In Focus – McGrath Orange & Molong | McGrath

In Focus – McGrath Orange & Molong

McGrath Rural
31/08/2023 | 4 MIN READ

This month, we heard from McGrath Orange and Molong rural specialist, Scott Petersen, about what’s happening in his patch of the Central West.


While cashed-up buyers from the city – spurred on by the pandemic’s digital transformation of work – have been identified as the source of price rises in many rural and regional communities, the segment has only been partly responsible for the growth around Orange and Molong, according to rural specialist Scott Petersen.


“There’s been a transitional period on the land, as well, with farmers who have handed over the business to the next generation or sold and have come away with $15-$20m. In recent years we’ve had a high number of these buyers come to the region because of the lifestyle and medical facilities including two private hospitals and a Base Hospital with very good oncology services,” he said.


“These retirees haven’t been ready to settle into town, so they’ve bought up 50–100-acre lifestyle properties. They’ve paid good money for property and still been able to pocket plenty of proceeds from their own sale for their super and investments.


“Coming into Orange and Molong from out west offers them a completely different landscape and all the conveniences they need for their lifestyles, as well.”


During Covid-19, the appeal of hobby farms – where children could grow up with dogs, chickens, and maybe even a pony – rose considerably. The Central West attracted plenty of buyers seeking those opportunities, along with a little ‘hobby’ for mum and dad.


The Central West’s rich volcanic soil content has allowed lifestyle buyers the opportunity to live the dream of owning their own boutique vineyard. The region is highly regarded for its chardonnay, shiraz and sauvignon blanc.


“Properties that also have additional on-farm income streams, like detached or dual living features that can be used for Airbnb are also gaining a lot of interest in the area.”


Petersen recently sold a couple of premium rural lifestyle properties in Borenore: one fetching $2.4m while another $2.8m.


“There’s still a strong appetite for rural lifestyle properties, especially in the premium market where buyers are less exposed to interest rates.