The beachfront markets of the Gold and Sunshine Coast, and Noosa, have finished 2017 with the strongest growth in the state, significantly outperforming Brisbane.
The Gold Coast delivered a gold medal performance, with the annual median house price growing by 7.7 per cent, to end the year on $615,000.
The Sunshine Coast median house price grew 6.4 per cent to end the year at $569,000 and Noosa grew 6.2 per cent to deliver an annual median house price of $650,000, finishing the year just $15,000 below Brisbane LGA median house price.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said Noosa was an area where demand was placing strong pressure on limited supply levels.
“This is an area that could do with more supply, but clearly the topography makes that challenging.
“Noosa’s world-class beaches, stunning natural bushland settings and wonderful warm community are factors that are fanning the flames of buyer demand. It is inevitable that this will push up prices,” she said.
The Gold Coast market has benefited from a strong local economy, a direct result of the infrastructure spend ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Upward pressure on prices has seen some suburbs demonstrate explosive median house and median unit price growth.
Mermaid Beach is the Gold Coast’s most expensive suburb for houses, with growth of 8.9 per cent delivering a median house price of $1.56 million.
The Main Beach unit market grew a whopping 14.3 per cent and is the most expensive suburb to buy a unit, with a median unit price of $720,000.
The Gold Coast is facing the tightest rental market in years, with vacancies at just 1.1 per cent. With significant supply still forecast to come onto the market in the next 18 months conditions in the rental market are expected to ease in the post-Games period.
Comparing the three superstar markets of the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, with Brisbane LGA, we can see demand is stronger for beachside living.
The Brisbane market grew a modest 2.6 per cent, to end 2017 with a median house price of $665,000.
While growth levels elsewhere are enviable, Brisbane is the only market to have a $2 million suburb, as Teneriffe stormed into the prestigious club of one. This tightly held suburb of around 400 houses ended 2017 with a median house price of $2.4 million and if current growth levels continue, it’s likely this area could reach an annual median of $3 million next year.
Brisbane’s second-most expensive suburb is New Farm, with an annual median house price of $1.5 million. In a surprising twist, this market fell 4.4 per cent over the year, ending the year lower than it started.
The apartment markets in most parts of the state delivered a fairly subdued result over 2017, with the notable exception of the Gold Coast, which grew a hefty 3.7 per cent. This market continues to enjoy strong demand across both houses and units.
Rounding out the southeast corner, the Toowoomba property market’s dream run is slowing to a stroll. This region had a solid 2015 and began its slowdown in 2016, which has continued through 2017. The median house price grew a modest 1.4 per cent to $355,000 in 2017 while the unit market slipped 1.3 per cent to end the year on $305,000.
The Fraser Coast market has turned a corner and delivered 2.6 per cent growth to median house prices over the past 12 months, ending the year on $316,000. This market has also grown almost 11 per cent since 2012, showing steady, reliable growth.
The median unit price continues to struggle and fell 2.4 per cent over the 12 months to December, finishing at $255,000.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said there was clearly more confidence in the market as buyers returned to the a market that offered a beautiful coastal lifestyle.
“This is an area where buyers can be confident they will achieve capital growth over time and the market fundamentals are steady,” she said.
Bundaberg has delivered a year of modest growth, adding 2.2 per cent to its median house price and finishing the year on $285,000.
Gladstone’s housing market continued to slip, contracting 13.9 per cent to a median house price $280,000. This annual median house price brings Gladstone into line with similar regional towns, such as Bundaberg, and it is the hope that this might lead to a stabilisation of demand and the median price.
The Rockhampton market is starting to see a more stable level of demand, with the median house price contracting just 1.9 per cent in 2017, to end on $265,000. The market is 11.1 per cent below where it was five years ago, which is relatively modest when compared with markets such as Mackay, which is down 23.7 per cent on five years ago.
Buying a unit in Rockhampton remains a more expensive exercise than buying a house, with the median unit price ending the year 1.3 per cent below where it started, on $295,000. This is $30,000 more expensive than buying a house.
Mackay has finally started to demonstrate growing demand, with the market holding steady over the 12 months to December 2017. Anecdotal evidence has come from local agents all through the year suggesting the market was improving, but until now the data has not supported their assertions.
The Mackay annual median house price is $325,000, based on more than 1000 transactions throughout the year. The unit price continues to struggle and fell almost 13 per cent in 2017, to finish on $205,000.
The Townsville market slipped 2.5 per cent, to finish the year on an annual median house price of $328,000. Townsville has recently had a drought-breaking drenching and the optimism in this northern city is palpable.
Ms Mercorella said it was possible the rain would have a positive impact on the property market.
“The optimism is very evident, the city has greened up and everyone is optimistic about the future,” she said. “This could easily translate to increased buyer confidence,” she said.
The Cairns house market was one of the standout regional performers with the median house price growing 3.8 per cent to end the year on $410,000. The unit market fell 2.7 per cent.
Ms Mercorella said with a strong tourism sector, jobs growth had helped the property market perform well.