ENCOURAGING TREND: It’s a blue-sky market, says Ray White Group joint CEO Tony Warland, as sales volumes hit the highest levels since 2010.
ENCOURAGING TREND: It’s a blue-sky market, says Ray White Group joint CEO Tony Warland, as sales volumes hit the highest levels since 2010. ERLE LEVEY

Real estate sales hit five-year high in state

THE Sunshine Coast property market is in one of those rare windows where month by month it is significantly cheaper to buy than rent.

It is part of a significant shift in the landscape of real estate in the first two months of 2015.

The release of Real Estate Institute of Queensland statistics shows residential real estate sales in Queensland have hit a five-year high.

The data reveals Queensland recorded $51 billion worth of residential real estate transactions in 2014, the highest level since 2010.

REIQ chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said sales volumes also hit a five-year high in 2014, with about 114,000 transactions recorded throughout the state.

"The value of transactions in Queensland in 2014 was below the peak of $73 billion recorded in 2007, but there's a very encouraging upward trend, which is great news for homeowners," she said.

"2003 still holds the record for the most number of transactions in a calendar year. However, sales volumes are clearly heading in the right direction."

Yet on the Sunshine Coast zone chair Amber Werchon said many agencies called 2009 the year to beat and, after some tough years, it was exciting the region's numbers were far exceeding those.

"Overall, it's all very positive for most property types on the Coast," Ms Werchon said.

"The Sunshine Coast has seen a great result for the December 2014 quarter with house sales up 14%.

"The median sale price is currently $482,000 which is a 1.8% rise for the December quarter.

"Unit and townhouse sales also rose 2% for the December quarter with the median sale price being $349,500.

"The over $1 million market has been a lot stronger since the latter part of 2014, with some great sales recorded such as land in Alexandra Headland selling for $1.95m."

Ray White Group joint CEO Tony Warland said the Sunshine Coast was full of opportunity.

Speaking at a seminar at Maroochydore Mr Warland said agents should strive for something further rather than look back on the past.

"The Sunshine Coast has seen a rise from 8200 sales to 10,000. It's a blue-sky market with plenty of opportunity."

Noosa real estate principal Tom Offermann said the pick-up in activity was evident from just driving around the streets where there were plenty of sold signs, less properties for sale and most auctions selling.

"The low interest rates are making property attractive to domestic buyers,'' Mr Offermann said.

"And the overseas and ex-pat buyers have returned due to the favourable exchange rates.

"In one day alone (this month) we had three ex-pat buyers walk into our Hastings St office.''

Mr Offermann said the top end of the market was active, with 22 sales above $3 million at Noosa Heads, Sunshine Beach and Noosaville.

The highest was the Sandpiper penthouse, a new three-bedroom apartment on Noosa's main beach.

"In the first two months of 2015 there have already been eight sales over this level, the highest being a Hastings St unit that we just sold for $7.2m.

"Houses under $1 million, which are competitively priced, sell fast, especially if they are in the $500,000 range.

"Prices are mostly still well below 2007 levels but are definitely on the rise.''

Ray White's Brett Graham, a co-principal in seven agencies, said 2015 had shown a significant shift in the landscape in real estate, particularly around the Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Buderim areas.



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