Market flip: QLD’S new ‘rising markets’ revealed

Queensland’s previous property hot spots are declining, with a new report revealing the state’s newest growth stars.

Southeast Queensland is now considered a “declining market” but new research shows that the state’s regions are emerging from the shadows of the population juggernaut.

After two years of record growth, the Brisbane and Ipswich house markets have been identified as “declining markets” while the Gold Coast is “starting to decline”.

And the Sunshine Coast house market, arguably the hottest in Australia during the pandemic property boom, has reached “peak of market”, according to the latest Herron Todd White (HTW) Month report.

At the other end of the spectrum, house markets in Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Townsville and Whitsunday are now considered “rising markets”, while the Fraser Coast is “approaching peak of market”.

Cairns is a “rising market”, according to HTW. Picture: Brendan Radke

For units, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast are at the “peak of market”.

While in the regions, the “rising markets” for units includes Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Whitsunday, while Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast are “approaching peak of market”.

HTW Townsville director Darren Robins said the local housing market had increased “strongly” over the past nine to 12 months, with all areas showing capital growth.

He said the most notable areas for growth were in the city, CBD fringe and acreage suburbs.

“In addition over this same period we have seen an influx of out-of-town investors purchasing duplexes and flats which has led to good growth in that market segment and a compression of yields,” he said.

“Most recently it appears that the market has begun to settle with agents advising that buyer interest has reduced however good quality buyers are still in the market.

“Further these buyers are ready and willing to buy with pre-approvals in place and are

prepared to make offers in a timely manner.

“This has resulted in no foreseeable softening in prices at this stage.”

Townsville market
The Townsville market has seen good capital growth, according to HTW director Darren Robins

The latest REA Market Trends report for October shows that the median house price in Townsville rose 9.3 per cent in the past 12 months, with a 0.3 increase in the past three months.

Unit median prices in the garrison city rose 0.4 per cent over 12 months, but soared an incredible 12.2 per cent during the last three months.

Despite those increases, the Townsville LGA still boasts affordable median prices of $365,000 for houses and $265,000 for units.

Further north, HTW Cairns director Craig Myers said the median prices across the Cairns region had been rising over the past year.

“It is interesting that there are a lot more properties advertised with an asking price above the median price than under the median price,” he said.

The most recent Hotspotting report by Terry Ryder, for July to November, identified seven regions with a higher number of suburbs identified as rising markets.

Those included Rockhampton (11/11), Mackay (12/14), Gladstone (11/12), Bundaberg (8/11), Townsville (13/15), Toowoomba (12/17) and Whitsundays (4/4).

Toowoomba has been labelled a rising market. Photo: LJ Hooker Toowoomba.

The report pointed to growth advantages such as new infrastructure, affordability, low vacancies and high rental yields, lifestyle and economic diversity as among the key drivers fuelling capital growth in those regions.

PropTrack’s September Home Price Index recently revealed that home prices nationally had slipped 3.3 per cent since their peak in March this year, but a number of regional areas were defying that trend.

PropTrack economic analyst Megan Lieu said rising interest rates had contributed to the decreased affordability of homes, with many Australians choosing to rent or buy in more affordable areas.

“Unsurprisingly, all the SA4 regions that continue to defy the downturn are in regional areas and have median sale prices below the national level of $680,000,” she wrote.

“Demand for more affordable regions has resulted in regional areas faring better than capital city areas in 2022.”

The Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday and Wide Bay regions were among the top 10 SA4s nationally that were “still at their peak”, according to PropTrack.

Meanwhile in Brisbane, HTW director David Notley said the median house price in the capital remained attractive to buyers in the bigger cities.

For units, Mr Notley said there was some “relatively good buying” still to be had.

“Our city’s plummeting vacancy rate and rising rents are attracting investor interest on the back of excellent returns,” he said.

“What this should tell both local and out-of-town purchasers – whether they’re investors or those looking for a new home – is that there is something for just about everyone in the Greater Brisbane market.”

On the Gold Coast, a price point of less than $700,000 leaves “very few options in the coastal segments”, according to HTW associate director Jerusha King.

“Investors who bought during the low market are the winners but for new investors who would be paying the high market prices today, opportunities for good yields are there if they are able to secure new tenants at the latest rent levels,” Ms King said.

“Investments in infrastructure and new townships are the key to finding the correct location to buy.”

But on the Sunshine Coast, where the median house price is now north of $1 million, significantly up from just $450,000 a decade ago, it is slim pickings when it comes to finding anything around that median price.

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