Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE - Louise Shan­non

AN in­creased op­ti­mism in the real es­tate mar­ket has be­gun to blos­som as a spring­time growth in prop­erty con­fi­dence of­fers a cau­tiously pos­i­tive pre­dic­tion for the re­gion.

Wendy Thorn­berry, di­rec­tor of Elders Real Es­tate in Emer­ald, said there was height­ened op­ti­mism in the cur­rent prop­erty mar­ket and “the more there’s op­ti­mism in the mar­ket, it gives some op­ti­mism back into the com­mu­nity”.

Ms Thorn­berry also praised the re­cent State Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to end the FIFO ar­range­ments and help pro­tect job seek­ers in ru­ral towns by pro­hibit­ing the pol­icy to fly in work­ers from else­where.

Ms Thorn­berry blamed FIFO for “start­ing the fall of the prop­erty mar­ket” and said it was not just the prop­erty mar­ket that had suf­fered, but the en­tire com­mu­nity.

“For a com­mu­nity to get strong, you need to have peo­ple liv­ing and breath­ing it and hav­ing a vested in­ter­est in it,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot to of­fer here, and I think peo­ple are re­al­is­ing that too.”

There has been an in­flux of rental prop­er­ties com­ing on to the mar­ket for the start of spring, Ms Thorn­berry said, and fewer mort­gagee sales, which was “a good thing for the mar­ket”.

She said rent was not go­ing down, but was main­tain­ing its cur­rent rate or in­creas­ing slightly.

“Since Fe­bru­ary, we’ve been rent­ing any­where be­tween 20-40 prop­er­ties, an av­er­age of 30 a month, which is more than what has been nor­mal over the last 12 months,” she said.

“There is also an in­crease in sin­gle peo­ple and fam­i­lies com­ing to town, which is ex­cel­lent.”

Joy Fernie, prin­ci­pal of Joy Fernie Real Es­tate in Black­wa­ter, reaf­firmed the pos­i­tive stance, and said she’s hop­ing the re­gion has hit as low as it would go, mak­ing it a great time to in­vest in the fu­ture.

“There is no crys­tal ball but the fu­ture is ap­pear­ing to be more pos­i­tive,” she said.

Ms Fernie said she also ap­plauded the FIFO ban as it gave peo­ple a choice about where they could live.

She said a few houses have been selling to in­vestors, but most peo­ple choos­ing to buy into the prop­erty mar­ket were want­ing to own their homes rather than rent.

“This has come about due to price af­ford­abil­ity,” Ms Fernie said.

“It does, how­ever, take pa­tience to save up a de­posit due to the ex­pense of to­day’s liv­ing, but it’s so worth­while.”

Ray White Emer­ald Prin­ci­pal Paul Mul­drew said he be­lieved the mar­ket was be­gin­ning to ex­pe­ri­ence a “slight im­prove­ment” which was good, and should start driv­ing prices back up.

“I think things have fi­nally reached the bot­tom of the mar­ket,” he said.

Mr Mul­drew said the FIFO out­come was “great” and af­fected the whole town, in­clud­ing the prop­erty mar­ket.

He said it was too early to tell how sig­nif­i­cant the ef­fects of the FIFO de­ci­sion would be for the prop­erty land­scape, but “hope­fully it will bring new peo­ple to town”.

“Emer­ald is a good base and it’s a good hub with lots to of­fer in the way of school­ing, recre­ation and sport­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Mean­while, low and mid­dle in­come earn­ers can ap­ply for af­ford­able rental prop­er­ties in Mo­ran­bah and Dysart, with the es­tab­lish­ment of the Isaac Af­ford­able Hous­ing Trust (IAHT).

IAHT Board Com­mit­tee Chair, Mayor Anne Baker, said there were mod­ern two-bed­room town houses on of­fer.

“We want to make it more at­trac­tive and af­ford­able for work­ers and fam­i­lies to live in our vi­brant com­mu­ni­ties,” Cr Baker said.

“Ap­pli­cants will be as­sessed un­der the Isaac Rental Af­ford­abil­ity Scheme (IRAS) and the Na­tional Rental Af­ford­abil­ity Scheme (NRAS).”

She said this would mean more sin­gles, cou­ples and fam­i­lies could ap­ply for af­ford­able hous­ing.


Real es­tate agent Joy Fernie from Black­wa­ter.

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