The Courier-Mail - Home - - FRONT PAGE - ME­LANIE BURGESS

WITH Bris­bane West Well­camp Air­port now only months from open­ing, res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments in the Toowoomba re­gion are pop­ping up and sell­ing strong.

De­vel­op­ers and real es­tate agents are not­ing enthusiasm from in­vestors and the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) worker mar­ket.

QM Prop­er­ties sales man­ager Damien Ross said The Fair­ways es­tate at Hat­ton Vale, east of Well­camp, was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a “mini boom” due to the com­ing air­port and other in­fra­struc­ture.

“A com­bi­na­tion of the new air­port and the Toowoomba Sec­ond Range Cross­ing (by­pass) is draw­ing many sales,” he said. “Po­si­tion is ev­ery­thing in real es­tate and we are very well placed in re­la­tion to these ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects.

“This prox­im­ity has caused a mini boom, with the fly-in fly­out and drive-in drive-out min­ers re­spond­ing to the de­vel­op­ment.”

First-home buyer Felic­ity Lyon moved into The Fair­ways with fi­ance Scott Black about three months ago and said she looked for­ward to the new air­port be­ing op­er­a­tional.

“Scott is fly-in fly-out, so it would be nicer to drive to Toowoomba than Bris­bane ev­ery four weeks,” she said.

“We’ve met a few people who are fly-in fly-out.”

PRD Na­tion­wide

Toowoomba di­rec­tor Kim Tay­lor said the in­fra­struc­ture had caused a sales surge in new es­tates, in­clud­ing Sanc­tu­ary Rise in Wil­son­ton and Iron­bark Ridge in West­brook.

“I have per­son­ally sold, from Christ­mas to now, over 150 blocks of land,” Mr Tay­lor said.

“At Sanc­tu­ary Rise we just set­tled the first stage and al­ready there are 10 homes on site.

“People want to start build­ing.”

Mr Tay­lor said Toowoomba’s property mar­ket had been strong since Septem­ber and he had also no­ticed the re­cent FIFO trend.

“The air­port is go­ing to make Toowoomba so much more ac­ces­si­ble,” he said.

“We were a sleep­ing city but we’ve come alive.”

Aside from the air­port and by­pass, the re­gion is also set to re­ceive up­grades to the War­rego High­way, ac­cess to the In­land Rail project be­tween Bris­bane and Mel­bourne, and a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar shop­ping de­vel­op­ment in the Toowoomba CBD.

Toowoomba Re­gional Coun­cil mayor Paul An­to­nio said the area’s econ­omy made it “one of the bright­est spots in Queens­land at the mo­ment” and the property mar­ket ben­e­fited from that.

“From what I am hear­ing, there is com­pe­ti­tion for al­most ev­ery house (new and ex­ist­ing) that goes on the mar­ket,” he said. “There are more ‘sold’ signs around Toowoomba than ‘for sale’, and in­vestors are look­ing to buy houses sight un­seen.”

Mr An­to­nio said there had been an 8 per cent growth in property value dur­ing the past 12 months and he ex­pected the pos­i­tiv­ity to con­tinue.

“There’s an enthusiasm in Toowoomba there has never been in my life­time,” he said.

The air­port is on track to open in Oc­to­ber.

FIRST-HOME BUYER: Felic­ity Lyon with son Tyler Black, 3.

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