Experts reveal signs of positive growth in CQ house market
ROCKHAMPTON'S real estate market is showing positive signs at the extreme ends of the price spectrum, a property expert reports.
According to one of the largest independent property valuation and advisory groups, Herron Todd White, the local market still had a way to go before it returned to the lofty heights of yesteryear.
The group's April report showed Rockhampton continuing to reside at the bottom of the property market cycle, with a lack of appetite for new housing and units but signs of improvement with rental vacancies tightening and sales numbers ticking along steadily.
"Rockhampton and region property markets were typically influenced by a number of factors including employment, mining and cattle industry trends and interest rates," HTW's report said
"Job security has been the main driving factor behind our residential market.
"Notably, jobs within the mining sector and associated industry have had the most significant influence in recent years, more so than that of education, health and agriculture, which are the region's other major contributors to the employment sector."
While he wasn't predicting a boom just yet, REIQ zone chairman for Rockhampton Noel Livingston, principal of Professionals Livingston & Molloy Real Estate, said he was seeing good things as the region's employment prospects continued to improve, causing a corresponding increase in real estate activity.
"I've seen the first three months of this year a definite improvement in the volume of sales and I've seen a decrease in the vacancy rates in the rental market," Mr Livingston said.
"It will be interesting when those REIQ figures come out but I'm sure they'll demonstrate that.
"I've seen no increase in the price structure at this point and that will only come when demand starts to outstrip supply."
Mr Livingston said he was noticing two distinctive types of buyers emerging.
He said he was seeing buyers looking to secure properties in Norman Gardens and Frenchville, and higher end properties in The Range, and first home buyers snapping up bargain properties in Wandal, Berserket Heights and Allenstown.
"There's been a couple of million-dollar-plus sales already this year," he said.
"There was a house in Caroline St that sold for $1.2m and a Athelstane St which sold around $1.3m, they're both eastern slopes properties of The Range.
"We haven't seen that in some time; that's a good sign that the better end of the market's moving too."
He attributed the high end buyers to an influx in medical professionals, and cashed-up farmers and graziers who had done well from recent rain.
The interest in properties was also spurred on by the increasing job opportunities around region created by the CQ mines, Teys Australia beef processing plant and Hastings Deering's sizeable apprentice intake.