RESIDENTIAL development in Gladstone between 2011-12 was not sustainable long-term.
That is the message from CQUniversity associate professor in property, Garrick Small.
Two fundamental factors that affect the property market are population and employment, as Mr Small explains.
"The problem in Gladstone was that because there was a rapid period of construction work in 2011-12 there were extraordinary shortages of accommodation.
"There was a lot of short-term demand.
"In 2011, there was fast-tracked development and approvals.
"Now we've got a higher number of dwellings but with a falling population."
He said currently it was a property market "problem" for owners of investment properties - not tenants.
"(And) the only real solution is to increase the population. That's the major question for all of regional Australia - 'how do we keep the population growing?'"
Professor Small said in the current market, he thought it was better to rent than buy.
"For the next six months I would say rent rather than buy.
"In theory, if the rent comes down by another 10% the prices should come down too. That is when residents should buy," he said.
He said the presence of industry in Gladstone had obviously been a contributor to population growth.
Professor Small said affordable rent had encouraged families to move to Gladstone.
"The fact that Gladstone is becoming more affordable is good for the community.
"In the medium term, rent is cheap here (and that) makes it a great place to bring the family."