After experiencing tough market conditions over the first half of the year, home buyers in Queensland have finally started to make a comeback during the September quarter. Recent data from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland shows signs of improvement, with the amount of stock and first home buyers entering the market on the up; however, there is still a long road to recovery.
Sales activity up over the September quarter
Six months after the state was hit by a chain of natural disasters, the market is showing a healthy comeback with sales activity increasing by 17% across the state in comparison to the June quarter.
Over the September quarter, there was a 27% increase in sales below $350,000 as buyers sought out more affordable property – particularly in regional areas. Brisbane and the Gold Coast both showed a healthy increase in the number of preliminary house sales, up 13% and 11% respectively.
Gladstone was the star performer with the most significant increase in the volume of sales over the quarter (growth in excess of 50%), showing that homes in the area are in high demand; however, with a marked swing towards more affordable property, the median house price of the area has dropped marginally by 0.1%.
Although the market is making up for some lost ground it experienced earlier in the year, continued economic uncertainty has resulted in the sales still remaining significantly lower than the long-term average.
Compared to the first six months, sales activity noticeably improved in the September quarter, however it is still approximately 20% below where it was during the previous 12 month period.
Whilst the strong sales activity has provided some much-needed healing for the Queensland property market, median house prices remained soft in the 3rd quarter with a select few recording positive growth in median house prices. The Gold Coast was one of the star performers experiencing growth of 2.2% to $469,950 whilst Cairns also performed well recording an increase of 1.2% to $350,500.
The median house price in Brisbane declined by 2% to $500,000 over the same period.
While global conditions remain concerning, more sales activity locally shows that buyers have a little more confidence and many more are prepared to sign on the dotted line now than they were earlier this year. The recent consecutive interest rate cuts will also help and we are hopeful of even more positive news and increased activity in the December quarter.
In addition the recent announcement that the Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games should also provide some much-needed stimulus to the Queensland economy and ensure the our property market is on the mend.