Property slump: Sympathy for homeowners, none for investors

LOCALS have taken a swipe at property investors and experts after another doom and gloom outlook on the Gladstone market.

Readers shared their views on the local market after included Gladstone among their Dirty Dozen list of suburbs to avoid.

Commenters voiced sympathy for families who had been pressured into buying during the boom around three years ago because rent became too high.

Some stories emerged of these families, with one losing $150,000 in less than five years.

No such compassion went to investors and developers, who readers said got their just desserts.

Gladstone has made's Dirty Dozen list of places to avoid buying property. The list uses price,...

Posted by The Observer on Sunday, 6 December 2015


A few recalled that property experts including Terry Ryder, founder of, had been heralding Gladstone as a place to buy just eight months before the downturn. 

There is one silver lining: readers pointed out that first-home buyers had a prime opportunity to enter the market now. 

Here's what you said on Facebook:

Samantha Reynolds: I bought my very 1st house in a slump a few years back and even at today's market value it's still worth more than what I paid. The town will stablize again - only the greedy that will suffer :)

Dennis 'Poppy' Harvey: Purchased a unit before the boom, lived in it as my principal place of residence, during that time have spent thousands of dollars renovating the premises not to sell in the boom to grab the all mighty dollar,but to help with my retirement, with the "boom" came the over abundant influx of units allowed to be build by the residing Council, with no thought of their local people, having made retirement age the unit is on the market along with several others, i don't expect to make a fortune on it, with real estate as it is today practically have to give it away, very depressing when you read of Gladstone being labelled as it has now, by our non thinking local government and the all mighty dollar.

Tracey Watson Bull: not being nasty to anyone but do your homework before you buy and if you are going to buy when it booms then it is your choice and your money ,but been here for 47 years love gladstone seen a lot of stuff go on ,but i love it here

Dave Murray: YES: The owners and landlords have fleeced renters for years and now have the houses at a cheaper rate. There is a slump beginning because of a glut of cheap housing. With the work drying up to some extent "out of towners" are fleeing, leaving the unemployed and poorer to fill the gaps. It will all turn around again as it usually does.

Adam Durkot Jr.: Everyone has a different situation. If it's a short term or long term gain. Investing in property & shares short term can be a risk. Gladstone is industrial & we all know this. Boom times come & go, investets come & go & the rest of us who are majority young families will keep working & enjoying what we have up here

Ray Honeybone: It will turn around. Investing in property is long term.. If you can't handle that maybe it's not for you.. Look at the share market.. How are your rio Tinto shares going?

Andrew Lo: Make enough predictions and you're bound to get at least a handful right. (Terry Ryder had Gladstone on his "to buy" hotspot list only a few years ago when Gladstone was at its peak.)

Rhiannon Jenkins: We came to Gladstone for a better future for our family 5 years ago our rent went from $380 to $620 in a year . We felt forced to buy a house for $435k spent 50k and now we are selling it for $335,000 so disappointing and such a strain on our family.

Sandra Howe: I don't know if it will pick up. There's no new work and I don't think that there's anything planned. As for only the greedy suffering, there are people that purchased, nothing flash, believing that the town would grow and now their houses are worth less than it was purchased for. Others bought because they could see no other way to afford being here as it worked out cheaper in the long run than predicted rental costs. Some of these people have had their houses foreclosed on. They weren't being greedy, they weren't looking to make great profits but now are worse off than before they came to Gladstone.

Shane McLeod: Yet on 17th January, 2012, around 8 months prior to the downturn in Gladstone's market, here's the Observer promoting Terry Ryder spruiking Gladstone as one of the next hotspots to get into. Can the reporter follow up with Terry and ask him how he got it so wrong and why their story is so right this time or is the scaremongering more newsworthy? Why doesn't this story start with "It would seem property analyst, Terry Ryder" was right off the mark when we published his prediction in early 2012. So how can we be sure his advice is right now?" This isn't new to the market. Our market turn began around September 2012, not just recently. These reports are written for investors, not homeowners who should be looking at a home purchase as a medium to long term investment. There's no skill in making predictions as they are happening, just as it is impossible to pick the top and bottom of any market...

Clint Janson: You have to be very selective who you take financial advice from. Three years ago I was reading an investment magazine (at the height of the boom) telling Australians to buy in Gladstone what a great investment it was. And I thought what crazy advice. Now prices are reasonable or below market value and we're a lost cause!? Maybe not a great rental in short term. But for a young adult or couple to get a place of their own I'd be at the bank tomorrow.

Marilyn Stewart: It's called the Gladdy Boom/Bust and the prices will go so low you won't be able to give houses and land away next year - seen it all before people only want to live here when there are loads of $$$ on offer nothing has changed its still a dirty industrial town and always will be but its our home and we love it.

Darryl Currey: If I was an investor I wouldn't buy here at the best of times. Always safer in SEQ.

Alice Salgado: I come back every now and again and think what a ghost town now I see all the rentals that I looked at that used to be advertised at 500+ a week and see them empty now can't even fill them at 250 a week I feel for the families that chose to buy in the boom as it was a little bit more secure than renting but to the investors haha

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