Whitsunday Area PW Q1 2013

WHITSUNDAY AREA MARKET OVERVIEW

The following Property Watch report is the result of an investigation into the historic and current market trends of the Whitsunday Area, which encompasses the suburbs within the 4802 post code.

The Whitsunday Area property market has continued its positive start into the fourth quarter of 2012, with median prices improving across all markets, and sales levels remaining relatively consistent to 30th November, 2012. The median price for the house market improved marginally, finishing the period at $438,975. As with many locations throughout North Queensland, the demand for housing is being fuelled largely by the resource sector, as these employees look for a permanent base closer to their place of work. With wages higher than the national average and the demand for work continuing, this will bring with it an expansion in new business activity, and will underpin the market in years to come.

Observing the House Price Points Chart, it can be seen that the majority of transacted sales for the November 2012 six month period fell between $350,000 and $549,999 (67 per cent). As well as this, transaction numbers in the $650,000 to $849,999 price range fell from 13 per cent down to only four per cent. This move away from higher priced property down to a more affordable price point indicates that buyers are still on the lookout for property that is well priced, with buyers prepared to wait to satisfy their needs.

Sales activity in the unit market is beginning to see signs of recovery, with successive periods of growth seen in 2012 for the first time since 2009. An oversupply of unit stock in the area has seen median prices drop dramatically over the previous two years; however they too are showing signs of recovery. This increase in sales figures and median price can be attributed to a small number of opportunistic buyers who are able to see the potential future growth in a market where there is exactly that; potential growth. After bottoming out in the May 2012 half year period, the unit market has experienced a three per cent growth in median price, recording $283,000 over the six months to November 31st 2012. With approximately four years of built supply in the market, it can be expected this market will continue to improve.

Observing the Unit Price Point chart, the lower end of the market has been more active in the November 2012 period, with the $100,000 to $299,999 price range accounting for 62 per cent of sales, while the $300,000 to $399,999 price bracket came back 13 per cent to account for 11 per cent of transactions. As well as this, the $400,000 to $499,999 bracket grew seven per cent, while in the higher end of the market units priced from at least $700,000 saw improvement of three per cent. Over the past three years, the median rent across all units has grown an average of two per cent. With the demand for rentals increasing and vacancy rates tightening, median rents should also begin to improve.

Of the past three years, 2012 has proved to be the most productive year for the land market in the Whitsundays. Sales levels saw an increase of 38 per cent compared to the same period 12 months ago. Similarly, the median price improved 15 per cent over the same time. This renewed interest in the land market stems from a build-up of approximately 6 months worth of supply. The foundation of demand for this product stems from mining families moving into the area looking for somewhere to settle down. Block sizes of 700 m2 are proving popular amongst this category of buyers, with 68 per cent of transactions accounting for block sizes of 700 m2 or larger. The majority of transactions have occurred in the $100,000 to $149,999 category (45 per cent) indicating that affordability is still playing a major factor.