Rodney Stevens, Clarence Valley Independent
The Clarence Valley’s reputation of being a premier holiday destination, but an even better place to live, has seen tourists and locals taking an active interest in the real estate market and holiday letting almost at capacity during the Christmas holidays.
On the back of Yamba being named in real-estate.com.au Hottest 100 suburbs for 2023, agents are reporting steady sales and solid inquiries.
Dougherty Property licensed agent Judithann Forrester said the Clarence Valley continues to be an in-demand destination for people wanting a sea or tree change.
“We’ve been getting a good number of enquiries over the Christmas New Year period and there are still many people wanting to come to live in our area,” she said.
“People have got their money and are ready to purchase if the right property comes along.”
Ms Forrester said Dougherty Property had seen steady enquiries for properties across the region, from the coast to the hinterland.
“We’ve negotiated sale of a few properties over the Christmas period,” she said.
“I see continued trade and people choosing to come to the Clarence Valley to live in 2023.”
Warren Tucker of Yamba Valley Real Estate said the office had been very busy with holiday and property enquiries.
“We’ve remained flat out busy all the way through the holidays, we just can’t keep up with the enquiries for new properties we are getting,” he said.
Tourist bookings and property interest strong over summer
As the business is only two years old, Mr Tucker said they were looking for more rentals to add to their portfolio and more staff.
“Everything we’ve got for rent is gone so we are looking for long-term and holiday rentals,” he said.
“We’re that busy we’re looking for a salesperson, a property manager and a sales assistant and anyone interested can contact Yamba Valley Real Estate on 0427 907 497.”
LJ Hooker Iluka principal sales agent Nick Potente said Iluka had been buzzing over the holidays with close to pre-Covid levels of business and tourists.
“With the number of tourists in town we have certainly picked up with generally everything across the business and hopefully that’s a good sign for how things are going to move into the new year,” he said.
With about 60 holiday rentals on their books, Mr Potente said demand over these holidays was back to normal.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase from that Covid lockdown time,” he said.
“The demand for holiday rentals was very good for the Christmas New Year period.
“I don’t know if we’re there quite yet, but if we’re not 100 per-cent, then it certainly felt like we were back to normal this summer.”
The recent merger of Yamba Iluka Real Estate and Elders Yamba to become Elders Lifestyle Group saw almost all of their 159 holiday rentals fully booked.
“We’ve had at least 150 fully booked from early December until late January and even further,” Elders Lifestyle Group holiday office said.
“There are a lot of holiday makers in town looking for somewhere to stay now, they come for a visit and love it so much they want to stay here.”
Elders Lifestyle Group licensee in change Grant Gillies said property inquiries have been picking up since Christmas.
“We went to contract on 5 blocks of land before Christmas which was good and another block sold between Christmas and New Year and we are negotiating on a number of properties currently,” he said.
“I think prices will settle down this year in this area.
“Enquiries in Yamba and Angourie will always be strong around the beaches and for anything that’s affordable, if it’s got a view and is in town it will still do reasonably well.”
Blue Dolphin Yamba Manager Matt Mitchell said the holiday park as enjoyed solid bookings over the Christmas New Year period and was almost fully booked out until January 27.
“The start of December was busier than usual but the two weeks before Christmas were quieter,” he said.
“September, October and November have all been incredibly busy.”
Traditionally, Mr Mitchell said the Blue Dolphin had been at capacity over the Christmas holidays for the past 30 years.
“This year the bookings were in earlier and were just as strong as previous years,” he said.
“The number of caravans sold during the Covid pandemic when people couldn’t holiday overseas and the fact that we have a good mix from budget to premium accommodation, I think, contributes to the consistent crowds at the Blue Dolphin.”
Calypso Yamba Holiday Park manager Wendy said the park had enjoyed pleasing Christmas New Year trade after a slow start.
“It has been busy, at the start of the holidays not so much, but the back end of it from about the 26th of December has been really good,” she said.
“We are sitting at about 90 per cent capacity until about the 14th of January and then it’s slowing down after that. After starting her role late in 2022, Wendy said she couldn’t compare current trade with pre-Covid business levels.
“A lot of the businesses that I have been talking to have been saying that it was really quiet leading up to Christmas,” she said.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 11 January 2023.
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