House prices falling as rents increasing

THE government wants Coffs Coast residents to buy, buy, buy, after a new report found house prices are falling at the same time as rents are increasing.

The latest Rent and Sales Report from Housing NSW found that renting a three bedroom house in Coffs Harbour has a median rent of $300 a week, a 2.6 per cent increase for the December 2008 quarter.

The same report also found that house prices in Coffs Harbour have fallen, with a non-strata dwelling costing 3.1 per cent less for a median price of $361,000, while a strata property's price tag has a median price of $252,000, a 4.1 per cent decrease for the September quarter.

Housing Minister David Borger said now is the perfect time for renters to move into the house-owner market.

“There's no doubt that people are in need of more rental properties right across the state,” Mr Borger said.

“We need more people moving from private rentals into their own homes and more investors supplying options for renting.”

Mr Borger encouraged anyone thinking about buying a new home to do it now, with lowering interest rates, a flat market and government assistance making it 'a buyer's market'. State and federal grants mean first-home buyers are eligible for assistance of up to $42,000 for a newly built home, and almost $32,000 for an established home.

But Coffs Harbour is bucking the state trend in some housing areas, with the Housing NSW report finding rent for two bedroom dwellings dropped in the December quarter to a median price of $218 a week.

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