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Noosa takes state's real estate crown as price growth fires up again

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Noosa has retained the crown of Queensland real estate capital with a median price of $1.3 million dollars, almost twice the median of the rest of the state, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

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In its September quarter report card, the REIQ said state-wide price movements crept up steadily during the year with median house prices lifting by 2.07 per cent over the quarter to $690,000, and median unit prices rising by 3.92 per cent to a median of $530,000.

However, on a 12 month basis, Brisbane (LGA) house prices were down 4.76 per cent. While Noosa jumped 6 per cent in the September quarter to $1.378 million to lead growth in the state, it was down 3.3 per cent on a 12 month basis.

Toowoomba (4.52 per cent) and Ipswich (3.60 per cent) followed Noosa’s strong quarterly growth.

Above average quarterly growth was also seen in Fraser Coast (2.68 per cent), Cairns (2.61 per cent) and Townsville (2.47 per cent).

The housing markets in Mackay, Rockhampton, and Gold Coast barely moved in the quarter while Bundaberg retreated slightly (-2.06 per cent).

On an annual growth basis, the regions really shone with double digit growth revealed in Rockhampton (11.79 per cent), Bundaberg (10.71 per cent), and Toowoomba (10.07 per cent). Townsville also had a strong 4.49 per cent uptick year on year.

In the tourism centres, Fraser Coast (6.15 per cent) and Cairns (6.93 per cent) also recorded impressive annual growth. Meanwhile, in the south east corner the standouts were Ipswich (7.84 per cent) and Logan (5 per cent).

The REIQ said those housing markets which showed a material decrease in sales price when comparing year on year are simply course corrections after reaching staggering heights a year ago. These included Brisbane (-4.76%), Sunshine Coast (-3.09%) and Noosa (-3.38%).

Chief executive Antonia Mercorella said that interest in regional Queensland’s housing market was rising as a relatively affordable choice and, in most cases, with attractive annual growth.

“Those seeking value for money are finding it in our regional economic powerhouses – Toowoomba and Townsville,” she said.

“You’re looking at an annual median house price of $530,000 in Toowoomba and just over $400,000 in Townsville, well below Greater Brisbane’s $760,500 median price point.”

The highest volume of house sales across the quarter were Brisbane (2888), Gold Coast (1,822), and Moreton Bay (1,596), followed closely by Logan (1,156), Sunshine Coast (1,120) and Townsville (1,060).

“Reminiscent of Sydney suburb prices, Noosa again held the top gong for the most expensive housing market in Queensland with a whopping $1.378m median this quarter.

“Other seven figure medians were seen in Brisbane LGA ($1.05m) and Gold Coast ($1m), with the Sunshine Coast in striking distance at $950,000.

“Rockhampton ($380,000) and Gladstone ($385,000) landed themselves at the other end of the affordability scale. Ipswich ($575,000) represented best bang for buck in Greater Brisbane.

She said that the shortage of sales listings had become somewhat of a catch 22 situation in the Sunshine State.

“Real estate agents are telling us that people do want to sell their properties, but they’re also held back by concerns about what they are going to be able to buy back into in such a tight market – so it’s a frustrating situation for so many,” she said.

“The biggest challenge at the moment is people’s reluctance to sell and make the jump to their next property.”

Greater Brisbane’s unit market was strong. Logan’s unit market in particular was a standout with 9.17 per cent growth over the quarter, and a solid 11.11 per cent growth over the year to $350,000.

“We are back to a consistent, ‘steady as she goes’ market which means there will be some expectation management needed for both sellers and buyers.

“On one hand, sellers may need to temper their expectations somewhat from the crazy highs, but equally, buyers who had hoped a bargain was just around the corner will be sorely disappointed as the shortage of stock is keeping the competition hot.

“Interstate migration and a tight job market are helping to underpin the housing market.”

It seems virtually impossible to knock Noosa off the podium for the most expensive unit market in Queensland with a median unit price of $1,040,000 this quarter, absolutely streets ahead of the broader Sunshine Coast ($665,000) and Gold Coast ($655,000) – keeping in mind that the sales volumes may skew the median in the favour of tightly-held Noosa.

Most affordable unit market for the quarter went to Gladstone at $254,500, closely followed by Mackay at $290,000. Cairns and Bundaberg units represented exceptional value at $330,000 and $335,000 respectively. In the south east corner, Ipswich ($374K) and Logan ($393K) were again where to buy a unit to make your dollar go further, albeit further out from the city.

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