Gladstone trails in housing stakes



IN THE race for real estate fortune it appears Gladstone is lagging behind its Central Queensland cousins.

While it's certainly far from doom and gloom, the rise in Gladstone trailed well behind Calliope Shire, Rockhampton and Mackay, which all recorded growth of almost 20 per cent or above in 2004.

Figures released by the Real Institute of Queensland (REIQ) revealed that the median price of houses in Gladstone 2004 rose 12.7 per cent to $195,000. In 2003 the median price was $173,000. In Calliope Shire there was a 19.8 per cent rise in the calendar year, from $208,325 to $249,500.

The big movers in Central Queensland were Rockhampton which rose 25.5 per cent and Mackay which rose 34 per cent.

The median house prices in those cities were $138,000 and $224,500 respectively.

REIQ Gladstone president Mary Ayscough said the figures reflected a steady market.

"More recently, there appears to be more people intending to upgrade so there has been an increase in both people wanting to buy and wanting to sell,'' she said.

Mary and Neville Hebbard are among those to benefit from the continued trend in real estate prices.

Mr and Mrs Hebbard sold their Barney Point home, which overlooks the sea, in early February for $200,000.

They bought the home a little over two years ago for about $130,000 but spent $45,000 renovating it while they lived in it.

Later tenants paid the bank repayments while they lived in their home at Agnes Water which they have retained since moving back to Gladstone this year.

Yesterday Mrs Hebbard said she was happy with the modest profit of about $25,000 in a little over two years.



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