10 January 2024

Narrandera land values soar as Riverina bucks statewide trend

| Chris Roe
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Aerial view of housing.

Land in the regions remains at a premium, while things are cooling in the cities. Photo: BeyondImages.

The value of land in the Riverina is on the rise, despite NSW recording its first overall decrease in three years.

A new report from NSW Valuer General Sally Dale identified an overall drop of 1.6 per cent for the state with residential land values decreasing by 3.8 per cent over the 2022/23 financial year.

But while inner Sydney prices have fallen, the regions are on the rise, with the Riverina seeing an increase of 8.7 per cent with residential land values soaring by 13.9 per cent overall.

Regional towns have boomed post-COVID as tree-changers have sought affordable housing options.

June saw a surprising spike of 37.3 per cent in the Riverina as home buyers looked beyond the larger, more expensive areas like Wagga and Griffith and put their money in some of the smaller towns that offer comparatively affordable properties within reach of the larger centres.

“The majority of regional NSW saw slight increases in value with continued interest from purchasers seeking affordable housing options within close proximity to regional centres,” Ms Dale said.

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Land value does not include the value of a home or other assets and is primarily calculated from property sales figures. The numbers are used by Revenue NSW to calculate land tax and by local councils, as they consider rate increases.

So while the news will be welcomed by those with investment properties in Sydney, regional housing speculators and ratepayers could be in for a bigger bill in 2024.

New homeowners who signed up for the Perrottet government’s First Home Buyer’s Choice scheme could also find themselves worse off as the initiative offered a choice between paying stamp duty or an annual land tax.

Industrial land in the regions is currently at a premium, with values increasing 10.5 per cent, led by growing demand in Leeton, Griffith and Carrathool and a whopping 54.3 per cent increase in Narrandera where demand has outstripped availability.

“These increases were experienced across most areas and driven by high demand due to growing population bases, limited supply and the continued strength of the rural sector,” explained the Valuer General.

While Narrandera’s residential values rose in line with other towns in the region, the spike in industrial land value may add weight to the council’s bid for a special rate hike of 43 per cent over two years.

The local government body will formally apply to the State Government regulator – the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) – for the rate hike in February 2024 and IPART will then make the final decision on whether the increase can go ahead.

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Commercial land values also saw strong rises of 10.2 per cent overall, with Bland seeing the strongest increase (19.9 per cent) due to the relative affordability of properties.

Ms Dale said it was “underpinned by population growth, infrastructure or other local development projects and a continuing strong rural sector”.

“Genuine rural properties continued to benefit from long-term confidence in the rural sector, with a significant number of purchases being existing landholders looking to expand their farming operations.”

You can check the latest value of your property, learn more about the latest figures or dispute them via the Valuer General’s homepage.

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