INVESTORS from outside of Bathurst are showing much more interest in the regional city this spring.
According to the executive chairman of Raine and Horne, Angus Raine, Sydney investors recognise that Bathurst and similar locations offer excellent affordability and investment yields of between four and five per cent.
They are able to get a much better return on their investment than they would in capital city markets, making the choice obvious.
“Robust population and services hubs such as Bathurst appeal to investors because they can deliver quality healthcare facilities, employment, diverse economies, and comfortable and affordable lifestyles,” Mr Raine said.
Meanwhile, the co-principal of Raine and Horne in Bathurst, Michelle Mackay, said that local downsizers are emerging in spring, too.
“Local downsizers are moving out of family homes and into three-bedroom apartments with double garages in the Bathurst CBD,” she said.
“These newer apartments are valued between $460,000 and $500,000. The trouble is that we don’t have a lot of this stock available for sale this spring, while older two-bedroom apartments are selling for about $350,000.”
She also said that the drought had encouraged some older people who live on the land to make the move into town.
Professionals Real Estate sales specialist Mark Sullivan agreed that there has been more investor interest lately, but it wasn’t limited to investors from Sydney alone.
“There seems to be a focus on the Sydney buyer however inquiry is being received from all over NSW and interstate,” he said.
“There has definitely been more inquiry from the Sydney basin, including the north and south coast. This has been investor buying.
“Bathurst is also getting migration from Western Sydney and this is owner-occupier purchasing.”
He said that investors are attracted to Bathurst for several reasons, including generally low vacancy rates, it being a cultural city, and its proximity to where they live themselves.
Proximity becomes an important factor when trying to arrange or inspect necessary repairs.
Bathurst is fortunate to be a city that achieves good sales numbers throughout the year, but Mr Sullivan said there can be a benefit in springtime selling to vendors whose homes feature impressive gardens.
“If a property has a spectacular garden and looks better in spring, I certainly recommend vendors consider putting their property on the market at this time,” he said.
“However, if there is not flowering trees, et cetera, it would make no difference.
“I think, psychologically, buyers are more active in spring as weather is warmer and it feels better to look around.”
As for downsizer interest, Mr Sullivan said he hadn’t seen a substantial increase in activity, but could agree that the drought was a factor in why some people were making the move closer to town from big agricultural properties.
“They are looking for a large block so they are not too close to neighbours and often look for one to five acre lifestyle blocks, which are very rare in Bathurst,” he said.