Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - KIERAN ROONEY prop­erty edi­tor kieran. rooney@ news. com. au

OP­TI­MISM has crept back into Townsville’s prop­erty mar­ket, with in­dus­try ex­perts and re­cent re­sults paint­ing a pic­ture of a re­gion in re­cov­ery.

Valuer Her­ron Todd White placed the city at 7 or 8 o’clock on its prop­erty clock, a po­si­tion saved for ar­eas at the start of an up­swing.

In its lat­est res­i­den­tial prop­erty report, mar­ket re­search group BIS Shrap­nel has also pre­dicted growth, tip­ping Townsville for a 3 per cent lift in prices over the next three years.

The im­proved fore­casts come as the re­gion recorded two of its strong­est sales in re­cent months.

A home in Bush­land Beach was sold by Elite Prop­er­ties Townsville for $ 1.2 mil­lion, while one at Dou­glas recorded the sub­urb’s high­est sale, break­ing a price record of $ 1.24 mil­lion.

The Dou­glas prop­erty, sold by Ex­plore Prop­erty’s Eric Abel, is be­lieved to have been picked up for $ 1.3 mil­lion de­spite not be­ing listed on the mar­ket.

BIS Shrap­nel se­nior man­ager Angie Zigo­ma­nis said the lo­cal mar­ket was turn­ing around.

“There’s not go­ing to be an in­stant or quick change but look­ing over the next two or three years things are start­ing to im­prove,” he said.

“As the econ­omy con­tin­ues to turn, the real es­tate mar­ket will be di­rectly linked with that and there will be some more price growth as time goes on.

“An im­proved econ­omy will also add to pop­u­la­tion growth, which will spur res­i­den­tial sales even fur­ther in Townsville.”

Mr Zigo­ma­nis said BIS Shrap­nel was pre­dict­ing that Townsville would stay on track for price growth over the next three years.

Mayor Jenny Hill said Townsville’s prop­erty mar­ket was filled with po­ten­tial.

“It has been a bit de­pressed but from what I’ve been hear­ing around town we’ve reached a turn­ing point,” she said. “For us it’s about try­ing to show off the life­style ad­van­tages that come with liv­ing here.

“Some of the work we’re look­ing to do in the fu­ture, con­nect­ing The Strand to the creek and mak­ing the in­ner- city more live­able, will be great for res­i­den­tial real es­tate.

“We’re well placed in the present and into the fu­ture to cap­i­talise on growth in the in­dus­try as it comes.”

For Philip Boorer, who has just bought a home in Bur­dell, the at­trac­tion of buy­ing in Townsville is ob­vi­ous.

“It’s a great life­style with plenty of things to do and places to see,” he said. “We’ve lived here a lit­tle while now and we thought it would be a good time to get in be­fore prices start go­ing up.

“At the mo­ment the mar­ket is great for buy­ers and that has let us look at prop­er­ties that might nor­mally be out of reach.”

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land CEO An­to­nia Mer­corella said feed­back from lo­cal agents had been more pos­i­tive.

“While the Townsville real es­tate mar­ket hasn’t had a lot of good news in re­cent years, there are signs that the sta­bil­i­sa­tion in prices may be a sign of good things to come,” she said.

“The REIQ Queens­land Mar­ket Mon­i­tor re­vealed sales ac­tiv­ity in the $ 350,000-$ 500,000 range have re­mained solid for two years now and prices re­flect sim­i­lar lev­els of sta­bil­ity.

“There are good indi­ca­tors that Townsville has passed through the bot­tom of the mar­ket and is now in a sta­bil­i­sa­tion phase ... a few sig­nif­i­cant sales at the end of the June quar­ter should show a small lift in the next batch of data when it is re­leased in a cou­ple of months.”

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