Byron Bay ... still a take great place to live and invest despite it being included in a 2010 ‘no-go zone’ list.
Byron Bay ... still a take great place to live and invest despite it being included in a 2010 ‘no-go zone’ list.

Agents hit back at 'no-go' survey

‘He has got to be joking.’

That was the response from Byron Bay real estate agent Graham Dunn to a list of 2010 real estate ‘no-go zones’ in Australia which includes Byron Bay.

The list, compiled by national property analyst Terry Ryder, and released last week, claims that Byron Bay is one of the 10 worst places to invest in the country.

Mr Ryder is the founder of the website which focuses on forecasting Australia’s next property hotspots.

The key drivers behind the inclusions on this year’s ‘no-go zones’ list include poor capital growth records, overheated prices and pollution issues.

Mr Ryder said that one of the least-known factors in Australian real estate was that iconic sea change locations tended to have poor capital growth records.

“Investors often assume that locations which have high population growth and/or tourism markets will be real estate hotspots and show superior growth,” he said.

“Byron Bay is a case in point.

“It is popular with both domestic and international tourists, attracting backpackers, whale watchers, scuba divers and sky divers.

“But, like the Gold and Sunshine coasts, it doesn’t have a great record on price growth.”

Mr Dunn said he didn’t know where Mr Ryder got his facts from, but they were wrong.

“Byron Bay has a green council which is anti-development and the town is land-locked by natural parks and wetlands,” he said.

“There is a limited supply of properties and an increased supply of buyers.

“Up until the global financial crisis, Wategos Beach had an average capital growth of 19 per cent per annum.”

Mr Dunn said Byron Bay did not need people like Mr Ryder and he should stay away from the town.

Principal of Ray White Real Estate, David Gordon, said the ‘no-go zone’ list was poorly researched and represented too narrow a section of the marketplace.

“While growth has slowed down in 2009 and 2010, Byron Bay is still a great place to invest in,” he said.

James Young from Byron Bay First National Real Estate said he was extremely shocked at Mr Ryder’s opinions.

World slump

“Byron Bay is one of the most scenically beautiful places in the world,” he said.

“Along with the rest of the world, the past three years have not seen the enormous capital gains that have occurred here for almost two decades.

“We believe for these purposes it is more relevant to look at the demographic of people actually buying real estate, rather than those visiting the area.

“Byron Bay and Suffolk Park have a drastic shortage of land.

“As opposed to areas like the Gold Coast, this shortage of land and growing demand for buyers wanting to live here is absolutely safe grounds for a fantastic investment.”

Ed Silk from Ed Silk Real Estate said Byron Bay was one of the few places in Australia which was known universally around the world.

“The town is a major destination for so many people,” he said.

“Holiday accommodation during the past two years has maintained its high rate and Byron Bay remains a popular place for people to visit and live.”

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