Top Sydney agent William Phillips joins McGrath Byron Bay in anticipation of out-of-area buyer surge

Top performing Sydney agent William Phillips has relocated to Byron Bay and has joined forces with McGraph Estate Agents.

The Announcement:

McGrath Estate Agents today announced that top Sydney agent William Phillips has relocated his family in his own sea change and brought forward his start date with McGrath Byron Bay, in preparation for an influx of out-of-area buyers as COVID lockdown eases.

McGrath Estate Agents Founder, John McGrath, was actively involved in this important recruitment.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have Will join our team at Byron Bay as I believe he is one of the top agents in Australia.  And with such strong ties to the Sydney market which delivers Byron many of its record-breaking outcomes, he’s a great fit for our Customers,” said Mr McGrath.

David Mills, Principal of McGrath Northern Rivers Group, operates three offices in the region (Byron Bay, Ballina and Alstonville) and said, “Will is joining our local team of eight agents and with him, he brings a different lens having experienced his very own sea change while immersing himself in the Byron community.  He will draw on his extensive Sydney database where he is known and respected and at the same time, he can guide any prospective buyers having walked that path himself, whether they be relocating or buying an investment or holiday home.”

Will’s reputation within the industry spans more than 17 years, most recently a Director and shareholder of BresicWhitney, where he began his career as a work experience cadet.  Transacting up to 150 sales in a year, Will became the highest selling agent in Sydney’s inner city areas of Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Darlington and Redfern setting suburb records in those areas in 2018-19. In his final year at the agency and prior to the COVID pandemic, he sold over $200 million in residential sales before embarking on his travels around Australia with his young family.

In explaining his move to Byron, Will says, “I had memories of my country upbringing and wanted my young family to experience those values. We explored many areas around the country, but it was Byron and its appeal and lifestyle that really resonated with us. Equally I’ve helped many of my clients in the past negotiate on properties in Byron and have seen first hand the exodus out of metro cities. 

“When COVID restrictions ease, I expect a surge of buyers from Sydney and interstate wanting to change their lifestyle and seek Byron and surrounds as the place to relocate or invest.  I see great potential in helping grow the McGrath business in Byron and expand their footprint in the region.  I’ve always thought that McGrath is the best real estate brand in Australia, and to capitalise on their large buyer network can only benefit vendors and buyers alike.”

Will’s thoughts are substantiated in the recently released 2022 McGrath Report: “Young family millennials, in particular, are joining theVESPA movement (Virus Escapees Seeking Provincial Australia) and moving away from the city centres. Some are leaving the capital cities altogether for regional areas that not only offer affordable housing but also an escape from traffic and a time-poor, big city lifestyle. This is giving young millennial families the chance to provide their kids with the same as big backyards and their own bedrooms.”

Byron Bay Market Commentary:

As highlighted in the 2022 McGrath Report, “Demand for regional property is surging, with thousands of seachangers and treechangers leaving the cities for a permanent new lifestyle of working from home.

Data from CoreLogic shows house prices in Australia’s most loved tourism hotspots are soaring.

In the year to May 31, 2021, the top five regional council areas in NSW for house price growth were Byron (39.3%), Kiama (31.1%), Snowy Monaro Regional (30.3%), Ballina (26.9%) and Shoalhaven (20%).”

Will Phillips said, “I have a long list of buyers who are waiting for the opportunity to travel with freedom to inspect and connect with the areas and region they’d like to call home and often commute back to Sydney or Melbourne for work when needed, with the airport just 35km from Byron.

“Prices have surged beyond expectations, and the sentiment from out-of-area buyers is certainly based on affordability and lifestyle.  A recent example would be to compare a sale in beachside Bondi in Sydney and one in Byron Bay around the same date in September 2021:  28 Ruskin Street, Byron Bay on 500sqm land for $3.95 million, compared to off-market sale of 25 Lamrock Avenue, Bondi Beach on 430sqm for $9.055 million. 

“The value discrepancy is even more exaggerated when you consider that a 2 bedroom apartment in Sydney or Melbourne can buy you Byron acreage within 15 minutes from town.  Its not difficult to empathise with someone who has been in lockdown for six months in a small terrace or apartment, when they can buy a freestanding home with a garden or pool, and have cash left over,” he concludes.

McGrath Byron Principal Nick Dunn confirmed that McGrath Byron Bay has clocked in its best sales month since opening its doors in 2013.   In September 2022, it sold 12 properties totalling $37.137 million – three buyers were from interstate, with one family moving from Sydney’s Bronte.  Key sales have included $12.7 million for a 4 bedroom home at 122 Coopers Shoot Road, Coopers Shoot, elevated on lush hinterland overlooking a stunning east coast view.    Buyers have also transacted to capture the holiday market with $5.6 million paid for eco-luxury architecturally designed property at 195 Old Byron Bay Road, Newrybar.

Mr Dunn said that buyers has been primarily local, with about 30% coming from Sydney and 20% from Melbourne.   “We expect these percentages to change signficantly when lockdown restrictions ease and Will is extremely knowledgeable in helping buyers navigate the move”.

Source: McGrath Estate Agents

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