What does the highway bypass mean for the property market?
NEWS that the Pacific Highway bypass of Coffs Harbour will be funded in the federal budget is expected to create further property price rises in the Coffs Harbour region.
While a timeline for the project is yet to be released, the expected 10,000 jobs the project will generate will lead to an increase in demand for real estate to buy and rent when the project ramps up.
McGrath Coffs Harbour and Sawtell principal Martin Wells said the bypass would see property prices continue the strong performance seen in the past two years.
"We've seen price growth of around 8per cent in the past 12 months and I think a project like this will create 8 to 10per cent growth year on year."
Part of the reason for the expected growth will be the issue of supply and demand. The Coffs Harbour market is already suffering a lack of listings, and the expected influx of workers could only exacerbate the problem.
"It's likely to be an issue if you're trying to buy a property, but fantastic if you're selling," Mr Wells said.
"Rentals are fairly tight still at the moment due to the impact of the tightening up of lending to investors, so there will probably be a further tightening of rentals which could push rents up and keep vacancy rates low."
Mr Wells said the situation highlighted the need for governments to create more incentives to develop more housing, to help with affordability.
The project is expected to have a flow on effect to the outer suburbs and towns of Coffs Harbour, Mr Wells believes Nambucca Heads will enjoy strong growth in coming years due to it's close proximity to Coffs Harbour and affordable prices, not to mention the lifestyle.
Nolan Partners principal Scott Nolan agreed that the bypass would do great things for the local property market, but so much more as well.
"I think the effect will be huge; the increase in employment and all the services and industry that will be needed by those new workers will be huge. They'll buy cars, they'll buy groceries, and they'll obviously also want want to live somewhere."
Mr Nolan said past experience from nearby highway works pointed to increased demand for rentals, particularly furnished rentals.
"The problem is there is not a lot of that type of accommodation available and demand is already tight from holiday rentals. Already at different times of the year with big events, the city books out."
Mr Nolan said while more housing would be needed, there was little chance of creating an oversupply due to the fact there was so little land available in the central Coffs area.
"It's all good news though, because we don't want over supply," he said.
"It's certainly extremely exiting times for the Coffs market, not just with the highway but all the other projects planned; the Bachrach Naumburger Group is spending $120million on a new retirement village, Gowings is only in its first stage of plans to expand Coffs Central, there are plans for a new industrial precinct at the Airport.
"All these things are great for the town, it makes the town stronger. I believe Coffs hasn't seen it's best days yet, I think they're coming over the next 10 years."