In recent years, many Sydneysiders have been looking for a lifestyle change in coastal and country towns to escape the stress and congestion of city living. One such town that has been slowing making its mark is Orange in the heart of central New South Wales.
Located approximately 250km and a leisurely 3.5 hour drive from Sydney, Orange offers a more quiet and peaceful setting whereby locals can enjoy a booming food and wine culture, fine dining restaurants which have garnered rave reviews from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, vast open spaces, good local schools, medical facilities and most importantly, affordable housing and real estate.
Property prices in Orange have enjoyed an average annual growth of about 9% over the last 10 years and recorded a growth of about 8% in the 12 months to August 2010 during the recent property boom. New mining activity and a proposed new hospital in the south of Orange has boosted employment in the area and augurs well for investors in the future. Charles Sturt University has also established a new dentistry department on campus.
Local real estate agent and principal of Ray White Orange, Libby Seaman, said there seems to be little slow down in activity in Orange despite the slow down in sales activity, auction clearance rates and price growth in Sydney and Melbourne in recent months.
Another agent, Christine Norris who is licensee of PRD Nationwide Orange said investors in Orange are mainly from Sydney who are looking for investment opportunities which have solid growth rates and strong tenancy demand as a result of local schools especially in east Orange and new growth and development areas to the north of the city.