Leanne Fenech checks out the view from one of the apartments in the new Southbank development on Victoria Parade which is nearing completion. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Leanne Fenech checks out the view from one of the apartments in the new Southbank development on Victoria Parade which is nearing completion. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

More high-end units planned along Fitzroy River

THE success of Empire, and now Southbank on Victoria apartments, shows a high level of confidence in Rockhampton's unit market.

Adding to the momentum are plans for yet another high-end riverfront development set to launch early next year.

The Gallery, next to The Pilbeam Theatre and Rockhampton Art Gallery will be nine-levels with 68 two and three bedroom luxury apartments, priced from $450,000.

Already eight of The Gallery's apartments are on hold, Empire is almost entirely sold and Southbank on Victoria has only seven of its 55 apartments remaining for sale.

The Morning Bulletin took a sneak peek inside the impressive Southbank complex yesterday.

Project marketer, Leanne Fenech from Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate said like Empire, 90% of Southbank's apartments had sold to Central Queenslanders, with the majority to Rockhampton home occupiers.

Some were sold to retirees, others to young professional couples and others to couples in mid-life wanting to travel but with security for their property and without maintenance issues. Only eight of the 55 apartments were sold to investors and only two from interstate.

Ms Fenech said it wasn't a reflection on how investors perceived Rockhampton, but the direct result of strategic marketing.

"It's supply and demand…The Rocks are leased for up to $600 a week and if we had 30 investors they wouldn't get those returns," she said.

The Market

Apartments in Southbank on Victoria sold for $250,000-$600,000

In the Sept quarter 60 units sold in Rockhampton with a median price of $350,000 representing a 4.6% increase over 12 mths.

Source: Domain Group

"Home occupiers don't want to be surrounded by investment properties, so we aimed the marketing at CQ.

"Until now, people haven't had such a big option, but a lot of people want to live on the waterfront and they know room is running out."

Developer and builder for Southbank on Victoria was Griffin Builders, a long-time Rockhampton company which also built The Waterfront, The Rocks and The Edge.

Ms Fenech said the combined experience of the developers and the marketers meant they understood what the market was looking for and what price bracket apartments would sell for.

"It's still a buyers' market in residential sales. Buyers are very astute. They have more information than ever at their fingertips and know what properties are worth," she said.

"There's definitely buyers out there and a well-priced property will sell.

"Southbank's $20 million in sales off the plan shows a confidence in the market...just seeing these high-rises under construction shows movement in the city."

Each of Rockhampton's riverfront apartment buildings was developed by local companies.

Southbank site manager Gary Dunnett said he'd inducted 248 people onto the site since construction began.

The project employed 20 full-time construction workers including four apprentices, used about 85% local contractors and had already injected millions of dollars into Rockhampton's economy.

"It's been very exciting to be a part of it," said Ms Fenech.



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