GOLD COAST AND CAIRNS LEAD PROPERTY RECOVERY

Written on the 21 November 2011

GOLD COAST AND CAIRNS LEAD PROPERTY RECOVERY

QUEENSLAND’S real estate industry body has found the Gold Coast and Cairns are leading the property market recovery.

The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) show the Gold Coast and Cairns posted positive median house-price growth in the September quarter.

The REIQ September quarter report reveals ‘glitter strip’ median house-prices rose 2.2 per cent to $469,950 with sales up 11 per cent, while those in Brisbane dwindled 2 per cent to $500,000 with preliminary house sales rising 13 per cent.

REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett says preliminary house sales were up 17 per cent compared to the June quarter.

“It took about six months for our property market to begin to heal from the natural disasters earlier this year,” says Bennett.

“Activity in most areas improved markedly in the September quarter compared to the first six months of this year.”

The state’s broader residential property market made an impressive comeback with September quarter sales strengthening. There was a 27 per cent increase in sales worth less than $350,000 as buyers especially sought affordable property in regional areas.

Although the property market is recovering ground lost earlier this year, patchy economic conditions suggest sales remain significantly lower than long-term historical averages.

“We mustn’t get ahead of ourselves given sales activity is still about 20 per cent below where we were this time last year,” says Bennett.

In Far North Queensland, the Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Cairns also all recorded double-digit growth in the number of house sales during the quarter.

Demand for homes was particularly strong in mining rich Gladstone with sales up more than 50 per cent during the quarter. However, there was a swing towards more affordable property, resulting in median house prices declining slightly to $440,000.

“While global conditions remain concerning, more sales activity locally shows that buyers have a little more confidence and are much more prepared to sign on the dotted line now than they were earlier this year,” says REIQ managing director Dan Molloy.

“The recent interest rate cut will also help and we are hopeful of even more positive news and increased activity in the December quarter.”

However, PRDnationwide Research warns the future supply of this segment of buyers has been sapped and investors appear to be patiently waiting to see if they can secure a better bargain with values declining across most parts of the state.

PRD’s fourth quarter Queensland sales overview shows several markets within Queensland are experiencing increased competition for rental premises and pressure on rent due to falling acquisition demand for property.

After suffering from poor sentiment, natural disasters and a decline in tourism, the Whitsundays have started showing green shoots, with rising interest from cashed-up fly in, fly out miners.

Mining suburbs experiencing a jump in sales activity include Gracemere (37), Calliope (26) and Dysart (24). Gordon Park, Wynnum, Mudgeeraba and Clear Island Waters are unaffected by the resources sector.


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