Property fails to fire

IT has been a lacklustre start to the year for property on the Coffs Coast, but there are signs that confidence is starting to return to the market.

That is the assessment of local real estate agents after their failure to sell any of 14 properties listed for auction under the hammer in the past 10 days.

In the biggest auction of the year so far PRD Nationwide submitted six properties on Tuesday night.

None sold, although Damien Campbell said negotiations were under way on one house at Sandy Beach.

Two of the properties listed were units in the Ocean Gem development at the Jetty.

"They didn't meet their reserves but I am confident we will be able to sell them for somewhere in the mid $400,000's, which will represent an $80,000 to $100,000 capital gain since they were bought two years ago," Mr Campbell said.

He said auctions were still a good way of selling real estate.

"While we mightn't sell on the night, we still have a very high sales rate postauction."

David Moppett from Ray White Real Estate, which submitted three lots for auction this year, said that within 10 days of a property being put to auction, 85 per cent have been sold.

"The market has definitely softened by around 10 to 15 per cent since the high of late 2003, but sales volumes are still strong and investors are showing interest again," Mr Moppett said.

Len Horne from Ray White Real estate agreed.

He said he had sold eight properties in the past week, three to investors.

"There is no rhyme or reason to what properties are selling, and which ones aren't, but I'm getting inquiries from investors via the e-mail and internet," Mr Horne said.

All agents agreed the market had 'softened' from the late 2003 peak.

"But some vendors expectations are still a little high," Mr Campbell said.

"They haven't come to terms with the levelling out of the market, but reasonably and realistically priced properties are still selling well."

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