The 2021 property boom proved strong on the NSW Mid-North Coast and no more so than in Port Macquarie-Hastings.
CoreLogic figures have revealed Port Macquarie sits atop the highest total value of sales in NSW for the past year.
In the 12 months to September 2021, 887 properties were sold for a total value of $713,969,711.
The median house price for Port Macquarie is $844,214, as of November 2021.
Port Macquarie resident Ankit Gupta paid well over his budget to buy a house at Lighthouse Beach, due to the competitiveness of the property market.
Mr Gupta and his wife had been renting in Port Macquarie but decided to buy a house in 2021.
"We probably paid about $100,000 more than what we anticipated for this area," he said.
"We're please we got what we wanted to get and it all worked out in the end."
Mr Gupta works from home and said owning a property became more important due to this factor.
Port Macquarie Upside Realty agent Alice Wong has lived and worked in the area for over four decades.
"We certainly know we had a huge 2021 in terms of properties being purchased," she said.
Ms Wong said Mr Gupta's experience of paying over the asking price for a property is not unique.
"With all my buyers, they were paying way above the market value," she said.
"The local people can't compete with those coming from Sydney."
Ms Wong said areas all over Port Macquarie are proving to be attractive to Sydneysiders, as they can travel easily into the town centre, or to the beach within minutes.
"I've spoken to people who realised they could live in Port Macquarie and work," she said.
"They questioned why they would stay in Sydney when they could come to our town.
"Others are coming up here for a lifestyle change and to escape the hustle and bustle of the city."
Sydney retiree Bobbie Bory is planning on moving to Port Macquarie with her husband Chris Ward in February.
The couple are going to rent a property for six months and are planning on purchasing in the Flynns Beach, Shelly Beach or Nobbys Beach areas.
"I'm feeling excited but I'm going to be patient because we're very specific about what it is that we're looking for," she said.
"We're not going to buy because we're desperate."
The couple were attracted to Port Macquarie due to its climate, the lifestyle on offer and the people who live here.
Both Ms Bory and Mr Ward were born and raised in Sydney but fell in love with the town after they tested living at Flynns Beach in 2021.