Mackay market update

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The median house price in Mackay was steady at $430,000 over the June quarter.

The market in Mackay is currently being impacted somewhat by the increase in FIFO workers for the region’s mining sector.

While there remains steady sales activity with 209 preliminary house sales recorded over the June quarter compared to 226 in the March quarter, the numbers of investors in the market has reduced due to the softening rental market.

According to local REIQ accredited agencies, while the market was taking a breather, it was likely that the region would pick up again in-line with the improving market in Brisbane and South East Queensland.

First home buyers had been relatively absent from the Mackay market over recent times due to the removal of the First Home Owners Grant, as well as previous property price increases. However with interest rates now historically low, as well as demand reduced, local agents say now is a good time for first-timers to make their move.

The median unit and townhouse price in Mackay increased 10.7 per cent over the June quarter and was up 1.6 per cent over the year.

Sales in new developments in the Mackay city area were partly behind these strong results. There were 26 preliminary unit sales in Mackay over the quarter with 11.4 per cent median unit price growth to $392,679.

According the State Budget, nearly $180 million has been allocated to the Mackay region for local government recovery and reconstruction projects in partnership with the Federal Government.

Funding for a variety of projects in the Mackay region has been allocated over the next financial year including a master plan and environmental impact statement for the Hay Point Port; Mackay Northern Beaches State High School and Mirani State High School; the redevelopment of the Mackay Base Hospital and infrastructure improvements at the Sarina Hospital; and a new medical centre in Dysart.

The Bowen Developmental Road between Bowen and Collinsville will be upgraded while the region’s tourism will be supported via the Marine Parks Field Management Program run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan.

Following on from a significant weakening of its rental market earlier in the year, Mackay recorded a relatively unchanged vacancy rate of 6.6 per cent as at the end of June. Agents have reported that the loss of jobs in the mining sector has left the region with a high unemployment rate, leading to increases in vacancy rates and significant falls in rental rates.

The latest RTA data shows that June quarter median rents for three and four bedroom houses decreased by $30 and $80 per week respectively compared to the year before. The neighbouring Isaac region saw a more profound decrease of $600 and $1,100 per week for the same property types. While investor activity has notably decreased, there are concerns about those individuals currently investing in property based upon the booming rental market conditions Mackay once experienced.

Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor