Bucking the trend: Positive outlook for regional houses
A DROP in property values for capital cities across Australia has cast a shadow on the strength of the housing market heading into 2018.
Research released by Core Logic has shown during the past 12 months a decrease in values in places like Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin has had a knock-on effect on the market nationally.
There is, however, a silver lining to the gloomy forecast, with the report indicating prices in regional centres had increased by an average of 0.2%.
Gympie property valuer Lindsay Horswood said 2017 had overall been a good year for the value of local homes.
"I'd feel fairly confident in saying there was an increase in value for homes at the higher end of the market,” he said.
"It's closeness to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane has seen an increase in activity here.”
Upgrades to the Bruce Highway, allowing easier access up and down the Sunshine Coast, have also led to a increase in interest.
"A lot of the feedback I've heard is that the drive to access Gympie has never felt shorter,” valuer Brendan Drew said.
"There's a migration trend heading north, with the Sunshine Coast hinterland enjoying a boost the Mary Valley will naturally as well.
"It was a similar situation we saw with areas like Pomona and Cooroy.”
Conversing with agents, Mr Drew said around 60per cent of prospective buyers weren't from the Gympie region.
He also went on to add the Gympie market had by and large stayed relatively stable over the past 12 months, a trend that was likely to continue into the new
"At the very worst,” he said, "it will continue to hold its own.”
Southside residential properties have performed well over the past 12 months, as have parts of the Mary Valley.
"We're at a point now where most of those surplus dam properties in the Mary Valley have been sold, too," Mr Drew said.
"For homes under $250,000, it's still possible to find the odd bargain, even with less supply in the market.”
Realestate.com.au currently lists the median price for a home in the centre of Gympie to be around $260,000 for buyers, with the average rent listed at $295 a week.
That can increase to up to $322,500 in Southside or a major increase to $489,000 for Rainbow Beach.
Other regional centres haven't fared as well.
Data for regional centres indicated there wasn't a uniform trend, with unique locational factors often playing heavily into property values.
Core Logic's report listed communities that had relied heavily on the mining sector would suffer continued value drops in 2018.
Both the Darling Downs-Maranoa (dwelling values down 8.2per cent) and Townsville (down 5.6per cent) were included in the top five largest value falls for 2017.
The slowdown nationally has largely been attributed to a tightening of lending, following a crackdown by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
"In 2017 we saw growth rates and transactional activity gradually lose steam,” Core Logic head of research Tim Lawless said.
"Although credit policies are likely to remain tight, we expect mortgage rates to remain low in 2018, providing a positive lending environment for those who are able to secure credit.”
Mr Lawless said this transition toward weaker housing market conditions was likely to continue through this year.
"The housing market performance is likely to be significantly different relative to previous years,” Mr Lawless said.
"Individual cities and regions will continue to operate under their own distinct cycles which are subject to localised forces.”