Demand for units strength

Demand for units strength

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Queensland’s unit and townhouse market experienced strengthening demand over the March quarter, according to the latest REIQ figures.

Our quarterly Queensland Market Monitor  (which is out later today, that is why I am so tired) found the numbers of preliminary unit and townhouse sales across the State were up 11 per cent compared to the December quarter last year.

Over the period, there was also a dramatic increase in the numbers of units sold between $250,000 and $350,000 with sales in this price bracket increasing 22 per cent.

We believe this increase in more affordable unit and townhouse sales is being driven by demand from first home buyers and investors, who often target properties at the lower end of the market.

Nearly 20 per cent of homes financed in Queensland are now being bought by first home buyers, which is the highest level of activity from first-time property buyers since 2009 when the First Home Owners Boost was available.

Investors too are making a long-awaited return to the market, no doubt thanks to lower interest rates, with more than 4,500 properties bought by property investors in March this year. The 10-year average is 5,000 dwellings per month so this is also the strongest level of activity from investors since early 2010.

Over the March quarter, median unit and townhouse prices softened in a number of areas due to this shift in demand for more affordable properties. When it comes to median prices, it is important to understand that they reflect the types of properties that sell over a particular timeframe (a quarter for example) so if more affordable properties sell then the median will be dragged lower.

Brisbane’s median unit and townhouse price softened 3.1 per cent to $387,750, however sales activity was up more than 20 per cent compared to the previous quarter which is very good news indeed.

 By REIQ research analyst Yvette Burton