IT HAS been a busy start to the year in Emerald, with two new businesses opening in the past two weeks.
But the good news doesn't stop there for the town as investors are looking to capitalise on value in the market.
CD Adams Real Estate agent and auctioneer Clinton Adams said there was "definitely optimism out there”.
"There are people looking to take new opportunities in Emerald,” he said.
"The downturn had a devastating effect on the community, with many people leaving, however people are now starting to turn a corner with their businesses.
"There are definitely signs that the market has turned and confidence is creeping back into the town.
"There are new businesses coming to town and other businesses changing hands.”
One of the new businesses is Emerald Thai Food Takeaway and Delivery, which has enjoyed an overwhelming response since opening.
Owner Liamthong Cameron, who worked as a chef at Emerald Golf Course, a cleaner and dabbled in mining, said she decided to open the restaurant to spend more time with her family.
"I worked at the golf course and had a Thai food stall at the multicultural festival and people always asked me why I hadn't opened a restaurant,” Mrs Cameron said.
It's a business venture that is paying dividends, with the fresh Thai food a hit in the community.
Mr Adams said there were opportunities in the market, especially for niche businesses.
"It's the only Thai in the town and (Mrs Cameron) has been overwhelmed with the community response.
"There really are opportunities out there and this business shows that.”
Emerald Meteor Motel was also bought swiftly after going on the market and is already undergoing renovations.
While Mr Adams could not say who bought the motel, he could confirm it was a large chain company that owns 14 motels.
Mr Adams said bigger companies were looking at Emerald as a town where there was value in the market.
"Bigger businesses can see the potential in Emerald - there are significant resources in our region with both the coal and rural industries.”
But it's not just businesses taking advantage of the market value, with increased interest in all types of residential properties in the area.
"People are starting to think this is the bottom of the boom-and-bust real estate cycle and they are using this time to take advantage of the value in the market,” Mr Adams said.
"People who are renting are looking to buy a house to have some certainty in life.”
WHAT THE AGENTS SAY:
- Elders Real Estate Emerald principal Wendy Thornberry: There is increased activity across the board from both a rental perspective and an increased number of people at open houses.
- Emerald LJ Hooker principal Brenda Logovik: The market has seen a general pick-up since December. A lot of houses are selling and a lot of buyers are waiting for houses to be put on the market. The most popular are houses under $300,000 and properties on acreage. There are also a lot of people moving into rentals.
- Emerald Ray White owner Paul Muldrew: I think it's a great time to get into the market, for buyers to purchase in Emerald. It's very affordable. Emerald should start to see things trend upwards and prices increase.
- Real Estate Vision Group's Di Hancock-Mills: More sales are occurring because sellers are meeting the market price.
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