Derby house prices have shot up since the development of its trails, and its quick acceleration from sleepy small town to mountain biking mecca.
But the tourism boom is also having an effect on surrounding towns, according to data from the Dorset Council.
Property sales in Branxholm, Derby’s neighburing town with a population of about 260, have risen by more than 60 per cent since the Blue Derby Trails opened.
Sales rose from 13 properties in 2015, to 21 properties in 2018, the council said.
The average sales price for properties in Branxholm has also risen by about 60 per cent: from an average of $91,885 in 2015, to $148,529 in 2018, according to the data.
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“[There are] five sales already recorded in the first four months and approximately eight properties currently on the market, with two already under contract [in] 2019,” the Dorset Council said in an update on major projects in the area.
“[It] is shaping up to be another good year for the Branxholm property market.”
An official mountain bike trail is due to be built between Derby and Branxholm, with construction commencing this winter.
The eight kilometre trail will allow mountain bikers to ride between the two towns and connect to the rest of the 85 kilometre Blue Derby trails.
It will start at the Branxholm Recreation Ground, meander through native vegetation, and cross the Tasman Highway, until it reaches the Derby footpath network.
It travels through Valley Pond, a five hectare lake and wetlands area, and along the Ringarooma River.
“The completion of the new link trail connecting Branxholm with Derby will further attract new residents and support local business,” council said.
Derby has over 25 times the amount of overnight visitors than permanent residents.
About 200 people live in the town, but it has at least 33,000 visitors a year, with at least 5273 overnight visitors – all looking for accommodation, food, and services.
Independent group Bicycle Network applauded the trail: “Branxholm is just down the road from Derby and already offers services for mountain bike riders, so connecting the two towns by bike trail makes sense,” it said.
Part of the Destination Action Plan for the North-East of Tasmania is to spread mountain biking money throughout the entire municipality: creating a “genuine, serious MTB destination, [with] all towns involved”.
The trail was funded through a federal government grant.