Unit sales rise but medians decline
Unit sales increased throughout Queensland in the September quarter, but few areas experienced median price rises during the period, writes Michelle Hele
UNIT sales have increased in Queensland, with those selling for more than $1 million up by more than a fifth.
According to preliminary figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, the number of unit sales across the state rose by 14 per cent in the September quarter.
This was a better result than at the same time last year, when the market also performed extremely well.
High-end units were also in demand, with the number of units selling for $1 million plus up 21 per cent during the quarter and 65 per cent for the year.
Brisbane accounted for the largest slice of million-dollar - plus deals, with sales up by 41 per cent for the quarter and 108 per cent for the year. REIQ chief executive Anton Kardash said the good result of sales over $1 million could be partly attributed to the number of new off-the-plan developments completed in Brisbane.
There were 1448 unit sales in the Brisbane local government area in the September quarter, a 13 per cent increase on the previous quarter.
“During the September quarter last year, we experienced a significant jump in unit sales activity (in Queensland) – up 40 per cent compared to the previous quarter – due to favourable stamp duty changes brought in by the State Government,’’ Mr Kardash said.
“To again record increased activity is a great sign that our unit market is heading in the right direction.’’
Mr Kardash said few suburbs recorded significant price increases but he thought that was more likely to happen in the next six to 12 months.
Medians only rose or remained stable in five local government areas during the quarter, while they dropped in 12 local government areas, including Mackay, which had the biggest drop of 19.2 per cent.
Mr Kardash said there was always volatility in the unit market because of its size.
“What we are seeing is actually all over the place generally not much growth in prices value, but a lot of sales,’’ he said.
Cairns was a standout performer during the quarter, with price growth and strong sales recorded.
Its median rose by 10 per cent to $215,000, with 254 units sold in the region in the quarter.
“The Cairns market has struggled more than most over recent years so this result helps to partly address any price reductions it has experienced of late,’’ Mr Kardash said.
“There is a lot of interest from overseas buyers, particularly with the mooted Casino upgrades. ’’
Median unit prices dropped by 2.9 per cent on the Gold Coast and 2.3 per cent on the Sunshine Coast, but both recorded stronger sales numbers.
Statewide, Chinchilla in the Western Downs continued to benefit from demand from the mining industry, with its unit median rising by 154.7 per cent for the year. This was off a very low base median of $138,012 to now be $351,500.
The worst performer for the year statewide was Lawnton in Moreton Bay, where median unit prices dropped 38.6 per cent for the year.
Brisbane’s best performer during the year was Albion where medians rose 41.9 per cent while the worst performer was Wilston where medians dropped 30.2 per cent.
In all, 12 Brisbane suburbs recorded more than 30 sales during the quarter, including Nundah, Spring Hill, New Farm and Brisbane City, which had the highest number of sales – 89.
Surfers Paradise had the highest number of unit sales during the quarter for the state, with 168 changing hands.