THE announcement of a $60 million quarter horse development at Bollier Park, near Imbil, appears to have fuelled interest in the Mary Valley, with spirited bidding at the latest auction raising $2.6 million.
Gympie MP and chair of the Mary Valley Economic Development Advisory Group, David Gibson, said of the 12 properties put up for auction at the Gympie RSL on Saturday, seven sold under the hammer and four more were now under negotiation.
About 150 people attended.
"This is a clearance rate of nearly 60% which is well above the Queensland reported auctions clearance rate by RPData for last week of only 40%," Mr Gibson said.
The seven properties were sold for prices ranging from $265,000 to a top price of $475,000, with the average sale price at $375,000.
"These auctions show the high degree of interest amongst buyers to call the Mary Valley home," Mr Gibson said.
"It's clear that the confidence (that) economic development announcements like the quarter horse project brings to (a) local community is also rubbing off in the rural residential sales.
"Today showed that people are willing to invest in the community."
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the government had now sold, or committed to development leases, more than 230 of the 480 properties it was looking to divest in the wake of the failed Traveston dam episode.
"Labor's Traveston dam debacle cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, displaced scores of families and left the government owning almost 500 properties," Mr Seeney said.
"Our Mary Valley Economic Development Strategy resolved to revitalise the area's economic development, create new jobs, support productive enterprises and create vibrant and stable communities.
"We expected a strong turn out because of the interest in the properties prior to auction, but it's great to see the level of community enthusiasm and faith in the Mary Valley."
The seven properties sold were predominantly rural residential.Mr Gibson said the announcement earlier this month that Mary Valley could become a centre for quarter horse breeding, research and racing had fuelled interest in the auction.
"Interest in the properties was already strong, but the prices we achieved today shows that the market is acknowledging the opportunities offered by the Mary Valley's rejuvenation," Mr Gibson said.
"We are now halfway through the property divestment program and, with property valuations on the rise, it is reasonable to expect strong buyer interest for the properties we release for sale in the coming months."