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Noosa scores Qld’s priciest properties and Mackay market soars

Queensland’s residential property market continues to show strong and relatively stable results, with regional markets leading the charge.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), the first three-monthly quarter (1 January 2020 – 31 March 2020) indicates the Sunshine State remains resilient.

The state’s capital, which achieved the highest number of annual sales, saw modest price increases in the housing sector across most suburbs in the greater area over the three months.

Brisbane held firm with an annual median house price of $690,000 (+1.5 per cent). Liveability, affordability and economic investment all suggest that Brisbane remains Australia’s leading capital city where you can confidently buy an affordable home.

“Queensland certainly offers a mixed bag of results across this quarter which was anticipated. Yet every region has performed better than expected to date and continue to do so,” REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said.

“This is despite major banks, research firms and media naysayers collectively predicting ‘worse case’ property price declines from the onset of Covid-19 – forecasting falls from anywhere between 20-40 per cent.”

The best performer for annual median house price growth for a second consecutive quarter was Mackay, with a rise of 6.2 per cent to $360,000.

Mackay’s housing market has been in recovery for over five years, with its median house price recuperating from significant falls.

However, it continues to inch closer to its top median price of $390,000 recorded in December 2014 (-7.7 per cent).

“In 2019 Mackay experienced a very positive year of growth, not only in relation to property but for the local economy as well,” Ms Mercorella explained.

“A dynamic resources sector coupled with large infrastructure projects saw a boost in employment opportunities and population growth throughout the year.

“That momentum gained over the last year or two has certainly continued into the first three months of 2020 and is a great result for Mackay.”

The Sunshine Coast property market continued to remain one of the prime spots in Australia for investment.

With a local economy that’s remained relatively buoyant, backed by strong population and job growth along with ample investment in large infrastructure projects, the Sunshine Coast housing market remained on a steady growth trajectory over the first quarter of 2020, achieving 2.5 per cent growth for the year.

“Noosa has clearly seen the biggest market gains in the greater region when you consider it’s ushered in a record median house price of $800,000 on the back of five-year’s growth of 44.1 per cent, making it the most expensive housing market in Queensland,” Ms Mercorella said.

“And it should come as no surprise that Noosa also had the most expensive units in the state as well, which climbed 8.7 per cent to a median price of $625,000 over the last 12 months.”

From the outset, 2020 was looking promising for the Brisbane market too. CoreLogic’s monthly house price index showed the pace of growth slowed nationally to 0.9 per cent in January, but the annual growth rate was 4.1 per cent, the fastest pace of growth in three years.

Brisbane house prices increased by 0.5 per cent in January 2020. February saw house prices continue to rise across every capital city by 1.1 per cent nationally, except Darwin.

Five capital cities achieved record-high property values including Brisbane which saw an increase of 0.6 per cent, in line with the national trend for positive property price growth since June 2019.

Brisbane’s upper quartile values were 2.2 per cent higher than the prior 12 months compared with the lower quartile, which increased by 1.3 per cent.

March 2020 saw the initial impacts of coronavirus start to trickle through to house prices, but it was still early days with price rises across most capital cities still driving national dwelling prices up 0.7 per cent.

However, March was also the lowest monthly gain since the property market lifted in July last year. Brisbane rose 0.6 per cent to a monthly median of $506,553.

This weakening in the growth trend in the second half of the month also ushered in a period of ‘unprecedented uncertainty’ as crowd limits and social distancing policies took hold.

“It’s pleasing to see that the Brisbane property market continues to show underlying strength in the first three months of 2020,” Ms Mercorella said.

“Understandably, the Covid-19 pandemic is still creating uncertainty.

“As we continue to navigate through to the other side, Brisbane is likely to be the one of the best performing property markets over the next few years – particularly in light of its stability through trading restrictions and lockdowns as real estate continued to transact on the back of the Federal Government’s economic reforms.

“Historically, Queensland’s property market has shown strong resilience during times of economic turbulence.

“During the GFC, prices strengthened over the medium-term in many locations, courtesy of economic stimulus as well as low interest rates.

“Likewise, after the last recession and subsequent natural disasters, prices continued to firm over time, even with high unemployment,” Ms Mercorella continued.

“The illiquid nature of property as well as the proclivity for property owners and investors to hold for the long-term means this asset class can withstand short-term financial upheavals better than most, which is likely to be the situation following the coronavirus pandemic as well.

“There is a reason why the adage ‘as safe as houses’ has been around for so long.”

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