Fraser Coast market update

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The median house price of the Fraser Coast remained unchanged at $290,000 for the June quarter 2013, indicative of the current steady conditions within the region. Over the 12 months to June 2013, the median price was also unchanged at $285,000.

Since the second half of 2012, local agents have seen a consistent improvement in confidence in the Fraser Coast property market. An analysis of preliminary sales figures suggest that the level of house sales in the region has improved by 28.5 per cent on the previous quarter and 57.7 per cent compared to the June quarter last year.

While time on market and levels of enquiry can be sporadic, any well-priced properties are generally sold in a short amount of time. A healthy rental market has seen a consistent level of purchasing from investors, while first home buyer activity tends to happen in spurts.

Despite this recent improvement in sales activity, there still exists a good level of stock in the overall market, including vacant land lots. Given low interest rates and good affordability, agents have said now is the time to buy as confidence and prices are expected to rise now that the Federal election is behind us.

Upgrades to St Stephen’s Hospital and shopping centres in Hervey Bay and Maryborough are welcome developments, particularly the latter in ensuring consumer dollars stay within the region. The new Fraser Coast Planning Scheme also bodes well for the future of the region and is expected to be released later this year.

Situated side-by-side on the beachside of Hervey Bay, the suburbs of Scarness and Torquay both recorded solid quarterly and yearly house price growth. In the 12 months to June 2013, Scarness saw a 5.4 per cent in median price growth to $273,000 while Torquay posted an increase of 2.7 per cent to $306,000.

The median unit and townhouse sales price increased by 3.1 per cent over June quarter to $267,000 however the level of sales activity for this segment is much smaller than for houses. Urangan, which neighbours Scarness and Torquay, posted a median price increase of 0.4 per cent to $287,000. A newly announced development located along the Esplanade will see several villas and townhouses added to the area, with prices starting from around $260,000.

Rental conditions within the Fraser Coast region have remained stable, recording a vacancy rate of 2.8 per cent as at the end of June. The region overall has seen an increase in investor activity, as higher rental returns are becoming more achievable. Rental properties are on average taking one to two weeks to let, with two to five applicants per listing.

Recent RTA data for the June quarter shows that median rents for two bedroom units and three bedroom houses rose to $225 and $280 per week respectively, compared to the same period last year. Within the 4655 postcode, which includes the suburbs of Scarness and Torquay, the median rent for a three bedroom house increased to $280 per week.

Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor