SALES RISE: Real estate sales in Coffs Harbour increased by 6.6% in the March quarter of 2014.
SALES RISE: Real estate sales in Coffs Harbour increased by 6.6% in the March quarter of 2014.

Coffs an ace property performer

JUNE marked two years since Australian real estate prices began lifting out of the post-GFC doldrums and back into positive territory. For Coffs Harbour, the first half of 2014 has proved particularly fruitful.

According to LJ Hooker's myMarket Report, Coffs Harbour was one of regional New South Wales' top real estate performers in the March quarter.

House prices in Coffs Harbour reached a median of $362,000 during the quarter, an improvement of 6.6% compared with the same period last year.

Units also performed well, recording a 5.9% increase in median values.

LJ Hooker Coffs Harbour principal Paul Tobias said the resurgence of the building sector in Coffs Harbour, along with historically low interest rates had assisted the local property market.

"We have seen rejuvenation in the building sector as families and couples are purchasing land and building new homes," Paul said.

"This is fuelled in part by the government's grant for new home buyers and the low interest rate. We are also seeing more sales post

$1 million than we've seen in a long time."

The March quarter also saw improvements in sales volume and auction clearance rates.

A total of 669 properties were sold during the quarter, which equated to an increase of 20%. The auction clearance rate was 38%, an increase of 10%.

Sapphire Beach boasts the highest median house price for the quarter at $550,000. Sawtell's median price of $299,000 was the best performance in the unit market.

Sawtell was also the winner when it came to price growth. Median house prices in Sawtell grew 20% during the quarter.

LJ Hooker National Research manager Mathew Tiller said buyer confidence could be attributed to record low interest rates, which continue to be the key driver of market activity.

"The strong growth in demand from buyers has been driven by investors who are looking to take advantage of consistent long-term capital growth offered by residential property,'' said Mr Tiller.

"Vendors recognise the interest from buyers and are taking advantage of the competition in the marketplace to potentially secure a premium result."

Mr Tiller predicts that for the remainder of the year economic fundamentals are likely to stay stable, particularly interest rates which are tipped to stay at current record low levels for the remainder of 2014.

"This will provide underlying support for property markets and ensure a base level of demand remains in place," he said.

LJ Hooker Head of Residential Chris Mourd said encouraging employment figures were also fuelling the current momentum in the real estate market.

"Savvy buyers and sellers are unfazed about the traditional winter slow down and see no reason to hold off until spring," Mr Mourd said.

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