Alistair Walsh | 6 November 2012

Rebound in Port Macquarie anticipated to be led by investors

There will be a surge in buyer activity in the Port Macquarie market led by rent-seeking investors, according to PRDnationwide research.

PRDnationwide research analyst, Oded Reuveni-Etzion says the arrival of the spring selling season will lead to a recovery after a few softer years following the global financial crisis.

"This is really the first sign of the reprieve that the market has shown since government stimulus and lower interest rates encouraged buyers to purchase in 2009," says Reuveni-Etzioni.

"An increase of properties on the market has resulted in a slight increase in sales activity, but prices and activity are expected to only marginally benefit from a low interest rate environment, as only one quarter (25.9%) of dwellings here are owned with a mortgage."

He says an increase in rental returns is expected to stimulate investor activity.

"The rental market has recorded a 31% increase in the median rent price for units and houses over the past five years," he said

"In June 2012 a two bedroom unit recorded a median rent of $250 per week, while a three bedroom house closed at a median weekly rent of $360. The median unit rent climbed 8.7% in the year to June, while the median rent for a house remained unchanged."

The rise in rent has been driven by a tight vacancy rate of 1.5% in September. PRDnationwide say it is now one of the tightest rental markets in coastal New South Wales.

"Gross yields for a two bedroom unit ranged from 2.9% for an apartment in Park Street to 9.0% in Flynn Street. A current median unit yield of 5.3% proved insufficient for investors, although projected growth in rent prices may change this situation in the medium term."

The principal of PRDnationwide Port Macquarie, Tony Dekker, says there has been increased investor interest in holiday apartments.

"I would say that the current low interest rates and a belief that the market has now bottomed out have contributed to this increased activity," he said.

"Certainly the newly introduced direct flights to and from Melbourne will have a positive impact on our volume of holiday makers in the near future, and we are confident that the market will improve in the New Year."

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