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.”

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