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Queensland property prices begin to slow down

Queensland’s rampant property price growth of the past few years has finally started to slow down.

The latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) shows median house prices rose 3.61 per cent in the June quarter, while median unit prices inched up 1.59 per cent.

REIQ Chief Executive Officer Antonia Mercorella said the latest quarterly results showed Queensland’s soaring property market growth had started to show signs of calming.  

“You only need to take a look at the rate of price growth over the past year, with some areas achieving an incredible 20-30 per cent growth year-on-year, to realise the property market couldn’t keep up that accelerated pace forever,” Ms Mercorella said.

“This quarter we’re still seeing healthy growth in most major markets, but at a more sustainable level, as Queensland’s property market appears to finally have caught up on the growth it was well overdue for.

“What this means on the ground is that the property buying frenzy has relaxed, allowing a slower, more considered approach from buyers, which is evidenced by longer days on market. 

Ms Mercorella said low stock levels were still putting upward pressure on prices across many areas of the state.

“Our member agents tell us that demand for property is still energised due to low levels of supply and continued demand, but that there’s particular price points and property characteristics that buyers are pursuing, including a renewed interest in units and townhouses,” she said.

Ms Mercorella said the property market needed to return to a more level footing to help buyers who had been under considerable pressure when trying to secure a property.

“Honestly, it’s good to see some sense of calm returning to the market, taking buying activity from madness to measured, where both agents and buyers can take a breath,” she said.

“The rise of risky behaviours such as buying sight unseen, impossibly short settlement periods, and waiving cooling off periods are hopefully behind us now.”

Ms Mercorella said Queensland’s property market remained resilient despite recent hits to hip pockets and borrowing constraints.

“Consecutive interest rate rises and inflation are seeing households tightening their belts, however this is against the backdrop of very low unemployment, pent up wage growth expectations, continued high interstate migration, an extremely tight rental market, and the return of international migration further boosting our state’s population,” she said.

“These are all factors that will buoy Queensland property prices, and should give buyers confidence in investing in our state.

“We know that smart property investment is about the long-distance run rather than a short sprint, but there’s no doubt that property owners have lapped up Queensland’s extraordinary growth spurt.

“What the Queensland property market has proven over the years is that it pays to get your foot in the market and be in the race.”

Despite slowing down in the last quarter, Brisbane LGA’s annual median sale price pushed above the million-dollar mark, now sitting at $1,005,000 with an annual growth rate of 27.22 per cent.

Brisbane suburbs joining the million-dollar median house club based on sales this quarter include Mitchelton, Chermside West, Ferny Grove, and Everton Park, while Bulimba just cracked the $2 million mark ($2,001,550).

Expanding out to the Greater Brisbane region, there has been modest positive growth of 1.79 per cent over the quarter to $766,000 based on just over 8000 sales. 

The most affordable LGA in Greater Brisbane is Ipswich LGA ($530,750), which stood out with the top growth rate of 4.07 per cent this quarter, suggesting there’s strong demand in the market for value and greater affordability. 

Another stand out when looking at annual growth was Redlands, with an incredible 29.07 per cent price increase compared to the year prior.

Queensland’s regional centres’ quarterly median house prices rose modestly, but remained under $500,000 in Rockhampton ($340,000), Townsville ($400,000), Gladstone ($417,000), Bundaberg ($430,000), Mackay ($436,000), and Toowoomba ($495,000).

Some of the state’s popular tourism centres posted median house sales that fell compared to the previous quarter. 

Noosa, which had median house prices growing at 15.38 per cent in the March quarter, fell 7.80 per cent this quarter.

Noosa maintained its title as the highest quarterly and annual median sale price at $1.3 million, continuing to outperform the capital city, following year-on-year growth of 36.81 per cent.

Similarly, the Sunshine Coast LGA fell 1.52 per cent after growing at 28.63 per cent.

The Gold Coast’s median house price also experienced a fall of 0.51 per cent to $970,000 following a period of upward growth.

Fraser Coast LGA continued to have a strong rising housing market this quarter, up 2.67 per cent to $539,000, while Cairns LGA’s median house price remained fairly steady 0.93 per cent increase to $540,000.

Across the unit markets, the Gold Coast fell 1.86 per cent, the Sunshine Coast dipped 1.22 per cent and Noosa was 10.20 per cent lower across 83 sales.

In the regions, Rockhampton LGA down 16.03 per cent based on just 46 sales), Cairns LGA (down 14.04 per cent), Gladstone LGA (down 12.66 per cent based on just 50 sales), and Townsville LGA (down 10.34 per cent) all posted falling unit median prices.

In Greater Brisbane, median unit prices were on the rise, with the most affordable markets – Ipswich LGA ($326,000) and Logan LGA ($330,000) – achieving the highest quarterly growth at 8.31 per cent and 8.20 per cent respectively. 

These markets also hold some of the highest annual growth in the state with Ipswich soaring 30.12 per cent and Logan an impressive 24.20 per cent this year.

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Rowan Crosby

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