Infrastructure investments and affordability to springboard regional Queensland real estate into selling season

Infrastructure investments and affordability to springboard regional Queensland real estate into selling season


Brisbane, Queensland (15 September 2017) Queensland's regional property markets are expecting a strong spring 2017 due to significant infrastructure investments, greater affordability compared to other states and low interest rates, according to Steve Worrad, Queensland General Manager, Raine & Horne.

"The $21 billion Adani Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland is the biggest infrastructure project in the state right now, which will impact nearby towns such Charters Towers and Gladstone," said Steve Worrad, Queensland General Manager, Raine & Horne.

Other key infrastructure projects are the $1.6 billion Second Range Crossing for Toowoomba in south east Queensland.

"Regional Queensland is such an affordable place to live and invest, and this will encourage some Sydney and Melbourne buyers to look beyond the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast to Toowoomba, Gladstone and Charters Towers this spring," said Mr Worrad.

Northern Queensland

Real estate values in Northern Queensland will get a boost from the construction of the Red River Zinc mine at Thalanga, and the Pentland ethanol project, according to Lisa Palmer, Principal of Raine & Horne Charters Towers.

"The Pentland project will require 600 workers to support the construction phase, which starts in January. It's expected most of these workers will be housed in Charters Towers, along with many contractors servicing the Adani mine," said Ms Palmer.

There is a shortage of quality investment properties to meet construction-worker rental demand, according to Ms Palmer.

"Moreover, with nine schools servicing the region, Charters Towers is a recognised education hub, and this is further fuelling the rental accommodation squeeze," she said.

"We are fighting to meet teacher demand for rentals, which means there is an enormous opportunity for investors, who can enjoy yields of 7-9%," said Ms Palmer.

She said investors are attracted to properties like a three-bedroom house on a large block at 8 Mahoney Street, Richmond Hill, which is currently on the market. It is expected to sell for $249,000 and will fetch a weekly rent of $330.

"An investor could easily subdivide this block and add a second house, to boost income returns," Ms Palmer said.

Central Queensland

Central Queensland’s continued rebound from the mining downturn and its relative affordability make this a region to watch this spring.

“With a median house price of $315,000, Gladstone enjoyed a very steady August real estate market said Mark Patton, Principal of Raine & Horne Gladstone.

“This has given us plenty of cause for confidence with first home owners taking advantage of the town's housing affordability.

"For them, the sweet spot lies somewhere between $150,000 and $300,000, in suburbs Telina, Clinton and Glen Eden.

"Modern town houses have sold for less than $150,000," said Mr Patton, noting the example of 2/2 Ringuet Close, Glen Eden.

The fledgling LNG sector, an increase in the number of Australian cruise ships docking in the harbour and the Adani mine are contributing to stronger economic times for Gladstone, according to Mr Patton. 

"Gladstone provides commercial and industrial services to the mining sector, along with engineering. There are also burgeoning tourism, bauxite/aluminium and power production sectors delivering abundant jobs and business opportunities.

"The town has well-developed infrastructure, including a regional airport, with regular commercial flights from Brisbane, which is enabling Gladstone to rebalance away from its dependence on the resources sector.”

South East Queensland

Massive investment in Toowoomba infrastructure, will support real estate values in the suburbs of Highfields, Kleinton and Westbrook.

"The outlook for Toowoomba's spring market is very positive after a steady winter," said Andrew Lynch, Principal, Raine & Horne Toowoomba.

"Traditionally, Toowoomba wakes up in spring. This year, our excellent outlook is being driven by robust economic prospects that are being underpinned by the new Second Range Crossing, which will link to the expanded Toowoomba Airport and several other precincts. This project is bringing many workers into the town," he said.

"This is aimed at getting the road trains out of Toowoomba and it will cut the trip from Toowoomba's northern suburbs to Brisbane by 30 minutes."

The $300 million redevelopment of Grand Central Shopping Centre, which has been completed, reflects Toowoomba’s growing sophistication, noted Mr Lynch.

"The new centre offers Toowoomba more discount department stores, new supermarkets and approximately 160 specialty retailers, including fashion brands you'd expect in Sydney's Oxford Street or Chapel Street, Melbourne."

Older-style 3-4-bedroom houses in the $400,000 to $500,000 range are popular with buyers, according to Mr Lynch.