Jonathan Chancellor | 23 November 2012

Gladstone's comparable affordability - as quarterly house price dip not the start of a trend: REIQ

Gladstone's $455,000 median price put the reional Queensland coastal town among the more affordable of mining town investment options, according to Ray White Real Estate director Andrew Allen.

"Compared to the cost of housing in other mining and industry towns, such as Moranbah which is about $700,000-$800,000 for a home, it is certainly more affordable than that," Mr Allen suggested.

Andrew Allen told the Gladstone Observer there was an income gap within the district.

"Definitely there is (an imbalance). Anyone working in the construction industry or related industries, definitely they're the bigger wage earners," he said after some Gladstone residents voiced concerns at the affordability of new housing.

"For people on average incomes, anything up to $500,000 is definitely a battle," he said.

House prices in the Queensland’s mining town of Gladstone fell 4.2% over the September quarter, but are not indicative of a softening in the market, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

The 4.2% drop to a median $455,000 was recorded from just 19 sales.

Data for 12 months of sales show the median house price has risen by 13.1% to $475,000.

REIQ Gladstone zone chair Mark Spearing says Gladstone’s property market has been steady and well balanced over the last quarter.

He says the September figures are a reflection of new developments hitting the market and a more competitive selection process for buyers.

New projects include residential developer Devine Limited launching a new $1.4 billion master-planned community - Riverstone Rise - in Gladstone in April, which is expected to have 2,900 homes upon completion.

“When in an upward cycle such as Gladstone’s, there is always a percentage of vendors pricing their property above realistic market expectations,” Spearing says.

Spearing said marketed and negotiated properties are still selling.

And he says sales activity has been very strong over the past two weeks (in November).

Gladstone is located 100 kilometres south of Rockhampton and has a vast number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal projects in development.

Property Observer reported in August and noted a number of headwinds facing investors in the area.

PRDnationwide predicted property and land prices would begin to ease once new and more affordable housing projects were completed.

It seems that PRDnationwide’s prediction came true, but Spearing says the decline is nothing to be concerned about.

The residential area of Gladstone is made up of nine suburbs: Clinton, Glen Eden, Kin Kora, New Auckland, South Gladstone, Sun Valley, Telina, Toolooa and West Gladstone.

 For more on investing in Gladstone, download the free Property Observer eBook: Gladstone - Investment keys to one of the nation’s most talked-about hotspots.


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