Coming to town: Farmers are selling their properties and moving to the city | List, photos, video

Orange’s latest CBD property to sell for more than $1 million has been snapped up by a farming couple, highlighting a growing trend of farmers moving to the city.

Laurie and Jenny Musgrave, who had a 1215-hectare wheat, chickpea, canola, sorghum, cotton and beef cattle farm at Bellata, north of Narrabri, are moving to Orange.

This month they bid $1.45 million at auction for a four-bedroom property at 14 Kite Street.

That is just $50,000 shy of the record price for a house in the Orange CBD.

It is understood it would be the third highest price behind two Byng Street properties that have sold for $1.5 million and $1.46 million in the past two years.

Selling agent Alistair Miller of LJ Hooker Orange said there was growing demand from farmers selling their properties in various areas of NSW to move to Orange.

“It is a trend, Orange is becoming the new Central Coast, it is becoming an attractive place for all retirees,” he said.

“It is attractive for retiring cockies to come to an area so well serviced with facilities.”

Mr Miller said farmers were looking at the more expensive CBD properties, particularly those fully renovated and close to amenities including health services.

“The capital they are collecting from their properties is putting them at the pointy end of the market,” he said.

Mr Miller said the Kite Street auction attracted six registered bidders, a mix of locals and people seeking to relocate to Orange.

New owner Laurie Musgrave said moving to Orange would bring them closer to family as their daughter Georgie had moved to Orange from Sydney three years ago.

“The tyranny of distance is probably the main reason we’ve sold the farm,” he said.

“The first reason we moved to Orange is you can enjoy the aspects of the city influences in a country town.

“The other thing about Orange is its proximity to Sydney.”

Mr Musgrave said he knew other farmers who were moving, or looking to move to the Orange region.

“With the ageing farming population, a lot of them are selling up now and moving out to smaller acreages in and around the central towns.

“There is a fair bit of it going on.”

Mr Musgrave said he also bought about 28 hectares on Mount Canobolas for smaller-scale farming.

He said their Belatta farm was originally bought by his wife’s father, Derek Meppem, in 1955.

“We sold that farm in the last two months up here at Belatta due to the fact that the time comes when you’ve run your race on the farm, so to speak, and you need to head onto other ventures.

“I just think it was time to sell up.”

The Kite Street property is at least the fourth in the CBD to sell for more than $1 million so far this year with nearby 29 Kite Street selling for $1.4 million in March.


Million dollar properties sold in Orange include:

27 Byng Street, $1.5 million, McCormack Barber

78 Byng Street, $1.46 million, McCormack Barber

14 Kite Street, 1.45 million, LJ Hooker

26 Kite Street, $1.4 million, LJ Hooker

15 Sale Street, $1.29 million, Benchmark Rural and Lifestyle

72 Byng Street, $1.27 million, McCormack Barber

175 Anson Street, $1.25 million, McCormack Barber

40 Clinton Street, $1.2 million, Williams Machin

36 Hill Street, $1.1 million, Blowes Real Estate

41 Byng Street, $1.03 million, McCormack Barber

62 Byng Street, $1.02 million, Townsend Real Estate

52 Kite Street, $1 million, LJ Hooker.