PROPERTY BONANZA: Cheaper to buy than rent in Gladstone
RECORD low interest rates are helping boost the Gladstone real estate market, making it cheaper for residents to buy a property rather than rent in the port city.
With a massive 40 per cent of properties in the city being rentals, Real Estate Institute of Queensland Gladstone president and Locations Estate Agents director Alicia Williams said there had never been a better time to buy a home.
“We are seeing limited stock and stock is selling quite quickly,” she said.
“Days on the market is fairly tight - we are probably seeing less than 30 days on market for most, and sometimes it is a lot sooner too because it comes down to your price, presentation and profile.
“The most popular type of property is your four bedroom, two bath and two car residence, with a side access, and if it has a shed or pool, they are very popular.
“Units and duplexes are still getting interest... I think now the word is out that there is a good return there.”
An increase in rents, due to the tight rental market with a vacancy rate of less than 1 per cent, is increasing investor activity.
“Interest rates are low so investors are looking to put their money into bricks and mortar because the return in a bank is almost non-existent,” Ms Williams said.
“Similarly with shares as well, there is still a fair bit of volatility there, so bricks and mortar is safe at the present time.
“The rental amount that they were achieving 12 or 18 months ago just wasn’t enough to cover the outgoings, but now because those rental prices have crept up around $225 or $250 for a townhouse, there is an increased interest level from investors.”
COVID is helping drive a migration to regional Queensland.
“There are people moving out of metro areas, obviously because of COVID, depending on what their work from home arrangements require if they don’t have to work from an office,” Ms Williams said.
“There is a bit of a domino effect, where there are people coming directly to Gladstone, Mackay and Townsville from Sydney or Melbourne, but also we are seeing people from the Sunshine Coast relocate here because they are getting a really good price for their home there.”
The future looks positive for the Gladstone real estate market.
“I feel like we do have the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in the area, while demand continues,” Ms Williams said.
“Depending on how the government grants go with house and land packages, we may also see that sector continue to grow, but at the moment there are a lot of bottlenecks with processing those (first homeowners grant) applications.”
Ray White Gladstone Co-Director John Fieldus echoed Ms Williams comments.
“Properties are selling very quickly, sometimes within days, and we are seeing some investors offloading their properties, possibly due to financial issues brought on by COVID,” he said.
“Once they open up Queensland to people from Sydney and Melbourne, I think we will get an influx of people looking to buy and move from those cities.”