Real estate market changes, Port Macquarie still a hot spot

Hot spot: Port Macquarie is still a favourite for city dwellers wanting to relocate but the market has shifted. Photo: Ivan Sajko.
Hot spot: Port Macquarie is still a favourite for city dwellers wanting to relocate but the market has shifted. Photo: Ivan Sajko.

MORE people are heading to the mid north coast, trading in the city life and small ‘on-top-of-each-other’ living for more room and tranquility.

While Domain reports Sydney’s property market has run out of steam, it says there is no sign of a slowdown in the state’s coastal hot spots - including Port Macquarie.

Port Macquarie real estate agent Chris Koch believes otherwise, saying the market has shifted.

"I think it's true this year, with people relocating to Port Macquarie, but the market has changed very quickly," he said.

"There will always be an exit from Sydney, and Port Macquarie will be a desired destination. But the heat has come out of the market.

"There are more coming onto the market than selling. We are certainly in very interesting times."

The harbour city’s median house price fell 1.4 per cent to $1,150,357 over the year to March, but boom-time price increases are still being seen up and down the seaboard, with prices bolstered by a steady stream of Sydneysiders leaving the city behind.

A string of suburbs across the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and mid north coast regions recorded double-digit house-price growth in the year to March, according to the latest Domain Group data.

Since then, Mr Koch said the market has tightened up in the new sub-divisions on the mid north coast, with prices dropping.

"The reality is it's a totally different market now than it was six months ago," he said.

"Another big reason for that is the banks. They're playing a bit of hardball and have been very tough on their lending criteria.

"I think it's a little speed hump, and long term I know what's going on behind the scenes in terms of development so the town still has a hot future.

"It may be in a couple of months it will be back to where it was."

Retired couple Anne and Peter Rowsell relocated to Port Macquarie from Epping recently.

While the lure of being closer to their children was attractive, the coastal location fit perfectly with their lifestyle wants.

"We were always looking for somewhere with beaches, fishing, golf and a warm climate," Anne said.

"But to buy near beaches in Sydney is ridiculous. It's a much more relaxed lifestyle. We couldn't believe how ridiculous the prices were.

"Even so, it's not that. When I grew up everyone knew everybody. Those days are gone in Sydney.”

The couple have joined the golf club, plan to join a community group such as Rotary and give back to a community that has made them feel so welcome.

"Everywhere we go, whether that is a shop or a club, everyone is personable and friendly,” Anne said. 

“You don't get that in Sydney."