The biggest jump in the number of house sales in Queensland was reported in Gracemere, near Rockhampton, a new report reveals.
According to new research released by PRDnationwide, 96 houses sold in Gracemere in the six months leading up to June 2011 – up 63 per cent compared to the same period a year before. Prices also rose by a modest three per cent during that time.
The Gap, in Brisbane's west, recorded the largest drop in house sales – down 57 per cent.
The Queensland Sales Overview identifies the twenty suburbs which had the strongest increase and strongest decrease in house sales activity for the 12 months leading up to June 2011.
Aaron Maskrey, PRDnationwide research director, said 17 of the top 20 suburbs to have recorded the largest decrease in activity occurred in South East Queensland.
"The largest softening's throughout the first half of 2011 were achieved in The Gap, Buderim and Forest Lake," he said.
"Notably, only three suburbs in the top 20 to experience declining sales, have recorded a median sale price above $500,000."
"Despite interest rates remaining on hold since November 2010, it appears that confidence was sapped in the South East Queensland property market, as the majority of the top 20 suburbs to have experienced the largest decline in activity are located within this region."
Mr Maskrey said the top 20 suburbs to have experienced the largest increase in activity are mostly located in mining regions.
"These regions have attracted new residents which require accommodation in a market that has a distinct undersupply. This would appear to be the opposite for South East Queensland as tradesmen have fled the Gold Coast over 2010, a direct result of the construction industry winding down on the coast," he said.
As a result of decreasing demand to purchase property, many markets within Queensland are seeing increased competition for rental premises, placing pressure on rents.
"In turn this could see greater investor activity as yields increase and become more attractive," Mr Maskrey said.
He said purchasers looking at property should consider that historically low sales activity, softening capital values and increasing rental yields, form an ideal market to buy a property primed for strong returns.
"These buyer favourable conditions also allow purchasers to exploit their position in the market place to acquire a property at a discounted price."
Throughout the June 2011 half year period, Queensland recorded a total of 53,707 settled house transactions, equating to an annual softening of 22.8 per cent (15,900 sales) from the previous year. Mining towns that have continually attracted increases in activity were Gracemere (37 additional sales), Calliope (26 additional sales) and Dysart (24 additional sales), while some coastal towns like Tannum Sands (up 26 sales), have also received increasing activity as a result of the mines.
Data released by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) late last week showed the number of house sales rebounded in Queensland in the September quarter, jumping 17 per cent when compared to the June quarter, although remained down by around 20 per cent year-on-year.