TWO reports this week have painted quite different pictures of the Orange real estate market but the underlying message is one which should inspire confidence in the future.
The first, the quarterly report on house prices in Australia by Australian Property Monitors, revealed that median house prices in Orange fell 5.4 per cent at a time when Sydney prices were skyrocketing and the median house price there had topped $800,000.
For cities like Orange, which are pushing the Evocities message of a big house with a small mortgage, the news was not all bad. While it is true that our city had a modest decline in prices it is preferable to the volatile Sydney market where surging house prices are making it more and more difficult for first homebuyers to get into the market.
The well publicised closure of Electrolux by 2016 and the scaling back of the contract workforce at Cadia Valley Operations have probably been factored into the market, but Orange remains fundamentally an attractive place to buy a home.
However there is appeal for investors too, as the second report highlighted.
Focusing on rental returns, the report by an online site rated Orange as one of the best places in Australia to buy property.
Onthehouse.com.au rated Orange a safe investment choice with low risks and solid growth in returns in the next few years.
Perhaps what is most interesting about this report is the characteristics of Orange which the authors identified as pluses for investors.
A more secure water supply, excellent amenities and the fundamentals of a diverse local economy were all factors which indicate investors should be confident about demand for rental accommodation.
The one cautionary note was about housing density, with annalists warning that sacrificing character and lifestyle for medium density developments in the centre of town could come at a cost.
But the same fundamentals that attract investors will also underpin prices over the longer term for owner occupiers.