It’s a buyer’s market in Gladstone due to oversupply

A NEW report on the state of the Gladstone real estate market has found that it's a great time to be looking for a house, but probably not a great time if you're looking to offload a property quick-smart.

A market update from valuers Herron Todd White has found that times are tough for real estate and property sellers in town.

"All market sectors are struggling, with local agents reporting little interest and longer selling periods with considerable negotiations happening across the market," the report's authors noted.

Gladstone Ray White principal Andrew Allen told The Observer that the average days on the market had risen from 30 days a year ago, to its current average of 75 days.

"There are a lot of houses out there for sale, which gives people a lot of choice, and there are also not a lot of buyers out there at the moment, so it's not an ideal situation for sellers," Mr Allen said.

It seems that people are a little bit hesitant these days and are just holding off to see what's going to happen.

"So with the temporary oversupply, it's going to take longer to sell."

He also noted that one of the contributing factors to warding off potential buyers was a fair amount of uncertainity on where the market was going.

"It seems that people are a little bit hesitant these days and are just holding off to see what's going to happen," Mr Allen said.

Where the market is going is the million dollar question in Gladstone, with the prospect of projects such as Arrow LNG and Boulder Steel being tempered by the start of the decline in workforce for the three LNG projects on Curtis Island.

With housing now back at pre-boom levels, indications from Herron Todd White seem to be that the Gladstone market could in for further contraction, with both housing and units experiencing oversupply relative to demand.

It also noted that demand for new housing was continuing to be "very soft", meaning that there were fewer players willing to get into the game while the rules remain so uncertain.

Housing approval rates

  • 3 months to January 2013: 433
  • 3 months to January 2014: 228
  • Percentage decline: 47%
  • Highest growth: Hervey Bay (164%)
  • Highest decline: Mackay (-59%)

Source: Housing Indutsry Association

HARD SELL: Ian Prebble has found it difficult to sell his home in the current market.
HARD SELL: Ian Prebble has found it difficult to sell his home in the current market. James Mcgrath

Tough time for vendors

IAN Prebble has been trying to sell his property in Clinton since November. He believes buyers have become more hesitant to jump into the property market.

"About a year ago, it would have sold in a week," Mr Prebble said. "It's a bad time to be selling, and the prices have come down a lot."

He said that he had to re-adjust his expectations downward by about 10% since his home has been on the market. His story is a common one in the region.

While he has been frustrated that his house has not been sold yet, he doesn't blame buyers for being choosy.

In fact, he is hoping to become one of them soon.

"The positive thing about the situation is that while I'm having a bit of trouble selling the place, I know it's going to be pretty easy to buy a place too," Mr Prebble said.



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