Wallum – part of Byron Shire’s housing solution

Brunswick Heads Sea Wall sunset

The Byron Shire needs more housing and Brunswick Heads has been identified by Council as a key area for new development.

The Byron Shire Council’s September 2023 Draft Housing Options Paper shows there is a critical need for new housing, with 6,695 new dwellings required over the next 20 years – 30 per cent of which are proposed for Brunswick Heads.

The problem is most of these homes won’t be built for many years, with a multitude of steps and approvals to come before lots can be sold.

How Wallum is part of Byron Shire’s housing solution

Wallum Brunswick Heads is currently the only approved masterplanned community in the area with the first titles expected to be created by mid-2025.

With 123 homesites offering exceptional value, Wallum gives locals a chance to remain in the area they love for well below the current median house price.

The median house price of Brunswick Heads is currently $1,665,000 (October 2023) which despite falling from a peak of $2,030,000 a year ago, still reflects an increase of 23 per cent over the October 2020 median house price of $1,350,000 (source: realestate.com.au).

We spoke with Byron Shire Real Estate principal Todd Buckland, who has worked in the region for more than 20 years, about how the market is changing and why Brunswick Heads needs new projects like Wallum.

Q. Why is Brunswick Heads such a popular area?

Brunswick Heads has always been popular for its great location and community atmosphere and demand for housing is only increasing as the next generation of locals look for a family home in the area they grew up.

Meanwhile, the wider Byron Shire continues to grow, with the population increasing by 14.4 per cent in the five years to 2021 (source: 2021 Census), with supply failing to keep up with demand. This is why Council is forward planning to accommodate both the number of people moving here and the locals who want to raise families in their home town.

Q. How is Wallum ahead of Council’s housing fix?

The Wallum site has been zoned for residential development since 1988.  It was first given concept plan approval in 2013 under a previous plan and received development approval in May 2023 after Clarence Property purchased the site and reduced the development footprint of the master plan to preserve over 60 per cent as protected environmental areas.

While Brunswick Heads has been identified as an area with capacity to accommodate population growth, simply because there is available land, the reality is this land will take a long time to come to market, and the longer it takes, the more likely prices are to rise in the meantime.

“Wallum will help to fill this gap.”

Wallum could see first homes being built as early as 2025. With future homesites expected to be priced from approximately $720,000 and the cost of building a four-bedroom home starting at $350,000, Wallum is giving people a chance to own a new home for some 35 per cent less than the current Brunswick Heads median house price of $1.66 million.

Q. Who is moving here?

One of the best things about Brunswick Heads is its tight-knit community which attracts long term residents.

This also means that property in the area is tightly held – another factor pushing the price of established homes upwards.

In recent years, I’ve spoken with a lot of young couples who have grown up in the Northern Rivers and want to stay and raise their own families here, but are finding it tough to break into the market due to the lack of new housing opportunities and the cost of existing homes.

This story was recently reflected in Wallum’s first release of 19 homesites that were sold-out prior to an official marketing release, to people from the Northern Rivers buying their first home or upgrading their family home.

I already have a wait list of people interested in future land releases in Wallum and local builders are reporting they are ready and able to commence building. Wallum is ready to deliver new land and housing solutions to keep pace with buyer demand from locals wanting to stay in the area they know and love, as well new families we welcome to the area.

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