Gladstone property positioned to crash, says Sunrise pundit

IT'S bust time for Gladstone - or so property expert Louis Christopher is predicting.

The SQM Research managing director spoke on Channel 7's Sunrise on Monday morning with David Koch, saying that Gladstone was experiencing rental falls of 30% and high vacancy rates.

While he said early in the segment that every downturn came to an end, Gladstone was positioned to crash - with negative expectations for the year.

And looking at present vacancy rates and median house prices in the region, it is undeniable that change is in the air.

REIQ Gladstone zone chairman Mark Spearing said the existing vacancy rate was about 9%, in comparison to 1% last year.

"I think it just shows the change in landscape in the property market," he said.

"There is no longer a housing shortage crisis, which is positive for those renting."

The median house price has plummeted by about $40-$50,000, according to Mr Spearing.

But as to Mr Christopher's prediction, Mr Spearing was unable to respond.

"I haven't seen that," he said in relation to the Sunrise story.

Agnes Water mobile real estate agency Cam Realty owner Cam Rodgers saw the Sunrise episode.

His view was that Gladstone needed to cool down a bit.

"A lot of the problem I see in housing is people have their heads in the 2006 boom.

"Everyone wants to try and get as much as they can for their homes."

Mr Rodgers said what Sunrise was trying to say was that Gladstone was still going to fall from this level.

"But I think once the take-up of rentals do start we'll probably see a bit of a levelling off."

Mr Christopher said on Sunrise the top five hot spots for property this year were Sydney, Gold Coast, east Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and inner east Melbourne.

Pick up the Domain section, in Saturday's Observer, to find out what is hot in property across the region.



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