The Fraser Coast region continues to exhibit steady housing market conditions, with its median house price once again remaining unchanged at $290,000 over the September quarter 2013. Preliminary house sales also remained steady over the quarter, up by just 1 per cent.
While consumer confidence is at healthy levels, this has yet to translate into increased sales activity and while price rises are currently been seen in some of the major metropolitan areas of Queensland, there are reportedly some early indications this may change in the medium-term for the Fraser Coast.
REIQ accredited agents have noticed that the sale price of more affordable housing stock has been creeping upwards in recent months. A further review of preliminary house sales also shows that the proportion of sales in the $350,000 to $500,000 price bracket has been notably higher over the past six months.
Like some other parts of Queensland, the first home buyer segment has seen a little bit of movement, with recognition that it is indeed a good time to buy. In addition to the $15,000 Great Start Grant offered by the Queensland Government, the Fraser Coast Council also provides an incentive grant of $12,000 for the purchase of newly constructed housing or land within designated areas of Hervey Bay.
The suburb of Torquay continues to see its housing market perform well, with good sales activity resulting in a median price increase of 10.9 per cent over the quarter and 7.4 per cent over the year. Based upon the number of preliminary sales recorded, other areas that were popular with home buyers over the September quarter were Maryborough, Point Vernon and Urangan.
The median unit and townhouse sales price fell 6.8 per cent to $244,250 over the September quarter. However because the level of sales activity is much smaller than for houses, quarterly median price changes such as this is not uncommon.
With major hospital and shopping centre upgrades soon due for completion, the Fraser Coast Council has been taking steps to address local unemployment with the “Imagine This City” consultation process. There have also been recent whispers regarding the potential mining of coal and manganese around the outskirts of Maryborough, although it is still too early to predict whether this initial interest will eventuate into actual projects.
Overall the market outlook heading into 2014 is a very optimistic one, with an eventual improvement in local economic conditions to influence buying activity.
The Fraser Coast region was once again exhibiting healthy vacancy levels as the end of September, now at 3.0 per cent. However this may change as additional survey responses suggested that vacancies were taking a short amount of time to fill, particularly around Hervey Bay where there was reportedly a noticeable increase in new residents to the area.
According to RTA data for the September quarter, the median rent for a three bedroom house was $10 higher compared to the same period in 2012, recorded at $280 per week.
The postcode of 4655, which includes the suburb of Torquay, saw an even higher increase in median rent compared to September quarter one year before, up $15 to $290 per week.