PAR­ADISE FOUND

WHY GYMPIE COULD BE OLD'S NEXT BOOM TOWN

The Gympie Times - - FRONT PAGE - Tom Daunt

GYMPIE’S hous­ing market is shap­ing up to be­come a heavy­weight con­tender in Queens­land’s prop­erty game.

Tim Brown, who has held ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions at Mac­quarie Bank, Yel­low Brick Rd and more re­cently as CEO of Syd­ney-based wealth in­tel­li­gence firm Opica Group, said Gympie’s rel­a­tive af­ford­abil­ity to its metro cousins could mean a recipe for un­prece­dented growth. The num­bers are telling the same story.

Gympie’s Gross Re­gional Prod­uct (GRP) was $2.02 bil­lion last year, mean­ing a 1.8 per cent in­crease from 2015.

The me­dian mort­gage re­pay­ment in Gympie is around $1300 per month.

Com­pare that to the state aver­age of $1733 and it is easy to see why the Gympie market is prov­ing to be an at­trac­tive op­tion for first home buy­ers and in­vestors and why our pop­u­la­tion is pre­dicted to grow 1.6 per cent over the next five years.

“It is all about lifestyle,” Mr Brown said.

“Why live in Syd­ney with all the stress and ex­pense when you could live some­where like Gympie and be com­fort­able,” he said.

With Gympie’s pop­u­la­tion pro­jected at 60,570 by 2036, Mr Brown said eco­nomic stim­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing job growth and avail­abil­ity, would not be an is­sue.

“With any pos­i­tive im­mi­gra­tion you will have an in­crease in jobs,” Mr Brown said.

“Even peo­ple mov­ing to Gympie to re­tire will spend money on builders, in gro­cery shops and cafes.”

Gympie school teacher Paul Barnes ex­em­pli­fies the ur­ban shift.

Orig­i­nally from Gympie, Mr Barnes moved to Bris­bane in 2000.

Af­ter mov­ing his fam­ily back in 2016, Mr Barnes said Gympie was a log­i­cal op­tion to raise a fam­ily.

“There was al­ways a pretty strong com­mu­nity here, but there wasn’t the cafe cul­ture that is creep­ing in now.

“Gympie is start­ing to feel like an ex­ten­sion of the Sun­shine Coast and I think it is driven by af­ford­abil­ity.

“We like the idea of be­ing able to raise a fam­ily in this area,” Mr Barnes said.

❝about It is all lifestyle — Tim Brown

PHOTO: TOM DAUNT

LIFE: Paul Barnes takes in the afternoon sun at his Gympie prop­erty.

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