Residential market on the rise in country town
EMERALD'S residential market is on the rise according to a national real estate report.
Herron Todd White's month in review for July 2020 listed the rural town as a "rising market" in its National Property Clock for houses.
The report stated the market in Emerald was virtually unaffected by COVID-19 with "values slightly firming and rents firming".
Principal of Emerald Real Estate Jason Campbell said the residential market had been quite "brisk", with 17 houses sold over the past month.
"The rental market is really strong and there is not a great deal of rentals available, which has pushed into results from sales," Mr Campbell said.
"Houses are still showing great value for the buyer. Interest rates are low, and we have been quite lucky that our region hasn't been badly affected by COVID-19. We have come out very well."
He said the residential market in Emerald had been strong throughout most of 2020.
"Sales market inquiries did quieten down through the initial part of COVID-19," he said.
"Since then it has picked up and people have come back with some regained confidence."
He said the strongest part of the market was owner occupiers looking for four-bedroom homes.
He said properties in the lower end of the market were the highest in demand.
"Properties listed for $300,000 and under get snapped up pretty quickly," he said.
"There are more listings in the $400,000-$500,000 bracket, but the lower end of the market is where it is the most competitive because of the affordability.
"People are missing out because they are selling so quickly."
Herron Todd White reported Emerald was still experiencing "very tight vacancy rates".
This was backed up by Mr Campbell, who said vacancy rates in Emerald were sitting at 3-4 per cent and zero per cent in Blackwater.
"Inquiries are up and there are multiple applications on each property listed in both Emerald and Blackwater," he said.
"We are 100 per cent full in Blackwater and the vacancy rate for Emerald is quite low as well.
"Most landlords are only doing six-month leases because they know they get the opportunity to increase the rent again at the renewal term."
He said he expected the confidence to continue with interest rates staying low and indication the coal price may increase over the next three months
"Hopefully that will create more jobs which will then push further demand on our housing," he said.