RESIDENTIAL SECTOR MEETS MARKET

RESIDENTIAL SECTOR MEETS MARKET

THE latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) housing report shows the state’s median house prices are back to pre-GFC levels, but sales continue to drop.

REIQ’s median house report for the June quarter shows a 9.5 per cent increase in the Brisbane Statistical Division to a price of $450,000.

The division, which encompasses Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Logan City, Moreton Bay Regional and Redland City, is driving state-wide property growth to its highest levels since 2008.

On the other end of the spectrum the Gold Coast City region with one per cent recorded the lowest median property price increase across the state to $505,000.

Median price growth in the Sunshine Coast region was similarly minimal at 1.6 per cent to $470,000.

REIQ managing director Dan Molloy, says the results are reflective of a return to more usual buyer activity rather than widespread property growth.

“Over the past two years, Queensland’s median house prices have jumped up and down depending on the types of buyers in the market at the time,” says Molloy.

“Last year, the numbers of first-timers in the market was higher than usual, so correspondingly the median went down given they bought cheaper properties. This year, there has been a return to a more even distribution of first and non-first home buyers in the market so the medians have increased accordingly.

“This change in buyers, and the types of properties selling, has unfortunately given the false impression there has been robust property price growth when prices are now really where they were two years
ago.”

The report also shows continued tough market conditions with the preliminary number of sales across the state down by about 5 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett, says weaker market conditions have been reported by REIQ accredited agencies over the June quarter.

“Agents have been reporting quieter market conditions since about early April when the string of interest rate increases began to have a negative impact on the market,” says Bennett.

“Uneven economic data is also starting to worry consumers with many buyers currently happy to sit on the fence until a clearer economic picture emerges.”

According to the REIQ, current market conditions can be described as difficult but Queensland’s population growth, decentralised population, and relatively affordable property compared to other states will help to underpin the market in the months ahead.

The industry body is hopeful that controlled inflation and steady interest rates will see demand return to more usual levels by the end of 2010.

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