Already known as a holiday hotspot for families, growing demand and limited availability are combining to make the Mid-North Coast market a potential hotspot for investors, according to experts.

Destination NSW statistics show 3.4 million people spent at least one night in the area last year – up 11% on 2012.

But could it be that instead of just holidaying in the coastal area, holidaymakers are now choosing to become residents?

According to the NSW Department of Planning, the population of the area is on the rise and is forecast to increase by about 28% by 2031 – this would put population at 424,400.

Encompassing some of the state’s most pristine coastline and natural environments, the Mid North Coast is attracting the attention of those looking for a new way of life.

A recent report from Herron Todd White suggests activity in the area is picking up and market demand is on the rise.

‘Last month we reviewed 2013 across the Mid North coast of NSW and noted that sale rates, and to a lesser extent values, had started to increase across the regional centres of Port Macquarie, Taree, Forster, Tuncurry and Kempsey,’  the report states.

‘During 2014 we expect this increase in demand, sale rates and values to continue to slowly increase as consumer confidence continues to rise.’

For investors, the interest is primarily in the area’s limited availability and rising rental prices.

According to Residex, 350 properties were sold in Port Macquarie in the past three months, compared to 276 during the same period last year and the median price of a house is reported at $403,000, while the median unit price is $288,000. Gross rental yield for a house is 5%, while units are returning 6%.

The Todd Herron White report also predicts the price of new market entries will continue to rise as properties at the lower end are sold off.

‘We note that as the lower value stock is sold, the newer listings are coming on the market at higher prices helping to increase values,’ it says.

‘Current low interest rates are helping increase demand across the residential market, albeit in the low to mid-range properties $300,000 to $600,000.’