Regional Queensland markets in hyperdrive

NOVEMBER 25, 2019

Real estate markets across Queensland are flying as the end of 2019 nears, with many experts tipping the robust times to continue into the New Year. 

Andrew Lynch, Principal of Raine & Horne Toowoomba said 2020 would be Toowoomba’s year, and the “real estate market will flourish, and we expect to see capital and rental price growth”. 

“We’ve had a great end to 2019 thanks to a relaxation of bank lending and a series of rate cuts that have attracted everyone back to our market,” Andrew said. “Owner-occupiers are back, with first-timers leading the charge, along with yield-hungry investors who are attracted to Toowoomba’s real estate affordability and 5% gross returns.

“The smart money is buying Toowoomba property right now, and quality, well-located properties are being snapped up fast. On the flip side, this demand is leaving us with a shortage of quality homes for sale, which creates excellent opportunities for owners with properties on the range-side of the city.”

To illustrate, Andrew recently sold a three-bedroom house at 6 Aland Street, South Toowoomba for $310,000 on behalf of the owner, from Tasmania. The property attracted 46 enquiries from investors and first home buyers, before a Brisbane buyer moving to Toowoomba for work swept in with the winning offer,” Andrew said. “This property sold above expectations and would attract a weekly rent above $300. Any quality property that is sensibly priced is attracting plenty of buyer attention.”

The robust Toowoomba economy is also underpinning demand for local real estate, noted Andrew. The Toowoomba Region has a $10.8 billion economy and a population of almost 170,000 according to the latest data. There are 85,369 jobs and 15,968 registered businesses. In terms of local jobs, Toowoomba Region is the second largest regional Council in Queensland.[i]

“We have a strong, diversified economy, which isn’t dependent on agriculture,” he said. “There is a sturdy education and training sector, medical specialists working in three sizeable hospitals, as well as logistics and warehousing industries that will go into hyperdrive once the inland rail is completed, as well as a robust manufacturing sector.”

A growing technology precinct on the western side of Toowoomba also contributes to economic diversity, while the freight business at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport is expanding with regular Cathay Pacific and Toll Global Express services to south-east Asia. Andrew added, “Toowoomba’s diversified economy in underpinning employment, which is great news for local real estate.”

Also hitting hyperdrive is the property market in Bundaberg, which is 400 kilometres north of Toowoomba. Josh Rub, Principal of Raine & Horne Bundaberg, said, “It’s hard to put a finger on any single factor or factors driving the spike in demand. Possibly the series of mid-year rate cuts encouraged some buyers to make a move,” Josh commented. “It’s just a great market, and we have plenty of buyer interest.

“Consequently, I’ve only got two houses left to sell this year, which means we need listings. Given this level of demand, it’s a great time for owners of Bundaberg properties to sell up.”

Demand is spread broadly with first-time buyers, investors, upgraders and downsizers seeking Bundaberg real estate. “We sold a striking modern designer house at 16 Santina Drive, Kalkie, for $399,000 in just three days,” said Josh. “Most of the properties we are selling are attracting multiple offers.

“More properties are selling off-market, with three houses transacting before they even hit the internet in the last few weeks.”

He continued, “Our investors are a mix of locals and out-of-towners, and they are attracted by Bundaberg’s excellent yields that range from 6-10%. Two properties nabbed this month by investors were sold sight unseen. One investor was from Sydney, and the second hailed from the Sunshine Coast.

Looking ahead to 2020, Josh said the level of activity in January would be a critical signpost. “If we have the same level of sales in the first month of 2020 that we have right now in Bundaberg, next year will be huge.”