Queensland buyers in ‘catch-22’

Booming prices in Queensland’s short-supply market are tempting many property owners to sell up – but vendors fear they will be unable to buy back.

antonia mercorella reiq spi syszub

Median sales results released by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) are delivering mixed news to those who own property in the Sunshine State.

Scarce listings, low supply and strong demand have led to a steady upward trajectory for house and unit prices across the state. Over the July to September quarter, median house prices in Queensland rose to $690,000, while median unit prices jumped almost 4 per cent to $530,000.

For property owners, the growth trend is both a blessing and a curse.

“The biggest challenge at the moment is people’s reluctance to sell and make the jump to their next property,” said REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella.


“Real estate agents are telling us that people do want to sell their properties, but they’re also held back by concerns about what they are going to be able to buy back into in such a tight market – so it’s a frustrating situation for so many,” Ms Mercorella explained.

For those wanting to take advantage of Queensland’s steady price wave, Ms Mercorella suggested that the regions might be the place to look.

She revealed: “Those seeking value for money are finding it in our regional economic powerhouses – Toowoomba and Townsville.”

“You’re looking at an annual median house price of $530,000 in Toowoomba and just over $400,000 in Townsville – well below Greater Brisbane’s $760,500 median price point.”

Instead of detached houses, units are winning the hearts of Queensland’s city dwellers. Unit prices in Q3 rose 9.17 per cent in Logan, 8.75 per cent in Mackay, and a massive 19.21 per cent in Rockhampton.

“Unit price growth seems to be awakening from a long slumber, as people adjust their expectations and use them as stepping stones into the housing market,” said Ms Mercorella.

“Where once upon a time you could find more affordable freestanding houses to buy around the half-a-million-dollar mark with a reasonable commute to the city, we’re now hearing that first home buyers are turning to apartments and units instead.”

With buyers able to snap up a flat in Logan or Ipswich for the mid-$300,000s – and as low as $250,000 in Gladstone – it’s not surprising that so many buyers are turning to apartments.

Looking forward into 2024, Ms Mercorella predicted that interstate migration and a tight job market will continue to cause price growth in the Sunshine State.

“Queensland property has shaped up to its age-old reputation as a consistent, reliable player, and we expect to see more of the same steady growth as we bring in the new year,” she stated.

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