TOWNSVILLE’S residential real estate market is starting to move with a survey finding the city’s vendors are the happiest in the state.
Rating site Ratemyagent has released the results of its latest Price Expectation Report based on reviews by vendors who sold property between July and December last year.
Townsville topped the list of “happiest” Queensland areas.
It has also taken the number one position for the net percentage of sales above expectation at 41 percent and the turnaround in sales exceeding expectations, which jumped from 20 percent in 2018 to 45 percent last year.
Nationally, the report is based on responses from 40,000 vendors although for the Townsville result it says a minimum of 50 reviews was used.
Locally, agents, agree the market is moving although some are more buoyant than others.
One who is happy, Explore Property agent Giovanni Spinella, said they had seen a definite market improvement late last year.
“We sold more property in the last quarter of last year than in the whole year previous. We had a huge end to the year,” Mr. Spinella said.
“I also broke my PB for transactions in a month. I did nine.”
The reasons for the change vary.
Some agents say that a reduction in the vacancy rate combined with an increase in rents has lured more investors into the market than previously, while the Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is also credited with attracting more first home buyers.
Other agents say Townsville’s value for money compared with southern centres is also attracting retirees.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland Townsville zone chair Ben Kingsberry said his agency, Harcourt Kingsberry, was seeing uptick inactivity.
“There are various groups (of buyers) re-entering the market, interstate investors and first home buyers,” Mr. Kingsberry said. “For a long time, investors haven’t been buying because they are uncertain about the vacancy and also the rent rates that can be achieved.
“Now they can be confident of finding a tenant, they are pulling the trigger and buying.”
Herron Todd White says Townsville’s median house price had deflated from $360,000 in 2013 to $314,000 last year but cautions last year’s median was affected by a flurry of demand for houses in the sub- $200,000 bracket. Agents say those cheapies now are harder to find.
Harcourts Kingsberry agent John Mendo said they were seeing a lot of older people coming to Townsville and looking to retire because homes were so much cheaper than in capital city markets.
John Gribbin Realty principal John Gribbin said more sales were occurring and investor activity had picked up but that the unit market continued to face difficulties because of the blowout in insurance costs for strata-titled property. Sally Elliott of Smith and Elliott said they were seeing a lot more confidence in the market and more buyers attending open house events.
“On Sunday in the pouring rain we had 15 groups of people come through a first open house and it sold,” Ms. Elliott said.
“A few investors are starting to come back into the market. Townsville is perceived as having enormous potential.”
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