2013 has certainly been a buoyant year in the Byron Bay real estate market. The scene was set in the last quarter of 2012 when there was an upsurge in sales of homes over $1million. This seemed to be the tipping point for the market, and throughout 2013 the upward trend has continued and broadened, with strong activity at all price levels and over a broader geographic area including Ewingsdale, Bangalow and parts of the hinterland.

These developments parallel the trends in the capital cities (particularly Sydney) with sales at the highest levels since the GFC, house prices rising and a general shortage of listings being offered to the market. Unlike the capital cities, there is no meaningful data on Byron house prices, but the anecdotal evidence suggests price increases over the last twelve months in the order of 5%, and higher in areas closer to town.

This upturn in interest in Byron real estate was reported in The Weekend Australian (14th December 2013) with the article “Buyers flood back as Byron discovers its mojo.” The evidence in the article was not very specific but most agencies are confirming a swell of interest from buyers in Sydney and Melbourne. The psychology of the Byron market has certainly changed and articles in national newspapers reinforce the shift.

It feels like the positive momentum in the property market will continue throughout 2014. While there will be patches of negative news for the broader economy, there are factors for the property market which will sustain the upward trend. These include:

  • continuing low interest probably reducing in 2014,
  • a lack of attractive alternative investment opportunities,
  • demand continuing to outstrip supply, and
  • reasonable levels of economic activity, employment and confidence (albeit slipping a little).

The supply of properties in Byron Bay is limited and finite. When Byron becomes the focus of many potential buyers in the capital cities, the demand-supply equation moves out of balance very quickly. This feels like the likely emerging scenario for 2014.

We wish all our clients a very happy and prosperous 2014.