THE Orange property sector continues to flourish but analysts are warning crime rates in the city are a turn-off for people looking to relocate.
PRDnationwide’s research analyst Oden Reuveni-Etzioni, who is compiling a report on the evocities’ property markets, said crime was an ongoing concern for people thinking of taking advantage of government incentives to relocate to regional areas.
“Crime remains a challenge for Orange,” he said.
“Although [criminal activity] is mainly limited to the commercial centre and houses in the south-eastern part of town,” he said.
Mr Reuveni-Etzioni said his research revealed the Orange local government area had experienced a significant increase in violent and property related offences over the five years to December 2011, with the most significant offence being theft from retail stores.
“On the other side of the scale the region ranked favourably in transport regulatory offences such as fare evasion and smoking, drinking or using offensive language on a train.”
Mr Reuveni-Etzioni said while the city’s diversification into the wine, tourism and mining sector had been beneficial to the economy, it puts ongoing pressure on affordable housing.
“A decline in affordability is visible, with mining employees maintaining upward pressure on the market and forcing lower income earners out.”
Mr Reuveni-Etzioni said Orange’s buoyant economy led to an increase in house prices in the 12 months to January 2012.
“The median house price in Orange experienced a 12 month growth of 4.9 per cent, closing the January 2012 half year at $320,000.”
He said the city’s low unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent was also a good indication of the strength of the economy.
“The mining industry, government, manufacturing and agriculture are large employers in Orange, creating a diverse local economy and hedging the city against downturn in any single sector.”
Mr Reuveni-Etzioni said the local government area recorded a 2 per cent increase in population in the 12 months to June 2011.
“This figure represents the highest population growth outside the Sydney greater metropolitan area, with 40,062 residents now calling Orange home.”