Despite widespread bushfires following years of drought, land values across the South Coast have increased says the NSW Valuer General.
Valuer General David Parker this week published land values for the South Coast region, reflecting the property market as at July 1, 2020.
Overall the values have generally increased since July 2019, although there are exceptions in certain local government areas, including Bega Valley where figures remain steady for the most part.
Dr Parker said property sales are the most important factor valuers consider when determining land values.
"2020 has been a difficult year for determining land values in the aftermath of last summer's horrific bushfires, followed by the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis," Dr Parker said.
"My office has undertaken separate studies of the impact of both bushfires and COVID-19 on the property market. Our valuers have applied the findings of these studies to affected areas and property types where there are insufficient sales available to determine the land values."
These studies can be found here.
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"Land value is the value of the land only and does not include the value of a home or other structures," Dr Parker said.
"The valuers consider a range of factors in determining land value including the features of the land and its legally permitted use."
Revenue NSW will use these updated land values to calculate land tax, with 2012 land tax assessment distribution now underway, Dr Parker said.
Valuer General NSW has established a dedicated assistance line for landholders impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, or who believe their land value has been impacted by COVID-19. Affected landholders are encouraged to call 1800 458 884.
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South Coast overview
The total land value for the South Coast NSW region increased by 2.3% between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, from $115.6billion to $118.2billion.
Residential land values in the region increased slightly by 2.3% but with variations across each local government area. Increased land values were recorded in Wollondilly (3.3%), Eurobodalla (3.6%) and Wollongong (4.7%) driven by continued demand.
However, values slightly decreased in Wingecarribee by -1.4% due to the impact of bushfires in some localities. Overall, the impact of the extensive bushfires across the region on land values was limited by the continued demand for land in the South Coast.
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Commercial land values decreased slightly by 4.8% overall. Wollongong had a more moderate decrease of 8.6% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industrial land values in the region increased moderately by 6.1% overall. Most of the region's local government areas remained steady or experienced increases. The largest increases were experienced in Wollondilly (12.2%) and Shellharbour (12%) where demand for industrial sites strengthened as an alternative to Sydney.
Rural land values in the region were increased slightly by 4.2% overall. Moderate increases occurred in Kiama (9.5%) and Shellharbour (7.7%) where demand from purchasers transitioning to rural-residential lifestyle properties within proximity to the coast was evident. The largest increase was in Wollongong (12.7%) due to a shortage of supply.
Residential land in the Bega Valley remained steady with only an overall 1.7% increase from July 2019 to July 2020.
There were exceptions to this trend found in the villages of Towamba, Kalaru, Nethercote and Pambula, which saw moderate to very strong increases.
Low and medium density sites in coastal locations of Merimbula, Pambula and Bermagui have also shown a moderate increase due to increased demand from retirees and investors seeking greater housing affordability and rental yields.
The Valuer General's report also shows the upward trend of sale prices over a five-year period. Bega Valley's median sale price was $350,000 in 2016, increasing to $439,500 in 2020.
Both commercial and industrial land values in the Bega Valley remained relatively steady due to low sales volumes and limited supply throughout the period.
In the Eurobodalla, overall land values saw a slight increase with the exception of industrial land, which saw moderate increases.
The overall value of residential land in the Eurobodalla rose from $5.487b in 2019 to $5.684b in 2020, an increase of 3.6%.
However, land without water views at Rosedale/Guerilla Bay, Catalina, Batehaven (Yarrabee Estate) and Batemans Bay saw a slight decrease due to plentiful supply and limited demand.
North Batemans Bay medium density lands have shown a moderate decrease as the viability of unit development has moderated the market. While popular coastal settlements of Longbeach, Surfside and South Durras and land with water views at Batemans Bay and Catalina have shown strong to very strong increases due to increased demand from retirees and investors.
While residential land values rose only slightly in the five years from 2016-2020, median sale prices in the region rose from $362,250 to $499,250 in the same period.
Industrial land saw the greatest movement in the Eurobodalla, values rising 7.5% over the 12 months to $96,148,800.
Overall, land values across the Shoalhaven remained steady with only a 0.4% increase across the board.
The exception was industrial land, which saw a slight increase of 4.3% to a total $244, 085,730.
Residential land values have remained steady from 2019 to 2020. This overall trend was inconsistent across the shire though, with moderate to strong decreases occurring in a number of localities including Sussex Inlet, Badgee, large lots at Bawley Point, Narrawallee, Milton, east Nowra, flood prone and Nowra central residential.
This was primarily due to demand in more preferable South Coast locations from retirees and investors the Valuer General reported.
However, land values in Lake Conjola, Kangaroo Valley, Kioloa, Bawley Point, Lake Tabourie, Culburra, Berry Cunjurong, Myola, North Nowra, Greenwell Point, Berrara, Swanhaven, Ulladulla and large lots at Sussex Inlet saw moderate to very strong increases due to limited supply and good demand within these sought after localities, and the purchaser's ability to generate income from holiday letting.
Median sale prices in the Shoalhaven increased from $418,250 to $541,000 over the five years from 2016-2020
Rural land values have remained steady overall, with the exceptions being hobby farms and rural lifestyle sites in the areas of Kangaroo Valley, Woodhill, Jerrawangla, Tomerong and Wandandian, which saw moderate to strong increases.