THE quarterly median house price and median unit price in Brisbane LGA slipped fractionally in the September quarter, a consequence of strong supply flowing to the unit market and easing demand impacting the housing market.
The Brisbane LGA September median house price of $635,000 was just 1.6 per cent below June quarter and the unit price of $430,000 was just 2.7 per cent down on the previous quarter.
However, while there were small quarterly falls, the annual figures show a house market continuing to hold its own – Brisbane’s annual median of $635,000 is 4.1 per cent higher than September 2015 and 22.7% per cent higher than five years ago, when the median house price was $517,500.
Similarly, the annual median unit price of $440,000, while it is 1.1 per cent below 12 months ago, is still an encouraging 8.5 per cent higher than five years ago when it was $405,500.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said it was encouraging that the markets were holding onto the gains that have been made over the past five years.
“With the news released last week that the Adani Carmichael coal mine is very close to becoming a reality, we are optimistic that our state’s real estate market will get a boost.
“Jobs mean growth and the regional communities of Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton have been declared as hubs for the Adani workforce, which is great news for those real estate markets.
“Workers need housing, both rental and owner-occupied, and for every base job created by the mine, another six indirect jobs are created in related industries,” Ms Mercorella said.
Standard & Poor’s released its report into mortgage defaults and out of the top 10 worst-performing postcodes Queensland was home to seven of them, with three of them in the Mackay region.
“Our regions have been suffering enormously since the mining downturn, with rising vacancy rates and falling median house prices, so with the news that the Adani mine will create up to 4000 jobs in the first year, the outlook in these areas is brighter,” Ms Mercorella said.
The median house price in greater Brisbane fell slightly this quarter, however, is still showing reasonable growth in the medium term, with the annual median house price of $495,000 still 3.1 per cent higher than a year ago, and 12.5 per cent higher than five years ago.
The median unit price continues to struggle to hold steady, with the annual median of $402,000 down 2 per cent on a year ago, but 5.8 per cent higher than five years ago (when it was $380,000).
The Ipswich house market has been the standout performer in the Brisbane outer surrounds, growing 1.4 per cent since last quarter, to $325,000. The annual median price of $324,000 is 1.1 per cent higher than a year ago and 3.7 per cent higher than five years ago.
Unfortunately, the Ipswich unit market has struggled this quarter, falling 13.8 per cent to a median price of $235,000. The unit market has slipped compared with where it was 12 months ago, by 3.6 per cent, but is still 4.8 per cent higher than five years ago, when it was $281,500.
“Ipswich represents outstanding value and the falls in unit prices are simply a reflection of easing demand in this sector. The housing market continues to offer excellent buying opportunities and is one of the fastest growing regions in Queensland, if not the country,” Ms Mercorella said.
“We are confident in the continued growth of the house and unit markets in Ipswich,” she said.
The Logan median house price of $372,000 represented a 2.1 per cent fall from June to the September quarter. However, like Ipswich, Logan is still growing, albeit moderately, with the annual median house price of $375,000 a total of 4.2 per cent higher than a year ago and 7.1 per cent higher than five years ago.
The Logan median unit price of $246,000 is 1.6 per cent lower than last quarter. However, it has held steady when compared with a year ago, which is a good sign that the market has stabilised.
The new rail line extension to Petrie will have cascading benefits for the real estate market throughout the Moreton Bay area.
The September annual median house price of $416,500 is 2.8 per cent higher than a year ago and 9.6 per cent higher than five years ago.
“There are good indicators that this market will continue its trajectory of small-to-moderate, sustainable growth rates in the short-to-medium term,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The September quarter median house price of $500,000 has held steady on last quarter,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The annual median of $499,000 is 3.4 per cent higher than this time last year and 11.6 per cent higher than the median of $447,000 five years ago,” she said.
The Redland unit market is experiencing some volatility and while the quarterly median of $365,000 has fallen 6.2 per cent compared with the June median, the annual median of $380,000 is still 8.6 per cent higher than five years ago
The market for both houses and units on the Gold Coast is doing well, although it can be described as patchy, with some areas virtually booming, while others are keeping pace with inflation.
“The annual median house price of $565,000 is 5.6 per cent higher than last year and 16.5 per cent higher than five years ago, which shows the market is a consistent performer,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The unit market has performed similarly well, with the annual median of $390,000 this quarter 4.8 per cent higher than this time last year and 6.6 per cent higher than this time 2011,” she said.
“Much like Cairns, Toowoomba is one of the few regional markets to buck the trend of falling medians,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The quarterly median of $350,000 is 1.5 per cent higher than last quarter. The market is also performing well over the medium term, with 19.6 per cent growth on the median of $292,750 in 2011,” she said.
“The Toowoomba unit market is probably the best performing unit market in the state, if not Australia, and has grown 26.8 per cent in five years, which is probably a result of workers being drawn to the area for the large range of infrastructure projects,” she said.
“The Sunshine Coast LGA held relatively steady this quarter, with the median house price of $515,000 just 1 per cent below last quarter. Looking at annual figures, the median house price of $515,000 has grown 5.1 per cent since this time last year and 17 per cent from this time five years ago,” Ms Mercorella said.
The larger area of the Sunshine Coast SD, which includes Noosa, has grown 4 per cent on this time last year, with an annual median house price of $520,000. This represents 15.6 per cent growth on five years ago.
“With a broad range of infrastructure projects either under way or proposed for this part of Queensland, underpinned by a strong tourism economy, we feel the outlook continues to look rosy for the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Mercorella said.
The Fraser Coast is best described as holding steady. The median house price of $300,000 is the same as last quarter – no growth, but no fall either. The annual median house price of $300,000 is just 1.6 per cent lower than this time last year. Compared with five years ago, there has been growth of around 3.4 per cent.
“The stability of the median house price is an indication that this market has found a level both buyers and sellers are comfortable with,” Ms Mercorella said.
The grants have also helped this market stabilise, with the State Government first home buyer grant of $20,000 and the local government grant of $12,000 being well accessed.
“Of course, owner occupiers would like greater growth in their property, however, the key is sustainable growth and we are optimistic that the market will soon enter recovery phase.”
The Bundaberg median house price fell 9.6 per cent from the June quarter to the September quarter. The annual median house price is $270,750 and this is 3.3 per cent below this time last year, and 3.6 per cent below this time five years ago.
The annual median unit price is $263,000 which is 1.9 per cent higher than last year and 3.1 per cent higher than five years ago.
“Without exception, Gladstone’s real estate market has taken the brunt of the mining downturn. Also, the winding down of construction of the LNG plants has left displaced workers seeking work elsewhere,” Ms Mercorella said.
The Gladstone median house price of $275,000 is 16.7 per cent below last quarter. The annual median of $336,000 is 9.2 per cent below a year ago and is 20.4 per cent below the median five years ago (which was $422,000).
“Our hope is that a range of factors, including growth in the LNG production, increased tourism via international cruise ships docking at Gladstone, and the Adani mine commencement, will help stabilise this region and the economy will recover,” Ms Mercorella said.
The Rockhampton median house price of $287,000 is 11 per cent higher than last quarter, which is a reflection of the volatility in the market. The market is small, with just 145 transactions in the preliminary data, which means it is easily skewed.
The annual median house price of $275,000 is 6.8 per cent below a year ago and is almost 10 per cent below five years ago, when the median was $305,000.
The Mackay market is one of the most challenged in the country, with some suburbs more than 25 per cent below the median house price five years ago.
The September quarter median of $318,750 represented 0.7 per cent growth on last quarter and the annual median of $330,000 is 9.6 per cent below a year ago. The median house price five years ago was $410,000 and the September annual median is 19.5 per cent below this level.
The Townsville median house price slipped 1.5 per cent, to $330,000. It has also fallen below the 12 month mark, by 2.9 per cent and is now, also, below the five-year mark, by 8.1 per cent.
“This is troubling, however, there are several key projects being undertaken in Townsville from both private and public investors that will create jobs and improve the local economy,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Of course, the Adani mine has announced it will headquarter its operations in Townsville, creating between 200 and 500 local jobs, which will provide a significant boost to the economy and to the housing market.
“The outlook is positive for this market,” Ms Mercorella said.
The median unit price improved by 0.9 per cent, to a September quarterly price of $277,500, however, this sector is still 12.3 per cent behind the median five years ago of $325,000.
The Cairns market is one of the few regional markets that is performing moderately well in both houses and units.
The median house price of $395,000 is the same as last quarter, which makes Cairns one of the few markets to withstand the median house price falls that other regions experienced.
“Cairns is 10 per cent higher than five years ago, giving it a solid level of growth over the median term, which gives investors and owner occupiers confidence in this northern city’s real estate market,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The unit market is growing when compared with a year ago and also compared with five years ago, a remarkable feat when compared with similar regional markets.
“The September quarterly price of $238,000 is just 0.4 per cent below the June quarter. The annual median unit price of $235,000 is 4.4 per cent higher than 12 months ago and this brings it back into positive territory at the five-year mark, also, with 2.2 per cent growth.”
to view the September edition of the Queensland Market Monitor
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