No rate relief as Gladstone land values suffer massive drop
NEW land valuations to be released on Wednesday will show a dramatic drop in land values across the region.
The Valuer-General's 2017 Property Market Movement Report revealed Gladstone had the biggest percentage drop in land values out of the 28 local government areas surveyed this year.
The overall percentage change of land values in Gladstone decreased 20.6% from the last land valuations in 2016.
But despite this drop, mayor Matt Burnett warned property owners not to expect a reduction in their rates bill.
He said the majority of Gladstone, Calliope, Boyne Island and Tannum Sands' land values had "taken the biggest hit" and decreased up to 30%, whereas Agnes Water and rural areas would either stay the same or have increased slightly.
Although the council hadn't started its "budget process", Cr Burnett said he would try to keep rate rises at CPI, but he stressed that some household rates would go up.
"When valuations skyrocketed 300% rates didn't go up by the same amount and it's the same when values go down," he said.
"We are managing our regional finances as best as we can with the funds that are available.
"We are looking to save what we can but at the end of the day we still need to provide services."
Cr Burnett said his council would continue to go through the budget line by line to make savings and had already introduce measures to reduce services and costs.
Rates are determined on an individual property's land value compared to other properties in the region and the fixed costs of its council.
Gladstone came in behind Rockhampton (8.7%), Mackay (8.6%), Livingstone (7.5%) and the Central Highlands (4.1%).
The new median land value in Gladstone was $113,000, which represented a 27.1% decrease from the last valuation.
In 2015 the Valuer-General's office put the median value for residential land in Gladstone at $157,500.
Multi-unit complexes have dropped 21.6% to $148,133, while commercial and industrial properties have dropped 5.6% and 31.1%, respectively.
Although the report found residential land values were increasing in Brisbane and South East Queensland local government areas, mining and resource reliant towns in central Queensland were hardest hit.
The report revealed the market was being influenced by "economic uncertainty, weak employment...(and) declining business investment reflecting the state of the resources sector".
However, improvements in tourism and a resurgence in spot prices for coal helped to stabilise some markets.
"The influence of fly-in, fly-out mining workers has exacerbated the falling market conditions in some towns, putting downward pressure on rentals, and a reduction in land values," the report read.
"The effect on the property market was that demand for urban lands fell considerably and the supply increased as unemployed workers and the owners of uneconomic businesses put their properties on the market and moved out of the region.
"Although there was considerable variation between mining towns, the trend throughout the local government areas of Central Highlands, Mackay, Whitsunday, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Livingstone was of moderate value reductions for most urban land types."
Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett previously said the system for determining rates was flawed and because of fluctuations in land values, it made the council's job harder because community expectations were that rates should go down.