Pos­i­tive signs for the mar­ket

The lat­est fig­ures from the REIQ show yet an­other rise in house sales across the state, with the apart­ment and town­house mar­ket start­ing to fol­low suit

The Courier-Mail - Property - - MARKET OUTLOOK -

THE REIQ re­leased its March quar­ter 2014 re­port last weekend, with the lat­est fig­ures for Queens­land’s house and unit property mar­kets.

Sales ac­tiv­ity across both sec­tors of the res­i­den­tial property mar­ket continues to im­prove for most of south­east Queens­land, while the ma­jor­ity of re­gional Queens­land continues to ex­pe­ri­ence softer mar­ket con­di­tions.

Bris­bane City LGA was the ex­cep­tion, with an eas­ing in ac­tiv­ity, how­ever, all other coun­cil ar­eas in SEQ saw con­tin­ued buoy­ant mar­ket con­di­tions.

To­tal house sales num­bers for the state, how­ever, recorded their fourth con­sec­u­tive quar­terly in­crease, up 8.3 per cent across the March quar­ter 2014.

The apart­ment and town­house mar­ket has now fi­nally fol­lowed suit, with sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in ac­tiv­ity across the state.

To­tal pre­lim­i­nary sales num­bers across Queens­land were up 15 per cent across the March quar­ter. Sales ac­tiv­ity was up 13 per cent in Bris­bane, 18 per cent for Greater Bris­bane, 19 per cent on the Gold Coast and 11 per cent on the Sun­shine Coast.

The strong­est seg­ment of the apart­ment mar­ket was the $350,000 to $500,000 price range, which was up 23 per cent com­pared with the De­cem­ber quar­ter.

This was fol­lowed closely by the $500,000 to $1 mil­lion price range, up 21 per cent.

With mul­ti­ple new apart­ment de­vel­op­ments com­ing on to the mar­ket, it was no sur­prise to see the Bris­bane lo­cal govern­ment area record the high­est num­ber of sales in the $500,000 to $1 mil­lion price range, with 371 set­tled unit sales recorded, 58 per cent of which were within in­ner Bris­bane sub­urbs.

Across Queens­land the apart­ment and town­house mar­ket has been lag­ging be­hind the house mar­ket in terms of sales ac­tiv­ity.

Typ­i­cally more af­ford­able than houses, apart­ments and town­houses are an at­trac­tive op­tion for both in­vestors and first-home buy­ers.

On the Gold and Sun­shine coasts, where the res­i­den­tial property mar­ket continues to gather mo­men­tum, af­ford­able houses for sale are be­com­ing fewer and far be­tween.

Across the March quar­ter, both re­gions recorded drop-offs in the num­ber of house sales in the sub-$350,000 bracket, a telling sign bar­gain buy­ing is ev­i­dently on the way out.

In­vestor ac­tiv­ity in Queens­land continues to trend up­wards, with the apart­ment mar­ket likely to be­come in­creas­ingly on the re­ceiv­ing end of this trend.

Af­ter tak­ing a dip in ac­tiv­ity in Jan­uary, the num­ber of dwellings fi­nanced across all buyer types was up for both Fe­bru­ary and March.

First-home buyer num­bers have hov­ered around the 1000 mark since June last year, but are steadily trend­ing up­wards, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

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