Brisbane median house prices eased in the March quarter, falling 2.9 per cent, alongside a similar fall in quarterly apartment prices, which contracted 2.7 per cent, as reported in the Queensland Market Monitor, released last week.
However, the annual median prices were more resilient, with Brisbane house prices 4 per cent higher than this time last year and apartment prices down just 1.9 per cent.
Generally speaking, the 12 months to February 2017 has been characterised by a sharp increase in listings – people are coming back to the market after what felt to many agents like a prolonged game of wait-and-see water torture from jittery homeowners.
(The QMM is free to REIQ members, non-members can subscribe here).
The common refrain from agents towards the end of 2016 was, “Can’t get the listings right now – nobody’s selling.” Well it seems like that’s changing and many markets are now seeing a return to the market in varying volumes. It’s important to note the listings bump may be a seasonal trend, as people tend to move at the start of the year. We’ll know more in the next quarterly report.
Greater Brisbane (this includes Brisbane LGA, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redland) is an affordable housing market that delivers sustainable medium to long-term growth. Ipswich is the most affordable market in Greater Brisbane with an annual median sale price below $350,000.
Brisbane LGA median house price grew 4 per cent over the 12 months to March 2017 and this market welcomed its first $2 million suburb, with Teneriffe’s median house price now reaching $2.075 million.
See our Market Wrap summary of Brisbane LGA here:
The Queensland Market Monitor crowned the Gold and Sunshine coasts as our two strongest-growing markets, adding 6.4 per cent and 6 per cent respectively over the past 12 months.
These two markets are the powerhouse of the southeast corner property market and it is confidence-boosting to see these regions continue to thrive. More than 12,000 people moved to these two coastal regions (excluding overseas immigration) last financial year, according to ABS data.
More broadly, Queensland continues to run a two-speed housing market, with regional Queensland facing continued challenges north of the Sunshine Coast – with the exception of Cairns, which is performing well – while the southeast corner exhibits steady, sustainable growth.
Regional Queensland is facing population issues as ABS data reveals that almost 7000 people moved away from the central Queensland regions of Fitzroy SA4 (-3565) and Mackay SA4 (-3248) in the 2016 financial year. (Fitzroy SA4 includes Rockhampton, Central Highlands, Gladstone and Woorabinda LGAs. Mackay SA4 includes Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac LGAs).
Noosa was the top annual median house performer with an annual growth of 9.2 per cent compared with March 2016. This has positioned Noosa as the second-most expensive house market with an annual median sale price of $615,000.
The housing market in Fraser Coast, Bundaberg and Cairns held steady for the 12 months to March 2017.
Toowoomba reported a minor reduction of 0.8 per cent on the annual median house price for the past year.
Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville reported large falls in the annual median house price over the past five years. These regions have suffered the largest negative impact from the mining downturn and remain very affordable with the March median sale price for these regions ranging from $270,000 to $335,000.
Gladstone experienced the largest fall in the median sale price for the quarter of 11.6 per cent, to reach a March median sale price of $271,500. This positioned Gladstone as the second-most affordable market among the local government areas analysed in the Queensland Market Monitor.
Of all the major LGAs in Queensland, Rockhampton has become the most affordable house market with an annual median sale price of $270,000 and a March quarterly median sale price of $260,000.
Overall, the March quarter has started 2017 off reasonably steadily in most non-regional markets with consistent if somewhat moderate growth in both the house and unit markets.
Our hope is that the recovering coal price will give the Queensland economy a much-needed boost and that the Government’s recently announced infrastructure and jobs programs succeed in creating jobs for Queenslanders that will help them gain secure and affordable housing. However, coal price volatility is still expected and could soften any potential housing recovery.