Confidence in employment and so property market grows
INDUSTRY experts believe the Mackay real estate market is gaining strength following a challenging time.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland quarterly figures show the Mackay region is the second fastest selling market in regional Queensland, with homes on the market for just 66 days, on average, 14 days less than the June quarter last year.
During the June quarter, the median residential suburban house price increased by 7.4% for houses and down 5.6% compared to 12 months ago.
And while prices are still low – down 23.8% on five years ago – local real estate experts say increased confidence in the market is seeing that trend slowly change.
REIQ Mackay zone chairman Peter McFarlane says the overall outlook for the Mackay market is very positive.
“The people of Mackay are gaining confidence in employment, gaining confidence in the resurgence of the economy, and are therefore making substantial commitments to buy houses,” Mr McFarlane said.
“Because of this, demand is becoming stronger and vendors are not reducing prices in the way we have seen in recent years.
“The time on the market has also reduced significantly which is another good sign.
“The bottom line is, we are in a much better position than we were 12 months ago.
“We saw a turn in the market around November last year. The cycle has started to turn and we are starting to see the beginnings of a recovery.”
Mr McFarlane said the rental market, always a good key indicator of things to come in the overall housing market, has had a remarkable turnaround, a further sign that things are improving.
“Twelve months ago we had over 1200 vacant rentals; today we have just on 500. In 2014, the vacancy rate was 9.8%, now it is 4.5%. And it’s improving each month. It will be even stronger next quarter.”
It is an industry understanding that an improved rental market has a flow-on effect of an improved sales market.
“It’s a really positive outlook for the Mackay market,” Mr McFarlane said.
Eric Rickman of Gardian Real Estate agrees. “It’s pretty simple. We are seeing more appraisals, more listings and more contracts, so it’s a really positive story in my opinion.
“In the past 55 days our office has done 50 contracts, which is fantastic. They are great figures. Things are starting to look up, and that’s not a surprise. We have been watching the market gradually improve and this is a continuation of that.
“Prices aren’t skyrocketing, but there is a gradual rise, and we will see steady growth.
“Things have definitely improved.”