SNAPPED UP: This rental property hosting four units was on the market for less than a week before it was bought.
SNAPPED UP: This rental property hosting four units was on the market for less than a week before it was bought. Contributed

Southern buyers stampede to purchase Rocky's units

JANECE Jones thinks someone down south must be spreading good stories about Rockhampton's blossoming unit market.

Working as Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate Sales Consultant Ms Jones was almost knocked over by the stampede of southern buyers in late February who were looking to snap up the beautiful brick building for the bargain price of $390000.

She said the owner of the four unit property situated at 95 Archer St, which featured two bedrooms, one bathroom, one carpark and long term tenants, had held onto it for the last 19 years but was ready to let it go after retiring.

"I had the photos taken and as soon as they hit the internet sites, I had so many enquiries," Ms Jones said.

"Every day there would be another six or seven [internet] enquiries plus numerous phone calls."

Ms Jones said the property, which was listed on Wednesday February 28, was under contract by the following Monday to a local buyer who at prevailed despite the immense interest from 40 southern buyers hailing from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

"There's stories out there that are in some of those investor magazines talking about the vacancy rate here, with prices being fairly reasonable, [there are] good returns on rental properties," she said.

"I think it's the vacancy rate which makes such a big difference and for these people to have their alerts on the internet means they had to have their news from somewhere that Central Queensland seems to be the place to invest in."

She said CQ's growth, the prospect big spending infrastructure in the pipeline and the elusive announcement of Adani finally pushing ahead were all lures to the region for prospective real estate buyers,

Another unit project Ms Jones was working on was Stage four of the Frenchville Villas on Frenchville Rd, which was expected for construction to complete by September.

Ms Jones said the previous stages had been quickly sold out and she expected a similar situation when the marketing for Stage four kicked off next week during Beef Australia 2018.

This increasing interest in purchasing units, she said, was a reflection of a broader shift as populations, particularly the younger demographic's sought to downsize due to their time constraints of not wanting to maintain a yard and also to live centrally within CBDs.

In their latest April report, Property valuers Herron Todd White, still had Rockhampton pegged at the bottom of market when it came to unit sales.

There is a lingering anticipation for the imminent release of the next quarterly edition of Real Estate Institute Queensland's Market Monitor to see if the improvements seen on the ground will translate into results on the results tables.

Its December 2017 edition, the Queensland Market Monitor described the performance of the Rockhampton region's "very small" unit market as "subdued" in 2017, with unit prices falling 1.3 per cent to $295,000.

"Units continued to outperform houses, as they've done for much of the year, and ended the year more expensive than houses," the report said.

"The unit market is also the smallest-selling market of the areas analysed in the QMM, with less than 100 sales a year."

"Medium to high density dwellings represent about 8 per cent of the total regional dwellings and unit sales represented about 9 per cent of the total residential property sales in the region in 2017."

The December report said a unit in Rocky needed more than three months (100 days) to reach a sale and a discount of 7.5 per cent.

Local agents report renewed confidence, which is supporting a positive outlook for the property market in 2018.

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