Lismore crisis: 72 applicants for 1 rental property

The former site of Target Country in Lismore has been vacant for more than a year now.
The former site of Target Country in Lismore has been vacant for more than a year now. Cathryn McLauchlan

LISMORE may face an affordability crisis and soaring unemployment rates if housing opportunities aren't created soon, according to Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Andrew Gordon.

"People say we're over-serviced, what a load of crap, we're underpopulated," he said.

"This is something that should have been planned for 20 years ago to prevent us getting to this point ... we took our eye off the ball."

Mr Gordon said new developments such as the North Lismore Plateau were much needed, but there was a way to go to get back on track.

What is the biggest issue facing Lismore right now?

This poll ended on 30 July 2016.

Affordable housing - 24%

Lack of jobs - 52%

Internet connectivity and innovation - 0%

Homelessness - 0%

Public transport - 8%

Potholes and road maintenance - 16%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"Whilst there's stuff in the pipeline, that's great, but it's not here and now," he said.

"I'd like to see the North Lismore Plateau kick off after 23 years ... that's a 1300 lot subdivison in the right part of town."

Mr Gordon, who is also business partner of R Gordon & Son, said the last house his agency advertised received 72 applications.

"Rents are going to skyrocket because there's no availability," he said.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows high unemployment rates, less businesses and fast-climbing rental rates.

The unemployment rate in Lismore has grown from 6.9% in March 2011 to 9.4% in March this year. That's 3.6% higher than the national average.

There are 323 less businesses in Lismore than there was in 2011 and local job opportunities declined by 2342 jobs from 2012 to 2015.

Local job availability in Lismore has been on the decline for over 10 years.
Local job availability in Lismore has been on the decline for over 10 years.

The median cost of renting in Lismore increased by $30 per week to $350 in only two years. Compare that to 2011-2014 when it remained steady at $320.

"We need more development, which will provide opportunity, which then provides retention, and those people will take the opportunity to shop and do business in Lismore," Mr Gordon said.

He suggested business owners were reluctant to move into Lismore as the retail community was doing it tough.

From 2011 to 2015 the number of retail businesses in Lismore declined by 52.

Other industries that have seen a sharp decline include agriculture, forestry and fishing (-109) and construction (-91).

The biggest increases were in health care and social assistance (+28) and financial and insurance services (+25).

The former Target Country Lismore business space has been on the property market for over a year.
The former Target Country Lismore business space has been on the property market for over a year. Cathryn McLauchlan

"The pressure is back on pricing because that incremental growth in the housing sector has stopped, and that's affected businesses because people aren't doing business," Mr Gordon said.

"There's a low vacancy factor, so people are living in the next LGA.

"Lismore is a fabulous place to live, but we need more people to keep it vibrant and keep the money flowing."

Sources: Lismore LGA Economic Profile

Australian Bureau of Statistics Small Area Labour Markets - March quarter 2016

Topics:  affordability business housing jobs lismore

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lismore's kids head back to school

COOL: Max Den Exter gets a short, back and sides from Jasmine Coello while Peter Crowley from Pomstar at The Star Court Arcade looks on.

Time to get your grooming in check for start of new school term

Creative thinking sparks a bright future for Northern Rivers

Jarrad and Ben McCredie with their dad, Manufacturing and Engineering instructor, Alex, taking part in the Printing a New Path Forward workshop at the Next Generation of Innovators Bright Sparks 2017 program at Wollongbar TAFE.

Students peek inside the classrooms of the future

PM loses a mate in Mike Baird

Mungo Mac Callum. Photo Doug Eaton / The Northern Star

Baird resignation leads to comparisons between two leaders

Local Partners

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Five local arts organisations funded by federal grants

LOCALLY MADE: A performance of Dreamland by NORPA at Eureka Hall during their 2016 season, with actors Kirk Page, Katia Molino, Darcy Grant, Philip Blakcman and Toni Scanlon.

In theatre, literature, music and visual arts

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!