Gladstone market update

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The Gladstone market held its ground over the June quarter in the face of reduced demand for property compared to last year.

Its median house price dipped 1.8 per cent to $437,000 over the quarter. Over the year ending June it fell 3.5 per cent.

To put it in perspective, however, the median house price in Gladstone increased 20 per cent in the five years to June. By comparison, Brisbane’s grew by just 7.2 per cent over the same period.

The numbers of preliminary house sales in the region, however, increased 20 per cent over the quarter but were down three per cent compared to last year. The biggest fall in demand for houses over the past year has been in the  over $500,000 price bracket.

Local REIQ accredited agencies say the peak demand period has passed and that the market is settling into more normal patterns of supply and demand.

The highest numbers of house sales over the quarter were recorded in Clinton, with 18 preliminary sales, and a median price of $400,000 for the June quarter.

The sales of median unit and townhouses region were very low over the quarter – recording just 14 preliminary sales over the period. The region usually records a small number of sales of this type of property per quarter, however, the overall flattening out of the market can no doubt be partly attributed to this result.

According to the State Government, Queensland’s coal passing through the major ports, has returned to pre-GFC and pre-flood production in a further sign of a strengthening economy.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the 16.257 million tonnes (Mt) of coal that moved through Queensland ports in July was the highest total ever recorded for that month.

Last year, the second highest movement of coking and thermal coal in Queensland’s history was 180.165Mt in 2012-13 compared to 183.11Mt in 2009-10.

That trend has continued with coal volumes through our ports last month being two per cent higher than the previous record of 15.932Mt in July 2009.

The State Government has also announced the new Housing 2020 Strategy which would establish a flexible, regionally-based, integrated system that will deliver at least 12,000 additional social and affordable housing dwellings and see at least 90 per cent of all social housing managed by community housing providers by 2020.

Housing 2020 will see the delivery of five major urban renewal projects, in Logan, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Mt Isa and Gladstone to revitalise areas which have a high-concentration of social housing.

The rental market in Gladstone has seen improvement since the first three months of the year, although overall conditions remain weak. The region posted a vacancy rate of 4.6 per cent at the end of June, down from 5.9 per cent for March, but is still very distant from a rate of 2.0 per cent posted one year ago.

Agents continue to report an oversupply of rental stock, with additional stock coming on to the market and rental decreases are finally being acknowledged by landlords. RTA data shows that June quarter median rents for three and four bedroom houses decreased by $20 and $50 per week respectively compared to the year before. Not surprisingly, property investor interest has dropped according to REIQ accredited agents.

Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor