Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

TANNUM Sands continues to write its own property success story, its beaches and family friendly facilities allowing home owners in the area the sort of confidence not presently available to others in the Gladstone region.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures for the June 2016 quarter offer few bright lights for the central Queensland city where property prices have felt the brunt of the mining downturn and the completion of the Curtis Island gas project.

But while places like Tannum Sands and Clinton are experiencing fewer house sales than they did even last year, they are still managing to hold a large percentage of their value, which, says Ray White Gladstone director John Fieldus, is a sign of hope.

"Look, without doubt, the market here has climbed the mountain and then fallen off the cliff," Mr Fieldus said.

"But there is certainly a lot of opportunity here. What we are seeing in the past few months is a rebound in activity.

"Property prices have fallen dramatically for five years or so and now the prices are well below market value and the locals are recognising that worth and those who can take advantage of the market are doing so."

Overall, prices of homes fell 6.7% in the June 2016 quarter with the median sale price at $331,250, more than $15,000 below the annual median mark. But while investors from outside the region may be lying low, first-home buyers are starting to pick up the slack.

"We have seen a number of first-home buyers coming out of the woodwork because things are so affordable now," Mr Fieldus said.

"There are some homes in Gladstone selling below $200,000 and you can pay it off at historically low interest rates as well. It is a real opportune time. There is work here. It is not six-figure salaries, it may be 60 to 70,000 dollars a year but a young couple making a combined $120,000 can then live in a beautiful home."

Mr Fieldus, who has been selling real estate in Gladstone for three decades, believes the town will recover as confidence grows and suggests there is excellent buying in a number of suburbs, especially those with high vantage points.

"Tannum Sands is a lifestyle suburb, a real beautiful place and only half an hour from the centre of the city which is why it does so well," he said.

"It is a little oasis and property prices are still really good down there.

"Clinton is another of those suburbs doing well. It has a large mix of the population from Housing Commission homes to some of the best houses in the region.

"Anywhere that's on a hill with a south-easterly breeze is going to be great so I would also look at the city and West Gladstone." - ARM Newsdesk



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