House Hunting in Byron Bay: What it’s Really Like to Live Here
Thanks to our conveniently located office in the centre of town, we have people coming in everyday looking to buy or rent in Byron Bay.
This daily occurrence doesn’t surprise me one bit, as being a local myself, I completely get it. That dream of a wonderfully relaxed lifestyle, that’s also buzzing with creative energy and new possibilities.
For me, it’s all about the ocean. There’s nowhere else like it on the planet. Crystal clear, aqua blue water warmly wraps itself around the Cape, meandering into quaint Wategos beach, with waves lapping around The Pass and opening onto one of the most amazing bays I have ever seen.
Wategoes & The Pass
From Hawaii, California, the French Riviera, Japan and Fiji…the water clarity, warm sub-tropical climate and fine white squeaky-clean sand bares no comparison. It’s pure heaven.
A huge part of what makes Byron quite so charming and alluring, is the eclectic mix of entrepreneurial spirit the town seems to cultivate. To live in Byron you need to be inventive if you want to do more than simply pick up a seasonal job in hospitality, retail, the surfing industry or at Woolies.
To survive and actually thrive in Byron you need to be self-sufficient. The minute you get here your creative juices will be flowing and you’ll want to discover your niche in the most vibrant, innovative and unique spot on the East Coast.
When it comes to finding somewhere to call home however, demand is higher than ever. In fact, the demand for long-term and short-term housing vs the incredibly limited supply of properties to buy or rent here, has inevitably driven up the cost of living to rival the likes of Bondi Beach, Sydney and Albert Park in Melbourne.
Here are some real estate facts that might surprise you:
Byron Bay is quite literally a small seaside town with a permanent population of around 5000 people, far smaller than its reputation which attracts 2 million tourists annually. You’ll likely find yourself picking up conversations in all different languages as people travel across the world in search for their own little slice of Byron Bay paradise.
Byron Bay Town
You’ll be pleased to hear that thanks to the foresight of our forefathers, a large amount of Byron’s coastline is designated as National Park or crown land that is protected by our Shire Council. What’s more, there are only 85 beachfront properties here and most of them don’t have a view of the ocean at all. This means that you won’t find acreage along the beach large enough for a pony and walking distance to your favourite downtown café, but Byron Bay’s charm will remain intact.
All buildings have been restricted to a maximum height limit of 3 storeys as the community has proudly been against any Gold Coast-style high rise buildings for as long as I can remember. There was a 20-year moratorium on all major development around the town, which is why you can find rolling green hills and pastures of retired farms within just 5kms of the CBD, which may never be subdivided.
Byron only has 2 access roads, Ewingsdale Road from the highway and Bangalow Road heading south towards Lennox Head and Ballina Airport. Many visitors are surprised to find themselves stuck in peak hour traffic jams all year round.
The combination of these factors has kept the exclusivity of the Byron Bay property market above the national average. What’s more, developing property or even renovating in the Byron Shire can be a long, drawn-out process and many properties on the market for sale or rent have been stuck in a time warp in need of some serious TLC for years, making the asking price comparably higher than other beachside towns.
So, before uprooting your entire life to pursue your dream of an idyllic beach lifestyle in cruisy Byron Bay, do your homework when it comes to property. All real estate agents will advertise online (us included) so when you find something within budget in a reasonable condition, act fast. We have more buyers and rental applications than available property options, and competition is always fierce.
Suffolk Park to Cape Byron Lighthouse
We know and understand the desire to live in Byron; I’ve travelled all around the world, moved away for 10 years, lived internationally, as well as on the Gold Coast and in Sydney, but it didn’t matter where I was or how comfortable I lived, I couldn’t shake the longing to return home and dive head first into the glorious blue waters of the Bay.
I admire others who have found a niche to sustain their lifestyle choices, everyone has a story and please understand, many of us who identify with the Bay as home love it to its core, so if you do stay long or short-term, please respect the town for what it is. Don’t expect to find champagne tastes for beer prices or solve everything overnight. To put it simply, like the welcome sign says, “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out”.
Browse our buy and rent property options online or in our office on Jonson Street, or take a look at our Byron Bay holiday accommodation here.