Park Beach ready for the new wave

By CRAIG McTEAR

PARK BEACH is undergoing a quiet transformation.

Old houses and villas are being torn down and replaced by more modern accommodation which is changing the face of the seaside suburb.

Coffs Harbour City Council has in recent months approved three four-storey apartments and a four-storey, part six-storey residential complex at the seaside suburb.

According to the council, these have contributed to a nine per cent jump (compared with the first four months of 2004) in the total value of development applications lodged citywide.

Interestingly for the same period, the number of DAs lodged throughout the local government area is down 13 per cent, while the amount of new single-dwelling houses approved is down 30 per cent.

More Property and Real Estate principal Steve Little warned there was little incentive for investors in NSW coastal properties since last year's introduction of the vendor transfer tax on sellers of investment properties.

This, combined with land tax imposed on investors and developers, had led to an exodus of investors from the State.

However, Park Beach remained an attractive proposition particularly for those who were selling up in Sydney and who wanted to live near the shops, beach and other attractions.

Long-time Park Beach residents Marlene and Garry Perrin have watched the suburb change over the years.

They've witnessed new developments going ahead as well as council improvements like new footpaths and playgrounds.

"They're also keeping the area cleaner," Marlene said.

"The changes we've seen in the area are for the better."

The couple, who are former renters at Park Beach, say rising rents have attracted a 'better type of people' to the area.

"The decent types of people who are renting are finding it better and safer," Garry said.

They've also seen property prices on the march at Park Beach.

They reckon a decade ago you could snap up a basic unit for $50,000, but now you'd be lucky to get one under $190,000.

In fact, one unit near them recently went for $219,000.

Single mum Nerida Ryan has been renting next to the Perrins for three years and has had a $5-a-week increase during this time.

It was to have gone up by much more but Nerida, who is receiving maximum rent assistance, couldn't afford it.

The owners agreed to reassess the situation in six months' time.

The 33-year-old believes rent levels in Park Beach will not be governed so much by future development and prosperity as by the land tax investors are forced to pay.

It's these investors who are finding they have to pass on this extra burden to their tenants.



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