State of Markets - QLD Feburary 2015

By Staff Reporter

While the Brisbane market continues to record moderate growth, some regional areas of Queensland could see the state’s market heat up in 2015


OVER THE final quarter of 2014, house values in the Queensland capital grew by 1.8 per cent, according to CoreLogic RP Data.

While growth was higher in other state capitals, such as Sydney and Perth, Brisbane still outperformed the capital city average of 1.6 per cent.

Moreover, the Sunshine State’s fortunes could be further boosted by its regional markets this year.

According to Raine & Horne, market conditions are improving not only in the state capital, but also on the Gold Coast. In addition, Steve Worrad, general manager of Raine & Horne Queensland, says that major hubs such as Toowoomba are set to benefit from infrastructure improvements, while smaller centres such as Woodford and Kingaroy will enjoy the benefits of factors such as lower interest rates and the breaking drought.

Mr Worrad anticipates that following Queensland’s state election, homeowners and investors considering the sale of a regional property in Queensland can expect excellent selling conditions.

The real estate group identifies the Toowoomba, Moreton Bay and the South Burnett regions as notable beneficiaries of the improved market conditions.

Andrew Lynch, principal of Raine & Horne Toowoomba, believes that the recent opening of the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport will have a dramatic impact on the economy and real estate markets in the town, located 127 kilometres west of Brisbane.

He says the airport will “magnify Toowoomba’s excellent economic prospects as a regional hub by bringing more businesses, tourists and investors to the town, which in turn will underpin real estate values and rental yields”.

As it stands, he adds, Toowoomba is a multi-industry town with strong service and healthcare businesses and a robust agricultural sector.

The area is also an educational hub, with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and the private schools, led by Toowoomba Prep and Toowoomba Grammar, employing hundreds of locals.

Data from Raine & Horne suggest that the market in greater Toowoomba is set to grow between five and eight per cent in 2015.

The real estate group estimates that growth will be especially strong in suburbs such as Rangeville and Centenary Heights, which are tightly-held locations on the eastern side of Toowoomba.

In focus

Much of Rockville’s pastoral land is being upgraded by the Toowoomba local government.

One notable area that looks set to benefit from this development is the Black Gully Nature Reserve, which is due to receive new paths, a play area and improved parking.

There is a variety of public and private schools in and around Rockville, plus the well-established St Andrew’s Hospital. Toowoomba’s CBD is within walking distance and there is a good public transport system.

Most of Rockville’s properties are three-bedroom, owner-occupied houses, and with a median price of $287,000, residents get a lot more space for their money than they would do in other parts of Toowoomba.

The rental market is seeing a good level of activity.

The Wellcamp airport began operating flights to Sydney and other domestic destinations at the end of 2014.

Since construction of the airport started, Rockville’s vacancy rate hasn’t gone much higher than 1.5 per cent.

To some extent, this low vacancy rate has been achieved through the area’s undersupply of housing.

With such a low vacancy rate, I feel that Rockville possesses a multitude of leasing opportunities for investors. The area’s median rental rate has been steadily growing and now stands at $288 per week.

I would advise investors to consider one of the area’s two- or three-bedroom homes.

Properties of this type that have undergone a cosmetic upgrade are bringing investors solid returns.

I feel that the sky is the limit for the suburb in the future.

The government seems to have realised that improving Rockville’s infrastructure is fundamental to its success.

In addition to Black Gully Nature Reserve, improvements are being made to Toowoomba’s railway district and the Grand Central shopping precinct.

The government also announced last year that it was constructing a new range crossing for Toowoomba.

This will not only reduce travel time across the city, but will bring more jobs to the area. Projects of this type will have a positive impact both on Rockville’s house price growth and rental sector.

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