Renewed real estate activity

TAMWORTH’S constipated real estate market has reeived a much-needed fibre hit, with local agents seeing movement at the middle to top end of the market.

While sales volume has remained steady across the board in recent months, home sales in the $400,000 to $750,000 bracket have remained stagnant as the lower end of the market drove activity.

“That bracket is certainly at its highest level in three years now,” Tamworth LJ Hooker principal Richie Thornton said.

“In recent months, 80 per cent of sales have been homes below $350,000, but confidence seems to be returning at the upper end.

“Things seem to be getting back to normal after the post-budget slow- down.”

Professionals Tamworth general manager Graeme Kruger said the increased interest had seen his agency smash records.

“May and June were both record months and July is up 40 per cent on last year,” Mr Kruger said.

“It’s hard to know why but there seems to be a level of confidence in Tamworth that other regional centres aren’t enjoying.

“Seeing big projects being approved helps that confidence.”

He said much of the activity was being seen in the land market, buoyed by a $15,000 first home buyers grant for new homes.

An official interest rate of 2.75 per cent was also enticing investors, property specialist Terry Robinson from Tamworth’s Everingham Solomons said.

“There’s more active competition in the market,” Mr Robinson said.

“Just last week there was a property listed at Manilla for $275,000 and a bidding war saw it reach $300,000.”

He pointed to Tamworth Gardens Retirement Village as another case study.

“They anticipated they would be at stage three but they’re already at stage seven,” he said.

Industry data reveals sales volume has enjoyed a modest increase in the 2340 area every month this year, except May.

James Carmody from Tamworth’s MVS Valuers said the traditionally busy spring sale period would be a litmus test for the local market.

“It will be interesting to see the results then,” he said.

“The winter market has been firm to steady but we haven’t seen records broken like in Sydney, where the median house value is now $800,000.”

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