A PROPERTY investment magazine has backed local real estate agent sentiment that the Gladstone market is ideal for investors.
Your Investment Property magazine has identified 35 regional areas set to surge, including Gladstone and Rockhampton City.
The 35 hot spots made the list thanks to their potent combination of "affordability, rental growth and limited supply".
The magazine's deputy editor Aidan Devine said there were strong indications these suburbs would soon see dramatic price increases.
"Regional property markets have some very particular drivers and these have an impact on which areas you can pinpoint as soon to grow," he said.
"Taking this into account, we've closely examined population trends, property cycles and where some of the country's biggest future investment projects are going to be and used this to identify the most attractive areas for property investing.
See the full list at www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au.
Local agents are saying Gladstone's property market has stabilised, with a comparable number of buyers and sellers.
Ray White Gladstone principal Andrew Allen described it as balanced and ideal for prospective investors.
"From what we've been through in the past two years, it's been completely a seller's market with prices on the rise, (but) I think it's just plateaued off now," he said.
"It's the best opportunity for someone to get in because prices are just steady."
New housing developments have eased pressure on the market, but if resource industry projects continue, Mr Allen said he was confident a seller's market would return.
"I think history shows the fact," he said.
"Gladstone's got a bit of a stigma of being a boom-bust town, but if you look over the long term, last 30-40 years, it's had extremely consistent growth and comparatively stable, as compared to other regional towns of the same size."
How much the market grows depends on the climate of resource projects.
"Obviously a lot of coal projects out in the west have either been shelved, delayed or slowed down, and the press around that has had an impact on Gladstone by virtue of a lot of people in a southern states think Gladstone is a coal town," Mr Allen said.
"It all depends on what happens with future projects. A lot of that will revolve around Arrow Energy.
"If they decide to construct their gas plant, we're anticipating that will kickstart the market once more.
"They're saying first or second quarter 2013 they'll be looking at making a decision. So potentially that gives people probably a six-month window to get in and buy something now."
For investors, knowing what is going on in the region is important when thinking of buying.
"We always encourage people to do their research, look at what's sold in recent months, to work out the true value of something and naturally keep abreast of what's happening in the wider Gladstone region."
Properties need to be realistically priced
Allan Giles is a semi-retired painter who has dabbled in the property market for 26 years, with 15 to 20 house sales under his belt.
He has one property left in Calliope and said the market was very quiet.
"I find to sell something, it has to be realistically priced," he said.
"An example: the one I sold in Barney Point just recently, it was valued three months ago at $390 to $410,000. I sold it at $375,000."
Mr Giles, who only buys older style houses, advises others trying to sell to make their house presentable.
"If you want top dollar, it's got to look right," he said.
"Reason being most people… all their money has to go into that house."
Mr Giles said if you were buying a new house, be sure to check the company.
"Price will tell you for starters. You pay for what you get, and obviously a reputable builder."
State of the market
- Realestate.com.au has standard three-bedroom houses in Gladstone selling between $380,000 - $500,000
- Current average days for a property on market - 50 days.
- Currently about a 5% correction, dropping from $500,000 to $475,000
- Increased trend towards auctions but clearance rates remain the same