COAST LAND DEFIES GENERAL DOWNTURN
By DAVID MOASE
SKYROCKETING land valuations of the past few years appear to have reached their peak in Coffs Harbour, according to the latest figures released this week.
Coastal land has continued to increase in value, according to NSW Valuer General Philip Western, but residents in other areas are likely to see their land value decline.
Commercial and industrial property has shown strong growth, with valuations up by nearly 50 per cent in some areas, while rural land values have shown small increases.
According to figures from the Office of the Valuer General, the value of a 720 sq.m block in Joyce Street, Coffs Harbour, has slipped from $185,000 in 2004 to $165,000 in 2005.
Values in Sawtell, Moonee and Woolgoolga are generally up on last year, although they have risen by smaller amounts this time around.
Valuation notices are being mailed to landowners throughout the city.
"High quality residential properties with good ocean views and within proximity to the beach have continued to show increases in land value since July 2004, while the rural sector of the market has shown only moderate increases over the past 12 months" Mr Western said.
"Residential areas such as Boambee East, Sapphire and Korora showed slight decreases in land value but were not indicative generally of Coffs Harbour.
"The commercial and industrial market showed strong local investor confidence.
"This was influenced by relatively low residential return, a robust economy and consumer confidence.
Local real estate valuer Ken Potter said the new valuations were in line with his opinion of the real estate market.
"The residential market has been reasonably patchy due to the withdrawal of investors from the marketplace," he said.
Some of those investors had moved their sights to commercial and industrial property, helping to force prices up from what had been a low base.
Another factor pushing prices up is the lack of commercially zoned land in Coffs Harbour.
Mr Western said valuations were based on relevant land and property sales, and the land value movements in the city reflected the general softening of the property market.
Values were still well up, however, from valuations in 2002, reflecting strong property market growth in the 2002-2004 period.
Property owners will soon receive a leaflet with their valuation notice which explains the valuation process.
People with questions about their valuation can call the Office of the NSW Valuer General on 1800 110 038.
More information is available at www.lands.nsw.gov.au
No new valuations have been made this year for properties in Bellingen and Nambucca shires.