The heightened buzz of sales activity in the Byron Bay holiday market in 2018 saw some $200 million outlaid, as buyers sought to make a quiet splash.
The Hemsworth clan certainly provided endless images for the world, drawing attention to the relaxed lifestyle on offer, but almost all of the buyers came from Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
Last year saw fewer overall sales above $2 million, but prices edged up, despite bank finance increasingly becoming an issue.
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The top sale was when Stephen Ring, the Melbourne-based former owner of Swisse vitamins company, spent $8.5 million on the dress circle at Wategos Beach. The original two bedroom cottage had been on and off the market for seven years before its sale through Byron Bay Property agent Vicky Innes.
The year began with the $3 million purchase by Melbourne based, Channel 10 Project panellist Carrie Bickmore. The home in the sought after old town district was a profitable flip after its renovation having fetched $1.55 million two years earlier.
The final sale of the year was $2.7 million for a nearby house that had been offloaded only 22 months earlier for $1.7 million by the Anglican Diocese of Grafton. The $1000-a-week rental was offered through First National agent Paul Bannister with approved Matt Martino-designed plans for a $1.3 million dual occupancy secured by its Melbourne vendor Sam Cavanagh, the former executive producer of the Hamish & Andy show.
The big disappointment came when Blackwood House, the holiday let that Bourne franchise superstar Matt Damon had been renting last summer, fetched a bullish $3.8 million, but not to the close friend of the Hemsworth brothers.
The Broken Head home was bought by Mrs Twinkle, otherwise known as children’s book author and illustrator Annabelle Wadsworth, who was moving from Sydney.
She’s no stranger to the area, having owned property on Marvell St, near the beach, as well as in the hinterland at St Helena. Damon and wife Luciana Barroso had been renting the home for around $5500 a week.
The Hemsworth’s dipped back into the market while they awaited completion of their opulent family compound. They paid $4.3 million at Suffolk Park with suggestions it will become home to the Hemsworth parents, Craig and Leonie.
Chris Hemsworth initially purchased 4.2ha at Broken Head for $7 million in 2014 with the actor and his wife Elsa Pataky spending nearly $9 million to build their new home.