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Queensland property continues to bounce back, led by regional areas

Queensland property continues to go from strength to strength, with a number of regional locations recording double-digit annual growth in the past 12 months.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), across the state, the median house prices rose 4.62 per cent over the quarter, while units increased 3 per cent.

In the past three months, Brisbane (4.62 per cent), Redland (4.58 per cent), and Noosa (4 per cent) were the top-performing markets.

A number of regional areas shone through the most in the past 12 months, with Bundaberg (15.19 per cent), Ipswich (11.34 per cent), Toowoomba (10.75 per cent), Fraser Coast (10.71 per cent) and Rockhampton (10.61 per cent) all showing double-digit growth.

Queensland’s annual median house price reached $650,000, while Brisbane’s annual median sale price dipped back below the $1 million mark to $985,000.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s annual median unit price remained just under half a million dollars ($495,000) but reached a record $510,000 in Brisbane.

REIQ Chief Executive Officer Antonia Mercorella said contrary to commentary that property prices would go ‘belly up’, the data showed overall Queensland property is delivering sustainable growth.

“The dust has settled and we’ve returned to a much more stable sales market, with steady growth for owners and more time for buyers, and that’s a great market to be in,” Ms Mercorella said.

“Interestingly, units are leading the way in annual growth in many of the state’s major markets, particularly outpacing house growth in Greater Brisbane and the tourism centres.”

She said it’s not surprising buyers are increasingly recognising the value and appeal of apartments, particularly those wanting to get out of the strained rental market and onto the property ladder.

 “Over the past couple of years, the divide between house and unit prices in Brisbane has never been bigger, with units presenting a relative ‘bargain’ entry point and opportunity to live closer to the action,” Ms Mercorella said.

Ms Mercorella said immigration to the southeast corner would continue to be a primary driver for property growth, particularly with the Olympics on the horizon.

“While these results are somewhat surprising given rising interest rates, Queensland’s market is buoyed by population growth and a lack of listings hitting the market,” she said.

“It’s slim pickings for buyers hoping to secure a slice of the Sunshine State, and this creates competition and puts upward pressure on prices.”

She said that the average time to sell a house increased to 29 days compared to a year ago, and for units it’s now 25 days, giving buyers some hope.

“The buyer mentality has now swung from FOMO (fear of missing out) to FOMM (fear of making a mistake), and accordingly we’ve seen the return of conditional contracts again,” she said.

The highest volume of house sales across the quarter were Brisbane (2774), Gold Coast (1780), and Moreton Bay (1530), followed closely by Logan (1177) and Sunshine Coast (1056).

Over the past year however, listings have dropped 18.8 per cent, with almost every major market across Queensland showing a double-digit decrease in stock.

Noosa retained its title for the most expensive housing market in Queensland with a median house price of $1.3 million this quarter, followed by Brisbane ($1.02 million), Gold Coast ($985,000), and Sunshine Coast ($936,000).

While some house markets experienced a dip in annual growth including Noosa (down 4.2 per cent), Brisbane (down 2.48 per cent), and Sunshine Coast (down 0.53 per cent), it’s worth noting that these markets also hold the title for the highest median annual sales prices, and experienced exponential growth post-COVID. 

Almost all major markets saw a dramatic increase in the annual median days on market compared to the previous 12 months, with the longest sales campaigns seen in Noosa (57 days), Gladstone (42 days), Sunshine Coast (38 days) and Fraser Coast (35 days).

The fastest-moving markets were Toowoomba (18 days), Bundaberg (19 days), Cairns and Ipswich (both 20 days).

Meanwhile, the strongest unit markets in the state were Brisbane (2550) and the Gold Coast (1532)  based on the number of quarterly sales, despite annual listing volumes having substantial drops.

Again, Noosa was the most expensive unit market in Queensland with a median unit price of $1,052,500 this quarter, ahead of Gold Coast ($645,000), and the broader Sunshine Coast ($615,000).

Bundaberg stood out as the strongest unit market performer for quarterly growth at 15.45 per cent followed by Ipswich (8.48 per cent), Noosa (7.39 per cent), Gladstone (6.38 per cent) and Fraser Coast (4.88 per cent).

Unit markets which took a step backwards this quarter, were Toowoomba (down 9.21 per cent), Mackay (down 8.33 per cent), Sunshine Coast (down 3.91 per cent), and Rockhampton (down 3.69 per cent), however, these four markets are all higher on an annual basis.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.