There is still work to be done in Gladstone's real estate market.
There is still work to be done in Gladstone's real estate market. Andy Dean Photography

'Yet to turn the corner': Market still struggling

RENEWABLE energy could help power Gladstone's property market, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland has said.

"Eco Energy World, an English company, with a portfolio of 500MW of solar energy in Australia and with the financial support from Investec, is working towards building the Raglan solar farm at Epala Road, Ambrose," the Queensland Market Monitor report for September reads.

"The media has reported the development application is currently under council assessment.

"Another key renewable energy project is the 450MW Aldoga solar farm at the Gladstone State Development Area."

The news is important because despite positive signs for Gladstone's real estate sector, the residential property market has "yet to turn the corner toward recovery".

"House and unit prices continued falling over the September quarter, with house prices falling 3.6 per cent to $279,500 and unit prices falling 1.9 per cent, to $176,600," the report reads.

"The 12-month and five-year performance of the house and unit markets have been the weakest of all markets featured in the Queensland Market Monitor.

"The house market remained the most challenged ... with the longest days on the market and highest vendor discounting of all markets featured in the Queensland Market Monitor.

This market has become the third-most affordable of the areas featured in the QMM, with an annual median price of $290,000."

The report said change in sentiment, in both the sales and rental markets, was a topic of conversation by locals and real estate agents.

"While the regional economic diversification initiatives are encouraging, the property data does not yet suggest recovery has begun," the report reads.

The report covers the three months up until September.

In Tuesday's Gladstone Observer the news was more positive from the past two-and-a-half months.

Property expert Terry Ryder, from Hotspotting, told The Observer landlords could expect some relief next year.

That should be music to home owners' ears as the REIQ statistics are bleak reading.

However, the vacancy rate for the rental market has tightened to 5.7 per cent in September compared with 11.3 per cent in March 2016.

"Despite the evident improvement, Gladstone recorded the largest vacancy rate for the quarter in Queensland of 5.7 per cent, sitting within the weak range as per the REIQ classification," the report reads.

"Local agents in Gladstone have noted that the rental market has commenced stabilising with higher demand from tenants, which is cautiously reducing vacancies and increasing rents for some type of dwellings."

Fast facts

  • Gladstone is the slowest house market in Queensland, taking about 87 days to negotiate a sale in August 2017 compared with 85 days in August 2016
  • In positive news for vendors, median vendor discounting fell 1.1 percentage points for the past 12 months to August this year, to 9.5 per cent
  • The most active price bracket is for sales below $350,000 aligning with the median sale price
  • Annual listings increased 26.2 per cent, from 1524 in August 2016 to 1924 in August 2017.


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