The house might not be much to look at, but the property in this popular NSW Central West town has everything treechangers are chasing – and they’re prepared to pay top dollar for it.
On offer for the first time in 100 years, ‘Womera’ and ‘Springville’ in Orange, sold for $11.4 million last week – $1.4 million above the reserve.
With 966ha to work with, ‘Womera’ enjoys a reliable 710mm annual rainfall and boasts rich volcanic basalt soils. As well as the four-bedroom brick home, there’s the old manager’s cottage, a bore, five stand shearing shed, two machinery sheds, five silos, steel cattle yards, sheep yards, grain storage shed, 24 paddocks and a double frontage to Weandre Creek.
Next door, ‘Springville’ offers a further 450ha with five paddocks, steel cattle or sheep yards, a shearing shed, machinery shed and Nubrygyn Creek frontage, as well as building entitlement.
While three buyers registered – two locals and another from WA – the eventual buyer was a neighbour from the Euchareena District.
While larger properties such as these are still the outliers in terms of price, Orange has experienced a 30 percent rise in prices for houses in the past 12 months.
McGrath Real Estate Orange and Molong principal Scott Petersen said COVID had accelerated interest in the area, which is about 250km west of Sydney, as more people embraced remote working.
“Orange is an easy drive from Sydney – between three and 3.5 hours or a 40-minute flight – and we get four very distinct seasons here in Orange – Sydneysiders appreciate that,” Mr Petersen said. “Sydney people also love what this region offers – the food, wine and events, the employment from the mining sector, good schools.”
The events calendar is a major drawcard for food and wine lovers, with more than 60 wineries in the region.
Emptynesters and retirees are also drawn by the reliable health services in the region.
“We have the best hospital this side of the Blue Mountains,” he said. “It has all the specialists and a really good oncology unit. The hospital is a very important factor for retirees coming to Orange.”
Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.
RMIT expert says a conflation of factors is making the property market hard than ever to predict
A leading property academic has described navigating the current Australian housing market ‘like steering a ship through a thick fog while trying to avoid obstacles’.
Lecturer in RMIT’s School of Property Construction and Project Management Dr Woon-Weng Wong said the combination of consecutive interest rate rises aimed at combating high inflation, higher property prices during the pandemic and cost of living pressures such as the end of the fuel excise that occurred this week made it increasingly difficult for those looking to enter or upgrade to find the right path.
“Property prices grew by approximately 25 percent over the pandemic so it’s unsurprising that much of that growth ultimately proved unsustainable and the market is now correcting itself,” Dr Wong says. “Despite the recent softening, the market is still significantly above its long-term trend and there are substantial headwinds in the coming months. Headline inflation is still red hot, and the central bank won’t back down until it reins in these spiralling prices.”
This should be enough to give anyone considering entering the market pause, he says.
“While falling house prices may seem like an ideal situation for those looking to buy, once the high interest rates, taxes and other expenses are considered, the true costs of owning the property are much higher,” Dr Wong says.
“People also must consider time lags in the rate hikes, which many are yet to feel to brunt of. It can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months before an initial change in interest rates eventually flows on to the rest of the economy, so current mortgage holders and prospective home buyers need to take this into account.”