While housing affordability is reaching crisis levels in major cities, Wagga continues to attract buyers and investors, according to industry experts.
Builders are reporting steady demand for their work not only in the city but in outlying towns and villages like Coolamon, Junee and Uranquinty as well.
Wayne Carter said the construction industry was “bubbling along nicely”.
“I think the fizz has gone out a little bit but it’s nothing to worry about,” Mr Carter said.
“There had been a few hold ups with land availability but now that’s happening the interest is coming back.”
A Domain report released on April 20 showed median house prices across the Riverina had fallen by 5.2 per cent in the March quarter, but property valuer Chris Egan said the numbers didn’t equate to a market slump.
“With statistics you always get a delay and what happened was a wet winter and spring where the volume (of homes) in the market dropped dramatically,” Mr Egan said.
“Wagga traditionally has a higher amount of homes in the lower price brackets, so while you might sell half a dozen homes over $1 million there could be 100 under $300,000 and if the volume drops the average comes down.
“At the coalface we’re still finding strong demand in the market, as are the builders.”
Skyrocketing metropolitan house prices and reports of first home buyers being locked out of the market were widely tipped to influence federal Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget on Tuesday night.
An Australian National University survey revealed one-fifth of Australians were struggling to meet mortgage or rent payments, with 2 per cent having fallen behind. Nearly a quarter said they would be in quite a bit or a lot of difficulty if interest rates jumped by 2 percentage points, while nearly 90 per cent were concerned that future generations wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a house.
However, Wagga presented a number of options for both investors and owner-occupiers, Mr Egan said.
“You can get the units with smaller gardens that appeal to the students, lecturers and armed forces, but then there’s also the four-bedroom, two-bathroom houses with gardens aimed at families.
“The builders are tapping the markets for the townhouses, swanky apartments and family homes and they seem to be getting it right.”