Make a radical change in regional NSW? It will be 1 million dollars

Area head of research and economics Dr Nicola Powell said million-dollar house prices along the NSW coast indicated Australians’ penchant for living spaces.

“What this highlights is the willingness of Australians to pay a premium in prime lifestyle locations,” Power said.

Wategos Beach in Byron Bay, which topped the million dollar regional club chart.Credit:Elise Derwin

“Wollongong rocks at the back of Sydney… there is an element of switchability.

“Australians are driven by their way of life, this has been even more the case during the pandemic. Ballina has always been considered the more affordable place to buy than Byron. »

She said interest in these markets was compounded by investor demand, as they were also vacation destinations where many homes had been taken off the market for sale and rent for short-term rentals. .

“It displaces those people from those communities, and an element of that could happen between Byron and Ballina,” she said.

Wollongong has also slipped into the $1m median price range as the ripple effect of Sydney's property boom extends further.

Wollongong has also slipped into the $1m median price range as the ripple effect of Sydney’s property boom extends further.

“It displaces people from their community because they can’t compete with people who come from more expensive markets.

“People moving from Sydney to Byron are wealthy people buying second homes.”

National Shelter chief executive Emma Greenhalgh said there were clear winners and losers in the pandemic property boom.


“For the owners of their properties, who benefit from this increase, well, they are clearly the winners. But for others who are renting, or those who are not so well off, they are definitely the losers,” said Greenhalgh, adding that even some local sellers who benefited from growth during boom times were unable to buy out. .

She said it would create lasting intergenerational wealth and affect people’s lifelong opportunities.

“When they sell, it’s a big windfall for their kids,” Greenhalgh said.

“Those who may have some buying ability might be able to look further afield, but when you look in regional areas you look at the difference of 50 to 100 kilometers from where you want to be. Moving to a suburb or a city is very disruptive.


Some local governments, hospitals and businesses have been unable to retain or even attract staff due to severe housing shortages.

Kiama Council Mayor Neil Reilly said residents were amazed at the remarkable growth.

“But there are two sides to the coin. It is difficult for young people, in particular, to live here,” he said.

“As far as council is concerned, we are developing a housing strategy to meet demand. We’re making all sorts of efforts to find out what our community wants, and that will include lots of engagement meetings, especially from the next generation.

He said the council had been waiting two years for the state government to release land near a quarry that would provide up to 40 blocks, planned to write to absentee landlords of short-term rentals asking them to return homes available for long-term rental, and had detailed an urban strategy with a large residential development in the center of town.

At the same time, Reilly said the council was “very conscious” of retaining the character of the area – a key reason for its popularity in the first place – such as the pristine beaches and green hills to the west.

“I don’t think what we’re doing in Kiama is restricting housing. We are changing the nature of it by making it more intense in the city, trying to free up land that already has development approval in and around our quarry which has a lot of infrastructure.