Rockhampton market update

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SALES MARKET

The median house price for Rockhampton for the September quarter remained relatively steady, easing just 0.5 per cent to $318,250. Preliminary sales numbers also remained consistent with the previous quarter of around 320 house sales.

Other market indicators pointing to stable market conditions include minimal change in average vendor discounting and steady listing numbers compared to the previous year. Average days on market however have improved for both house and unit listings over the same period.

Local REIQ accredited agencies also report that the market is currently very stable, with the outlook ahead positive as many anticipate Rockhampton to follow the rest of the state with improved market conditions.

Recent increased rainfall has been a godsend to the rural sector whilst proposed legislative change that is set to promote further mining activity, are all good news for the region. This may flow onto improved job opportunities and further reinforce the view that Rockhampton continues to be a sound region to investment given the diversity of industries supporting the local economy.

Investors and first home buyers continue to dominate the market, with agents reporting many first home buyers in particularly are taking advantage of good buying opportunities.

Solid house performers over the quarter and the year included Park Avenue with a median price increase of 14.6 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively; and Berserker with a median price increase of 4.5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. Both of these suburbs recorded a quarterly median under $300,000.

Nearby suburbs of Frenchville and Koongal were strong performers in terms of sales activity, with Frenchville holding steady and remaining the most popular with buyers for the quarter. While Koongal saw an increase in activity.

According to local agents, this part of the Rockhampton metropolitan area, is most attractive to first home buyers who are continuing to target the affordable end of the market.

In the unit and townhouse market preliminary sales numbers remain relatively stable, with a small increase in the $250,000-$350,000 price point.

The median unit and townhouse sale price for the Rockhampton region as a result of this shift in affordable sales, eased 14.9 per cent to $254,500. Over the year to September 2013 however, the annual median was up 3.2 per cent.

This segment of the market currently represents about 10 per cent of the residential property market in Rockhampton, however with a number of new unit developments currently under construction, this is set to change in the not too distant future. Local agents report new developments underway along the riverbank in Rockhampton City as well as an emerging trend of 12 pack unit developments in the suburbs.

RENTAL MARKET

According to the REIQ rental survey, the Rockhampton rental market continued to record easing market conditions with the vacancy rate of increasing 1.3 percentage points to 4.7 per cent since the end of June.

Local real estate agents report an oversupply of stock as well as easing demand from the mining sector, most notably in the outer lying town of Gracemere. The rental market in the metropolitan area of Rockhampton itself however continues to perform well.

According to the RTA’s September quarter statistics, median weekly rents remained steady compared to the same period last year for three bedroom houses and two bedroom flats, whilst three bedroom townhouses were up.