Greater Hume Council has wound up its support group for loose-fill asbestos property owners, indicating a difficult period for the community lies in the past.
Council general manager Steven Pinnuck said the group, formed in 2016 as 38 properties tested positive to the dangerous insulation material, wrapped up late last year.
“I think most impacted landowners were quite comfortable that the support group had run its course and there was no need for us to meet on a regular basis,” Mr Pinnuck said.
Twenty-nine of the 38 affected properties, which are mostly in Holbrook, have now been demolished and remediated, according to NSW Fair Trading figures updated on Tuesday.
The last of 1648 property tests in Greater Hume, part of the NSW government’s purchase and demolition program, have been completed as have 4141 tests in Albury.
Four Albury properties found to contain loose-fill asbestos have been remediated, along with 20 in Berrigan Council and one in Tumbarumba.
Mr Pinnuck said most of the Holbrook residents whose homes were demolished had remained in the town, either building a new house or buying an existing property.
The remediated blocks have attracted interest from buyers since the first came on the market last March, with four of seven lots offered before Christmas selling and another now under offer.
“Given that seven properties were put on the market within two days in Holbrook, I would think that’s a pretty good result,” the general manager said.
A report this month from the acting NSW Valuer General Michael Parker (see below) showed Greater Hume residential land values rose by 14.4 per cent in the 12 months to July 2018 while rural land values went up by 24.4 per cent.
“I think the increase in land values is indicative of the strong interest that there has been in farmland across Greater Hume over the past 12 months or so,” Mr Pinnuck said.
“I don't think that would be unexpected.”
Elders Holbrook licensee in charge Graeme Joyce said the demand for acreage was outstripping the amount available.
“Rural land, we’ve got an oversupply of people wanting to buy,” he said.
“We’ve had a big spring selling season.”
Mr Joyce said most potential buyers came from outside the region.
“Quite a few people out west, the drought’s had an effect and they’re chasing higher rainfall,” he said.
“Residential, it’s chugging along as it always has.”
Country blocks proving valuable
Rural land values in the Murray region have increased by 20.4 per cent over 12 months according to NSW government figures released this month.
Acting NSW Valuer General Michael Parker’s report, which reflected the property market at July 1, 2018, showed strong increases in Murray local government regions like Greater Hume (24.4 per cent), Federation (17.1 per cent) and Berrigan (28 per cent) while Albury rose slightly by 5 per cent.
Mr Parker said property sales were the most significant factor considered by valuers when determining land values.
“It is important to note that land value is the value of the land only and does not include the value of a home or other structures,” he said.
Residential land values across Murray region increased by 4.6 per cent, with Greater Hume recording the largest jump of 14.4 per cent.
Commercial land values lifted overall by 2.9 per cent and industrial land values by 2.3 per cent.
The total land value for the Murray region increased by 11.5 per cent between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, from $10.4 billion to $11.7 billion.
The statistics related to 55,626 properties, 41,488 of those being residential.
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