The latest house price report has been released by Domain and Lismore comes out as the most affordable.
The latest house price report has been released by Domain and Lismore comes out as the most affordable. Jay Cronan

Lismore cheaper, but coastal towns grow out of reach

LISMORE could become known as the Northern Rivers' rebound town, as coastal locations become more and more unaffordable for home buyers.

In the latest report from Domain it was revealed that Lismore house prices dropped by almost 3% in the September quarter while coastal towns grew by 2% or more.

The Lismore median is $340,000 ... I think this will eventually work to attract buyers.

It also showed that since last year Ballina and the Tweed grew by a massive 12-13%, putting the median prices at $550,000 and $520,000 respectively.

Domain chief economist, Andrew Wilson, said buyers would begin to "take a second look at Lismore" as they are eventually priced out of those coastal markets.

"The Lismore median is $340,000, which is now more than $200,000 behind Ballina and a similar behind Tweed," he said.

"I think this will eventually work to attract buyers that have been priced out of those markets."

RELATED: What could you buy here for Sydney's $1m median?

Mortgage Choice Lismore owner manager, Tim Roberts, believes it's a real buyer's market in Lismore right now.

"Not only is property quite affordable at present, but interest rates are low," he said.

"Most economists believe interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, which will help buyers enter the property market and pay down their loan without financial heartache."

Saving up a deposit

If you're thinking of buying your first home in Lismore, it is still likely you will be saving up for well over a year.

According to population analysis site, which takes data from the 2011 census, the annual median income in Lismore is $47,293.

So a 20% deposit on a $340,000 house would require you to chip in $20,000 more than you probably make in a year. Ouch!

Mr Roberts said it could take several years to save for a deposit.

"There is no denying that saving the deposit for a first home can take a long time," Mr Roberts said.

"Understandably, first home buyers don't want to give up their lifestyle in order to put every last penny they have towards a deposit."

Top 5 tips for saving for a deposit

  • Save the first 10% of each paycheck
  • Pay off any debt (such as personal loans or credit card debt)
  • Track your spending
  • De-clutter
  • Make an appointment with a mortgage broker such as Mortgage Choice

Source: Mortgage Choice

Dr Wilson also commented that as Sydney continues on an upward house price trend, more city-dwellers may opt to move to the Northern Rivers.

"No doubt with median house prices approaching $1.1 million in Sydney ... (Ballina and Tweed) would appear affordable to those moving into the area."

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