The median house price in Townsville increased 0.8 per cent in the June quarter to $362,965.
According to local REIQ accredited agencies, the market in the region remained steady during the quarter but showed some positivity and promise of better times ahead.
A solid performer over the quarter in terms of median house price growth and preliminary sales activity was Annandale. The suburb posted a median price increase of 7.9 per cent to $442,500 over the quarter as well as 26 preliminary house sales – second only to Mount Louisa in terms of sales popularity.
The flattening out of the rental market is also having an impact on the local market with investor activity falling in-line with the reduction in demand for rental properties. However, some local agents report that the winter months are always slow and the reduction in demand is just a reflection of this historical ebb and flow of demand.
More than four hectares of surplus state-owned land in Townsville will also be transferred to Council in a bid to boost the city’s economic regeneration.
The Queensland Government has entered into an arrangement for the transfer of 4.63 hectares, which was part of Townsville’s former working rail yards. Two-thirds of the site was subject to a heritage listing.
According to the State Government, given its history of being an intensive working rail yard until its closure in 1993, analysis has confirmed the site requires remediation in the event of redevelopment.
In nearby Cardwell, local businesses are celebrating the return to some semblance of normality with the main street reopened to traffic some two and a half years after Cyclone Yasi.
The median unit and townhouse price in Townsville reduced 11.2 per cent over the June quarter to $270,000. This median price, however, was impacted by the varying numbers of new and waterfront sold from quarter to quarter.
The highest number of preliminary sales was reported in North Ward, with 25 sales, and a median unit price of $312,000. Demand for units in the area is always strong given its desirable beachside location as well as its many tourist and entertainment amenities.
Also, according to Herron Todd White (HTW), the Townsville unit market has been lagging behind the housing market. HTW believes that unit prices will remain relatively unchanged over the coming six to 12 months while the market continues to consolidate and factor in changes to strata titled insurance costs.
REIQ vacancy rate survey responses for the end of June indicated that Townsville now joins Mackay and Gladstone in the list of regions experiencing the effects of the mining downturn. The end of June saw a further weakening in vacancy levels for the region, with a vacancy rate of 4.5 per cent recorded. Job losses and underemployment are making it tough for residents, with one agent claiming the state of the rental market was the worst they have seen in 20 years. New investment stock and some NRAS properties are said to be affecting vacancy levels in the market.
Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor