The median house price in Mackay remained steady at $420,000 over the September quarter with preliminary sales numbers up 5 per cent on the previous quarter. According to REIQ accredited agencies, the property market in Mackay is still much unchanged, with varying results in sales activity across the metropolitan area.
Whilst the $350,000 to $500,000 pricepoint remains the most promonent in Mackay, the sub $350,000 was responsible for the slight increase in sales activity for the quarter.
Strong performers for the quarter include the suburbs of Andergrove, Walkerston and the suburb of Mackay all of which recorded an increase in sales activity compared to the June quarter. Andergrove also recorded an increase of 6.8 per cent in its median house price, the highest for the region, following strong sales of higher quality homes.
There are reports of increased investor activity, most notably in suburbs with newer homes which is behind the increases in median in suburbs such as Ooralea and North Mackay, up 4.6 and 5.7 per cent respectively.
Sentiment amongst buyers and vendors is reportedly mixed with recent job losses in some industries while others have vacancies to fill. The slowing down in the resources sector is seeing the Mackay property market return to more normal levels of activity.
Agents do report increased buyer activity however and this is reflective in the listing statistics from RP Data which show average days on market dropping to 83 days, down from 90 days a year ago. Vendors are also becoming more willing to meet the market with the average vendor discounting increasing to 7 per cent, up from 5.6 per cent last year. Buyers, although more active, are reportedly still in no hurry to buy.
In the unit and townhouse market, preliminary sales numbers have remained steady since the start of the year. The median unit and townhouse sale price for Mackay decreased 19.2 per cent, due to a distinct drop in sales in the suburb of Mackay, following a surge in new unit sales last quarter.
According to the latest REIQ rental survey, the Mackay residential rental market is still experiencing weak conditions following the slow down in the resources sector. As at the end of the September, the vacancy rate had however improved slightly, down 1.6 percentage points to 5 per cent since the end of June.
Agents report continued oversupply of stock with landlords in some instances reducing the asking rent in order to maintain tenancies.
This trend is evident in further decline in the median weekly rents reported by the RTA. For the September quarter, the median weekly rent for two bedroom flats was down $30 to $320 and three bedroom houses were down $35 to $395. Four bedroom house median weekly rents are also continuing to decline, down $50 to $450 compared to the June quarter.
Median rents in the surrounding shire of Isaac Regional is also fast returning to pre-industry boom days, with the median weekly rent for a four bedroom house falling a further $25 since the end of June, to a more humble $475 per week.