Buyers on the hunt for cheap homes in Rockhampton
A GLUT of cheap home sales is skewing Rockhampton's median house price according to a leading property valuer.
Herron Todd White's month in review report for March revealed the key reason behind Rockhampton's low median house price of just $255,000 (September quarter) was due to a significant number of sales under the $200,000 bracket, compared to neighbouring communities with limited sales under $250,000 for the Capricorn Coast and $200,000 for Gracemere.
The September quarter median house price for Livingstone Shire was $354,500 and $261,000 in Gracemere.
HTW's report said Rockhampton's price of $255,000 was not an accurate reflection of the typical residential property in the region.
Mr Real Estate Rockhampton principal Jason Rayner explained the lower bracket has been popular in Rockhampton with first home buyers entering the market.
"We are also on the radar of the southern buyers, Sydney and Melbourne, because of the fall in nationwide house prices, up to 6.5 per cent per year for the last two years,” he said.
"I think a lot of outside investors are looking to buy elsewhere and Rockhampton is where they are looking.
"Rockhampton is on the investment radar from other states and the investors are starting to see great value in those homes under $200,000.
"They are the start of the domino effect. When we get a lot of those smaller ones selling, the good news is they will domino up through the marketplace.
"The $150,000 and $200,000 homes start to sell, then that mid-range will kick up in the next three to 12 months. We think it is positive news and certainly economists would agree the market has got to start to turn somewhere and I think we are starting to see that turn now.”
According to Mr Rayner, the reason for the low median value is a lack of jobs.
"We haven't seen an increase in job numbers yet but I think that is coming,” he said.
"We have a lot of projects on the horizon, so the positive news is if there are people out there looking for that medium to low house price, it's a great time for them to get in.
"We have a lot of bargain basement properties here in Rockhampton that buyers are taking advantage of.”
Mr Rayner said the newer brick homes in Gracemere were selling for over $200,000.
"You can't really make an accurate assumption putting the two together because Gracemere has a lot of newer homes, whereas Rockhampton has a lot of older areas, smaller lots, older style houses on wooden stumps that require some upkeep,” he said.
"I also think the age of the house selling should be taken into account as well for the under $200,000 market.”
Mr Rayner said he has a very positive view of the current residential market.
"In a market like this, renters, that are now at an all-time low vacancy rate of two per cent, see the rental property market start to go up in value, so the rent being paid starts to increase in value,” he said.
"The first sign of a market starting to move is renters becoming buyers.
"They are sick of paying someone else's mortgage, they grab the bull by the horns and say listen, we are going to become a property owner.
"They leave the rental pool and jump into the lower housing bracket, which helps that market gain a bit of momentum.”
He said, in regard to the real estate market in Rockhampton, the year ahead was bright.
"I think values will be depicted by the amount of jobs on offer in Rockhampton in the coming six to 18 months and that is something to keep an eye on with all the projects in the area,” he said.
"The more people that come to town, the more we will see values strengthen.”
The hidden gem in north Rockhampton
BERSERKER has seen nearly 20 sales this year and is a prime example of a suburb with some of the best value homes in north Rockhampton.
According to RP Data, four out of 16 homes sold in Berserker this year were under the $200,000 bracket.
Jason Rayner described the suburb as the "hidden gem of north Rockhampton”.
"Behind Norman Gardens and Frenchville, Berserker has a lot of potential,” he said.
"It is in a fantastic location compared to where the schools and shops are.
"I would go as far as to say Berserker is one of the best value areas and one of north Rockhampton's best-kept secrets.
"There is a lot of lifestyle choice there.
"A lot of shops nearby are handy, it is relatively flat and offers the convenience that a lot of the other neighbouring suburbs don't offer.
"I think investors should be looking at the Berserker area in the coming months.”
Mr Rayner predicts Berserker would be reaping the rewards in the near future.
"We think Berserker will see values increase because of the locality, it is just close to everywhere,” he said.