Median home sales price drops 7.4%

WHEN Rockhampton's Lauren Hunt purchased her first home for under $350,000, she thought she grabbed a bargain.

And it turns out she's not the only one with REIQ's September report showing the median sales price for a home in Rockhampton is $275,000, a median price not seen since 2007.

REIQ released the quarterly report last week which showed a 7.4% drop in the median sales price compared to previous years.

The report also showed that 165 sales were made in the September quarter which was 5% less than the previous quarter.

Lauren, 25, and her partner picked up their first home in August for a little over $300,000.

"We bought a four-bedroom home in Park Avenue," she said.

"We had looked around for about six months and we're pretty happy with our purchase as it's a two-storey home and it's built in underneath.

"We looked at a number of homes; some were overpriced and some we considered were underpriced."

According to REIQ spokesperson and Professionals Real Estate principal Noel Livingston, the property market has seen a lot of activity at the bottom end of the market with people focusing on spending their money on affordable homes.

"This report shows that there is more activity at the lower end of the market," he said.

"It's a reflection of where the investment is in the market and the first home buyer activity. We're not seeing the amount of people who are upgrading that we used to in previous years, we're seeing people staying put as a result of a slowdown in the job market.

"The volume in sales hasn't been greatly affected, it is down slightly than the previous quarters but the biggest standout is just the shift in where the money is going within the market. The better end has been relatively stagnant over that period.

"People are buying decent homes in older, established areas for around $250,000 which is very affordable and you can get very liveable houses for that price range."

A snapshot of RP Data's recent sales showed the most recent sale in the Wandal area was a four-bedroom home that sold for $277,000 while a number of three-bedroom homes in Depot Hill had recently sold for under $190,000.

Gracemere seems to be keeping a steady position in the buyers' market with a list of recent purchases of four-bedroom homes for around the $330,000 mark.

Ray White Gracemere part-owner Suzy McNamara said the median house price in Gracemere was recorded at $330,000 over the past year.

"We're finding there are such good buys in the established homes out here that people are willing to buy rather than build their own," she said.

"The lowest price in Gracemere recorded for this year was $220,000 and the highest was $800,000 but predominantly the low, brick, modern homes are all in that $330,000 bracket.

"We are finding that anything over the $400,000 mark there's not much interest in and we don't have a lot of homes in that category."

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