Chris Hemsworth is proving to be a major drawcard for buyers wanting to shack-up next to the Australian movie star’s mansion at Byron Bay, according to new data.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee says while there are a number of factors that contribute to driving up a property market, there’s no denying the impact the Thor actor and his family has on the region.
“There’s definitely jobs being created but it does seem to be that the area is attracting not just national attention but also international attention as well because there’s a lot of celebrity interest, particularly from the Hemsworths,” she said.
Byron Bay has played host a number of celebrities on holidays including Matt Damon and Natalie Portman.
But every time the Hemsworth clan flash their bodies or give unsuspecting hitchhikers rides in their helicopter, photos of the picturesque region are beamed all over the world.
“There’s always been a lot of celebrities who have loved living up in that area but they (Hemsworths) are very high profile and they are giving the area a very high profile as well,” Ms Conisbee told News.com.au.
“That flows through to his brothers and all the rest.”
And it’s not just Australian buyers being drawn to swim alongside Thor.
“This would definitely be pushing Byron Bay up the list in terms of international visibility,” Ms Conisbee said.
The median property price in Byron Bay has reached $1.75 million, higher than most of Sydney, while demand has extended north and south of the town and inward through the hinterland.
Nearby Brunswick Heads now has a median price of $1.45 million.
But star-seeking buyers will have to dig deep into their pockets to compete with the mega-mansion Chris Hemsworth is building.
The original property on 4.2ha was bought for $7 million in 2014. The 35-year-old actor and his wife Elsa Pataky, 42, are spending nearly $9 million to build the new structure that looks more like a shopping centre than beachside home.
It is expected to feature a gym, steam room, an infinity pool and spa with ocean views overlooking Seven Mile Beach, a media room, a games room, vast outdoor living and play areas and six bedrooms.
Ms Conisbee also attributes the strengthening Byron Bay market to small business growth that is attracting a lot of younger residents.
“There’s a whole lot of factors that are driving value, and if you have a look at somewhere like Byron Bay, it is looking very Sydney-like in terms of pricing,” she told News.com.au.
“The prices we’re seeing there are quite extreme for a regional area.
“It’s more expensive than some Sydney beachsides, certainly more expensive than beachsides in Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth.”
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