Sales activity across Queensland over the June quarter was up across all property types, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).
The REIQ Queensland Market Monitor for the June Quarter 2014 reveals increases in preliminary sales for house, units and townhouses. Vacant land sales were up an impressive 37 per cent.
REIQ Acting CEO Antonia Mercorella said while the state’s total house sales were up across all price points, the upper end of the market continued to perform strongest.
“Sales in the million dollar plus price point were up 28 per cent across Queensland, with an increase of 20 per cent in the $500,000-plus range,” she said.
“Million dollar sales in the unit market also strengthened, with preliminary sales numbers across Queensland up around 10 per cent.”
Ms Mercorella said the increase in sales activity was predominantly recorded in the southeastern corner of the state.
“The Brisbane Local Government Area led the charge with an increase of 19 per cent, closely followed by Logan, which was up 18 per cent,” she said.
“Brisbane’s unusually robust winter sales look set to be replicated in a number of real estate markets throughout the State amid increasing demand, sales volumes and prices.
“The strongest performing sectors of the Brisbane house market were at opposite ends of the spectrum, with increases in the sub-$350,000 and $1 million price brackets helping the city to its fifth consecutive quarter of growth.
“On the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, sales activity remained relatively stable over the quarter amid rebounding confidence in both markets. The Gold Coast median house price rose three per cent to $515,000 over the June quarter, with median prices on the Sunshine Coast up 0.2 per cent to $468,000.
“The Gold Coast’s prestige acreage market also had a strong June quarter, while the new smaller council area of Noosa recorded very strong growth, with house sales up 22 per cent.”
Ms Mercorella said some of Queensland’s key regional real estate markets were also experiencing solid growth.
“Toowoomba continues to perform strongly, with sales activity up five per cent for the June quarter on the back of a thriving local economy and strong buyer activity,” she said.
“Sales in Queensland’s other two major tourism centres - the Fraser Coast and Cairns - also fared well in the June quarter, with house sales up seven per cent and four per cent respectively.”
Ms Mercorella said there were signs of stabilising markets in Rockhampton, Gladstone and Mackay.
“Rockhampton is faring best of these three regional centres, with some particularly encouraging signs beginning to emerge at the lower end of its house market,” she said.
“Sales volumes in Gladstone recovered in the June quarter, posting a seven per cent increase.
“Mackay’s house market recorded the largest decline in sales activity of all major regions, down 24 per cent compared to the March quarter, although the median house price eased just 2.5 per cent.”
Brisbane unit and townhouse sales are also rising strongly, with a steady pipeline of townhouse developments contributing to a 20 per cent rise in sales in the June quarter.
“The Gold Coast saw a strong increase in unit and townhouse sales, which rose 10 per cent in the June quarter,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The Sunshine Coast unit and townhouse market is also on an upward spiral, with sales up 39 per cent in the last 12 months. Noosa posted strong growth, with unit and townhouse sales up 31 per cent.”
Ms Mercorella said the two standout regions for unit and townhouse sales were Ipswich and Townsville, with sales up 40 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.
“Unit and townhouse sales rose on the Fraser Coast, with most activity occurring in the $250,000 to $350,000 price bracket, fuelled by strong demand for waterfront properties,” she said.
“Bundaberg’s unit and townhouse market eased in the June quarter, with conditions also subdued in Gladstone and Mackay. However, sales in
Rockhampton rose two per cent, spurred by sales in the $250,000 to $350,000 price bracket. Toowoomba unit sales rose three per cent in the June quarter, with Cairns recording healthy sales growth of 17 per cent.”
Vacancy rates still remain tight in many parts of Queensland, Ms Mercorella said.
“The vacancy rate for the Brisbane Statistical Division eased to 2.3 per cent at the end of June, compared to 1.9 per cent at the end of March,” she said. “Median rents from the RTA continue to soften in Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay.
“Toowoomba’s rental market at the end of June recorded a vacancy rate of 1.5 per cent, up marginally from the end of March. The Gold Coast recorded a drop in its vacancy rate, down 0.5 percentage points to 1.7 per cent, while the new Sunshine Coast regional council area consisting of the Caloundra and Maroochy regions sitting on a very tight 1.1 per cent.
In both Noosa and Cairns, vacancy rates are at two per cent, while the Fraser Coast continues to enjoy healthy market conditions with the vacancy rate remaining unchanged since March at 2.5 per cent. Townsville’s vacancy rate increased 0.7 percentage points to 5.4 per cent.
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