Gracemere’s Jeffrey Conaghan relaxes yesterday outside the home he had built for $280,000. A new report shows Rockhampton is the most affordable of 15 major centres in Queensland.
Gracemere’s Jeffrey Conaghan relaxes yesterday outside the home he had built for $280,000. A new report shows Rockhampton is the most affordable of 15 major centres in Queensland. MEGAN LEWIS Ml

Rocky best place for home buyers

ROCKHAMPTON has been revealed as the most affordable major centre tolive in Queensland, which is good news for those like Jeffrey Conaghan.

Jeffrey and his partner built their own home in the district last year and believe they got in at the right time.

Queensland’speak body for housing and construction, Master Builders, has releasedits State of the Housing Industry Report for the December 2009 quarter,which shows the Rockhampton district has the lowest house price tohousehold income ratio of any of the 15 major population centres in thestate.

The ratio was four to one, which while still classed asunaffordable, was well below the ratios of other centres across thestate, where some are approaching crisis levels.

In Brisbane andthe Gold Coast the ratio was well above seven, while at the SunshineCoast it was just under this figure and Mackay, Cairns and Townsvillewere all close to six.

However, it wasn’t all good news forRockhampton, with the report also identifying the district as havingthe fourth-highest construction costs to build a new home.

The cost of $324,379 for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom brick home was 8% higher than the cost to build the same home in Brisbane.

Thereport said the difference could largely be attributed to the higherfreight costs involved in transporting building materials toRockhampton and the difference in the size of the residential housingmarket in the two regions.

As with the rest of the state, labour and materials accounted for the bulk of the costs, accounting for almost 85% of the total.

Andwhile Rockhampton had the cheapest median house price, it was the thirdmost expensive regional centre outside of south-east Queensland for theprice of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom established home.

The price of $395,000 was almost 40% lower than the price of an equivalent house in Brisbane.

Rockhampton’s price rose by 3.1% over the 12 months to December 2009.

“Lookingforward, expectations are that the established house price forRockhampton will continue to increase over the next 12 to 18 months asthe economic recovery builds momentum,” the report said.

“Strongfundamentals, such as ongoing population growth and a robust localeconomy, will undermine housing market demands in the region in thelonger term.”

It said many first-home owners faced a significant challenge getting a foothold into Rockhampton’s property market.

Jeffrey, 22, made that step last year when he and his partner moved into a new home at Gracemere.

Jeffrey said he was delighted with their house, which they had built for about $280,000.

“I think we built just at the right time because now people are getting smaller homes for the same amount of money.”

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