Byron, Noosa, alpine property doubles in five years as sea changers escape Covid

Tara Torkkola, sales director for First National Byron, said the biggest price growth had been in pockets that were traditionally cheaper than their neighbours, and had caught up since COVID hit.

Two years ago, people were craving space, fresh air, privacy, the ability to grow their own food and multi-generational accommodation options, driving upland prices of Byron and for surface properties, said Torkkola.

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay. The region offers a relaxed lifestyle.Credit:Elise Derwin

“[People said] “My parents are going upstairs, because we don’t want to be separated from the kids,” she said. “Multigenerational living has become very important.”

She pointed to Mullumbimby, Suffolk Park and Ocean Shores as areas that shone, but said the strong growth was unlikely to continue at the same rate.

“A lot of sellers are in a prime position where, even in a capping market, people are wondering how high he’s reached.”


Tom Offermann, of the eponymous estate agency in Noosa, responded to strong demand from buyers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne looking for a place to relax and recuperate.

“Melbourne clients have long been big Noosa fans and have owned properties here,” he said.

“They clearly had increased competition from the people of Sydney. Sydneysiders are becoming increasingly mobile and some of them are going beyond their own beaches.

Planning restrictions that limit new development in Noosa mean the area is tightly controlled, and as of late last spring Offermann often saw 10 or more potential buyers at an auction, a number that has dropped to three to six still competitive in recent weeks.

But he said suggestions that the market has peaked may be premature and continued wealth generation could sustain Noosa’s premium property for another two to three years.

Noosa offers a chance to relax and recuperate.

Noosa offers a chance to relax and recuperate.Credit:

In cooler climates, house prices in ski areas in Victoria and New South Wales have surged.

Rob Ford of Zirky Real Estate, which specializes in alpine homes in Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain, four to five hours northeast of Melbourne, has seen the market price even double in the past two years.

He said wealthy skiers aged 50 to 60, who normally ski abroad, have instead bought winter holiday homes when international travel was banned or at least questionable.

“It’s been interesting – when COVID first arrived, I expected to have the opposite effect on our market,” he said.

Skiers who could not travel overseas were avid buyers of vacation homes in Mount Hotham.

Skiers who could not travel overseas were avid buyers of vacation homes in Mount Hotham.Credit:Chris Hocking

“We would normally only sell one or two properties over $1 million before COVID. I’ve sold more than six in the last six months between $1 and $2 million.

Even at the more affordable end of the market, some one-bedroom apartments that used to cost between $110,000 and $140,000 are now trading between $220,000 and $270,000, he said.


He expects the market to flatten, but additional buyers who own primary residences that have risen in price have been able to use the equity in their property to buy second homes.

Prices are less likely to have doubled in such a short time in capital cities.

By suburb, only a few areas of the capital have prices twice as high as five years ago, such as Moncrieff in Canberra, up 124.8%, Palm Beach in Sydney’s northern beaches, up 128.3%, Teneriffe to Brisbane, up 128.4% cent, and Copacabana on the NSW central coast, up 132.7%.

Even the idea of ​​house prices doubling every 10 years has proven to be variable.

Separate research by Ray White showed that prices have at least doubled over the past decade in Sydney, Hobart and Canberra, and increased by 90.2% in Melbourne. But growth was well below that level for Brisbane (57.4%), Adelaide (50%) and Perth, where resources are stretched (13.1%).

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