Jobs,housing,roads and Koalas priorities in Port Macquarie Regional City Action Plan to 2036​

More jobs, increased affordable housing, a vibrant waterfront, improved transport network and green spaces for koalas are some of the key objectives in a future plan for Port Macquarie.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes released the final Port Macquarie Regional City Action Plan which will guide and shape the coastal city’s growth until 2036.

“We know that housing affordability is a key issue affecting our regional cities, which is why we’ve included actions to ensure a steady supply and mix of homes to cater for future population growth,” Mr Stokes said.

“Over the next 15 years, an additional 11,600 people are expected to call Port Macquarie home, requiring more than 7,450 homes.

“The plan will also help the council map out existing koala corridors as part of a local Koala Recovery Strategy. This will lead to the provision of more habitat and vegetation, and public space for the community to enjoy.”

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said the final plan leverages the city’s position along the Pacific and Oxley highways to attract investment, encourage tourism and boost jobs.

“The Action Plan will strengthen initiatives, such as 550 new jobs for the Airport Business Park expansion and the creation of a Health and Education Precinct supported by better transport links,” Mrs Williams said.

“Work is already underway to improve connections with the Hastings River and beach foreshore, while our parks, public spaces and waterfront will be upgraded to create a greener, greater place to live.

“I’m delighted to see the plan is now finalised and we can get on with delivering a sustainable vision for the region.”

Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peta Pinson said the final plan responds directly to community feedback.

“The community made it loud and clear that protection of the natural environment, overdevelopment and transport issues were main concerns that need addressing,” Cr Pinson said.

“To drive a sustainable future, we’re selecting trees and shrubs that not only cool down built-up areas but provide habitat and food sources for native wildlife.

“Council will continue to review its planning rules to ensure the size and scale of new building developments stay consistent and compatible with their surroundings.”

NSW Qld Vic


Despite all the pandemic-induced drama, 2020 turned out to be a pretty stable year for property prices in Australia. Most experts believe that this new year will shape up to be stellar for real estate. Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) chairman reinforced that 2021 will be a much better year than 2020, especially for the residential market, as capital cities are expected to see a higher rate of value increases.

Furthermore, historically low interest rate and pent up transactional energy are likely to provide a boost to the property market early in 2021, as this will continue to push the prices on established residential properties up.

If Australia succeeds to keep COVID contained in 2021, the property market will look to be a promising year, especially on the back of record low interest rates and positive sentiments, Property investors Council of Australia’s chairman Ben Kingsley.
Here are where the experts are highly recommending to invest in 2021:

Lifestyle Towns

Regional and lifestyle property markets have shown some very strong results. Demand has been outstripping supply by some margin and this has resulted in short marketing periods, properties sold prior to auction as well as some very strong auction results. Locations such as the Sunshine Coast and Adelaide Hills are stands outs with the advantages of rural lifestyle and good value attracting buyers.
CoreLogic’s “Best of the Best” report revealed Sunshine Beach, a suburb of Noosa in Queensland, had the best performing house prices over the past 12 months.

In just one year Sunshine Beach’s house prices rose by an eye-watering 27.6 per cent, the largest capital gain in one year of any suburb in the country.

CoreLogic’s Head of Research Australia, Eliza Owen said “Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast has seen the highest annual capital growth in houses nationally, compared with 2019 when St Kilda in Melbourne saw the highest housing growth.”

Regional Victoria

Areas such as Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are likely hotspots due to affordability and lifestyle factors. Despite the ongoing pandemic, regional Victoria house prices increased by 5.5 per cent. CoreLogic research director, Tim Lawless said the hottest markets were only a few hours drive from major capital cities, such as Geelong, Ballarat, Sunshine Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong and Daylesford. “They are leading the pack in terms of the strongest growth”.
“People can have the best of both worlds and live in a marketplace with lifestyle benefits and lower prices, as well commute back to big cities if they need to,” Mr Lawless said.

Greater Byron Region

As mentioned in our last email, the Greater Byron Region is set to boom in 2021. Increases in buyer’s demand were across the Greater Byron Region in locations such as East Ballina (185%), Lennox Head (150%) and Bangalow (145%).





Hundreds of families are buying up big in the state’s best regional towns every year in a bid toescape city life.Cheaper houses, proximity to nature and beaches aswell as just friendly country people are sending Sydneysiders out into NSW‘s regional enclaves, with social researchers predicting a further surge in seachangers off the back of more people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.Port Macquarie was the most popular town in NSW forpeople to move to, with 1418 people moving there between 2018 and last year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Port Macquarie Laing and Simmons real estate agent Chris Koch said he could not find enoughhouses to sell to willing Sydneysiders.“We have mountains, we have beaches, we have a river, we have good water supply, our health system is pretty good and our climate is pretty nice — and the prices are reasonably good at the moment,” he said.“We’re in a fortunate position where our (housing) market is holding up and we have heaps of buyers and not enough property to sell.

Port Macquarie boasts stunning coastal views. He said the median house price in Port Macquarie was $580,000 but prices increased to get properties closer to the beach to upwards of a million dollars. Retirees chasing the peaceful coastal life are also fuelling the trend.“We have people who are now working from home and saying, ‘stuff this, I don’t have to live in Sydney I can have a Zoom meeting in Port Macquarie’.”Michelle Kyan moved with her four children and husband Francis in April last year to Port Macquarie from the northwest Sydney suburb of Glenhaven.“We wanted a better balance between work and leisure and that wasn’t really happening in Sydney,” she said. They reduced the size of their mortgage and now live within five minutes of the beach and can spend more time with their four children rather than commuting to work.

Michelle and Francis Kyan with their four kids Adele 4, Elijah 10, Ava 13, Xavier 16 onLighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie. Pic: Lindsay Moller Production



Newcastle property market likely to see continued growth

The Hunter region continued to see buzzing activity in the local property market, according to the latest Herron Todd White (HTW) residential report.

The current COVID-19 epidemic is going to have a negative impact on key drivers, so it will be interesting to see what impact this may have on the property market in the short to medium term, the valuation firm said.

The report notes even with the uncertainty of an interest rates move, there was still plenty of activity around the region for both established houses and also people wanting to purchase a block of land to build their dream home.



In terms of residential property, Newcastle has become its own market and no longer relies on Sydney as it once did.

“In the past 12 months, Newcastle saw a shift in confidence independently of Sydney; we no longer follow suit like we once did. Locally, since the federal election, we have seen an increase in activity from all classes of potential property purchasers,” the valuation firm said.

There is still a healthy supply of inner city units for sale and with further developments around Hunter and King Streets in Newcastle and also Honeysuckle continuing into the future, perpetuates the old saying of “as long as people buy, they will continue to build them”, the report noted.

“Savvy property investors are still seeing Newcastle and supporting areas as a great place to invest due to affordability and also strong growth potential,” the valuation firm said.

These investors will be ready to pounce on the best performing pockets which include properties in the Kotara, Islington, Hamilton, Charlestown and Mayfield areas, all located within a 15 minute drive of the Newcastle CBD.

“First home buyers in the region are also continuing to purchase established dwellings around the fringes of the city suburbs and also showing keen interest in house and land packages around the Maitland areas of Chisholm, Thornton and Bolwarra, which are all less than a 40 minutes drive into Newcastle city,” the valuation firm said.

The trendy inner city suburb of Tighes Hill also saw a record sale price for the year at the end of February of $1.5 million for a waterfront Throsby Creek, Sparke Street property (pictured below).

The largest sale in the affluent suburb of Merewether for the month of February was 68 Curry Street (pictured below) which sold for just under the $2 million mark at $1.98 million, the report noted. 

NSW Property Information


The NSW state government has abolished stamp duty for new homes under $800,000, in a bid to support first home buyers and the construction industry.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that the government will temporarily axe stamp duty on newly built homes valued at under $800,000, from 1 August.

There will also be concessions available for new homes under $1 million in value (up from the previous limit of $800,00).

Previously, stamp duty applied to homes worth more than $650,000. 

According to media reports, the move is expected to support approximately 6,000 first home buyers while boosting construction and creating jobs amid the COVID-19 crisis.

As well as increasing the stamp duty threshold for newly built homes, the government will also raise the threshold for stamp duty on vacant land.

This will rise from $350,000 to $400,000 and will phase out at $500,000.

The temporary changes will only last for a period of 12 months and will only apply to newly-built homes and vacant land, not to existing homes.

“Thousands of people will see their bank balances benefit from this change – it will help get more keys into more front doors of more new homes,” Ms Berejiklian is reported to have said this morning.

“It will also boost housing construction across NSW and support jobs in the building industry at a time when we need them more than ever before.”

NSW Treasurer Dom Perrotet tweeted this morning: “Stamp duty waived or discounted for thousands across NSW. All told, new home buyers will be able to save up to $31,000 as we keep the construction sector fired up and employing people.”

He later stated: “The current scheme has already helped over 93,000 first home buyers since July 2017 and this will give the construction industry extra support as we face the challenges of COVID-19.

“We need to ensure our building sites keep ringing with hammers and saws as that means more people working, and first home owners will save money in the process.”

The NSW Government will also continue to offer a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant, which is available to people buying a new first home worth no more than $600,000, or buying land and building a new first home worth no more than $750,000 in total.

This means the maximum amount of benefit a home owner could be entitled to is $32,335 if purchasing a new home and accessing the grant.

The move compliments the intentions of the federal HomeBuilder scheme that provides a $25,000 grant to owner-occupiers “substantially renovating” or building a new home between 4 June to 31 December 2020.

The federal government estimates that approximately 27,000 grants would be handed out as part of the package across $10 billion in building projects, supporting 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector. 

NSW government land tax debate heats up

NSW government’s stamp duty announcement comes hot on the heels of the release of the state’s draft Federal Financial Relations Review.

The review, undertaken by an ‘independent expert review panel’ appointed last year by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, sets out a roadmap to realign financial relations between the Commonwealth and the states.

The Supporting the road to recovery draft report, suggests that the state governments should be given more control over tax decisions, warning that the benefits of federalism are being undermined in Australia by duplication, bureaucracy and creeping centralisation, which it suggests has fostered “a learned financial dependency amongst the states”.

The report therefore advocates changing Australia’s tax mix to give states more control over their income, make taxes “as simple as possible”, and to limit the impact they have on citizens’ lives, such as the decision about when to move house and whether to take out insurance. Notably, this would include the replacement of stamp duties on property transfers and insurance taxes, with a broad-based land tax (with an “appropriate transition process that recognises the impact on property owners”).

According to the report, the 15 recommendations put forward would have the effect of making state revenues more stable and sustainable and give them more control over revenue raising and spending on essential services such as health and transport

The draft recommendations are open for consultation until 31 July, with a final report expected to be delivered in September 2020.



In a recent survey covering almost 10,000 Australians, Canberra was rated as Australia’s most liveable city.

So, what’s changed?

Australia’s biggest cities are being hampered by their own success.

Melbourne and Sydney are facing overcrowding, increased living expenses, and increased crime rates. In fact, housing prices in Sydney have dropped by over 11% in just the past year, and still Sydney continues to score the lowest rating for housing affordability.

As a matter of fact, housing affordability was one of the top factors that led Australians to pick Canberra as Australia’s most liveable cities.


Here are the top 5 reasons Australians picked Canberra as the most liveable city:


1. Affordable Housing

Though Canberra has been steadily climbing the ranks of the most expensive cities in terms of home ownership with the median price of homes being $595,000, it is still more affordable than other tier 1 cities, and significantly less than Sydney’s median price of $888,117 and Melbourne’s $729,392.

This affordability has led a lot of young Australians to set their sights on the city.


2. Better Access to Education

Another reason young Australians choose to flock to the city of Canberra is its established education infrastructure.

Canberra is regarded as Australia’s education capital. A 2014 report found Canberra has the highest percentage of its population studying either full-time or part-time compared to any other city in the country. Perhaps this is why Canberra residents were the only residents in a capital city in Australia that valued high-quality educational opportunities in its top five most important liveability factors.

So, if you’re looking to buy or rent in Canberra, you’re in well-educated company, with over 50% of Canberra residents holding a Bachelor degree.


3. Plenty of Job Opportunities

With such a highly educated and skilled population it’s no surprise that many global companies choose to have offices in Canberra.

Canberra is also the home of start-up innovation in Australia. With a population of just over 400,000 people, Canberra creates a positive small business atmosphere that taps into the skills of its residents.

It’s not surprising then that Canberra residents have Australia’s highest average full-time salaries of $95,524.

It is for these reasons that Australians have rated Canberra as the place that develops careers and shapes individual business identities.


4. A Strong Sense of Safety and Community

Another rating that the city of Canberra ranked so high was ‘Safety’. Canberrans gave feeling safe a score of 7.2 which was the highest of all capital cities. ‘Feeling safe’ even ranked as the most important factor in making a city liveable according to the survey subjects with 67% of respondents selecting this criterion.

It’s no wonder that Canberra was voted the most livable city in Australia- after all, whether you’re living in an area or need to pass through it on your daily commute, feeling safe is one of the most basic necessities in a city.


5. Better Public Transport and Ease of Commuting

Canberra prides itself on being a ’30-minute city’, where reasonable traffic reduces the stress of the daily commute. And residents seem to agree, rating the city as one of Australia’s most convenient cities to move around in.

You can do as most locals do and just hop on a bike, making the most of Canberra’s extensive bike lane network. Alternatively, the city is also highly accessible via public transport, with a reliable network of buses that plough through the city’s four town centres. Even the first stage of Canberra’s light rail network looks ready to be delivered early this year, creating a transport network that will be ready to handle the growing transport needs of the city.
If you’re looking to make a shift or just looking to invest in the city before everyone else, contact us with your property queries and we’ll be happy to help you locate a profitable property investment in the Canberra Region.

NSW Property Information Qld Vic


Melbourne and Sydney are undoubtedly the most popular cities in Australia. Melbourne attracts countless people into the city. Rich heritage structures, beautiful landscapes, high development and a great sporting culture make Melbourne an attractive proposition to shift base.

Travel guides will tell you that Sydney is the best city to visit in Australia. It’s home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour, two of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The golden beaches of Sydney have their own set of loyalists from all across the world. Sydney is also regarded as the financial hub of the Pacific down under.

Education acts as a big pull for families in such cases. University of Melbourne and Deakin University are among Victoria’s best places to study. University of New South Wales and University of Sydney rank up there among the most sought after universities. The sheer reputation of these institutions attract not just local Australians but also overseas students into the two big cities.

The rate at which Melbourne and Sydney have grown is twice as much as other cities in Australia. A flourishing economy, good infrastructure and friendly interest rates have seen people flocking towards Sydney. The real estate prices in the city of Sydney has reached a stage where buying property in the city costs much more money. In fact, it features in the top 10 list of most expensive real estate properties in the world.

So does that mean that Sydney and Melbourne have reached a point of saturation? Property experts believe that the market is softening. Flatlines are appearing because of increased real estate prices which are driving people to settle outside of Sydney. As such, it isn’t a problem given that Sydney has a well-connected transport system and Australia has the whole continent to themselves.

Explore the Untapped Potential of Capital Cities

Property experts have advised investors to diversify their portfolio and put their money and faith in booming markets. Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Canberra – major Australian capital cities have been touted to grow at a rapid pace.

Adelaide and Canberra have emerged as top contenders in the property market. Sydney may have seen flatlines in property growth but Canberra, for instance, has so many takers at this stage. It’s the national capital, a seat of all political activity which results in people actively moving out.

The Brisbane Boom

Reports suggest that the value of real estate residential housing in Brisbane has seen a sharp rise. Rapid construction has resulted in an oversupply in available housing. The real estate prices remain affordable for people to settle in. And it’s not just residents or fellow Queenslanders, a lot of inter-state migration has started taking place in Brisbane.

Brisbane is witnessing a lot of migration into the city which balances the oversupply of housing. With everyone earning largely the same levels of income, the time seems right to invest now in Brisbane rather than Sydney and Melbourne.

BIS Shrapnel expects median house prices in Brisbane to increase by 7% come June 2019. Brisbane has seen a jump in the number of IT and Finance firms setting up shop in the city and is one of Australia’s fastest growing economies.  After Sydney and Melbourne, it’s the 3rd most visited city in Australia by tourists. The University of Queensland, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology are prestigious universities that are attracting overseas students too.

Adelaide and Hobart are quieter cities but like Brisbane, have tremendous untapped scope for growth. Any fears of Sydney and Melbourne reaching flatlines may not be fully true as studies indicate that property buyers have been making close to $100,000 within 24 months of purchase and leasing out of property. But cheaper investments can always be made in the developing cities.

If you are looking to invest in Australia’s real estate, look beyond Melbourne and Sydney. There are more investment havens to explore. With an increasing number of interstate and overseas migrations taking place, Australia presents a great investment opportunity in real estate

NSW Property Information Qld


Full fathom five thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

– Shakespeare, The Tempest 

When Shakespeare wrote the term ‘sea-change’, he was clearly referring to the dramatic transformation of one of his characters by the sea. Stemming from this, we have adopted this same term into our vocabulary to mean a deep transformation caused by any agency. We have all grown up consuming popular media like television shows, movies, magazines and blogs. These give us a chance to explore different values and ideals and in a subtle way, end up influencing our life choices.

A great example of the media’s influence on consumers is the effect the show SeaChange had on Australian migration ever since it ended in 2000. For those who don’t know, the premise of this show is the protagonist’s search for her SeaChange from urban life. After witnessing her life crumble around her in the city, she moves her family to a small fictional seaside town to start anew. This inspired many Australians to follow suit and is still seen as a common occurrence, now more than ever.

The SeaChangers

Increasingly, the SeaChange phenomenon, which was once linked to retirees, now includes the younger generation. Since coastal regions are popular with local and international visitors, the tourism industry in these areas is thriving. The working population is attracted to the jobs created by this and are happy to leave behind their stressful lives in the city for a peaceful and well-balanced life by the coast. Other migrators include alternate lifestylers, specialised service providers and more.

The reason for the change

“I think the notion of SeaChange is more relevant now than it was 20 years ago,”

 – David Mott, ITV.

The concept of counter-urbanism has been explored globally for decades. Most Australians live in an urban setting, but many seem to crave the great escape from concrete and glass to blue skies and the sea. Thus, SeaChangers are choosing the lifestyle afforded by small coastal settlements over stressful city life. This may be because of a number of economic, aesthetic, and environmental factors like:

  • Better housing
  • Debt via mortgage
  • Work-life balance
  • Shorter commutes
  • Lesser crime rate and risks
  • Enhanced family life
  • Safe environment for raising children
  • Pleasant climatic conditions
Case Study: Bellarine Peninsula

The TV show had an enormous effect on putting coastal townships in the Bellarine Peninsula on the map. Although the location in the show was fictional, it was filmed in these small villages which have resulted in SeaChangers seeking to settle down here.

This has greatly affected the real estate prices and the values have shot up tremendously. This happened gradually during the length of the show, doubling up between the 3 years it was on the air. But this rise did not end with the show. The real estate prices have been going up steadily ever since, and today, the median prices have increased by 484% in the 18 years to $900,000.

Although the towns retain their original charm, the migration has added a modern culture to this area, claim the local real estate agents. By keeping the SeaChange dream alive, the rise in property prices hasn’t stopped people from flocking to these idyllic seaside towns.

The SeaChange Effect