EAST Mackay, Marian and Mount Pleasant were Mackay’s standout growth suburbs during the past year.
East Mackay’s median house price increased an impressive 18.4 per cent in a year to reach a median price of $367,000.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s latest market monitor report labelled the Mackay housing market a standout for regional Queensland over the year ending December 2018.
While all other regions north of Noosa, apart from the Fraser Coast, posted median house price falls, Mackay finished the year in front by 3.9 per cent to post an annual median of $343,000.
Over the December quarter, it recorded 2.2 per cent growth.
Across the state, only Gladstone and Mackay reported increases in sales over the year to December 2018.
“(East Mackay’s) inner-city location as well as desirable water views north and east is no doubt part of the reason for its strong price growth,” the REIQ report read.
But REIQ noted East Mackay was attractive because it had been included in Mackay Regional Council’s preferred development area for its waterfront plans.
The subdivision at Marian over the past 10 years had resulted in substantial-sized blocks that lured families.
So the Australian dream of a four-bedroom house, shed and a pool is the way every property is built out at Marian.
That area is becoming popular because they are really family friendly and good for people who work in the mining industry who don’t have to drive in and out of town every day.
7 Atkinson Street East Mackay sold for $489,000 in late 2018.
Whereas Mount Pleasant was attractive because of its elevation, as well as its proximity to the shopping centre and schools.
There is a real feeling of recovery in Mackay and what has been happening in the past six to 12 months has been very substantial.
The confidence has to come back to the individual before they buy a house. That confidence is back, employment is strong and a lot of people are coming to Mackay.
“We’ve turned the corner. I’ve been in real estate in 35 years and the downward spiral we had is the worst I’ve ever had”, said the REIQ Mackay Zone Chairman.
“We fell a long way, 30-40% on our house prices and we’ve only recovered 10%, but that has been phenomenal on a state level.”
The REIQ report now classifies Mackay’s housing market as steady to rising but says, over the medium term, the region is still recovering from price falls over the past five years.
In December 2013, the Mackay median house price was $425,000, which shows a price drop of $82,000 over the period.
The stabilisation of the Mackay market is also evident when considering the number of days it is taking to sell property, moving from 107 days a year ago to 41 days in December.
A year ago, the median days on market was a whopping 107, but has reduced significant to be 41 days in the December quarter.
“The sector has expected more than its fair share of downward price pressure over recent years, so its market strengthening – albeit early days – is a welcome change,” the report reads.
“The region’s market is clearly stabilising, which is evidenced by dramatically reduced days on market as well as vendor discounting.”
With median prices up 11 per cent in 2018, the region’s unit market is the second-best performer in the state for unit price growth.
“The unit market remains a small proportion of sales activity in the region, however, with a median price of just $225,000 it remains an affordable option for first home buyers and investors,” the report reads.
“Its rental sector is also on the improve with median rents increasing between $35 and $40 per week over the year depending on the dwelling type.
“The lower price points of property in the region will no doubt see more investment activity in the medium-term given the strong yields that are on offer for investors.
“The Mackay region is set to benefit from more land being unlocked across Queensland for explorers to identify the next generation of resources projects and future jobs.
“Successful tenders for minerals and coal tenders in the state’s North West Minerals Province and the Bowen and Surat basins were recently announced by the State Government.
“The new tenders came on the back of Queensland’s record 223 million tonnes of coal exports last year, and a major new geological report which shows Queensland is sitting on almost double the amount of coal than was last known.”
REIQ chief Antonia Mercorella said the Queensland property market was facing a perfect storm of conditions that were potentially putting the sector in harm’s way.
“A federal election is looming and negative gearing is the sacrificial lamb, combine this with a State Government review of the tenancy legislation and the likelihood that landlords will lose some rights, and investors are understandably questioning the value of property as a wealth-building tool,” she said.
“Add into the mix tightened lending criteria as banks move to restore consumer confidence that has been savaged following the Royal Commission, and our property market is currently in the shadow of some large, gathering storm clouds.
“The Queensland property market has all the right ingredients to withstand these headwinds and success really comes down to consumer confidence.”
Unit sales: Mackay LGA
Unit sales: Whitsunday LGA