Gympie poised to lead national COVID recovery
FIRST there were sea and tree changes; now a COVID change could be on the way – and Gympie is a favourite at the font of the pack.
Regional areas are expected to be hot spots for domestic migration in the wake of the pandemic with people vying to shift from densely packed areas to those untouched by the coronavirus.
- Gympie house prices jump despite COVID-19 clamps on market
- Surge of buyers snapping up Gympie properties
Demographer Bernard Salt last week pointed to Gympie as one place already in the midst of a growth spurt attracting “newcomers across all groups”.
Between 2001-2018 Gympie’s urban area population jumped by 33 per cent, from 16,000 to 21,000.
The lone outlier, he said in The Australian, was in the 40-44-year-old age range where there had been a “modest outflow”.
To staunch this Mr Salt said Gympie needed to “create opportunities for 40-somethings (and their kids)”.
“Job losses in every city, town and region cause pain,” Mr Salt said.
“But job losses across regional Australia have been proportionately less than in capital cities.
“It may just mean that regional Australia is more business-ready to recover from the shutdowns.”
There was no doubt the market was on the move.
Mary Valley property specialist Ron Jeffery said he did not have facts to back up any claim COVID was driving an influx.
But there was no sign buyers were scared away.
“Like the rest of Australia we prepared for a slow down because of COVID; we got the opposite,” the owner of Ron Jeffery Realty said.
This had lead to holes opening up in the market.
New land was one; a new development near Imbil was likely to be half sold out by August.
“It’d be nice if it was like this all the time.
“There’s a short supply of vacant land,” he said.
“(Supply) is fairly quickly going to come to and end.”
Century 21 Gympie principal Billy Mitchell said the pandemic had caused a six-to-eight week hiccup but sales had bounced back to pre-COVID levels.
And he agreed with Mr Jeffery on what was the hottest item on the docket.
“Vacant land; people are jumping into that,” Mr Mitchell said.
He said it was a sellers market, with more people looking for a new home than were on the market.