Bundaberg market update

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The Bundaberg median house price decreased over the June quarter by 8.1 per cent to $266,000.

According to local agents, this simply represents a market adjustment in light of the January floods. However this median price decrease alone does not explain the full story of the June quarter.

The Bundaberg property market appears to be currently undergoing a unique phase of transition. There are reports that as some locals sell up and move to non-flood affected areas, savvy investors are said to be snapping up flood damaged properties. Selling within the $60,000 to $180,000 range, investors are then spending “surplus funds” for restoration work on these properties, which should help with the supply of rental accommodation in the region.

Indeed homes were still selling over the June quarter, with preliminary results suggesting that sales were up compared to the previous March quarter and June quarter 2012. Agents have noted that as a result the number of houses listed is beginning to decline, however the Innes Park and the recently announced Elliott Heads developments’, should see additional stock hit the market soon. Bundaberg local council has also recently announced a development strategy which offers substantial discounts on development applications and infrastructure charges.

There does still exists some caution in the region over potential flood damages, however State Government funding of around $2.4 million should help lessen the impact on residential and commercial properties in the event of any future flooding.

Avenell Heights is a very popular, centrally located suburb of Bundaberg and was unaffected by the 2013 floods. This suburb recorded a median price increase of 1.9 per cent over the quarter and a 8.1 per cent over the 12 months to June 2013. According to the reiq.com suburb profiles, the majority of homes in the area are single-unit, brick-and-tile, while the suburb also has proximity to a number of park and Woongarra State School.

The unit and townhouse market in Bundaberg saw a minor increase in median price of 0.7 per cent to $221,500 while over the year declined by 8.4 per cent to $244,500. Due to the relatively low amount of these sales compared to houses in the region, such median price changes should be interpreted carefully.

After a temporary shock to the Bundaberg rental market, due to flooding at the beginning of the year, conditions appear to be trending back towards regular levels. The region posted a vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent as at the end of June 2013, up from a very tight 0.8 per cent recorded for March.

Indeed, the average number of applicants per listing has decreased from six to 10 applicants to a more modest two to five. REIQ accredited agents reported that the recent floods put pressure on finding rentals, and while the region is still seeing high demand from workers brought in for flood-related construction, conditions do appear to be easing.

The median rental price for a three bedroom house in Bundaberg was recorded at $285 per week, up from $270 one year ago. Two bedroom flat median rents also increased between the same periods, up by $20 to $230 per week for the June quarter 2013.

Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor