Area Property Watch Report Q2 2014

The following Property Watch report analyses historical and current trends of the Whitsunday Area, as defined by the suburbs within the 4802 postcode. This report will focus upon the house, vacant land and unit markets within the area. The Whitsunday Area property market has undergone a period of steady recovery over the past few years following the Global Financial Crisis. Sales activity in the house and vacant land markets has been gradually improving, although sales in the half year to Mar 2014 fell slightly due to a temporary lull in new residents and stock coming on to the market.

However enquiry levels are up, as the drivers of population growth in the area, mining and construction, begin to improve after a recent decline. The median house price for the Whitsunday Area was recorded at $465,000 in the half year to Mar 2014, an increase of 9.4 per cent compared to the year before. Taking a closer look at the House Price Points Chart, there has been a notable decrease in sub-$350,000 and increase in $450,000-$550,000 price points, with this compositional change the catalyst for the recent median price increase. Varying types of vacant land are available for purchase in the Whitsunday Area, from standard sized blocks to large acreage and waterfront lots. On average vacant land in the area remains quite affordable, with the median price for vacant land recorded at $168,500 for the six months ending Mar 2014, up 8.7 per cent on the same period a year ago.

The unit market in the Whitsunday area fared a little better with sales activity growing for a third straight period. The half year to Mar 2014 saw the median unit price increase 2.3 per cent to $340,000, compared with Mar 2013.

As coal prices recover, more construction projects commence and tourism continues to improve, the area should see more residents over the coming years and thus increasing property demand. Current projections estimate that the Whitsunday Local Government Area will grow by 10.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

In addition, interstate investors are becoming active in the area again, seeking out strong yet affordable investments after having missed out on opportunities in other lifestyle destinations.

Feeling the effects of a population lull, median rents have recently fallen by an average of $20 per week. However in other resource regions such as Mackay, Isaac and Gladstone median rents have fallen between $80 and $130 per week. This highlights the resilience of Whitsundays rental market - a point that should not be lost on investors. Future construction activity within the Whitsunday Area is estimated at $286.9 million, dominated by large scale commercial projects. This includes the $30 million Accor Ozone Whitsundays Eco Resort and $252 million Shute Harbour Resort Marina and Residential Development. In addition there is an expected $61.9 million worth of residential construction and $17.7 million of subdivision work in the pipeline, meaning there will be plenty of housing, land and unit options available in the Whitsunday area for purchase over the coming years.