Data collectors say flood levee would see values will rise

A FLOOD levee bank could do two things to low socio-economic suburb Depot Hill: protect it from flooding and increase the value of its houses.

"I'm talking about somewhere between $16,000 and $32,000," said CQUniversity economics professor John Rolfe, who claimed his new findings could close the house value gap between Depot Hill and Wandal.

Mr Rolfe's associate professor Garrick Small has been collecting property data for the Rockhampton area between Wandal and Depot Hill.

The data covers the years from 1974 to 2011, the year 9.2m floods swamped Central Queensland and cut off access to Rockhampton from Brisbane.

Mr Rolfe has then analysed the data and teased out whether there were big differences in price according to where the properties were.

He said the property values in flood-prone areas were much lower than other suburbs, but that included several factors like the quality of the houses.

Median prices

As of the beginning of 2014, the median price of a house in Wandal was $299,000.

From the beginning of the year, the median price of a Depot Hill house was $167,000.

"We think that about $33,000 of lower-priced houses is because of the flood risk," he said.

"If you can take away that flood risk, you've got a chance of properties going up by that value ... that's quite simply one of the economic benefits of a flood levee bank in Depot Hill."

Mr Rolfe said in 1974 the price gap between houses in Depot Hill and Wandal was about $2000.

He said the median house price in both suburbs was a lot lower in 1974.

At a property conference at CQUniversity last week, Mr Rolfe was unable to say what the median house prices were for Wandal and Depot Hill in 1974.

Mr Rolfe said he wanted to do the study to show the economic impacts from flooding.



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