What’s wrong with Byron Bay?

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Byron Bay’s high values are putting pressure on the socially disadvantaged and locking locals out of the housing market.

The regional city was named the most expensive city in the county in recent research by Propertyology. Byron Bay was able to snatch the title from Sydney as the median house price of the former rose by a whopping 64% over the past five calendar years.  However, the booming house prices were a double-edged sword, according to Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson.

"If you're in the market in Byron it's great; if you're trying to get in it's less great. We are still in the lowest 20% of social disadvantage… There are massive amounts who are struggling from the huge homelessness problems to those who are really struggling to stay in Byron,” Richardson told abc.net.au.

Locals are also priced out of the market. Abc.net.au featured a resident who has lived in the town for 40 years and has two children in their 30s.

"Both children will not be able to afford to live in the town that they were born in, which is really sad," Jann Burmester told abc.net.au. "I was fortunate to have bought myself a townhouse in the Bay, but five or six years ago, I was made redundant and was forced to sell.”

Tom Cook, meanwhile, is a 29-year-old father of three who was born in Byron Bay and still works there but has moved south to Ballina with his family.

"Dad was brought up there, and we were born there and wanted to bring our kids up there, it is sad. We were paying close to $600 a week (in rent) for a two-bedroom townhouse that was close to 15 years old. We're paying an extra $50 a week down in Ballina, and we've got a three-year-old, four-bedroom house with a pool,” he told abc.net.au.

There are also some who have given up on the dream of owning a house in their hometown and are having a difficulty finding a place to rent. Local musician Fintan Callaghan, a 50-year-old father of four, is one of them. He might be evicted at the end of the month because the converted garage he was renting is being renovated for use as a short-term holiday let.

"I'm paying $300 a week, but they're going to knock down the wall, put in a kitchenette, and they'll probably get $300 a night for it," Callaghan said.

 

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Comments
  • John Galt says on 17/05/2019 01:53:35 PM

    I don't conform to this "social disadvantage" crap - What additional advantages did I or any other Australian have over the residents of Byron Bay? What disadvantage did they have that I did not? Those that have lived in the town all their lives should have seen the values of their family properties rise incredibly and be sitting on enough equity to live very comfortably in a very wide variety of places. Arguably, they have more advantage than others based on the luck of where they grew up. Spare me the bleeding heart rubbish!

  • Angalfaria says on 19/05/2019 04:33:17 PM

    It always depends on the price of the property. Not for Sydney also whole over Australia.

  • Brad Scott says on 20/05/2019 08:09:08 AM

    I agree with John Galt's comment and would also like to add that I'm only able to live in Sydney because I saved 50% of my income between the age of 15 and 21. I used my savings to buy a unit and was then able to continue to save, sell my unit and buy a home. I new from a young age that if i didn't save I wouldn't be able to buy in Sydney. My children have saved and are also able to buy in Sydney. Property prices have been increasing at a rapid rate all my life, 54 years, throughout eastern seaboard of Australia. It's taken me 14 home purchases/renovations to get into the position that I am today. I could have traveled like many of my teenage friends, spent my money, not saved and been in the position that they are know, RENTING. We live in the greatest country on earth, everyone wants a piece of it and our politicians allow not only Australian Citizens but other Citizens of the world to buy a piece of it. Therefore prices of properties are only going to continue to increase as parts of the world become richer (China, etc) visit Australia and want a piece of it.

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