The market in Queensland has rebounded from a period of low listings and has experienced a surge of stock – in some areas by as much as 100 per cent more, the REIQ’s March quarter Queensland Market Monitor reveals.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella says agents have welcomed the increased activity as home owners once again put their faith in the property market.
“It was quite lean towards the end of the year last year and we knew that agents were struggling to get enough stock for buyers in the really popular price points of most markets,” Ms Mercorella said.
She said Queensland remains a two-speed housing market. Regional Queensland faces “continued challenges” north of the Sunshine Coast – with the exception of Cairns, which is performing well – while the south-east corner exhibits “steady, sustainable” growth.
Ms Mercorella said regional Queensland has population issues, with ABS data revealing almost 7,000 people moved from the towns of Rockhampton and Mackay in the 2016 financial year.
“People often will leave a community in search of work in the larger centres, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing people moving to the south-east corner. However, this presents particular challenges for the regional markets,” she said.
“This will push those markets further into oversupply and it would have been helpful had the state government announced it was broadening the First Home Owners’ Grant to include established homes in regional Queensland as a budget measure to help these markets.”
In the performing south-east, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were again the two strongest markets in Queensland last quarter, outperforming Brisbane as they did the quarter prior.
“The Gold Coast has benefited from the investment delivered for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and this has significantly improved the infrastructure in the region, transforming it into an international hub,” Ms Mercorella said.
The Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast were the top two most popular migration destinations for people moving within Australia in 2016. More than 12,000 people moved to these two coastal destinations last year, according to ABS data. The number excludes overseas immigration.
Noosa was the top annual median house performer, with an annual growth of 9.2 per cent compared to March 2016. It is the second-most expensive house market with an annual median sale price of $615,000.
Meanwhile, Greater Brisbane is an affordable housing market that delivers sustainable medium- to long-term growth, the report found.
Ipswich is the most affordable market in Greater Brisbane, with an annual median sale price below $350,000.
The housing market in Fraser Coast, Bundaberg and Cairns held steady for the 12 months to March 2017. Toowoomba reported a minor reduction of 0.8 per cent on the annual median house price for the past year.
Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville reported a large contraction in the annual median house price for the past five years. These regions have suffered the largest negative impact from the mining downturn and remain affordable, with the March median sale price fluctuating between $260,000 and $330,000.
Gladstone experienced the largest fall in the median sale price for the quarter at 11.6 per cent, to reach a March median sale price of $271,500. This positioned Gladstone as the second-most affordable market among the local government areas analysed in the Queensland Market Monitor.
Among the large LGAs in Queensland, Rockhampton has become the most affordable house market, with an annual median sale price of $270,000 and a March quarterly median sale price of $260,000.
“Overall, the March quarter has started 2017 off reasonably steady in most markets with consistent, if somewhat, moderate growth in both the house and unit markets,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Our hope is that the recovering coal price will give the Queensland economy a much-needed boost and that the government’s recently announced infrastructure and jobs programs succeed in creating jobs for Queenslanders that will help them gain secure and affordable housing.”