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The widespread cooling of Queensland regional property market is starting to thaw



Sales levels may still be down in some major regional centres, but the latest CoreLogic quarterly regional market report revealed values were on the way up on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and the decline had stopped in Cairns.

The Gold Coast experienced the biggest increase in house values, up 7.5 per cent, while unit values rose 5.9 per cent in the year to June. The Sunshine Coast also experienced a resurgence of interest, with house values up 6 per cent and unit values up by 4.4 per cent. In Cairns values remained stable for houses and units increasing just slightly by 0.4 per cent.

Average time on the market was also on the way down on the Gold Coast, falling two days for houses and four for units.

On the Sunshine Coast current sales volumes were 6 per cent higher than the five-year average for the region. Compared with this time last year, both houses and units were selling faster, with a house selling within 79 days, compared with 87 at this time last year.

While values have dropped in Townsville, by about $10,000 using the current median house price, transactions sped up – but just a little. Houses sold on average one day faster than at this time last year.

In the Wide Bay region values remained steady for houses and unit values dropped by about 1.2 per cent. Sales levels were similar to last year and it took, on average, 108 days to sell a house.

While that figure may seem high, it was on its way down and was three days faster than a year ago.

Cairns house values remained steady, but homes were taking an extra 11 days to sell compared with last year.

Cameron Kusher from CoreLogic said the regions in Queensland had improved.

“I think the worst of the GFC is behind them, but really, at the moment, it is all about the southeast corner,’’ he said.

Mr Kusher said although Cairns figures were pretty flat it was probably the best-performing region outside the southeast corner. He said on the Gold Coast, a lot of buyers were coming from interstate.

“We are starting to see migration into southeast Queensland pick up; Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, all of those markets, the migration doesn’t really seem to be moving outside of southeast Queensland yet,” he said.

“And I think it is a bit of a combination. Some people leaving Sydney and Melbourne to move to southeast Queensland, but also I think (it’s) some of the people with all of that equity in their properties in Sydney and Melbourne looking to buy coastal properties on the Gold Coast and obviously some of them on the Sunshine Coast as well.’’

Ray White Cairns Central principal Angela Capitanio said while there was no substantial price growth, it was a good sign for the market that price declines seemed to have stopped.

Cairns was entering into its biggest selling months of the year, and she hoped it would result in a stronger finish to 2017.

“I do not see a decline in price, but I do still think the market is very price sensitive and prices have to be competitive,’’ she said.

Ms Capitanio said there was also more activity in inner-city units.

Tom Offerman from Tom Offerman Real Estate on the Sunshine Coast said with prices so high in Melbourne and Sydney, buyers from those markets with plenty of equity were looking at Noosa.

“We have buyers converging on Noosa from all of our traditional markets, New Zealand, New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr Offerman said.

“I have never seen as many buyers from Sydney in my 30 years here as I have over the last three or four months. We have got a good number of listings and we are selling as fast as we list them.”

Mr Offerman said properties selling at auction were achieving 5 or 10 per cent above reserve, with the odd case selling for 20 or 30 per cent over. “I think we will have a very strong market for the next couple of years,’’ he said.

Mr Offerman said the big game changer for the Sunshine Coast market would be the opening of an additional runway at the Sunshine Coast airport in about 2020.


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Market Place

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million



Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million


The canal-front home at 59 Witta Circle, Noosa Heads, sold on April 30 for $4.1 million through Tom Offerman Real Estate.


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Market Place

Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today



Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: Is this Queensland’s 5 millionth person? Cordy Kerr-Kennedy was born yesterday in Townsville. (ABC News: Mark Jeffery)

Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.

Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.

“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.

“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.

Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
 The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)

“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.

ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.

Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.

Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.

The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.

Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.

ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.

 Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: The ABS estimated Queensland’s population was growing 1.7 per cent a year. (AAP: Dan Peled)

ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.

“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.

But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.

Queensland could be leading growth state in future

Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.

‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.

“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.

“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.

“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.

“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”


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Market Place

APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth



APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth

APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley

The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.

With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.

In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.

The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.

But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.

“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres

Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.

APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.

APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.

“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.

“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”


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