Central and Western Queensland offer an incredible opportunity for potential investors. The potential for expansion, the potential for growth and the potential to become a part of something rich and real are all incredibly attractive for those looking for something outside of the choking grips of the bigger cities.
Some of the areas are more productive and inherently richer in promise than the others which presents an element of instability for the would be investor. Many of these towns in the property market Queensland experience FIFO workers which has an impact on the township’s economic status but not necessarily population or resources. A lot of this data is dependant on where you’re looking, who’s already living there and who could, potentially, be there in the future. This has an impact on investment viability.
The below information contains predictions up to, and including, 2021. It seeks to provide a glimpse into the future prospects of your area of choice but should come with a caveat. Like anything, insights and predictions can change. The wind is blowing a certain way in Central Queensland right now, but ours is a tempestuous country.
With that in mind, here is the property market Queensland advice that you’ve been looking for. Hopefully this, along with our panel of experts, will help to make your decision and potential transition smooth and successful.
Property Market Queensland – Longreach
The trend that we’re seeing in Longreach is a depreciation in annual growth by roughly 30% in five year blocks which is reflected in a compound annual growth rate of roughly -6.9%. The median property price as at 2018 was $175,000. If the area follows current trends this will see prices take a dip to be at around the $160,000 mark after the next five years. The area exhibited some slight recovery in 2017 but then continued to decline around the 2018 mark.
There is currently low market demand in Longreach based on the figures listed above. There is only a minor amount of people moving to Longreach (or looking to invest further while they are there) which presents as a great opportunity for new purchasers. There is not a lot of competition so you’ll certainly get more ‘bang for your buck’. Rental properties are doing quite well, with a 7.8% yield, which means that there is potential for both investment and a healthy return on said investment.
However, it must be acknowledged that the presence of drought in central-west Queensland has certainly played a significant role in influencing these figures. For example, 2016 saw nearly 200 properties for sale in a town of only roughly 3000 people, with many rental properties laying dormant without tenants. While there has been some slight improvement, the numbers are reflective of an area that is weathering the dust storm, so to speak. This is a hard life and that sentiment is echoed in these statistics.
Those moving to Longreach must ask themselves the hard questions. Where will the money be coming from and is this sustainable for your lifestyle? This is not to say that the area is in crisis but rationality and realism must sit firmly in the driver’s seat. Mr Howard Raven, a real estate agent referred to in the afore-referenced article, speaks of “an economic malaise throughout regional Queensland that is manifesting itself in less population”. The antidote to a slump is a boom but are you willing to be part of the forefront? Or is it wiser to temporarily wait and let others test the waters first? This is certainly a town that presents a challenge to new investors but it could pay off.
Only time will tell if the workers flock back to these areas. The rural sector needs a serious boost – perhaps investment and employment from those from interstate (or within Queensland itself) is the answer.
Property Market Queensland – Roma
Similar to Longreach, the Roma property market had years of instability and uncertainty. However, in 2018 that looked somewhat set for recovery.
There is a slowing of the decline in house prices and a plateauing of the market which means it’s not seeing the continued downturn that Longreach is experiencing.
Lynnell Vohland, a real estate agency owner from Elder’s in Roma, reported seeing a “renewed interest in Roma from a few wary investors. The investors (were) more local and from western areas.” This heralds promise for the region – but what about the current data?
Here are the echoes of what we saw in Roma. The median house price in 2018 was $195,000 (a promising figure) however, this was down a whopping 40.5% from the same period from give years ago, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of -9.9%.
Similarly, there is low demand from people wishing to buy or rent in the area. If we are to assume that we may draw comparisons to Longreach, this can be attributed to an economic slowing in the area and the jobs just not being there due to drought or other reasons.
Investors are advised to be cautious in regards to these satellite towns. Purchasing investment properties may pay off but, given the low rate of occupancy, you may find yourself left with an empty property.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. The median sale price here is $220,000 (compared to a national average of $485,000). While the rate of price change here is projected as higher than the median national average, it is not quite at the catastrophic levels that some would have you believe.
Property Market Queensland – Emerald
The jewel (no pun intended but it works quite well here) in the crown of the Queensland rural property market is the little town that could – Emerald.
With excellent schools, employment opportunities and markets and a positive upturn, Emerald represents a surge in housing prices due to the Central Queensland mining region boom. Here, homes have seen a 27.9% increase throughout 2018 with experts projecting the numbers to continue to climb. There is more market activity taking place here than in the two previously listed regions and this presents a positive opportunity for the savvy investor.
This slow and steady growth will continued to be tracked towards 2021 and the residents of Emerald are grinning from ear to ear over the positivity that the market is showing here.
Population statistics for Emerald indicate that:
· There is a steady population growth of roughly 5% every five years
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up 3.6% of the total population
· This is a town known for presenting a large number of industries which can be directly linked to population growth statistics
· There are ten schools in Emerald which, again, supports the idea that this is a town of growth
If Emerald is the shining star, what of the other key players in the Queensland Property Market?
Property Market Queensland – Charleville
Charleville, too, presents a more positive picture when examining the Queensland property market. Here, we see a low median price for homes ($140,000) but an annual growth rate of 2.7%. While compared to Emerald that’s significantly smaller, this is a smaller town with lower levels of amenities.
There is low demand for rental properties here and quite a number of them will sit empty for the foreseeable future. The house price has dropped when compared to 10 years ago but it just doesn’t have the catastrophic fall that we’ve seen in other places.
The average age in Charleville sits between 40-59, so we are not really looking at families with younger children. There is a high percentage of professional singles here who are engaged in industrial work and labour. There are only two regular schools (meaning day attendances) and a school of distance education to offer educational opportunities for those students who fall outside of the mainstream.
It is the prediction that Charleville will continue to ‘chip away’ to at growth. However, the impact of the far-reaching drought faced currently in 2018 may well see this hard work be for nought. This is an area that is so weather dependent that it’s hard to make a strong prediction because we are at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Property Market Queensland – Cloncurry
Cloncurry’s success in terms of property markets positions itself somewhere between Longreach and Roma. This is not a town that is currently doing well and unless there are significant changes in industry, employment and feasibility of long term investment then it’s potentially an unwise move to consider investing here.
There is a low rate of occupancy and low rental demand. Prices here have continued to drop over the last number of years (2010 – 2018) and so too has market demand taken a nosedive. There is low demand all round and a number of people are leaving the area due to the lack of employment prospects. A word to the wise – consider your investment in some of these towns carefully. While you may bring lifeblood to a beautiful township filled with wonderful people, you must first and foremost protect your own investment and your own assets.
Property Market Queensland – Mount Isa
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. Mount Isa is tipped to turn the tide when it comes to tough times on the property market.
This is a mining town so with that comes a cash and employment injection that many of the other towns on this list just don’t have a hope of getting. National property market analyst Simon Pressley claims that the area’s biggest influence is that of the local economy. “Property and economy go hand in hand and more exploration will lead to a boost in the property market.”
This exciting news means that there is more potential for growth and new blood to enrich and strengthen the area. This contradicts previous area trends that saw a dip in house prices and a dip in occupancy. This trend is now predicted to shift towards the positive which is hugely exciting for those already in the area and those contemplating a move to it.
Sherrie Tuppurainen, a Principal and Licensee, claimed that, “There has been a very positive move with buyers from interstate purchasing investment properties… and people moving here from the coast to purchase residential property.”
This is all extremely exciting news should investments and trends continue as they are. Of course, predictions about the mining and industry boom could be wrong but there is promise here that is missing from a number of the other towns analysed within this article.
Property Market Queensland – Where to From Here?
Shifting trends can, and will, continue to influence data well past 2021. The ongoing presence of drought must be considered when investigating these towns as possible areas of investment. We’d advise you to be cautious, keep your eye on what the property experts are saying and visit the towns yourself to make the most informed decision possible.
· Keep abreast of property market trends
· Seek advice from property experts (like those on our panel)
· Think long and hard about your investment
· Develop your own ten year plan – where can you see yourself? How is your lifestyle funded? Does this town have the capacity to provide what you need?
· Keep a smart head on your shoulders and be logical