This five-bedroom Wehmeier Avenue home in Frenchville sold for $750,000 in February as part of a stellar quarter for the  North Rockhampton suburb.
This five-bedroom Wehmeier Avenue home in Frenchville sold for $750,000 in February as part of a stellar quarter for the North Rockhampton suburb. RP Data

Rocky market solid as rest of Qld suffers house price fall

ROCKHAMPTON was one of only three major centres in the state to record a quarterly rise in median house prices for the March quarter.

While Rockhampton edged up a modest 0.7 per cent to $271,000 - from $269,000 in December 2017 - the rest of Queensland saw prices drop with the exception of Sunshine Coast (up 2.4 per cent to $583,000) and Fraser Coast (.4 per cent to $320,000).

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland Market Monitor report for the March quarter shows Bundaberg (4.7 per cent down to $276,000) and Gladstone (4.6% down to $260,000) both suffering significant fall while buoyant Mackay was surprisingly flat at $340,000 after recording several previous quarterly increases.

Rockhampton REIQ Zone Chairman Noel Livingston said the March quarter result was another positive for the Rockhampton house market which has been showing signs of recovery this year.

"No huge improvements, but we have done better than most of the other markets and that gives us cause to be a little bit optimistic,” he said after reading the report yesterday.

"Another positive is our rental trends. We are continually showing decreasing vacancy rates and we are starting to see signs of improve rental returns.”

The star market performer for Rockhampton (147 quarterly sales) was the leafy suburb of Frenchville which jumped 15.9 per cent to $342,000 on the back of 27 sales.

The nearby North Rockhampton suburb of Norman Gardens also did well with an 8.7 per cent increase to $418,500 (20 sales).

The REIQ noted in the report that units continued to outperform houses, as they've done for much of the year, with an annual median price of $295,000 compared to the annual median price for houses of $265,000.

The REIQ also noted the Rockhampton housing market had stabilised.

Noel Livingston.
Noel Livingston. Contributed

"Sentiment across locals and businesses have renewed over the past few months. In light of this improvement, the rental market has seen improved market fundamentals as vacancies have

followed a downward path for the past four quarters,” it said.

"Vacancies in Rocky have followed a downward path for the past four quarters, falling from the highest level in its history of 8.6 per cent in March 2017 to 4.1 per cent in March 2018.”

The rental stock in Rocky (measured as the number of rental bonds) for the past year increased by 2.9 per cent, from 7006 in March 2017 to 7208 in March 2018.

In Rockhampton a typical house needed 66 days to reach a sale in February 2018 compared to 83 days in February 2017.

Vendors generally negotiated a discount of 8 per cent to reach a sale in February 2018 compared to a higher discount of 9.1 per cent needed in February 2017.