October has been an extraordinary month in the “million dollar” home market in Byron Bay. The month began with the sale of Cedar Springs in Possum Creek for a price in excess of $5 million, a good omen for the activity that was about to be unleashed. The month ended with the dramatic sale before auction of the iconic Rae’s on Watego’s, for an amount in excess of $20 million, leaving a number of disappointed potential buyers unable to bid. While these sales provided a spectacular beginning and end to the month, it was the other eight sales of homes in excess of $1 million that occurred during the month which deserve closer scrutiny.
The eight sales, in approximate date order, were:
|1. 71 Massinger Street – Over $1 million||5. 58 Carlyle Lane – Over $1 million|
|2. 174 Lighthouse Road – Over $3 million||6. 26 Cavvanbah Street – Over $1 million|
|3. 28 Cavvanbah Street – Approx $1.8 million||7. Bay Royal Apartment – Over $1 million|
|4. 32 Kingsley Street – Over $1 million||8. Incatrole, Brooklet – Over $4 million|
Seven of the sales were in the $1 million to $1.8 million range. All but one of the sales were houses, not apartments, and most were in prime locations close to the centre of Byron. In many cases, there were one or two other unsuccessful parties competing for the property.
It is unwise to draw too many conclusions from one month’s activity. However the depth of buyer interest confirms that the “million dollar plus” market is coming alive. Most of the buyers were from out of town and many were buying with the intention of moving to Byron Bay. Undoubtedly there is a large pool of potential buyers in the capital cities who still aspire to live/retire in Byron Bay. Many of them are baby boomers who are moving into their sixties. In some cases, the decision to move to Byron was delayed by the GFC and the resulting uncertainty. Now, four years later, there is a widely held belief that prices will not fall further. With the fear of buying into a falling market being removed, many are more than ready to make the long-delayed lifestyle change.
If this analysis is correct, it will be confirmed in the coming months. The pool of “million dollar plus” homes available for sale in prime locations close to the centre of Byron Bay is fairly limited. Another month like October would significantly deplete the stock within two kilometers of the town centre. As this happens, the activity seems likely to broaden to slightly less central areas such as Suffolk Park, Broken Head, Coopers Shoot, Skinners Shoot, Belongil and Ewingsdale. For the moment prices aren’t increasing, but the time a well-priced property is on the market has certainly reduced.
The primary dynamic that drives the “million dollar plus” home market in Byron Bay are the people living in other parts of Australia who aspire to live here. On the supply side, there are a comparatively small number of homes that are of interest to them. When the conditions are favourable, the demand-supply equation changes quickly. The next few months promises to be an interesting time!
The sale of Cedar Springs and Incatrole in the same month may suggest that the high-end, luxury, hinterland market is also coming to life.
If you would like to discuss these unfolding developments further, ring Ed on 0418 660 063.