When it comes to tracking how our home turf holdings are performing, one figure that’s trundled out time and again is median price. It’s a decent measure, of course. You want to gauge and compare locations? Check out the median house or unit price. For those less versed in the statistical game (and hey, we can’t all be good at everything), here’s a crash course in median value
There’s a checklist of reasons why Brisbane-centric property people feel our city offers some of the best opportunities for investment in the country.
These arguments roll off the tongue effortlessly whenever you engage one of us in conversation – Brisbane provides an easy-going lifestyle, new infrastructure spending, ready coastal access, promising long-term employment outlook… and so on.
All good motives for sure, but top of the list is affordable real estate.
The affordability wave of southern buyers has been threatening to hit us in force since the start of this decade, but has never really delivered the hoped-for drenching. The flow is certainly underway, but it’s been more of a slow rising tide than a flash flood.
So, assuming you get the chance to sell your high priced Sydney unit and can spend a portion of your new-found wealth in our city, what is it you’ll land for a median figure?
Establishing our price median depends on who you ask, but for the purposes of this article, let’s use the figures supplied by CoreLogic in their most recent national media release which defined the Brisbane median house and unit price as approximately $550,000 and $380,000 respectively.
Heading north and you’ll be in our mid-ring localities.
This is a pretty handy investment and owner-occupier zone, as there’s terrific potential if you can be positioned close to transport options and essential services.
At the $550,000 house price, check out areas such as Chermside, Nundah, Kedron and Stafford Heights where original-condition, post-war homes through to 1980s era dwellings provide entry level buying. There are options to improve these abodes with a little renovation work too, so that’s an attractive equity-add for those handy with a hammer.
For example, 3 Seabrook Street, KEDRON is listed for $549,000 and offers a three-bedroom, one-bathroom, single-car home of circa 1965 construction. It’s neat and tidy but could also benefit from a little work.
On the unit front, look for resales of modern apartments. A circa 2010 or later unit offering two-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-car accommodation can be found within the $380,000 to $400,000 median figure. Again, transport and essential services are nearby so finding tenants for this style of accommodation shouldn’t be difficult if appropriately priced.
Looking south and again, mid-ring is your friend
with Holland Park, Annerley, Carina, and Carina Heights providing options.
In a mirror of the north, it’s the original condition post-war homes through to the 1980s-constructed properties that will fit the bill. You will need to find a little more cash to open up your options – a touch north of $550,000 would be handy – but the established market is open to you.
For example, a property at 28 Orana Street, CARINA is on the market for offers over $500,000. It’s a tiny cottage this one, on a 450 square metre block. The original finish and two-bedroom, one bathroom accommodation won’t meet everyone’s needs, but there will be buyers at this affordable price point.
Again, modern style apartments in the south are the go within these mid-ring positions. Look for two-bedders with two bathrooms, particularly if you’re an investor hoping to jag tenants.
18/51 Daniells, CARINA is a great example. Asking for offers over $365,000, it’s in a decent location and has a modern finish.
If you have your heart set on finding something a bit more contemporary (i.e. you couldn’t be bothered with maintenance and renovation), then apply the long-established rules of property economics. The further out from the CBD you travel, the bigger the block and better the quality you can buy for your buck.
Outer-ring localities to the north include North Lakes, Griffin and Mango Hill.
These suburbs have great access to transport, services, facilities and lifestyle. They are appealing estates that offer modern project-home options on a range of block sizes – a great family location if the budget is a bit tighter and you’re looking for something nice and neat in your $500,000 bracket. Better yet, look for a property that’s only a couple of years old to improve your chances of capital gains.
Attached housing at the unit price median here is mostly modern style townhouses of three bedroom, two-bathroom accommodation.
Outer localities in the south include
Pallara, Springfield, Springfield Lakes, Redbank Plains and Collingwood Park where project homes are also the go for the Brisbane median. There’s been plenty of new construction throughout this corridor and supply of resale property is decent, so look for something that’s not too old but has lost its new car price premium.
Overall, if you have the choice, we consider the older detached homes in the middle ring as the best prospects for investment. History shows their potential for capital gain is greater. Also, if you are in the right position, there are plenty of tenants willing and able to take up a rental on your investment.
Southern Gold Coast/Northern New South Wales
Residential property prices in the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales areas have remained subdued with some signs of easing at mid-range and higher price points in the first quarter of 2019. Local selling agents have reported longer marketing periods in most instances with signs pointing towards a buyer’s market.
Popular beach front locations such as Burleigh Heads and Casuarina have begun to show signs of easing with median house prices in February 2019 showing a gentle slow down, dipping to $880,000 and $1.03 million respectively and units displaying a similar trend at $517,500 and $487,000 (source: Hometrack Australia, 2019).
Local agents have reported that there is steady interest in older style walk up units in areas such as Palm Beach, Tugun and Currumbin between $350,000 and $450,000 from predominantly owner-occupiers. We have noticed a general shift towards unit living, particularly in areas of the southern Gold Coast and an increase in transit oriented developments and the future extension of the light rail to Coolangatta.
Central North Coast
The median house value within the northern Gold Coast area is estimated to be between $600,000 and $650,000. This price point will secure a good standard of dwelling in well located central Gold Coast suburbs with good public amenities including schools, retail and public transport. These areas, generally speaking, provide for safe investments being in areas that are experiencing stronger demand as the city continues to expand mainly to the north and west and some central locations are being more densely filled. We have noticed a recent slowdown in the overall Gold Coast market as the market appears to be shifting to a buyer’s market. Expected rental return within this area is circa $650 per week. Some recent sales examples within this range are as follows:
12 Arundel Springs Ave, ARUNDEL sold in November 2018 for $600,000. A circa 2018 four-bedroom, two-bathroom rendered brick and tile roof single level dwelling with double car garage. Features as new throughout, average standard fitout, ducted air conditioning, vinyl plank flooring, stone bench tops, small patio under main roof and established landscaping. Spec home sold by builder in as new condition. Located within new developing estate. Affords local outlook. Presents as a modest sized dwelling. Land area 380 square metres.
20 Westpark Court, HELENSVALE sold in September 2018 for $626,000. A circa 1996, onground, four-bedroom, two bathroom conventional dwelling on a concrete slab foundation with brick walls, concrete tiled roof and two car garage. Areas: living – 162 square metres; outdoor – 13 square metres; car – 35 square metres. The dwelling is located on a regular shaped, near level, inside lot with a suitable building site which is naturally contoured and positioned at road level. The property is cleared and faces east with bushland views and has frontage to bushland. Access to the property is easy and direct. Ancillary improvements include exposed aggregate driveway, partially enclosed yard of timber construction, concrete paths, paved paths, established landscaping, pebblecrete in ground pool with paved surrounds and aluminium pool fencing, garden shed and shade sails. The property has good external condition, good internal condition and good presentation. Land area 1,070 square metres.
6 Frome Place, COOMBABAH sold in September 2018 for $630,000. A circa 1987, three-bedroom, two-bathroom single level dwelling with brick walls, tile roof and detached double car garage. Features new kitchen and bathrooms, stone bench tops, modest standard fit-out. Site improvements include in ground swimming pool, large covered patio, fully fenced colorbond fencing with electric gate, moderate landscaping. Land area 1,144 square metres.
107 Crestwood Drive, MOLENDINAR sold in November 2018 for $650,000. A circa 2003, single level rendered brick, fourbedroom, two-bathroom dwelling with concrete tiled roof and two car accommodation. Areas: living – 223 square metres, outdoor – 31 square metres, garage – 36 square metres. Moderate landscaping. Features ducted air conditioning, fresh paint finishes, laminate kitchen. Inside, above road level allotment. Land area 730 square metres.
Median unit values within the north coast area are estimated to be between $310,000 and $350,000. The unit market is very fickle. Developers continue to release new unit stock with a seemingly current oversupply for this property type. New stock is heavily marketed to interstate and foreign investors and seldom holds medium term value. New stock is often popular while still regarded new and fresh, however will typically fall in value as newer buildings are released. The median price range is reflected by the resale of slightly older units situated in good locations often within close proximity to the Southport CBD or Broadwater.
This property segment is far more risk prone than the dwelling market. We are aware of one large unit complex built in 2015 in the area that has a reported 69 current listings with recent resale prices reflecting as much as 15 per cent losses from the original developer’s sale prices. Investors need to be vigilant and aware of body corporate fees, with some units becoming difficult to sell when the outgoings are perceived to be excessive. Expected rents would be in the range of $350 to $400 per week. Some recent sales examples within the estimated median range are as follows:
5/26 Lather St, SOUTHPORT sold in July 2018 for $315,000. A circa part updated 1989, two-bedroom, twobathroom walk up unit situated on level two of a three level complex known as Walton Court, with rendered masonry walls, concrete tiled roof and one car basement car space. Areas: living – 86 square metres; balcony – 5 square metres; car – 22 square metres. The unit has a northerly aspect. Ancillary improvements include a concrete driveway, partially enclosed yard of brick construction, paved paths and basic landscaping.
408/33 Clarke St, BIGGERA WATERS sold in October 2018 for $325,000. A circa 2004, rendered masonry, two-bedroom, two-bathroom with single basement car space. Ground level unit with western aspect within Pavillions by the Broadwater, a large 102 unit security-gated low-rise complex. Areas: living – 78 square metres, patio- 18 square metres. Unit affords no significant views. Ancillary improvements are of a good standard and include partially enclosed yard of mixed construction; paved paths; established landscaping, pool, gymnasium, spa, on site manager.
20/20 Huth St, LABRADOR is currently under contract for $335,000. A circa 1993, three-bedroom, one-bathroom conventional townhouse, situated in a 39 unit complex on a concrete footings and slab foundation with brick veneer and Hardiplank walls, tile roof and single car garage. Areas: living – 101 square metres; car park – 18 square metres. The townhouse has a westerly aspect with no significant views. Ancillary improvements include concrete driveway, partially enclosed yard, concrete paths, paved paths, moderate landscaping, garden shed and common improvements include swimming pool. The property has a fair external condition, fair internal condition and fair presentation.
1/4 Waverley St, SOUTHPORT sold in September 2018 for $345,000. A single level, circa 1998, semi-modern, brick, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, low rise unit, with concrete tile roof and one basement car space. Unit presents in partially updated internal condition from online photos. Areas: living – 77 square metres, balcony – 19 square metres. Located on the second level of Waverley Terraces, a six-unit, three level low rise unit complex. Ancillary improvements include established landscaping, part fencing and concrete driveway. The property has average external condition and very good internal condition.
Central Gold Coast
The centrally located suburb of Main Beach comprises a mix of property types including units, duplexes and houses. The median house price for an older style medium to high rise unit typically ranges between $800,000 and $900,000. A few examples of a typical unit in this price range is as follows:
15A/3545 Main Beach Parade, MAIN BEACH under contract January 2019 $850,000. This unit is an absolute beach front two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit in a 40 year old medium rise building with one car space. Whilst having a smaller footprint of only 108 square metres, the unit has undergone various updates over the years and presents in good albeit dated condition. The unit has a prime north-east aspect with good available beach and ocean views. The expected rental return on this unit would be circa $700 per week. A similar style unit in fully renovated condition on the seventh floor sold in October 2018 for $910,000.
55 Xanadu East, 59 Pacific St, MAIN BEACH is currently contracted for $882,500. Located in a more modern building, the unit provides two bedroom, two-bathroom accommodation with a single car space and has been partly updated. The unit is situated on the 18th floor with an easterly aspect and good available coastal views north. A larger unit of 124 square metres of living plus a 27 square metre balcony. The expected rental on this unit would be circa $820 per week. A similar unit in original condition on the seventh floor with inferior views sold in October 2018 for $805,000.
When you move to the more modern buildings, the median price climbs to between $1.1 million and $1.3 million. These buildings are more boutique in their style and offer good resident amenities. A couple of good sales in these buildings include:
903 Axis 11-13 Hill Pde, MAIN BEACH sold on 6 December 2018 for $1.12 million. A modern, boutique-style building, circa 2005 built, two level, two bedroom plus study, two bathroom plus powder room sky home style unit with tandem basement car space. Located on the seventh and eighth floors (lift level nine and ten) of the building, the unit has a living area of 168 square metres and outdoor area of 25 square metres. The unit has a southerly aspect with local views and good ocean views between buildings. The rental return on this unit would be circa $900 per week.
1401/25 Breaker St, MAIN BEACH sold $1.3 million in mid 2018. The units is a single level, circa 2009, three bedroom, three-bathroom, modern, high rise unit with two side-by-side basement car spaces plus storage lock-up. This is a boutique style building with one unit per floor configuration. Areas: living – 192 square metres; outdoor – 48 square metres. The high rise unit is located on level 14 having a north-easterly aspect appreciating local views, hinterland views, river views and ocean views. Expected rental return would be around $1,100 per week.
Surfers Paradise is aimed predominantly at the tourism and letting market and the median unit price reflects the smaller units used for these purposes. Unit prices average between $400,000 and $500,000, with a $450,000 median price securing a two-bedroom , two-bathroom unit. Price variations will occur depending on the proximity of the unit to the beach, size of living and outdoor areas, available views, condition and the level of body corporate fees. Rental returns will range between $450 and $550 per week for a unit in this price range on a permanent rental basis.
Some recent sale examples include:
605 Solaire, 18 Cypress Avenue, SURFERS PARADISE sold $395,000. This is a single level, circa 2006, two-bedroom, twobathroom, modern medium rise unit situated on level six with one basement car space. Areas: living – 106 square metres; outdoor – 13 square metres; car – 14 square metres. The medium rise unit has an east-south-easterly aspect with local and city views and restricted ocean views. The property has fair external condition, fair internal condition, with modern PC items of average quality.
901/10 Vista Street, SURFERS PARADISE sold $458,000. A circa 1986, two-bedroom, two-bathroom conventional unit, situated in a medium-rise complex with concrete walls and single basement car space. Areas: living plus balcony- 102 square metres. The unit has a north-easterly aspect with local, city skyline, beach and ocean views. Largely good original fit out.
51 Silverton, 2940 Gold Coast Highway, SURFERS PARADISE sold for $470,000. A single level, two-bedroom, two-bathroom conventional strata unit with one basement car space. The unit has a total area of 152 square metres including balcony and is located on the ninth floor with a north to east aspect. Views include good local and district views, city, river and restricted ocean views. Updated internally with a modern kitchen and bathrooms.
Interestingly, just five kilometres inland from Surfers Paradise beach, you can still find houses within the price band of $550,000 to $600,000 within the suburb of Ashmore. These are typically a three or four bedroom, 1980s dwelling with double garage and if you are lucky, a pool. Rental returns for a house in this price bracket range from $520 to $600 per week. Recent sales examples are as follows:
4 Boxthorn Street, ASHMORE sold for $550,000 and is an onground, single level, four-bedroom, twobathroom semi-modern dwelling with rendered brick walls, concrete tiled roof and two-car detached carport. Ancillary improvements include driveway, fencing and swimming pool located on a 686 square metre lot.
8 Tulla Place, ASHMORE sold for $575,000 and is a circa 1985, single level, three-bedroom, two-bathroom older dwelling on a concrete slab foundation with brick walls, concrete tiled roof and double car garage. Areas: living – 134 square metres; outdoor – 15 square metres; car – 45 square metres. The dwelling is located on an irregular shaped, near level, inside lot with a suitable building site which is naturally contoured and positioned slightly above road level. The property is cleared and faces south with local views. Access to the property is easy and direct. Land area is 857 square metres.
The median house price on the coast is currently $617,000 which is up from a low of $450,000 in 2012 and up 7.7 per cent over the past 12 months. The median unit price on the coast is currently $421,000 which is up from a low of $345,000 in 2012.
At the median house price, there is the ability to purchase or build a new dwelling within many of the new estates across the coast such as Aura, Harmony, Parklakes or Peregian Springs. Typically you would be able to find a four-bedroom, twobathroom dwelling with a double lock up garage on 400 to 600 square metres of land with some homes that are slightly older (up to five years old) having pools within the price range.
Within the northern areas of the coast, it is very difficult to find a dwelling around the Sunshine Coast median price of $617,000 with purchasers having to look slightly further out to areas such as Tewantin or further south to Coolum Beach where the house will be circa 20 years old. When we break down the stats and look specifically at the Noosa Shire, the median price is $717,000 and this certainly opens up your options.
60 Hooper Crescent, TEWANTIN Circa 1990, four-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-car 737 square metres – $610,000 Areas close to the beach or good amenities generally find house prices well above the median however there are still options available with the ability to purchase older 1970s or 1980s dwellings that may require renovations. The alternative to this is smaller lot sizes in areas such as Sunshine Cove in Maroochydore close to amenities and the future town centre. You are able to purchase a relatively new dwelling on a much smaller allotment of between 125 and 250 square metres which will comprise three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double garage.
26 Saleng Crescent, WARANA Circa 1980, three-bedroom, one-bathroom, one-car 546 square metres – $632,500 With the median price of units being much lower than dwellings, you are able to find good quality units in highly sought-after tourist locations in Mooloolaba and Caloundra, however in the Noosa area it’s more challenging.
Taking the central Sunshine Coast area for example, for around the median unit price you can purchase a modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit in a sought-after location in Mooloolaba or alternatively you are able to purchase a larger three-bedroom townhouse further from the beach in Buderim for around the same price.
2/20 King Street, BUDERIM Circa 1997 three-bedroom, two-bathroom, one-car – $440,000
505/25 First Avenue, MOOLOOLABA Circa 2017 two-bedroom, two-bathroom, one-car – $415,000
The market for housing and units within this price level has continued to see strong demand from both owner-occupiers and investors. The investor market tends to lean towards the new properties with the added benefits of negative gearing and depreciation seen as a draw card. Also, rental demand is still pretty strong with vacancy rates low. Clearly the negative gearing rules may change post the federal election.
The coast has a wide range of housing options to suit individual buyer’s needs, from older properties close to the beach to newer properties within modern estates. The choice is yours.
The median sale price for houses in the Toowoomba region has remained relatively stable over the past twelve months. As at October 2018, it was sitting at approximately $375,000 with small fluctuations from November 2017. The median sale price for units in the Toowoomba region has declined over the past twelve months. As at October 2018, it was sitting at $285,000, a $10,000 decline from November 2017.
With this month’s focus on the median price point for houses and units, we have provided recent examples of property sales in this segment.
Below is a sale of a home in the western suburb of Harristown. This property sold for $375,000 and comprised a recently renovated four-bedroom, two bathroom dwelling with a single garage.
In comparison, $377,000 in the eastern suburb of Rangeville will get you a 1980s home with original fixtures and fittings comprising four-bedrooms, two-bathrooms and a carport.
It’s a similar outcome with units (including townhouses and villas). Below is the sale of a villa in the western suburb of Newtown. This property sold for just above the median unit price at $290,000 and is only two years old with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a single garage.
In comparison, $280,000 in the eastern suburb of Rangeville will get you a two-bedroom, one bathroom, single-garage townhouse with original fixtures and fittings.
The western suburbs of Toowoomba provide a better-quality product at the same price point, however these properties are considered to be in inferior locations compared to the eastern suburbs of Mount Lofty, East Toowoomba, Rangeville, Centenary Heights and Middle Ridge.
The Toowoomba market may be described as multi-speed at the moment. The eastern suburbs are generally performing better than the suburbs west of Ruthven Street. Higher priced established properties in the eastern suburbs appear to be enjoying strong interest from owner-occupiers (third and fourth home buyers), while interest in the western suburbs, which largely appeals to first home buyers and investors has softened.
Investor wise, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling in Harristown would typically lease for less than $400 per week, while a dwelling with similar accommodation in the eastern suburbs would usually lease for anything above $400 per week. This further highlights the difference in demand between the eastern and western suburbs of Toowoomba.
We are seeing an increase in interest for smaller older dwellings in established areas close to the CBD, including the western suburb of Newtown. The fringe CBD areas are gentrifying and are underpinned by a range of council initiatives, including the Railway Parklands Priority Development Area Development Scheme.
The median price in Cairns for houses sits at around $409,000 and for units around $221,000. Many Cairns suburbs are far from homogenous, with the median price normally sitting in the middle of a very wide range. Earlville is a good example of this for houses where the median price for 2018 was around $390,000. The cheapest house sold for $260,000 and the most expensive house sold for over $2.35 million. Cairns City is a good example of this for units. During 2018, the cheapest unit sold for $91,000 and the most expensive sold for $2.235 million, with the median coming in at around $432,500. Due to the small suburb size and their heterogeneous natures, suburb medians tend to be fairly meaningless in Cairns.
A quick search in realestate.com.au in the 4870 postcode shows 42 houses for sale with an asking price of between $400,000 and $425,000 with most being three-to-four bedroom houses, ten to 20 years old in the established suburbs.
For units, realestate.com.au suggests 86 units, apartments and villas for sale in the 4870 postcode with an asking price of $200,000 to $250,000 with many being units and townhouses in established complexes from 10 to 20 years old, mostly with two bedrooms.
When buying or building, it’s probably more important to work out the particular sub market within the suburb you are interested in and try to work out the typical or average property for that sub market. If you stick with the typical property you are likely to be in the sweet spot with what buyers and tenant want. If your property is unusual for the area, for example a much higher price level or a two-bedroom house where most other houses are four bedrooms, you risk having difficulties when trying to find a buyer or a tenant.
Townsville’s residential market is currently cemented at the start of recovery phase with the median house price as at December 2018 currently trending at around $320,000 and established units at around $234,500.
So, what do you get if you buy at the Townsville house median?
The inner-city option of North Ward offers limited options at this price point with those properties available typically requiring full renovation. Moving further out to Railway Estate and West End, a $320,000 price tag will typically afford you an older style timber framed dwelling that has been neatly renovated.
Within the suburbs of Douglas and Annandale you can typically pick up a low set brick or masonry block home with a semi modern appointment. These dwellings generally offer three to four bedrooms, two bathrooms and car accommodation. Kirwan and Mount Louisa will afford you a semi modern low set home typically with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and double lock-up garage on a traditional sized allotment or a smaller modern home on a smaller lot.
Moving further afield to the northern beaches corridor of Burdell and Bushland Beach, you can get a modern low set rendered masonry block home generally with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and double garage on a traditional sized lot.
At the current unit median of $234,500, you can purchase semi modern inner city or North Ward located units that are typically compact in size and comprise one or two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Further afield, the current median will afford you a larger semi modern three bedroom, two bathroom unit in an area such as West End or Douglas.
Overall, it is currently a buyer’s market with the medians for both houses and units offering good buying opportunities.
The median price is often used as a reference point to compare markets. In Rockhampton as at the September 2018 quarter (sales for the December quarter are still filtering through and are therefore not finalised), the median house price was $255,000, lower than the Livingstone Shire at $354,500 and Gracemere at $261,000. Typically, these areas have a limited unit market, therefore accurate data in this sector is difficult to obtain.
Examples of what can be purchased in these regions for the median price vary. In south Rockhampton, $255,000 will see you purchase a knock down job in a prestige area (typically hard to come by), or a neat, partly renovated Queenslander in an average quality suburb south of the river. In north Rockhampton, $255,000 will buy you a neat high set three-bedroom home, circa 1960 to 1970 or a 25-year-old, onground, brick, three-bedroom, one-bathroom home, depending on the suburb. The Capricorn Coast median price is reflected in a ten-year old, onground brick, home of four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double car accommodation without significant views. For the Gracemere median, buyers could acquire an average quality onground four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double car accommodation home, less than 10 years old.
Each of these examples have pros and cons associated with buying a property reflective of the median value. The main pro or con (depending which side of the river you are on) is the amount of work required to improve the property. Homes at the median value on the north side will require less renovation or maintenance than a home of equal value on the south side. On the flip side, the quality of the surrounding development may be superior and underlying land values are considered less volatile due to the limited supply of land in south Rockhampton.
You may have noticed that although Rockhampton is the larger centre of these regions, it has the lowest median value, which may be surprising to some. We believe it is important to note that with any statistical analysis, results can be skewed by a small cross section of the input data. In the case of the median level of value, Rockhampton itself has a significant volume of sub-$200,000 stock, whereas our immediate neighbours have very limited sales under $250,000 for the Coast and $200,000 for Gracemere. This then results in Rockhampton having a lower median, which does not necessarily accurately reflect the typical residential property in our patch.
As an example, if one was to compare a ten-year old onground brick home with four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double car accommodation, without significant views on the Capricorn Coast, with an equivalent property in Norman Gardens, the market value is likely to be closely aligned, however there is a variation of nearly $100,000 in the median value of these localities. So, whilst median values are still a relevant point of reference in some markets, it is important to remember to take a step back from all the number crunching and reflect upon the cause and effect which led to the results.
The graph below shows the number of genuine house sales within the 4680 postcode for the duration of 2018 and as indicated, there has been steady but slight improvement in the median house price which rose from $243,500 in July 2018 to $288,000 by the end of the year. Although the data is not yet fully available, we feel that 2019 has kicked on with a similar trend and that there is a good chance we may see a median house price of $300,000 reached in the first quarter of 2019.
Buying in the median covers a lot of the suburbs within the Gladstone region. Typically, a four bedroom, two-bathroom semi modern home built within the last five to 20 years can be acquired in suburbs including New Auckland, Glen Eden, Clinton, Kirkwood and Calliope.
Some of the more sought-after suburbs such as Tannum Sands, Boyne Island or central Gladstone suburbs still provide opportunity in this price range, however the size and age of the house will often have to be compromised in order to stay within the median house price, such as dropping back to a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home. Unfortunately, acreage suburbs such as Burua and Beecher are more often than not out of the question unless you decide to buy a vacant block and wait until you can build later, although financial lending in this scenario can be difficult.
Units on the other hand are a much more affordable option for those on a tighter budget or just happy to find their feet, can be seen in the below graph. Again, since July we have seen a slightly more erratic but significant growth with the median unit price rising from $105,000 in July to $140,000 in December. Surprisingly, units within this price range can be better than you think, often ranging from two to three bedrooms with many being relatively modern units less than ten years old which were built in the peak period (2010 to 2012). Many of these can be found in the inner suburbs of West Gladstone, South Gladstone and Gladstone Central although there are still a number of unit complexes built in the more outer residential suburbs.
As previously noted, there has been a reduction in the vacancy rates across the Gladstone region during the past 12 to 18 months resulting in increased rental prices and now some agents are reporting interest from a small number of investors returning to the market. Albeit early days, there are good signs to suggest this will continue to strengthen in the short to medium term.
The median price for residential houses in the Bundaberg area is $285,000. For around this money you could buy a fully renovated 1950s style timber three-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling in the town area with an approximate rent of $290 to $310 per week or a 1980s to 1990s three to four bedroom brick home in original to partly renovated condition that would rent for between $300 to $340 per week.
The median price for units is around $245,000. This would get you a two-bedroom, one-bathroom with single car garage for $210,000 to $230,000 that would rent for around $250 per week.
Buying in this price bracket makes the purchase an affordable proposition as rental income is almost on par with the mortgage repayments.
REIQ figures put the median house price at $340,000 at the end of the December quarter, which shows an annual increase of 5.6 per cent, however when put into context is approximately 20 per cent below the peak of $423,250 in September 2013. The good news for Mackay is that the bad days appear to be well behind us, with a far more positive outlook predicted not only for the Mackay economy but for the residential property market.
So, what can you get for $340,000? It’s a mixed bag of results depending where you want to live in Mackay. In the traditional close in suburbs, you can buy neat low set and highest dwellings including 1950s style Queenslanders through to high-set butter boxes. These dwellings are not fully renovated however are in fair to good condition in this price range.
As you head over the river north, the same sort of dwellings can be found in the established suburbs. If the older dwellings are not your style, you can obtain a neat 1990s style brick dwelling in Andergrove, Beaconsfield or Rural View for the median house price. These are traditionally three or four bedroom configuration.
Unfortunately, if new is your go, there are not very many modern houses you can obtain for the median house price. For the investor, you can still easily obtain a four-bedroom modern dwelling (2010 to 2015 build) in Blacks Beach Cove for under the median house price.
All in all, the Mackay market has seen a resurgence over the past 18 months, on the back of large infrastructure projects and increased employment opportunities in the resource sector. We have seen rental vacancy rates fall significantly in this period to currently sit at 0.9 per cent with rental values increasing in line with demand. If the median house price is where you are looking to purchase in Mackay, it’s probably best to start looking, as most pundits predict this figure will be higher come this time next year!
The median price for residential houses in the Fraser Coast area as at June 2018 was $318,600 which was a 1.1 per cent increase on the prior year. Properties in Hervey Bay ranging from $300,000 to $325,000 are predominantly onground brick dwellings providing three-bedroom, one or two bathroom accommodation with a single garage or detached shed. These homes rent for approximately $330 to $370 per week. You could also find a beach cottage a few streets from the esplanade, however these homes will generally require refurbishment.
The median price for units is around $255,000 which is an increase of 2.2 per cent on the previous year. This would get you a two or three single bedroom villa or townhouse with a single car garage. Rents would range from $270 to 320 per week depending on location.
The median sale price for houses in Emerald has increased approximately 20% over the past 12 months to currently sit at $305,000. Units currently sit at $145,000 however, in reality it’s more like $180,000 as the past quarter saw mostly one-bedroom units sell or low quality units near the bottom end of the market which dragged it back. The most active price range is $150,000 to $350,000 for houses. The general trend in the market and reports from agents is to push the bottom end houses to a minimum of $200,000 as values continue to rise and the vacancy rate tightens.
For a median sale price of $305,000, you can expect to buy a three-bedroom former mining home or project style home either circa 1978 or 1994, mostly renovated in good condition with pool or shed. Otherwise, it’s a neat four-bedroom home subject to flooding. Still a long way off the median house price peak in 2012 of $460,000 but we are slowly heading back up and are now nearing three years on the rise. The last boom went for approximately ten years. Has the last few years just been a market correction or a reflection of our local economy? We think it’s a reflection of the local economy as this area is heavily influenced by the resource sector. Keep a close eye on coal prices and that will give you a fair reflection of how our market will trend.
In the Whitsundays, it’s the price point as opposed to the middle ring. The Whitsunday middle ring market is considered to be $400,000 to $440,000 across the suburbs of Jubilee Pocket, Cannonvale and Cannon Valley. This will get you a high-set circa 1990s house that has had some renovations or a modern, rendered onground style dwelling with three to four bedrooms that is only up to six years old or a lifestyle property that is one to two hectares with an older 1960s or 1970s dwelling.
The market is all stabilising and there are signs of some slight increases. It appears that we have finally put the drama and trauma of Tropical Cyclone Debbie well and truly behind us now and we are back on track.
would like to thank Herron Todd White for their valuable, local insights into the Queensland residential property markets. Further information about other States and Territories and other property sectors can be found on their website here.