In Focus – McGrath Snowy Mountains | McGrath

In Focus – McGrath Snowy Mountains

McGrath Rural
31/10/2023 | 3 MIN READ

Rural lifestyle properties have been out-performing town sales throughout the catchments of Cooma, Berridale and Jindabyne this year, according to McGrath Snowy Mountains’ Principal Shannon Fergusson.

While some property pundits have called time on the Covid-driven tree-change movement, Fergusson said there was still a desire from people relocating from urban centres to claim their own piece of land.

“Over the last two months, six out of 14 undeveloped 100-acre allotments in a rural subdivision at Jindabyne we’re marketing have either exchanged or have offers on them,” he said. “Sydney and Wollongong buyers are amongst those sales and the ongoing enquiry.

“Those allotments have views of the Snowy Mountains. The allotments don’t have any services on them but have still exchanged between $1,390,000 and $1,020,000, which demonstrates the continued interest in the area.”

Fergusson said buyer numbers had pared back in recent months, following the trend of interest rate rises. But he said there were still genuine purchasers with intent and sellers had adjusted their expectations.

There had been a string of multi-million dollar sales of non-income producing properties between Crackenback Valley and Thredbo, as well as around Jindabyne. The region is very tightly held and properties exchange on high premiums.

The region’s grazing farms don’t turnover frequently, according to Fergusson. In the Bombala region, a 4,700 acre property recently exchanged at a strong $3,373 an acre ($16m), which was an exceptional result, he said. Commonly, properties around the Southern Monaro area were attracting between $2000-$3000 an acre with capability for stocking 12,000-15,000 DSE.

“Sheep and cattle farms are very hard to find in the area. When they do come to market, there’s strong competition for them,” said Fergusson.

“Our farm prices have normally been behind what you’d pay in Goulburn and the Central West. But because those regions have gone through significant growth since the drought broke, our region’s prices have been pulled up, as well.

“10-20 acre properties on the edge of town are all breaking the $1m mark, whereas five years ago you would have received $500,000-$600,000.” Livestock prices have risen commensurately with land prices, he said.

“Cattle prices have come back a little bit recently, but you’re still getting weaner steers for $1800-$2000 a head,” he said.

“Monaro-bred sheep and cattle are highly regarded breeding stock. Because of the colder climate, they’re very resilient and attract purchasers from all over Australia.”