses and units each recorded capital growth at 3.3 per cent.
The data included within this historical market analysis represents settled transactions over the past ten years, by half year period, and is current to September 2010. The area referred to as Tweed Coast covers Fingal Head, Kingscliff, Hastings Point, Cabarita Beach (Bogangar) and Pottsville.
The median house price for the six months ending September 2010 for the Tweed Coast Area was $575,000, derived from a total of 91 settled transactions. The median house price has recovered from the recent effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and has approached the market peak experienced during the March 2008 half year period. As the market has experienced a price correction, the median house price achieved 12.7 per cent growth during the 12 month period ending September 2010. This level of growth is well above the long term five year growth rate of six per cent per annum. Sales activity has decreased by 23 per cent from the previous six month period to register 91 settled sales. The median price in this market is a reflection of what has been transacting and not an accurate reflection of true value.
The suburb of Pottsville experienced the highest number of settled house sales during the September 2010 six month period, recording 34 transactions. This was followed by Kingscliff with 32 and Bogangar with 11.
The median unit price for the six months ending September 2010 for the Tweed Coast Area was $410,000, derived from a total of 131 settled transactions. Although unit transactions have softened slightly from the previous six month period of March 2010, it is expected that as unit sales settle during the next half year period, this number should gradually increase to just above 150 settled sales. By observing the unit sales cycle graph, it can be determined that the Tweed Coast Area has a consistent unit market which continually attracts buyers.
Kingscliff recorded the highest number of settled transactions with 44, while Casuarina has 38 and Pottsville experienced 29.
A resales analysis was conducted to determine at what rate capital growth has been achieved in the Tweed Coast. Houses that sold during the March 2008 six month period achieved the highest rate of growth at 27.3 per cent in capital value. During the most recent September 2010 six month period, houses and units recorded capital growth at 3.3 per cent each. This represents a recovering market with the recent decline in market activity.

Ocean Shores Area Market
Units in the Ocean Shores Area have typically achieved higher capital growth during the past five years.
The data included within this historical market analysis represents settled transactions over the past ten years, by half year period, and is current to September 2010. The region referred to as the Ocean Shores Area includes the suburbs of Ocean Shores, New Brighton, South Golden Beach and Brunswick Heads.
The median house price for the six month period ending September 2010 for the Ocean Shores Area was $495,625, derived from a total of 65 settled transactions. The median house price has experienced a rapid price correction during the September 2009 half year period and the market has since found itself in a slow but steady increase. Over the course of the twelve month period ending September 2010, the median house price has increased by 6.6 per cent. This is slightly higher than the five year compounding rate of 4.4 per cent per annum.
Sales activity has decreased by 20.7 per cent from the previous six month period to register 65 settled sales. With interest rates increasing in November 2010, PRDnationwide Research expects activity levels to have softened over the holiday season and into the new year.
The suburb of Ocean Shores experienced the most settled sales during the September 2010 six month period, recording 37 transactions. This was followed by South Golden Beach with 12.
A resales analysis was conducted to determine at what rate capital growth has been achieved in the Ocean Shores Area. During the most recent September 2010 six month period, houses recorded capital growth at 6.3 per cent.
The median unit price for the six months ending September 2010 for the Ocean Shores Area was $395,000, derived from a total of 15 settled transactions. Over the course of the twelve month period ending September 2010, the median unit price has increased by 3.9 per cent. Sales activity has decreased by 44.4 per cent from the previous six month period to register 15 settled sales.
The suburb of Ocean Shores experienced the lions share of sales during the September 2010 six month period, recording 14 transactions.
It is interesting to note that units in the Ocean Shores Area have typically achieved higher capital growth during the past five years, compared to houses. For the September 2010 six month period, units resold into the market achieved 7.7 per cent growth.

Byron Bay Market
Byron Bay has experienced solid levels of capital growth in both the unit and house markets.
The data included within this historical market analysis represents settled transactions over the past ten years, by half year period, and is current to September 2010. This area includes the suburbs of Byron Bay and Suffolk Park.
The median house price for the six months ending September 2010 for the Byron Bay Area was $740,000, derived from a total of 49 settled transactions. The median price has increased by 19.4 per cent during the year ending September 2010. This is well above the longer term rate of 7.1 per cent per annum for the past five years.
Sales activity has fallen by 37.2 per cent from the previous September 2009 six month period to register 49 settled sales. This dip in sales shows how the Byron Bay Area property market is yet to fully recover from the effects of the GFC.
The suburb of Byron Bay experienced 24.3 per cent growth in the median price, achieved through 28 settled house sales. Byron Bays median house price at September 2010 was at $870,000, up by $170,000 from the previous year.
A resales analysis was conducted to determine at what rate capital growth has been achieved in the Byron Bay Area. Houses that sold during the March 2008 six month period achieved the highest growth at 16.6 per cent in capital value. During the most recent September 2010 six month period, houses recorded capital growth at 9.1 per cent. This level of capital growth is a marked improvement from 2.2 per cent achieved in the March 2010 half year period.
The median unit price for the six months ending September 2010 for the Byron Bay Area was $517,000, derived from a total of 69 settled transactions. The median price has increased by 16 per cent during the year ending September 2010. This is well above the longer term rate of 6.4 per cent per annum for the past five years.
The suburb of Byron Bay registered a median unit price of $522,500, culminated from 53 unit sales that occurred during the recent September 2010 half year period, equating to 77 per cent of total transactions.
The unit market has experienced solid capital growth, achieving an increase in value of 7.7 per cent for those sold within the September half year period.

Ballina & Lennox Head Area Market
The region has seen consistent levels of activity in both the house and unit markets during the past two years.
The data included within this historical market analysis represents settled transactions over the past ten years, by half year period, and is current to September 2010. For the purposes of this report, the Ballina Area includes the suburbs of Ballina, Cumbalum, East Ballina, South Ballina, Skennars Head and Lennox Head.
The median price for the six months ending September 2010 for the Ballina Area was $550,000, derived from a total of 122 settled transactions. This median price has grown by 11.1 per cent during the year ending September 2010. By observing the house sales graph, it can be determined that a price correction occurred during 2010, after the sharp decline experienced in 2009. Looking long term, the Ballina Area has recorded a solid five year growth rate of 6.3 per cent per annum.
House sales activity has slowly subsided, with the recent September 2010 half year recording 122 settled transactions. The majority of these occurred in Lennox Head with 41 sales, followed closely by Ballina with 31. Lennox Head also recorded the highest median price in the LGA at $720,000. The most affordable suburb was Ballina at $445,000.
A resales analysis was conducted to determine at what rate capital growth has been achieved in the Ballina Area. Houses that sold during the March 2006 six month period achieved the highest growth during the past five years, at 18.2 per cent in capital value. During the most recent September 2010 six month period, houses recorded capital growth at 4.7 per cent. This level of growth has been consistent with the previous September 2009 six month period.
The Ballina Area unit market experienced 108 settled sales during the September 2010 half year period. Unit sales have been consistent since the GFC, averaging 122 sales per six months.
The median price registered for this period was $361,250, down by 4.9 per cent from $380,000 during the previous September 2009 half year period. Trend has the median price fluctuating just over $300,000 to $395,000 over the past four years. The suburb of Ballina recorded the most sales, registering 49 settled sales. This was followed by Lennox Head with 24 and East Ballina with 23. Lennox Head registered the highest median unit price at $592,500, while Ballina recorded $320,000 and East Ballina $380,000.
During the recent September 2010 half year period, capital growth in units outperformed houses, with units registering a 6.2% increase.