Agents expect stability now property bubble has burst
THE number of homes sold in six Gladstone suburbs last year was at an 18-year low, one real estate agent has reported.
According to suburb overview reports by LJ Hooker Gladstone, only 10 houses were sold in Barney Point and 13 in central Gladstone last year.
Gladstone West and Clinton had the highest number of sold properties - 53 and 97 respectively.
The highest number of homes sold in one year hit a peak in the period between 2002-2007.
"In this example with Clinton, it's the lowest number amount of properties we've sold in 20 years," REIQ zone chairman Mark Spearing said.
"Not only are the prices dropping in homes but the volume of homes on the market has dropped significantly as well."
In 2006, there were 160 homes sold in West Gladstone by LJ Hooker.
According to the report, homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000 made up the majority of the homes sold throughout the year.
The average house price in the Gladstone region has already dropped by $100,000 from 2013-14.
It has been a tumultuous few years for the local property market, which enjoyed a peak in 2012-13 after coming from the lows of 2001.
LJ Hooker residential sales specialist Steven James expected prices would plateau this year and then recover.
"I'd expect to see some growth (in prices) next year, unless we get another project come to Gladstone sooner," Mr James said.
"It's a good time to buy, with a possible rate drop around the corner and property prices at fantastic value."
He said Gladstone prices were now on par with Rockhampton and Bundaberg.
Prices for a three-bedroom home have eased to between $250-$350,000.
In 2013, a standard two bedroom unit would carry a price tag of $300,000.
LJ Hooker director and REIQ zone chairman Mark Spearing said that was a drop of 30% from 2013.
"You just couldn't get in to the market in that price bracket (in 2013)," he said.
"A good, neat home in the mid-$300,000 will be snapped up very quickly at the moment."
And while Gladstone had been known as a "boom and bust" town, Mr James said he didn't expect a return to the high prices of recent years.
But he did expect the population to stabilise, due to the improved facilities for families such as East Shores.
"Gladstone has gone past that (boom and bust), from all of the new suburbs that have opened up," he said.
"In previous years Seaview Heights, Glen Eden, Telina ... would expand a little but now we have all of these new suburbs.
"The exciting part is that the city is tailoring to families.
"That's going to be something we'll see with Gladstone moving forward.
"I think a lot more wives and partners will think that Gladstone is a good place to live, rather than doing the fly-in fly-out work," he said.