Sales agent Marc Hummer and Michael’s Real Estate owner Michael Dempsey believe the property market is starting to improve.
Sales agent Marc Hummer and Michael’s Real Estate owner Michael Dempsey believe the property market is starting to improve. Max Fleet

Mining to boost housing market

REAL estate agents believe Bundaberg’s housing affordability could set it up for strong growth, as Gladstone people sell out of a soaring market on the back of the resources boom.

REIQ figures just released show Bundaberg’s median house price was steady at $280,000 over the June quarter, while the Gladstone median house price was again the top performer of price growth across the state, increasing 6.1% to $440,250 over the quarter.

REIQ Bundaberg zone chairman Mike Dempsey said the latest quarter had been characterised by low activity and had reduced buyer confidence, but the mood had brightened considerably over recent weeks.

“There was a lack of activity over the quarter, with the only real standout being investor interest, particularly from mining workers,” he said.

But there was hope on the horizon, he said.

“A number of miners are opting to live here and commute to Gladstone for their scheduled two or three-week stints,” Mr Dempsey said.

“Plus we have people relocating here from Gladstone who aren’t involved in the mining sector and are looking for somewhere more affordable to live.”

He said the market seemed to be stabilising and could expect a boost thanks not only to people moving to Bundaberg from other areas, but also lower interest rates and good rental prices.

RE/MAX Precision principal Scott Mackey said he was optimistic about the rental and investment future for Bundaberg.

“We are starting to see growth in areas around us in the northern market,” he said.

“However we are finding that retirees or those not working in the mining industry are moving here because the living costs are better.

“It is 30% more expensive for a house up there or you can upgrade here in Bundaberg.

“Their money can go a lot further in our market.”

Mr Mackey said Gladstone residents were able to sell their properties for 30-40% more, enabling them to move to Bundaberg, buy a property for less and enjoy lower costs of living.

“If Bundaberg Regional Council is successful in its continued push for more flights, then I believe we will see more growth in the market – a result we would all appreciate,” he said.

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