Benefits of home ownership
RELAXED lending criteria could be leading to an increase in property sales for those wanting to enter the property market in the Emerald region.
Ray White Emerald principal Paul Muldrew said this week the market was "poking along steadily” overall, with an active lower end in the price bracket for properties costing up to $200,000.
"The banks have relaxed their lending criteria a bit, which is helping some people who haven't been able to get into the market,” he said.
Mr Muldrew said the rental sector had "tightened” and there was a limited number of properties available to rent.
"Rents are increasing so what we're seeing with each lease renewal is that landlords are putting rents up, which for an investor is good to see as things are picking up again,” he said.
"The rental department is getting plenty of applications for properties but there's less choice and we're seeing multiple applications on some properties.”
Many renters were considering the benefits of home ownership and paying a mortgage rather than a landlord.
"With rents being low, they may have been able to put some money away and now they might have the option to get into the home ownership side of things,” Mr Muldrew said.
"If they buy their own property and pay it off, they can start to build their own equity and build some value down the track, which is what everyone wants.”
In the mid-range sector of the market, Mr Muldrew said there was "a good range of homes” for buyers, including house and land packages at Maranda Heights and Mayfair Ridge Estate.
"So there's confidence coming back into the market with builders and developers wanting to do these packages and buyers can take advantage of the government's first home owners grant for new properties,” he said.
Mr Muldrew said the reopening of the Gregory mine site providing employment for locals "will bring new people to town and which is keeping the money in the town”.
"It's definitely affecting the rental side of things, which will hopefully move through into sales,” he said.
There had also been "strong sales” in the higher end of the market, he said, and properties in the industrial sector had been attracting interest from around Australia.