The REIQ’s March quarter Queensland Market Monitor found that against a backdrop of cooling southern markets and falling listings volumes, Brisbane house sales demonstrated “admirable” resilience, buoyed by steady population growth driving demand and underpinned by good economic fundamentals.
REIQ media and communications manager Felicity Moore said that anyone thinking of selling was going to find willing buyers in good supply.
“In this market, we could potentially see a rise in off-market sales as eager buyers pressure sales agents to see property before it hits the market,” the manager said.
Ms Moore said that the unit market was at the tail end of an unprecedented level of supply. Rising demand would undoubtedly absorb excess stock, and the only question remaining was just how long that would take.
“Queensland has become the number-one destination for internal migration, taking over from Victoria in the latest ABS Census data, and our overseas migration is at its highest level in years, which means demand for accommodation will continue,” Ms Moore said.
The rental market is operating in the healthy range, with vacancies at 3.1 per cent for the March quarter and rising demand levels easily absorbed almost 3,200 new rental properties hitting the rental pool this quarter.
The Ipswich house market grew by 3.0 per cent to a new annual median house price of $340,000. March was a quiet quarter for this market, falling by 1.5 per cent, but over the year, it performed well.
The growth in the house market was offset by falls in the unit market, contracting by 3.0 per cent over the 12 months to March 2018 to an annual median unit price of $319,900.
The Logan house market delivered among the strongest performances for all markets in the March report, adding 4.0 per cent to the annual median house price to $395,000.
The unit market was one of the few markets to grow, adding 0.7 per cent to an annual median unit price of $271,000. However, over the past five years, the unit market has fallen by 7.5 per cent.
The Moreton Bay annual median house price grew a steady 2.4 per cent over the 12 months to March to deliver a median house price of $435,000. This growth is the smallest in Greater Brisbane.
The unit market felt the pain of the combined factors of strong supply and the affordability of houses, with a 3.8 per cent contraction in the annual median unit price to $346,250, down from $359,900 this time last year.
Redland LGA delivered “rock star” growth of 3.9 per cent for the year to a median house price of $530,000. The heavy lifting was done in the suburbs of Birkdale and Cleveland, which delivered 6.3 per cent and 6.7 per cent growth, respectively. The lifestyle and affordability options in this region are proving very popular with buyers.
Similar to the house market, the Redland unit market delivered stellar growth over the 12 months to March 2018, adding 3.4 per cent growth to a new median unit price of $409,500. This was by far the strongest unit growth in all of Greater Brisbane.
The Gold Coast has taken the gold medal for annual median house price growth again, adding 6.0 per cent growth to a median house price of $620,000, the highest growth in the state.
The unit market added 1.9 per cent to deliver a median unit price of $428,000 for the year.
The Toowoomba market has been a consistently steady performer, delivering 1.1 per cent growth for the year to March 2018 to a median house price of $355,000.
The unit market has defied regional trends throughout most of 2016 and 2017; however, gravity is now catching up and this market contracted 2.9 per cent to $300,000. The market remains 17.6 per cent larger than it was five years ago.
The house market of the Sunshine Coast Statistical Division (SD), incorporating the Sunshine Coast LGA and Noosa Shire, has delivered moderate and sustainable growth for the quarter, the past year and the past five years.
A typical house in the Sunshine Coast SD increased in value by $31,250 for the past year to reach an annual median price of $576,250. Noosa continued holding the title of the most exclusive market compared to the Sunshine Coast local government area as Noosa houses generally cost $100,000 more.
In March 2018, the Noosa median house price reached $665,000 compared to the Sunshine Coast median house price of $563,000.
The Noosa unit market also performed well for the past 12 months, growing a stunning 7.1 per cent to reach an annual median price of $525,000 and remaining as the most expensive unit market in Queensland.
The Fraser Coast house market continues to be a steady performer, with annual median prices holding steady for the past quarter and increasing very modestly (only 1 per cent) for the past year. A typical house in Fraser Coast had an annual median price of $315,000 in March 2018.
The unit market performance was weak in the March quarter. However, its performance for the past year was better compared to the house market as the annual median unit price increased by 2.2 per cent. A typical unit in Fraser Coast had an annual median price of $259,500 in March 2018. Only about 11 per cent of the regional dwellings were units.
The Bundaberg house market has held its ground over the past five years, with a house costing about the same today as it did five years ago. However, the market showed small growth levels of 1.8 per cent over the past 12 months, which is encouraging.
A house in Bundaberg cost an annual median price of $285,000 in March 2013 and March 2018.
The unit market performed a bit better than the house market over the past five years. A unit in Bundaberg increased in value from $251,400 in March 2013 to $259,000 in March 2018.
Gladstone has stared down some of the most challenging market conditions in the state. This market lost 8.5 per cent over the 12 months to the March quarter to have a median house price of $280,000. This market is more than 38 per cent below where it was five years ago.
The unit market fell by 36 per cent over the past 12 months to an annual median unit price of $167,500.
The Rockhampton property market slipped moderately for the past year, with house prices falling by 1.9 per cent to $265,000 and unit prices contracting by 1.3 per cent to $295,000.
Units continued to outperform houses, as they’ve done for much of the year, and ended the year more expensive than houses. This atypical performance may be the consequence of the limited unit market, which represents less than 10 per cent of the region’s dwellings.
The Mackay house sales market has delivered an outstanding 4.1 per cent growth to the annual median house price to reach $333,250 and live up to last quarter’s forecast of a stronger start to 2018.
This market is now officially in recovery.
However, the unit market performance remained weak as unit prices fell by 7.8 per cent to $212,000 for the past year. Mackay is the second most affordable unit market in the state.
Townsville delivered a surprising fall of 3 per cent in the annual median house price for the year to March to reach $325,000.
Even more surprising, units grew a massive 5.7 per cent for the year to March to $280,000.
Cairns delivered steady growth of 2.5 per cent over the past 12 months to arrive at an annual median house price of $410,000 in March 2018.
The Cairns house market has been one of the top two regional performers (excluding the south-east corner) for the past five years of all the areas analysed in the Queensland Market Monitor. House prices increased by 17.1 per cent, or $60,000, from $350,000 in March 2013.
The unit market was weak in the year to March, with the annual median unit price falling by 1.7 per cent to $232,000.