Bundaberg gets market boost
Buyers are getting more confident as figures show house sales rose 19 per cent in the September 2014 quarter
BUNDABERG real estate is on the verge of a renaissance as buyers grow more confident amid improving market sentiment and a local economy starting to show green shoots of recovery.
Investors and first-home buyers are playing an increasingly active role in the local market as a series of key economic development projects gets under way.
An expansion of the Port of Bundaberg and the increased presence of a number of major retailers are fuelling hopes of renewed population growth as the city continues to rebound from the 2013 floods.
House sales volumes in Bundaberg were up an impressive 19 per cent in the September quarter 2014, the third highest of any Queensland regional centre.
There was also double digit growth in acreage sales (10 per cent) as well as for apartment and townhouse sales (13 per cent).
Average days on market crept up slightly in the September quarter to 89 days, but they are still lower than the corresponding period last year.
Average vendor discounting was also slightly up at 7.6 per cent in the three months to September, a full two percentage points lower compared to September 2013.
Despite rising sales volumes, median house prices in Bundaberg eased 5.3 per cent to $268,995 in the three months to September 2014. This easing trend is the result of a rising volume of sales at the lower end of the market, particularly in the sub-$350,000 price bracket.
Local agents confirm buyers are most active in the sub$350,000 price bracket, with first-home buyers and investors eyeing potential capital growth.
According to the REIQ’s price point data, sub-$350,000 sales were up 30 per cent in the September quarter, with sales relatively steady in the $350,000-plus and $500,000plus price brackets.
Some suburbs recorded impressive price growth over the quarter, including Bundaberg North (7.6 per cent), Norville (6.4 per cent) and Walkervale (6 per cent).
Bundaberg’s apartment and townhouse market recorded a 13 per cent increase in sale volumes in the three months to September 2014. The strongest growth in sale volumes was at the lower end of the market, with sales more than doubling in the sub-$250,000 price bracket.
Sale volumes in the $250,000-plus price brackets recorded modest increases, however, the concentration of activity at the lower end of the