Claw back equity in 2018?
Mixed picture for house and commercial property across CQ resources regions
Monday 05 February 2018
The best news for commercial and residential property owners across the Central Queensland resources sector is that things are unlikely to get worse and for some, they could get considerably better.
In their latest report, Property Valuers Herron Todd White says there has been a significant improvement in economic activity in places like Emerald, Mackay, Gladstone and Rockhampton, however, what impact that will have on the local property market depends on the property type.
Looking first at the most optimistic outlook, HTW is expecting residential values in Emerald on the Central Highlands to continue where it left off in 2017.
“Better quality houses in the Emerald market experienced a 5% increase in the second half of 2017, and in 2018, it’s possible we’ll see a 5% to 15% increase by the end of the year,” HTW said.
“The resource sector is positive with increased employment, large capital expenditure projects happening, wages increasing, rents increasing and sales starting to push the upper end of the current market range.
“While coal prices remain up, the positive trend will continue.”
In nearby Gladstone and Mackay, HTW valuers are agreed that the economic climate is improving in 2018 and are therefore expecting modest improvements for sales and rentals of residential property - possibly by 10%.
However, in both centres, HTW says tighter bank lending, and a loss of equity during the downturn will hold the market back.
“However, on the negative side, there are still some hurdles the Mackay market will need to overcome before we see any material or substantial growth in values," HTW said.
“Firstly, harsher lending policies of the major banks for postcode 4740 [and 4680] are still in effect.
“Also, the downturn in the market saw the average loss in value of dwellings around $100,000 and higher.
“This, in turn, has eroded a lot of equity for potential purchasers and a common theme from local punters is they would love to buy in this market, however, due to the drop in the value of their existing house, don’t have the deposit, or ability to purchase.”
In the commercial property market, HTW is predicting a steady improvement through 2018 in Mackay and Rockhampton as a result of stronger coal and cattle prices.
However, the degree of improvement will come down to the quality of the premises.
“During 2017 we saw increased activity for vacant industrial premises purchased for owner occupation [in Mackay],” they said.
“This is expected to continue in 2018 with a combination of low-interest rates and improved trade.
“Older vacant offices in secondary locations or with first-floor walk-up accommodation is expected to face market resistance for selling and leasing.
“Investment properties in the region that have good quality national tenants and long unexpired lease terms are expected to be desirable to local and interstate investors.”