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REIQ Journal : July 2008
INDUSTRY RESEARCH 39 Home buyers are also unsure about the direction of interest rates, the economy in general, and where prices are heading. Those without pressure to buy immediately are holding off unless they find a near perfect property at a price they can afford. Looking into the future, however, the normal drivers of the Gold Coast market remain the same with very strong migration to the region and a number of infrastructure projects on or near the Gold Coast. SUNSHINE COAST Compared with the quieter markets in many other areas of the State, the Sunshine Coast performed well over the March quarter. Median house prices in Caloundra increased 4 per cent to $470,000, Maroochy was up 1.2 per cent to $456,000 and Noosa recorded a 14.5 per cent increase to $560,000. The strength of continued migration to the Sunshine Coast region meant sales numbers and enquiry levels remained reasonably steady throughout the quarter. While there has been a more subdued level of activity in recent months, sale prices seem sustainable. TOOWOOMBA Although Toowoomba’s residential property market experienced steady growth of 2.1 per cent over the March quarter, buyer enquiry and sales have slowed. The region’s relatively affordable house prices mean first home buyers are still in the market and investors are still actively looking for properties that will provide good returns. While sales activity has slowed, the region is well placed for future growth given its affordable prices and proximity to the Surat Basin where a number of mining projects have been announced. FRASER COAST Over the March quarter, the Fraser Coast was one of the State’s top performers with median sale price increases of 4.7 per cent in Hervey Bay and 4.1 per cent in Maryborough. As is the case in many other markets around the State, interest rate rises have undermined confidence for both investors and would-be first home buyers resulting in reduced sales numbers in the region. While sales numbers were down on the March quarter last year, Maryborough prices held steady during the March quarter, mainly driven by its affordability. This attribute is also REIQ Journal July 2008