One of Coffs Harbour’s strengths to investors lie in its infrastructure; the airport, university and rail links; in addition to the region’s accessibility. Further, the economic diversity of Coffs Harbour underpins its continued growth – with industries such as health care, retail trade, accommodation, food services, construction and education at the forefront of the economic mix. Manufacturing, Agriculture, Education and Digital Business are strengthening industries offering growth opportunities. The shift towards a digitally connected economy is revolutionising many industries and opening doors to new opportunities in national and international arenas.
Councils Digital Innovation Challenge has showcased that Coffs Harbour offers a solid foundation for innovation and startups. In this space there are many advantages to being located regionally especially on the Coffs Coast. With affordability of doing business in Coffs, affordable housing, cheap co-working space, free parking everywhere, NBN connectivity and no more than 15 minute commute to anywhere, opportunities are waiting to be explored.
Current Development activity
A mix of public and private, commercial and domestic investment into Coffs Harbour through recent and upcoming years, has strengthened the opportunity for investors to enjoy the benefits of a solid return. Joined with the local, state and federal government investment into the upgrade of the CBD area, the maintenance and development of the Jetty Precinct and the upgrade of the National Highway, there has been private ventures completed and applications received for further works.
The Coffs Harbour Regional Airport is one of the largest and busiest regional airports in New South Wales, handling regional, domestic and international style aircraft. It is serviced by four carriers with direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The airport has seen more than 400,000 passengers which has led to the opportunity for further investment by Council and private industry.
The majority of businesses on the Coffs Coast are small businesses with less than 20 employees, with a large number of these being sole trader entities.
Coffs Harbour boasts a strong economy with a total annual turnover of approximately $2.3 billion from over 5,400 local businesses in Coffs Harbour (2014/15). Interestingly the average turnover per business in Coffs has increased by 6.2% in the last 12 months to $427,800 per year.
Gaps in a number of trades, medical, education, hospitality, tourism and IT sectors allow for new business opportunities to be explored and developed on the Coffs Coast by starting or purchasing a business.
For property investors, the average gross rental yield for separate houses in Coffs Harbour was 4.5% in the September Quarter 2015, whilst the yield for units was 5.2%. By comparison, the average yields for
the Greater Sydney region were 2.7% and 4.0%, respectively, for houses and units in the September Quarter 2015.
The total number of residential building (or dwelling) approvals in Coffs Harbour was 403 in the year to December 2015, representing a significant annual increase of 33.0%. The total value of dwelling and non-residential building approvals increased annually by 27.4% and 31.4%, respectively, in the year to December 2015.
Due to forecast population growth of the area, there is significant pressure for residential expansion within the Coffs Harbour area from both existing residents and from people moving to the area. The appeal of accessibility and connectivity will continue to drive this pressure.