How resilient Rocky weathered the COVID-19 real estate storm

CENTRAL Queensland centres were standout performers in the Queensland property market over the past year according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s Market Monitor Report.

Mackay led the state with a 6.2 per cent jump in medium house prices ($360,000) for the 12 months to March 30, Livingstone was up 4 per cent ($390,000) while Rockhampton ($265,000) and Gladstone ($265,000) both recorded 3.9% increases.

The REIQ’s Market Monitor Report noted the region’s strong result for the 12 month period despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 crisis on other areas of the state.

REIQ said Rockhampton’s property market performance had been “slowly but surely improving toward the end of 2019 and into 2020 according to our analysis”.

“Both housing and units were in the rising sector of the property price cycle (in the first quarter),” REIQ said.

Median house prices for Rockhampton Region March quarter 2020.
Median house prices for Rockhampton Region March quarter 2020.
REIQ median house price data for March quarter 2020 for Livingstone Shire and other CQ centres.
REIQ median house price data for March quarter 2020 for Livingstone Shire and other CQ centres.

“When the pandemic arrived and our leaders set guidelines to restrict movement and community interaction, there were concerns on how the city would fare. But, to some degree, those concerns have proved unfounded to date.

“While moves to lockdown the economy saw markets retract in some regions, locals

in Rockhampton report little effect and renewed confidence moving into mid-year.

“Rockhampton is set to weather the storm with its broad economic base providing a

stable foundation for the real estate market.”

In May, Mr Real Estate Rockhampton’s Jason Rayner told The Morning Bulletin his agency had managed to sell 16 properties during April “which was totally unexpected” followed by 21 properties under contract in the first 21 days of May.

“It’s just amazing,” he said at the time

REIQ Rockhampton Zone Chair Noel Livingston said the city’s property market had remained relatively unscathed so far.

He said stakeholders had become anxious during the first three weeks of the shutdown but had since realised it was possible to operate in the Rockhampton market without too much concern.

He said the relatively low cost of both rentals and sales in the region mean buyers weren’t locked out by affordability issues even when the nation’s financial prospects remain, in general, uncertain.

He said Rockhampton’s economy was strongly founded in mining and agriculture – two industries that continue to be beacons of positivity despite broader economic concerns.

Mr Livingston did note stock levels had tightened and this has helped support values

as well with properties meeting vendor price expectations.

The Rockhampton Region’s median house price for the March quarter held steady at $265,000 across 246 sales.

The best performing suburbs in Rockhampton were Berserker (up 17.5 per cent to $233,500 on 27 sales) and Norman Gardens (up 1.3 per cent to $377,000 on 30 sales).

Livingstone Shire’s median house price for the March quarter increased 2.2 per cent to $387,250 from 107 sales.

Yeppoon increased .04 per cent to reach $365,000 on 25 sales.



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