Gladstone market update

Gladstone market update

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SALES MARKET

Over the September quarter 2013 the Gladstone property market continued to show easing conditions with both the house and unit sales markets recording a drop in preliminary sales numbers.

Its median house price dipped 8.5 per cent to $400,000 over the quarter while sales numbers were down 15 per cent, most notably in the prestige suburbs of Glen Eden and the Boyne Island – Tannum Sands area. The sub-$350,000 price point however, saw an increase in sales, activity, which also contributed to the fall in the regions median house price for the quarter.

According to REIQ accredited agencies market activity is very much subdued with investors all but gone. The good news to this however, is first home buyers are now finally getting their chance and according to local agents there are beginning to be some very good buying opportunities to be had.

The drop in buyer demand is reportedly very much due to the transition of industry migrants from Gladstone City to Curtis Island. On top of this, many mining projects are scaling back due to the uncertainty prior to the Federal Election and the subsequent effect on the mining tax, resulting in many companies refrain from investing further in the mining industry until more clarity from the government is provided.

Sales activity in the unit and townhouse market, which only makes up about 15 per cent of residential dwelling sales in the Gladstone region, returned to usual levels following a dip over the June quarter. The median sale price was up 4.3 per cent compared to the June quarter with an increase in sales of higher quality stock in Gladstone City.

According to the latest sales market indicators from RP Data, the Gladstone residential property market is seeing longer average days on market, coupled with increased average vendor discounting. Only a year ago, the region was recording the lowest discounting of just 5.4 per cent, to now an average rate of 9 per cent – the highest for all the major regions of Queensland.

The outlook for the region, according to REIQ accredited agencies, is more of the same within the next 12 to 18 months seeing the Gladstone property market slowly return to normal market conditions as the excess stock is either sold or taken off the market. Local agents also expect to see a correction in property prices which is good news for first home buyers who have struggled to compete with investors during the hype of the mining boom.

RENTAL MARKET

The Gladstone rental market continues to ease, with vacancy rates now at a long term high of 5.6 per cent, according to the REIQ’s September rental survey. Local REIQ accredited agents report continued easing tenant demand on top of an oversupply of new residential homes and units, as many workers in the mining industry leave Gladstone to work in other mining areas.

With a corresponding slow down in the sales market, stabilising house prices and declining median rents are resulting in lower achievable gross rental yields. In saying that, rental returns for the Gladstone region still remain amongst the highest in Queensland.

According to the latest results released by the RTA, median weekly rents for the September quarter were down across the board, with the largest decline recorded for three bedroom units and three bedroom townhouses, both down $120 compared to the September quarter last year.