One year of house price growth

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) figures show that in the 12 months to the end of September all areas of the State have experienced very solid median house price increases.

With one year of sustained house price growth under in its belt, REIQ chairman Peter McGrath said the healthy momentum of Queensland’s residential property market was likely to continue.

"There is every reason to believe that this steady level of growth is sustainable into the foreseeable future given the ongoing strength of the Queensland economy," Mr McGrath said.

"Agents are confident that the market will continue to perform well – as it has been doing for the past 12 months."

Mr McGrath said Queensland’s increasing population was also helping drive the market.

"Right across the board, the distinct lack of stock in nearly all price ranges is one of the main drivers of the market because demand is still out-stripping supply," he said.

"There is also a lack of new stock coming on to the market which is a reflection of the land supply approval process."

REIQ figures show that in the 12 months to the end of September, Brisbane’s median house price increased by 13.3 per cent to $425,000 with suburbs within 10km of the city performing especially well.

"Our capital city is still leading the way with sales volumes up and consistent price growth. The figures show that not only are more people getting into the market but many are also heading to the inner and middle ring suburbs where there continues to be strong price growth," he said.

The evolution of Brisbane as a city means suburbs within 10km of the city – as well as the more affordable locations close to the water – are benefiting from the increasing affluence of buyers.

"Suburbs such as Manly, Auchenflower, Grange and Newmarket are all benefiting from the changing dynamics of these areas. It is all part of the evolution of Brisbane," Mr McGrath said.

"Many areas are now catering to a new style of owner who is seeking a particular lifestyle which includes having entertainment precincts close by and an easy commute to the city."

As has been a recurring trend this year, the prestige market continues to perform extremely well across the State.

In the 12 months to the end of September, Ascot, Hamilton, Mermaid Beach and Surfers Paradise all recorded median house prices of more than $1 million. Sovereign Island now has a median house price of $2.2 million.

"The prestige market has been faring exceptionally well all year with strong demand continuing for the very top end of the market. Noosa Heads and Noosaville have also benefited from this trend with prices up in both these areas," Mr McGrath said.

In greater Brisbane, median house prices in the 12 months to the end of September are up 13.5 per cent in Logan to $295,000; up 10.2 per cent in Beaudesert to $347,000; and up 12.9 per cent in Pine Rivers to $350,000.

The median house price in Ipswich increased 13.3 per cent to $269,000 over the same period.

"Declining housing affordability is continuing to affect first home buyers, especially in the southeast. However affordable housing options are still available," Mr McGrath said.

"Ipswich has had very good sales volumes and solid price growth, while still being affordable for first home buyers. The area is certainly benefiting from the current market conditions with plenty of development going ahead."

In Redland and Redcliffe, the median house price increased by 9.6 per cent to $389,000 and 10 per cent to $330,000 respectively in the 12 months to the end of September.

House prices on the Gold Coast are up 9 per cent to now have a median of $436,050.

"While there has been steady growth on the Gold Coast, there has been a lack of good quality stock of late," Mr McGrath said.

Toowoomba continues to be one of the most affordable areas of Queensland with a median of $257,000 over the year to September.

The Sunshine Coast is recording healthy increases with all three local government areas posting higher medians over the year. Caloundra is up 8.3 per cent to $417,000, Maroochy is up 7.8 per cent to $415,000 and Noosa is up 8.4 per cent to $470,000.

Queensland’s regional centres continue to perform well with Bundaberg up 14.9 per cent to $247,000 and Hervey Bay up 6.7 per cent to $304,000.

Gladstone is the standout performer, however, with a 33.3 per cent median house price rise to $320,000 in the 12 months to the end of September.

"The strength of the Gladstone market is partly underpinned by the announcement in early July of the expansion of Rio Tinto’s Yarwun aluminium refinery, creating some 2,000 extra jobs," Mr McGrath said.

"This announcement appears to have spurred a number of investors to buy property in the area in readiness for this increased workforce."

Rockhampton has again recorded very strong median house price growth with its median house price up 27.9 per cent to $280,000 over the same period.

The resource-rich areas of Emerald and Mt Isa are again faring well in the 12 months to the end of September, up 9.4 per cent to $350,000 and a staggering 47.2 per cent to $298,000 respectively.

Median house prices in Mackay are up 7.8 per cent to $385,000 and the Whitsundays up 18.2 per cent to $425,000.

Very strong price growth has been recorded further north with a 25 per cent increase to $350,000 experienced in Townsville and 19.6 per cent to $323,000 in Thuringowa.

The Cairns property market continues its healthy price increases with its median house price up 16.7 per cent over the year to $350,000.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

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