The shire’s property market strengthened in 2020 on the back of a great agricultural season, with proposed shire resources and industrial developments feeding into optimism.

The 2020 property market results have laid an encouraging basis for the future.

The Courier sought an overview of the Narrabri Shire’s property market year from certified property valuer with PTRE Valuation and Advisory and Nutrien Harcourts, Narrabri, James Thomas.

The district’s property picture is encouraging.

“The shire’s residential, commercial, industrial and rural property markets appear to be strengthening in both the number of transactions and values being achieved,” Mr Thomas said. The year’s results and future outlook were based on a combination of factors.

“While there is much discussion about the impact of the Narrabri gas project on the residential market, it should be noted that the increases seen in 2020 are a combination of not only the approval of the Santos project but also a substantial increase in agricultural production in the shire, record low interest rates and numerous government incentives for first home buyers,” said Mr Thomas.

“With uncertainty in national property markets due to COVID-19 the outlook for our regional markets is good, a welcome start to the 2021 season.

“Combined with low interest rates, the start of the proposed large projects should provide a great platform for the various Narrabri property sectors.

“The drought has had a significant impact upon the number of rural property sales, however the despite the decrease in demand and poor seasonal conditions, values held and, in some cases, strengthened,” said Mr Thomas.

“It should be noted that majority of properties that have sold were considered top tier agricultural assets.

“It’s interesting to look at the impact a big winter crop year can have on the market,” said Mr Thomas.

“2016 saw one of the largest winter crops the area had experienced for a long time and was a major contributor to the massive increase in the number of sales in 2017 and 2018.

“With a strong harvest in 2020 and record low interest rates it will be interesting to see what will happen in 2021.”

A snapshot of residential property movements:

In 2020 there were 110 home sales with a median price of $357,000, reflecting a 20 per cent increase in the number of sales from the previous year and a 10 per cent increase in the median sale price. Approximately 70 per cent of the house sales were at value levels below $400,000. Low interest rates, government incentives for first home buyers and the approval of a number of large-scale infrastructure projects are considered to be the key drivers in this market sector. “It should be noted that the majority of high-end homes, say $600,000 plus, were predominantly purchased by retiring farmers looking to secure a base in town.”

Wee Waa:
2020 was a good year for residential property in Wee Waa with 29 home sales, up 70 per cent from 2019. The median house price was relatively unchanged from 2019 levels at $150,000.

There were 19 house sales in Boggabri in 2020 with the number of sales up 35 per cent from the previous year. While the median house price did decline this can be attributed to most of the buyers in the market during 2020 being entry level buyers at lower price points than investors who had previously dominated the market.

Commercial property:
In 2020 there were five commercial property sales in Narrabri with a combined value of $5.57 million. Most of these sales were to investors, both local and external, with notable sales being Tattersalls Hotel and The Reject Shop.

Industrial Property:
In 2020 there were five industrial sales in Narrabri with a combined value of $1.897 million – two vacant land sales and three improved industrial complexes. In 2019 there were eight industrial sales in Narrabri with a combined value of $6.52m. The majority of these sales were established complexes with long term leases in place sold to local investors, many of which were purchased in superannuation funds looking for secure assets with reasonable long-term yields. “The commercial and industrial property markets will benefit from the number of large-scale infrastructure projects due to commence in 2021 and 2022,” said Mr Thomas. “In particular, our industrial land markets represent great value, with values being achieved at levels 40 per cent to 60 per cent below the Moree and Gunnedah markets.”

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