Hopes of recovery on the horizon
REIQ’s June quarter data for the central/north region of Queensland, encompassing Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone, has delivered some reasons to be cautiously optimistic.
Mackay’s quarterly result was a strong showing, with the median house price for residential property below 2400sq m, growing by more than 7%.
This result bears out the comments from local agents who have argued that Mackay’s market is showing signs of stabilising.
While it’s too soon to move this market into recovery mode, we are cautiously optimistic that this growth is an indication that the green shoots of recovery are not far away.
It is important to also look at the market’s performance over the past 12 months, and here the market fell by 5.6%, to $320,000.
This is a sobering reminder that one good quarterly result doesn’t repair a year of softer sales.
Rockhampton’s residential house market has become the most affordable house market of all Queensland’s major markets. Declining demand has seen sales soften and the annual median house price fall $270,500.
There is an opportunity for first-home buyers to spot some great buying opportunities here.
There is no doubt all levels of government are focused on delivering jobs to this region and jobs will bring workers and demand for housing.
Rockhampton’s vacancy rate has fallen from 8.6% to 7.2%.
This is still a weak market but it is possible that the falling vacancies signal people returning to the region.
Gladstone has experienced significant challenges in the wake of the mining downturn, however, there are reasons to be optimistic about the medium term outlook.
The quarterly result, like Mackay, showed growth in the median house price, adding 2.6% to land at $292,500.
This result, for properties 2400sq m and smaller, is good news for the region, however, it is too early yet to call this a recovery.
Over the past 12 months the annual median house price fell 15 per cent to $295,000.
Vacancies have come down from last year’s high of 10.2% in June 2016 to 6.5% in June 2017. This is a weak market and conditions favour tenants.