Snap up a piece of Central Qld for $15,000
FIRST-HOME buyers could purchase a house for less than the State Government grant with prices as low as $15,000.
Retired real estate agent and former Vision Property Group owner Di Hancock-Mills said the "ridiculous" prices were reflective of the Central Highlands economy with owners "finally meeting the market".
Ms Hancock-Mills said the cheap homes were predominantly in Blackwater, with leasehold homes selling from $15,000 to $25,000 and freehold from $55,000.
"There are sales coming through but the thing is the prices being achieved is reflective of the downturn in the situation here," she said.
"And some of those prices are being forced upon some of the sellers by the banks foreclosing.
"For $25,000 you would get a a 40-year-old house, three bedrooms, one bathroom, no air-condition, a lick of paint on inside would be good, good bones, good structure, probably timber flooring you could polish, the kitchen is old but not tatty, still easily usable.
"So you have got to spend some money to make money, you aren't going to rent an old house like that.
"But that's not a lot of money if you are picking it up for that price."
Ms Hancock-Mills can't help herself in retirement, and still works part-time for Vision Property Group as well as a body corporate management company.
She said while the plummeting prices were a "heartbreaking" situation for investors who bought up big during the boom, there had never been a better time for investors or first-home buyers to buy up.
"It's an excellent time for first-home buyers, an excellent time for cashed-up investors," she said.
"Investors are not silly, the prices are now what the market is prepared to pay, they know the coal is going to come back... the world needs coal whether they like it or not.
"What I have said to every investor throughout the years is, 'if you are going to be an investor in the resources sector, be smart and ride the rollercoaster; when it's up, my god it is up, when it's low you don't know how low it can get'."
Ms Hancock-Mills's on-the-ground analysis comes as REIQ figures for the December quarter revealed a 20% increase in the median house price and sales for the last quarter across the Central Highlands to 34 homes sold at a median price of $180,000.
Ms Hancock-Mills attributed the sale numbers to the low prices, but could not concede to the high price.
In neighbouring Emerald, Ms Hancock-Mills said a new four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double lock-up garage home worth $450,000 in 2012 would sit on the market at $250,000 with owners lucky to get $200,000 in the end.
"We have only seen this in the last few months, maybe three months, until then we weren't getting a lot of sales, because people were not meeting the market," she said.