'Right direction': Rental data points to recovery
THE Gladstone rental market has received some encouraging news after the recent release of first-quarter Real Estate Institute of Queensland data.
REIQ's vacancy rate report stated Gladstone had "stolen the spotlight" in Q1 with its long-awaited move into the healthy range, tightening from 4.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent, for the first time since December 2012.
"This market has been gradually improving since it peaked at 11.3 per cent vacancies in March 2016," the report states.
"The inexorable downward trend has consistently suggested an improving market with rental supply and demand trends now the closest to intersecting in almost seven years."
Despite the data showing positive signs for the rental market, it wasn't all good news.
"With this continually improving rental market it is unusual that the sales market has continued to fall with the median sale price falling 3.6 per cent in the year to December 2018 to $270,000 and 37.2 per cent below the level of five years ago," the report said.
"We will watch and wait to see how this market develops."
REIQ Gladstone Zone chairwoman Alicia Williams said the data was encouraging.
"As per previous reports and the data we're seeing it is still a slow road to recovery but in the right direction," Ms Williams said.
"We're pleased the trend has continued and that market confidence is returning."
Ms Williams didn't expect the federal election to have a large impact on the property market but said it could spook investors worried about changes to negative gearing.
"With investors there is a little bit of uncertainly whether they hold a property or move it before the end of the financial year," she said.
"We'll have more clarity on that post-election. In any election year people will be a little more hesitant and holding their cards a little closer to their chest until they know what the outcome will be."
Independent property researcher and managing director of Hotspotting Terry Ryder said the REIQ data showed signs a recovery was underway in Gladstone while also echoing Ms Williams's comments regarding the election.
"Real Estate is dictated by local conditions and that hasn't got a lot to do in a national sense," Mr Ryder said.
"The (election) outcome might have an impact on future property investors if Labor were to win and abolish negative gearing except for new properties.
"People who own property - the long-suffering owner or investor - there is good signs recovery is starting to happen and the first signs pricing is nudging up again for the last 5-6 years."
LJ Hooker sales consultant Steven James said Gladstone had changed from a dropping market to one in recovery.
The REIQ data can be found here.