Data obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has highlighted Tumut as having one of the lowest population growth rates in the Riverina.
The data revealed that the local population growth rate stands at -2.09 per cent in Tumut and -1.13 per cent in the Tumut region. The data also shows that the estimated resident population has been on a slow but steady decline since 2014.
Tumut is recorded as having the lowest growth rate tied with Narrandera, followed by the Tumut region. This is closely followed by Tumbarumba at -0.80 per cent and Gundagai at -0.66 per cent.
The areas with the highest percentage of population growth are Wagga Wagga, Junee and Griffith.
Despite the statistics, Ray Piper from Ray White Tumut doesn’t seem concerned, and said that he has noticed a considerable change in the property market over the last six months.
“If it has gone down it would have been a very slow decline, but I think that will potentially change,” Mr Piper said.
“The number of properties, and days on the markets when the properties are hitting the markets, is far better [over the last six months] than we’ve seen in the last decade.”
Mr Piper said there has been a lot of ‘local churn’ in the property market, as well as enquiries from areas such as Sydney where people are “looking for a change.”
He said that a big factor amongst the local churn has been a lack of availability of building land.
“But I think with Murray’s Estate releasing a further 23 blocks at the end of this month that may change things a little,” he said.
“That will be the first available land that’s come up for some time, and I believe it will sell very quickly which will probably change the local churn because that’ll slow things down again, you know, with people buying blocks.”
In terms of buyers from elsewhere looking to buy in Tumut, Mr Piper said the most common groups have been retirees exploring their options in the area, and people who have family in the area.
Mr Piper thinks that as time moves forward the spotlight will largely be on regional areas, especially considering the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The need and want for fresh air, fresh water, fresh food; I think there’s been a real spotlight on that sort of space,” he said. “I think with international travel sort of halting considerably in the last few months, as people investigate regional areas … people are gonna like our part of the world they probably haven’t found before.”