The Queensland mining town of Bowen’s future is on hold. The Federal Government was due to make an announcement on whether or not a massive multi-billion dollar expansion would go ahead at Abbot Point near Bowen – which would no doubt benefit investors in that area. However, it has now been put on hold until after the federal election. If it does go ahead, Abbot Point will be one of the largest coal terminals in the world and would increase jobs in the area.. but there are some environmental groups who are concerned it could also harm the Great Barrier Reef.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has granted environmental approval for Clive Palmer’s $6.4 billion mine in Alpha, which is in the Galilee Basin.. so perhaps the mining boom isn’t over after all. Meanwhile, mortgage uptake is on the rise. It seems investors and homebuyers are coming back to the property market, with mortgage enquiries at the highest level they’ve been for the past three years.An insight report by data company Veda suggests Australia’s property market is past the bottom of its cycle and on the way back up. It says despite a slow March quarter, June is looking much better in almost all states… and inquiry rates in Western Australia are up 15 per cent, while New South Wales is close behind, up 13 per cent. This is largely due to falling interest rates and momentum building in most states.
Finally the Reserve Bank of Australia also seems to think the property market will continue to strengthen because in its quarterly statement, the RBA says demand for housing finance is continuing to strengthen … with loan approvals rising by 25 per cent in just six months. It adds households are also paying down debt much faster, so many investors are using equity to refinance. However, first homebuyer approvals are still flat – due to changes in first homebuyer incentives and also rising property prices, which obviously makes it much harder for first homebuyers to enter the market.