Mackay housing market has biggest price hike in Qld
MACKAY and Gladstone recorded the highest annual median price hikes in Queensland last year, growing 5.9 per cent.
They are no match for Noosa, which remains the state's most expensive jewel in the crown with a median house price of $836,724 and median unit price of $715,000.
In CoreLogic's latest data for the April-June 2020 quarter, across 13 major regions, only two reported marginal price retractions.
These included Cairns (0.5% and 1.3% drop in median house and unit prices respectively) and Mackay (2.2% drop in median unit price).
In releasing the Queensland Market Monitor September 2020 issue, Real Estate Institute of Queensland found Mackay's housing market recorded a flat result of $400,000 over the June quarter but the year ending figure was the equal strongest of all major regions across the state.
Mackay had four consecutive quarters with positive price results.
The median house price in Mackay is now only about 5 per cent off its figure from
five years ago.
REIQ Mackay zone chair Allison Cunningham said the impacts of the pandemic had
mostly been positive for the region with more residents choosing to call Mackay home.
She said the influx of new locals was partly because of the job opportunities available but some people decided to relocate to Mackay during and after the lockdown.
"The region has welcomed plenty of new residents over recent months with many
workers opting to relocate rather than battle ongoing travel restrictions and difficulties," the report reads.
"The influx of new locals is helping to supercharge the local economy as well as underpin its housing market.
"Mackay's rental market is now one of the tightest in Queensland with a vacancy rate of
just 1.3 per cent.
"Rents are correspondingly starting to rise with increases of 5-10 per cent relatively
"New locals are generally coming from interstate as well as from Brisbane.
"The steady stream of new arrivals has helped the local house market with steady
conditions over the past three months.
"Many properties are selling within a few weeks of listing but slow lending is
pushing out days on market as contracts wait to go unconditional.
"The local economy is also being supercharged by its increasing population with
positive sentiment among local business owners."
The Mackay median unit price reduced 2.2 per cent over the June quarter to
$222,000 and was also down 2.2 per cent over the year.
The unit market remains soft but it is a small part of the overall market with
only 30 sales recorded over the June quarter.
The median unit price is still 28.5 per cent below its level five years ago, which is a fall
of more than $80,000.
However, its current low median unit price is now the most affordable of all major
regions, which is likely to become attractive to bargain hunters in the times ahead.
While other parts of regional Queensland are reporting strong vacant land sales from
the HomeBuilder scheme, the same cannot be said for Mackay.
Only 23 vacant land sales were recorded over the June quarter with a median price of
Mackay's rental market has hardly skipped a beat this year, even during the lockdown period.
The vacancy rate has fallen to just 1.3 per cent - one of the lowest in the state - and shows the local rental market is in undersupplied territory.
The lack of rental properties at the same time as an influx of new residents is resulting in a significant impact on prices as well as creating stress for would-be tenants.
Ms Cunningham said the rental market was probably the best it had been for eight years, when the vacancy rate was 1.7 per cent.
She said there were only about 180 rental properties available across the whole of Mackay.
The increased demand is causing rents to rise between 5-10 per cent for renewals as well as new leases.
The impact of the low vacancy will likely be pronounced in the next quarter of statistics,
but it is clear Mackay rents are already increasing.
The median rent for a three-bedroom house is up almost 3 per cent to $360,000
compared to June last year.
Investors in Mackay are achieving 5.2 per cent gross rental yields for houses and 6.6
per cent yields for units.
REIQ chief Antonia Mercorella said there were more than 8600 property transactions across Brisbane and more than 7100 across regional Queensland in the three months from April to June this year.
She said this showed the real estate industry was quick to adapt to restrictions on auctions and open homes as well as border closures.
"Queensland's residential property market continues to show remarkably stable results, with the first full quarterly COVID-19 property price report giving Queenslanders a comprehensive look at how the pandemic has affected our state's housing market," she said.
"The real estate industry proved itself highly agile, adapting to technology substitutes in place of live auctions and physical property inspections at almost lightning speed.
"And buyers and sellers were equally quick to embrace it."