Queensland's regional property markets are expecting a strong spring 2017 due to significant infrastructure investments, greater affordability and low interest rates, according to Raine & Horne.
Queensland general manager for Raine & Horne Steve Worrad said that the infrastructure projects will be the primary drivers of demand.
"The $21 billion Adani Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland is the biggest infrastructure project in the state right now, which will impact nearby towns such Charters Towers and Gladstone," Mr Worrad said.
“Other key infrastructure projects are the $1.6 billion Second Range Crossing for Toowoomba in South East Queensland.”
He said that the initial demand will be supported by the comparative affordability of the region.
Mr Worrad said: "Regional Queensland is such an affordable place to live and invest, and this will encourage some Sydney and Melbourne buyers to look beyond the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast to Toowoomba, Gladstone and Charters Towers this spring."
Real estate values in Northern Queensland will get a boost from the construction of the Red River Zinc mine at Thalanga and the Pentland ethanol project, according to Lisa Palmer, principal of Raine & Horne Charters Towers.
"The Pentland project will require 600 workers to support the construction phase, which starts in January," Ms Palmer said. "It's expected most of these workers will be housed in Charters Towers, along with many contractors servicing the Adani mine."
She also said that there is a shortage of quality investment properties to meet construction-worker rental demand.
"Moreover, with nine schools servicing the region, Charters Towers is a recognised education hub, and this is further fuelling the rental accommodation squeeze," Ms Palmer said.
"We are fighting to meet teacher demand for rentals, which means there is an enormous opportunity for investors, who can enjoy yields of 7 to 9 per cent.”
Central Queensland’s continued rebound from the mining downturn and its relative affordability make this a region to watch this spring, according to Mark Patton, principal of Raine & Horne Gladstone.
“With a median house price of $315,000, Gladstone enjoyed a very steady August real estate market,” Mr Patton said.
“This has given us plenty of cause for confidence with first home owners taking advantage of the town's housing affordability.
"For them, the sweet spot lies somewhere between $150,000 and $300,000 in suburbs Telina, Clinton and Glen Eden.”
The fledgling LNG sector, an increase in the number of Australian cruise ships docking in the harbour and the Adani mine are contributing to stronger economic times for Gladstone, according to Mr Patton.
"Gladstone provides commercial and industrial services to the mining sector, along with engineering. There are also burgeoning tourism, bauxite/aluminium and power production sectors delivering abundant jobs and business opportunities.
"The town has well-developed infrastructure, including a regional airport with regular commercial flights from Brisbane, which is enabling Gladstone to rebalance away from its dependence on the resources sector."
South East Queensland
Massive investment in Toowoomba infrastructure will support real estate values in the suburbs of Highfields, Kleinton and Westbrook, said Andrew Lynch, principal of Raine & Horne Toowoomba.
"The outlook for Toowoomba's spring market is very positive after a steady winter," Mr Lynch said.
"Traditionally, Toowoomba wakes up in spring. This year, our excellent outlook is being driven by robust economic prospects that are being underpinned by the new Second Range Crossing, which will link to the expanded Toowoomba Airport and several other precincts. This project is bringing many workers into the town.
"This is aimed at getting the road trains out of Toowoomba and it will cut the trip from Toowoomba's northern suburbs to Brisbane by 30 minutes."
The $300 million redevelopment of Grand Central Shopping Centre, which has been completed, reflects Toowoomba’s growing sophistication, noted Mr Lynch.
"The new center offers Toowoomba more discount department stores, new supermarkets and approximately 160 specialty retailers, including fashion brands you'd expect in Sydney's Oxford Street or Chapel Street, Melbourne."