Mining town's massive property price jump of 260 per cent
TWO Central Highlands towns are seeing massive increases in house sales according to a national report.
REIQ's report for the March quarter of 2019 stated Blackwater had seen an annual median sale increase of 260 per cent from $32,500 in March 2018 to $117,000 this year, with a total 78 sales. However, this is still down 62.9 per cent from five years ago, where the annual median sale was at $315,000.
Principal of Emerald and Blackwater Real Estate Jason Campbell said Blackwater was a market on the rise.
"Curragh coal mine disposed of a number of housing, which is why those numbers are higher than you would see in the standard market," he said.
"The vendor had put multiple properties on the market which sold for around $32,500.
"But Blackwater has certainly strengthened.
"There have been some higher sales up closer to $300,000, but they have been few and far between. Most sales would sit around that low $100,000 bracket."
Mr Campbell said Blackwater had always been a fluctuating market.
"With the downturn in the resource sector it did feel the pinch there for a number of years, so that is why it has taken this long to start recovering," he said.
"With the supply and demand in rural, Blackwater could certainly get back to those heights because there is a limited supply of property in that area."
According to REIQ, Emerald had seen an annual median sale increase of 21.5 per cent from $238,750 in March 2018 to $290,000 this year, with a total of 149 sales. Emerald also saw a quarterly increase of 18 per cent with a median sale price of $293,750, with a total of 32 sales.
Mr Campbell said it had been a steady climb over the last 18 months to the numbers they were seeing today.
"There have been a couple of larger sales as well over the million-dollar mark in the last 12 months, which shows the top end of the market has some strength there, although they are few and far between," he said.
"But there is certainly more confidence in the higher bracket as well, given the median price is closer to $300,000.
"Positivity in the mining and resource sector with the Gregory Crinum coal mine re-opening is going to have a large impact on the Emerald market.
"Confidence will also bounce off the Adani Carmichael coal mine approval and the benefits we may get from that."
He said rental vacancy rates in Blackwater had thinned out and are currently sitting at only a couple per cent.
"The rental demand and vacancy rates in Blackwater are very strong with very little left to rent at the current time. The minute one becomes vacant we fill it the next day," he said.
"Today we have two properties vacating and two people moving in on the same day.
"Supply and demand is the reason vacancy rates are so low, as well as the increase in employment opportunities.
"With the amount of jobs available in all sectors of the industries, predominantly the mining industry, we are getting a lot more people moving into the area, who are acquiring accommodation and therefore that vacancy rate has dropped significantly."
He said with Emerald, rentals had been increasing steadily over the last 6-12 months.
"Every time someone goes to renew a lease they are seeing a rental increase," he said.
Mr Campbell said he was hoping for some continued steady and sustainable growth.
"If we can get some sustainable growth it is good for the economy and good for everyone," he said.
"Hopefully we can get some people living in the towns where they are working."