Average Byron Bay rent $200 a week more than central Sydney
The boom in NSW’s regional housing market amid the pandemic-inspired search for better lifestyles is particularly evident in Byron Bay, where it now costs $200 a week more to rent the median house than a popular central Sydney and equally hipster hotspot.
The latest CoreLogic property values data shows since Covid-19 erupted in March 2020, housing prices across regional Australia surged even higher than the combined capitals, with country NSW the strongest market, up 29.8 per cent.
In coastal Byron Bay, it now costs $950 a week to rent a house and almost $3m to buy one on average, compared to $750 per week and $1.75m for Newtown, which is just 3km from the Sydney CBD.
Demand for Byron Bay is considerably higher, with realestate.com.au page view data showing listings for the town have on average 1494 visits per month, compared to 1180 for Newtown and 1451 for the average of NSW.
Real Estate Institute of NSW data this week showed the residential rental vacancy rate for the inner Sydney area, which includes Newtown, is now 3.7 per cent.
That compares to just 0.4 per cent in the South Coast, which includes Wollongong, and 1.1 per cent in the Northern Rivers region, where Byron Bay is nestled.
REINSW said vacancy rates across regional NSW had remained low for some time, recording only small movements, and had further decreased in the Albury, Coffs Harbour, Mid-North Coast and South Eastern areas.
But REINSW chief executive Tim McKibbin said the impact of the Omicron variant was being felt everywhere.
“We certainly expected to see a lull in the market leading into the festive season, however REINSW members are reporting that this usual lull was exacerbated in December because people are hesitant about the future as Omicron continues to spread,” he said.
“As a result, many are delaying their plans to move, leaving the market in limbo.”
Those keen for a slice of regional NSW have the best chance of securing a rental by going inland to the Orana region, which has the highest vacancy rate of 1.5 per cent.
The median weekly rent for a house in Dubbo, for instance, is just $400 but there are currently only 57 properties available on realestate.com.au
It’s even slimmer pickings in the surfing mecca of Byron Bay, with only 28 properties on the site.
But there’s 134 listings for lively Newtown, known for its terrace houses and funky cafes.
Originally published as Average Byron Bay rent $200 a week more than central Sydney
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