The town’s housing prices exploded by more than 40 per cent in 2020, with a median house price of around $1.83 million, according to REA data.
Byron Bay had the biggest increase in property prices out of anywhere in Australia last year. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
Byron Bay has also has seen dramatic changes in recent years, losing its quiet coastal vibe as the rich and famous flock to the dreamy town, including actors Chris and Liam Hemsworth and musician Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
Mr Olderoy said the Byron culture no longer exists and he feels like it is seen as fashionable to move to the town.
“There are beautiful places all up and down the coast, so I don’t know why everyone has picked here and why they want to pay so much money to live here – it is a frustration. I’m not upset at any particular person, it’s just the way things have panned out,” he said.
“I think it’s crazily overvalued and overpriced, that’s probably what it feels like the most. How can you have something that is in this town that is twice the price of a similar town down the road? It doesn’t make sense, to me its more a fashion thing, everyone is just running around here and it doesn’t make sense, it’s not that much better than anywhere else.
“The sad things is its really changed the demographic. A lot of people that were here that we would see in town were interesting, vibrant and eccentric people and you just don’t see them anymore.”
Chris Hemsworth has is one of the most famous celebrities known to live in Byron Bay. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
In the past 10 years, Mr Olderoy has also seen rents more than double. The family used to pay $400 a week, but he said around his area, prices have gone up to between $800 and $1000.
“Then of course along with that wages and earnings haven’t gone up in line with the rent increases and it’s not just us, but for a lot of people they have had to leave the Bay,” he said.
“A lot of people have left to the closest surrounding areas generally. For us its not an option as we rely on our work with the customers that we have developed over time here.”
Mr Olderoy said the current financial climate also makes things hard as it impacts on their savings.
“We are looking at our savings being depleted as we get no interest in the bank and then we are looking at inflation of everything going up. Even though we’ve got money we are looking at it getting eaten away by inflation … with rents is a big one, and the food is going up all the time and then we’ve got school fees and dentistry, and that’s gone up a lot,” he explained.
It’s not cheap to rent in the area either. Picture: Liana BossSource:News Regional Media
The reality is they might never own a home, Mr Olderoy admitted.
“When we are at our age, I’m 50, I can work and make a living but when we are looking at our older years that starts to become frightening,” he confessed.
“How are we going to pay rent when we are not working and what housing are we going to get on a pension? If you own a house and are on pension that’s ok but if you’re trying to pay rent on a pension that becomes difficult.”
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