Investors in Queensland have a lot to be happy about, according to the latest REIQ data (as at the end of March 2015).
In particular, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are two of the standout performers, said REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella.
For the Gold Coast, it has recorded its lowest vacancy in seven years, as only 1.3% of the market’s rental properties are vacant.
“This is a strong indicator that other sectors of the economy may be rebounding and we are buoyed by this news,” said Mercorella.
Despite the Sunshine Coast recording a 0.8% increase in its vacancy rate to 1.9%, it is still classified as a tight market.
Additionally, Brisbane City’s vacancy rate dropped by nearly 0.5%, from 2.9% to about 2.5%.
Meanwhile, there will also be satisfied investors who have properties in some traditional mining towns.
For instance, Gladstone (located approximately 550km north of Brisbane) recorded its fifth consecutive drop in vacancy rates since peaking at 7.7% at the end of 2013. It now sits at 3.8%.
“Looking at the figures for Mackay (9.4%), Rockhampton (4.4%) and Gladstone it is too soon to call this anything other than what it is – a glimmer of hope that a turnaround is imminent,” said Mercorella.
“We know that in Mackay the local government is focusing on diversifying its key industries and employment prospects are looking up.”
However, other regional areas have been significantly affected by the downturn in the mining industry.
As Bowen and Moranbah have seen a substantial oversupply of rental properties, this is the reason for the high vacancy rates in their respective regions. Isaac’s vacancy rate sits at 17.4%, while Whitsundays is 13.5%.
By John Hilton
Property Market Focus On South East Queensland: Report
The property industry has shifted focus from regional Queensland back to the built-up South East, according to the UDIA’s new Industry Insights Report.
Prepared by The National Property Research Company (NPR Co), the report says that owner occupiers are expected to return to the market in force as their choices begin to increase and the outlook for interest rates remains positive.
South East Queensland hotspots include Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan and Moreton Bay, all showing price growth in land and house sales volume.
Medium to high density median prices – houses and apartments – remained fairly static, with growing sales volume, this is a reflection of the strong supply into the market in this category.
The UDIA (Qld) Industry Insights Report also reveals that in Brisbane, almost all respondents reported a rising market across all forms of housing over the last six months, with the majority view that we were yet to see the top of the cycle for apartments.
Interest rates and population growth were cited as the most positive market influences. The outlook for the Sunshine Coast was also positive.
While median price rises were slight across the board, the hospital nearing completion, investigation into improved transport infrastructure, economic diversification and improving domestic tourism figures buoyed the market.
In Ipswich, the market is steadily rising, although there was concern about the negative impacts of low employment growth and infrastructure investment that may limit growth.
Two thirds of respondents reported healthy levels of demand from international buyers.
Logan, Gladstone and Toowoomba led the state for land, with modest growth in land volume sales.
While Gladstone is coming off a low base, the outlook is more positive into 2016.
Logan has reaped the benefits of two major masterplanned communities and may well prove to be Brisbane’s newest and most dynamic corridor.
Population growth in the Fraser Coast, Mackay and Gladstone has challenged recovery in these areas.
The outlook for the Gold Coast is very positive with a large majority of respondents confident about a continued rising market, particular for houses, and very healthy overseas demand from both investors and owner occupiers.
UDIA (Qld) President Brett Gillan said Queensland’s new property market made a positive contribution to economic growth and jobs in Queensland in the first half of 2015, noting the buoyancy of the South East
“We are seeing the return of owner occupiers to the market, and they are looking for diversity and fresh choices in housing types and locations,” Mr Gillian said.
“Our challenge is to respond to this demand, and meet their lifestyle aspirations at an affordable price,” he said.
“We are seeing positive signs across the state, and increasing the supply of developable land will facilitate and encourage greater economic growth.”
UDIA (Qld) is actively working with the State Government to ensure that developable land is released to the market in a timely manner, so we can respond to the needs of home buyers and the community,” Mr Gillan said.
Sunshine Coast a Smart Choice for Investment
Sunshine Coast’s competitive business environment, accessibility to markets, proposed new infrastructure, a highly-skilled workforce and idyllic lifestyle are the winning combinations being promoted to attract national and international investment.
The runs are on the board, with significant investment already underway, Mayor Mark Jamieson told business leaders at last night’s (May 6) launch of the Invest Sunshine Coast prospectus and associated collateral.
“Our message is very clear – the future is here on the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
“This is an important time in the history of the Sunshine Coast as we seek to take a leading position as a major Australian urban and economic centre.
“The Sunshine Coast has excellent credentials, has experienced higher than the national average in terms of annual economic growth since 2001 and has a clear strategy over the next 20 years to shape the development of our economy and deliver prosperity for the community.
“And the icing on the cake is that we can point to more than $2.5 billion in investment already committed to major infrastructure projects and more than $8 billion in private investment either committed or in the pipeline.
“We would be hard-pressed to point to another region in Australia that has the same combination of opportunities that are ripe for the discerning investor.”
Mayor Jamieson said the new city centre – the only greenfield CBD in Australia at this time – would be established at Maroochydore and a new $1.8 billion tertiary teaching hospital would open in 2016.
“The Sunshine Coast Airport’s $347 million expansion will deliver Australia’s next international airport and the $81 million expansion of the University of the Sunshine Coast is nearing completion,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“With the launch of this prospectus, we are reinforcing our welcome to new investors as well as those already investing in the region.
“The Sunshine Coast is inviting them to share in the region’s strong property, infrastructure and business opportunities.
“The significant level of investment already occurring in these opportunities is fuelling growth in a number of high-value industries which are targeted in our Regional Economic Development Strategy”.
“The Sunshine Coast is home to, or provides a significant base for, a number of highly reputable companies such as Australia Zoo, Ramsay Health Care, Aeromil Pacific, Youi Insurance, Gourmet Garden and Rockcote – each representing the high-value industries the Sunshine Coast is keen to attract and develop.”
The event showcased a range of capital projects and promoted the region as a place in which entrepreneurs, developers, capital investors, relocating corporations, businesses, fund managers and government agencies would benefit from doing business.
Mayor Jamieson said as one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions and Australia’s top 10 significant urban areas, the Sunshine Coast was becoming one of the country’s leading regional economies having nearly doubled in size in the last decade.
“This region offers investors an unrivalled mix of quality investment opportunities, prime commercial and coastal locations and an idyllic lifestyle and environment,” he said.
“People are already taking notice of some of the important projects we are progressing to shape the future of the region and the feedback I am receiving from both the public and the private sectors in Brisbane and the southern capitals is that the Sunshine Coast is getting on the radar as a location for investment.
“The conversations and meetings I have had with major institutional investors, fund managers and property and commercial investors in Sydney and Melbourne are demonstrating a keen interest to be part of the future of the Sunshine Coast.
“Furthermore, the important work that we are doing – and will continue to do – in promoting the Sunshine Coast in major international markets will build strong investment and business connections, particularly in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the major capital markets in the United Kingdom and Europe.
“And at the end of the day, the winner from this is our community, as new investment generates new business offering more enduring employment opportunities and delivers new facilities and services to meet the needs of our residents.”
The Sunshine Coast economy – fast facts:
· A gross regional product of more than $13 billion – twice what it was a decade ago and now one of the largest regional economies in Queensland
· The economy is predicted to grow to reach $33 billion by 2033, accompanied by an increase in high-value employment, export and household income.
· An average annual economic growth rate of 4.05% since 2001 – higher than the national economic growth rate of 3.08% (International Monetary Fund 2013 and NIEIR 2014).
· Aggregated population growth of 10.1% over the five-year period between 2008 and 2013 – higher than the national growth rate of 8.7% – and forecast to have the second fastest population growth rate of any sub-state region in Queensland through to 2036.
· Fourth largest region outside the state capital by resident population and 10th largest significant urban area in Australia by population
· More than 30,000 registered businesses
· Highest level of business confidence of any region in Queensland (Westpac Pulse survey 2014) with 56% of businesses expecting an increase in profitability in 2015 (Sunshine Coast Business Survey, November 2014)
· Highest growth in international visitors (9.4%) of any region in the year ending September 2014 (international visitor survey)
· More than $2.5 billion in overall direct visitor expenditure (Tourism and Events Queensland, 2014).
Sunshine Coast Regional Council via mysunshinecoast.com.au
7th of May 2015
No new State taxes for foreign property investors: Queensland Treasurer
Treasurer Curtis Pitt has ruled out any new State taxes targeting foreign property investors in Queensland.
Mr Pitt made the pledge following news that the Victorian Government will introduce a range of new property taxes for foreign investors.
The changes announced in yesterday’s Victorian State Budget include a three per cent stamp duty surcharge for house transactions from July 1, along with a land tax surcharge of 0.5 per cent to be applied from 2016.
“In the lead up to the election we made it very clear that we wanted to provide certainty to businesses and investors, and that we would not be changing the existing revenue policy settings this term of government,” Mr Pitt said.
“Therefore, we’re ruling out any stamp duty surcharges for foreign investors who purchase a house in Queensland.
“We’re also ruling out any land tax surcharge for foreign investors in this state.”
Mr Pitt said Queensland was an attractive destination for foreign investment.
“We want to send out a very clear message that Queensland is open for business and that we welcome foreign property investment,” he said.
“Yesterday’s decision by the RBA to slash the official cash rate to a record low of two per cent is all the more reason for investors to be buying property in Queensland.”
Under the new Victorian regime, foreign investors purchasing a $600,000 home would face a surcharge of around $18,000.
Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director Chris Mountford has welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s decision.
“The Property Council applauds the decisive action taken today by the Queensland Government in immediately ruling out new State taxes on foreign investors,” Mr Mountford said
“By immediately ruling out new taxes on investment and maintaining their commitment to no new or increased taxes, fees or charges, the Queensland Government will boost confidence and certainty for the property industry and investors in Queensland.
“This action will strengthen Queensland’s position on the global investment map. In particular it creates a compelling case to invest in Queensland over Victoria.
“Foreign investment is an important part of Queensland’s economy. Foreign investment in property boosts housing supply and in doing so creates jobs and provides Queenslanders with more affordable housing.”
Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Curtis Pitt via mysunshinecoast.com.au
6th of May 2015
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