Latest figures show Cap Coast's property market dominating
LIVING the coastal lifestyle is an increasingly attractive prospect, according to the latest figures released by the Real Estate Institute Queensland.
While Rockhampton's house values disappointingly plummeted 7.8 per cent during the December quarter, down 1.9 per cent for the year, Livingstone Shire's performance was a bright point for the region, registering a 2.2 per cent rise for the quarter and 1.7 per cent increase over the last year.
The good news for the Capricorn Coast's property market comes as no surprise to Ray White Yeppoon principal Debbie Lodwick who had noticed how busy they were.
"The December quarter was wonderful, the whole of last year was wonderful, our office was up 10 per cent in sales from the year. While I can't speak for other agencies, I believe a lot of them had a good year on the coast,” MsLodwick said.
"It's because we've got a proactive council, they're doing so much in the area, we've got the beautiful new lagoon, it's a bit of a drawcard for sure. It's a really nice place to live and people are enjoying living here.”
While Ms Lodwick noticed an increase in property sales, she said property values had remained at a similar level to the past year.
Ms Lodwick said rental vacancy rates was a good gauge to track the property market.
"That's the first thing that makes a difference, and in this office at the moment we're at 0.3 per cent vacancy rate, so the rentals are really good,” she said.
REIQ Rockhampton zone chairman Noel Livingston said the latest property figures depicted the shifting fortunes of the Rockhampton region.
"It's a bit of a mixed bag really, there's good and there's bad in these statistics. We've started this year quite strongly but the December quarter sales figures are definitely disappointing,” Mr Livingston said.
"You've got a positive slant on the rentals side of things (vacancies down 0.3 per cent to 2 per cent for the quarter, with rental prices increasing) but yet you've got a quarterly fall in the median prices of 7.8 per cent.”
In September 2018, the quarterly median house sale price was $254,000, which slipped to $235,000 in the December quarter.
From an annual sales perspective, the figures look more positive, with the value only dipping $5000 or 1.9 per cent on last year's $265,000 median sale price.
Mr Livingston said it was unusual the tightening rental vacancy rate hadn't translated into positive housing sales figures.
"Obviously the higher percentage of the new jobs that have been created, (people seeking accommodation) have looked to the rental market rather than the sales market at this point,” he said.
The REIQ flagged a significant number of projects coming to CQ in the short-to-medium which should bolster employment and consequently the property market.
These projects include the Rockhampton Flood Levee, Rookwood Weir, the Rockhampton Ring Road, Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade, upgrading the Yeppoon branch line project to the Rockhampton JBS Abattoir, the establishing of a manufacturing hub in Rockhampton and the upgrades to the new Kalka Shades Hockey Field - a project to support the sport in North Queensland and provide local jobs during construction.
With so many big-ticket infrastructure projects in the pipeline for the region, Mr Livingston was frustrated that this hadn't yet translated into a turnaround in the property market.
"We all know the major projects are coming and we all know this market is going to kick, but it's like someone is sitting in the car with the engine on and just can't get their foot on the accelerator,” he said.
"We need them to happen, just being aware is not enough.”