Carter Cooper Realty principal agent Kim Carter. Picture: Alistair Brightman
Carter Cooper Realty principal agent Kim Carter. Picture: Alistair Brightman

TO BUY OR RENT? Coast real estate gurus weigh in on debate

A Fraser Coast agent and real estate guru have ended the controversial debate and advised on the best course of action for those questioning to buy or rent in the region in 2021.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said it’s the debate that returns different answers in different places.

But for Queensland, and particularly the Fraser Coast, she said:

“While deciding whether to rent or buy will always come down to personal circumstances, with historic interest rates and a range of government grants on offer, particularly for first home buyers, now may indeed be a good time to consider taking that leap from renting to home ownership.”

Carter Cooper Realty agent Kim Carter, who deals with all aspects of real estate including sales and property management, agrees.

Ms Carter said, “when is the right time to buy?” is the question she most often gets asked.

“My answer always is that there is never a wrong time to buy as you should see real estate as a long-term prospect and need to understand that like all asset classes there will be highs and lows,” she said.

REIQ statistics show from September 2019 to September 2020, the Fraser Coast experienced 1416 sales – inclusive of 85 units, 448 parcels of vacant land and 884 homes.

According to the most recent REIQ Market Monitor report, the annual median sale price for houses in the Fraser Coast was $328,500.

Compared to the 2019 figure, this is a rise of 1.1 per cent.

The annual median sale price for units was $261,000 which reflects a 6.5 per cent increase on the previous year’s measure.

And for vacant land the going price was $165,000.

The report also showed that not one single region recorded a reduction in median house prices over the July-September 2020 quarter.

Ms Mercorella said this meant prices across the Fraser Coast are steadily within the rising sector of the price cycle.

“… meaning now would be an opportune time to consider purchasing a property before prices continue to rise.”

“With rising rents as a result of incredibly low vacancies, some properties can actually cost less to service a mortgage,” she said.

“And with interest rates tipped to remain at current levels for a number of years, it may serve as a further incentive to purchase rather than rent.”

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Their suggestions come as the Fraser Coast continues to experience a very tight rental market with 0.6 per cent vacancy rates as of December 2020.

According to the REIQ Preparing for the 2021 Rental Market report interstate migration, rental boom, low stock and border closures and restrictions are four trends that are set to affect Queensland’s rental market.

Ms Mercorella said in a statement that the state is experiencing “unprecedented levels of diminishing rental availability” which in turn is placing pressure on the housing sector.

A search of for available rentals across the region returned about 22 properties going for under $300 a week.

Of those, only one was available for inspection on Friday January 29, from 10.30am at Howard.

“For those that prefer to remain in a rental property, the key benefits will always be less financial burden, such as council rates and household maintenance, as well as more flexibility as you may be exploring your options for the future and possibly relocating elsewhere,” Ms Mercorella added.