‘A housing crisis has arrived on the Coffs Coast – Governments and Council need to take action’

A major crisis has descended on the Coffs Harbour region, which needs urgent attention. I am referring to the housing crisis, which is only going to get worse.

By Rodger Pryce

People are leaving major cities, moving to a Covid safer environment, bringing with them far greater financial resources.

Rental accommodation is at zero with rent levels escalating wildly out of control, prospective tenants offering up to $100 more per week than what is being sought plus, 12 months rent in advance.

The house sale market is doing the same, lots of properties are sold above the asking price, as soon as properties come on the market they are sold.

This is only going to get worse, people in major cities have learnt, due to the crisis, that many can work remotely and from a more desirable, safer location. You can not stop this, you can not put a limit on what people charge nor receive.

It’s a classic supply and demand scenario, pricing locals out of the market, putting pressure on lower income brackets. The solution is more housing so as to increase the supply, land already zoned residential needs to be fast tracked by our Council.

Our infrastructure needs urgent attention, especially our refuse facilities, roads and other services. Coffs Harbour has one of the highest rate collections per ratepayer in NSW, yet one of the lowest expenditures per ratepayer on services.

Real estate agent in front of his window advertisements
Mark Webb says the sales and rental markets are the busiest he has seen in his 24 years as an agent in Coffs Harbour.(ABC Coffs Coast: Melissa Martin)

This is disgusting.

It is impossible to limit people moving here, we are in immediate danger of Coffs Harbour, and the broader Coffs Coast, becoming a haven for those that have, to the detriment of those who have not.

Where is our Council, where is our Mayor?

Get your eyes on the ball and move to address infrastructure and land release.

Rodger Pryce is now semi-retired and farms in the CHCC LGA. Previously he was in real estate for many years and was the principal developer of the new Coles site in Harbour Drive.

He has also been involved in other developments locally.


The above was first published at the Coffs Coast Independent News Facebook page on Saturday 16 January 2021 where at 09,00 on Monday 18 January it had attracted 205 comments (two from the editor of CCO) and is reproduced here with Rodger’s permission.


The ABC published an interesting article on this, (which the photos above came from) and the issue as it relates more widely geographically on 17 November last. It can be read here; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-16/northern-nsw-property-byron-bay-bangalow-coffs-wollongong/12876464

5 thoughts on “‘A housing crisis has arrived on the Coffs Coast – Governments and Council need to take action’

  1. This crisis has been coming for years. Coffs Harbour City Council has a specific policy of limiting land releases (the “Compact City” strategy, which is based on very questionable research) so people are forced into higher density housing. Unfortunately, Council also makes it prohibitively expensive and difficult to develop medium and high density housing.

    There are many layers to the housing issues on the Coffs Coast, but fundamentally it’s an issue of supply and demand. And the lack of supply is almost entirely Council’s fault.

    It’s important to note that we haven’t even started to see an increase in housing demand due to the bypass project. That’s still to come, and no one knows where those workers will live. Realistically it’s too late to implement solutions to that problem, given the lead time involved in developing new housing.

  2. 29 housing lots recently approved in west Coffs with extra land given for an attached reserve. 40 units being built in Duke St. 95 apartments hopefully approved for CBD by planning panel. I’ve seen more units being built & finished along Harbour Drive and there is currently a large block of units being built at the Jetty and another 7 story block recently approved there. That’s a lot of development. We just need to keep up the infrastructure!

  3. Build new social housing in Grafton as that town is v.desperate as it’s dying.

    Coffs needs to focus on a new container port, dual-carriageway to Armidale, new residences for students at the Uni, hotels, entertainment centre, light rail etc. @GladysB,
    @Dom_Perrottet, @M_McCormackMP

    Via CCO Twitter page.

    1. Talked to Gurmesh re light rail and he said it is the most expensive form of public transport and will never happen here. Need to improve bussing routes.

  4. I have spent years saving for a home loan only to find myself locked out of purchasing with houses starting at $700k+. This is madness. I am looking at insane rental costs if I am lucky enough to get one!

    My wife and I both work and have lived here for 32 years! New buildings are great but not if nobody can afford them!

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