We fired a few quick questions at local real estate agent Mitchell (Mitch) Smithers from Ray White Braidwood to get a feel for the local market from his viewpoint.
Braidwood Times - Last year you mentioned there are people from the cities, and a few from NZ or Asia, buying properties of various descriptions here. Is that still the case?
Mitch - Yeah, there is still the same mix of people looking for properties in the area. We have seen a small drop in the investor side of things, but now we are getting into prime real estate season so it looks promising.
Stage 2 in the Summerfield retirement village is underway and Denver [Shoemark, agency principal] is selling units in there quickly, and there are still units available.
Mostly people are moving to the Braidwood area for a lifestyle change and our close-nit community.
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BT - Has there been a shift in what they are looking for in the last 12 months - be it a weekender, lifestyle block, a house in town, an investment, or something else?
Mitch - We have seen a slight drop in interest in houses in town and its starting to get better as the weather gets better.
We currently have a number of qualified buyers looking for acreage within close distance of Braidwood and/or weekender style properties.
Rental houses are in demand also and we are having no problem finding tenants for these properties.
BT - Are the changes to the banking sector having much of a long-term impact?
Mitch - Early last year until about three months ago the banking sector was really slow and taking a long time to process loans, but now they seem to be a bit quicker.
We speak with a lot of mortgage brokers and they now have a lot more paperwork to fill in for clients.
While the banking sector was getting sorted out there were a lot more cash buyers around looking to buy in while there was less competition.
BT - Do you have any tips or suggestions of where you see future growth, or just a great place to live in this area? We recall that your tip last year was to take a close look at Araluen.
Mitch - The next 12 months in real estate are going to be very exciting with lots of things happening around our local area.
It's hard to pick a specific location, but it is hard to look past Braidwood with the new developments, upgrades to local roads, Braidwood hospital, new subdivision and NBN network upgrade.