Regional Queensland real estate markets continue buoyancy: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Regional Queensland real estate markets continue buoyancy:  Hotspotting's Terry Ryder
Regional Queensland real estate markets continue buoyancy: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder


At a time when few markets in the nation are firing strongly, Regional Queensland continues to be one of the most buoyant. Multiple regional centres have growth symptoms and previously struggling resources areas are improving.

Close to 60% of locations have median prices higher than a year ago, defying the weaker performance that has been prevalent in many other markets nationwide, including many of our capital cities.

Regional Queensland has overtaken Regional Victoria and Regional NSW in terms of the number of locations with growing sales activity, despite the absence of a major contribution from the Gold Coast. 

Regional Queensland has 38 growth markets, making it the second strongest jurisdiction in the nation, after Adelaide. Partly this reflects weaker performance in other areas, including Brisbane and Hobart, and the reality that Sydney and Melbourne are only just beginning their recovery phases.

The Sunshine Coast (above) remains the No.1 market in the state, but other growth markets are emerging, with signs of uplift in Cairns, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba and Townsville. Increasingly we are seeing recovery signs in places that were previously in downturn, including Gladstone.

The Sunshine Coast has 10 suburbs with growth momentum, higher than any other LGA in the nation. It also has a large number of suburbs with steady buyer demand. Individual areas continue to produce big price growth, headed by the Noosa apartment market, where the median price has increased 24% in the past year. Other growth markets include Moffat Beach (up 14%) and Parreara (up 13%).

Rockhampton has emerged in the Spring edition of The Price Predictor Index as a growth market – five suburbs have upwardly mobile markets and others have steady demand. 

The local economy is improving and this is creating a property market revival, helped by the city’s affordable prices (several suburbs have median house prices in the $160,000 to $210,000 range, and only a few are above $300,000). Seaside Yeppoon is emerging as a growth star.

The Fraser Coast region, including Hervey Bay, also has five growth suburbs and nine others with solid demand. Cairns, too, has five growth suburbs, as well as 17 with steady demand, but also three with declining activity.

The state’s largest inland city, Toowoomba, is showing the first glimpses of growth after being a fairly stagnant market in the past few years, while Townsville may be at last casting off the economic sluggishness that has stalled its market recovery.

Mackay’s rise appears to have paused, but the underlying economy is strong and we expect this market to continue to produce growth in the next 12 months.

The Gold Coast presents a number of contradictions. There are only four suburbs with growing sales momentum, but 32 plateau markets and also six suburbs classified as declining markets. It illustrates the reality that there can be multiple dynamics playing out in an individual city market.

At the same time, a number of Gold Coast suburbs have had good price growth in the past 12 months, including the house markets of Biggera Waters (12%), Maudsland (11%), Mermaid Waters (10%) and Paradise Point (14%), as well as the apartment markets in Benowa (18%), Broadbeach (16%) and Mudgeeraba (17%).

We continue to see evidence of revival in resources-related areas which have had lengthy downturns since the end of the mining investment boom. Demand has increased in Central Queensland towns like Emerald and Moranbah and so have prices, with Emerald’s median house price rising 11% in the past 12 months and Moranbah lifting 10%. Both, however, remain well below their previous peak price levels.

Gladstone is showing further evidence of a gradual fightback. There has been some uplift in sales activity and median prices have risen in South Gladstone (19%), Glen Eden (24%), West Gladstone (12%) and New Auckland (11%), but from a low base and with some way to go to make up the previous losses. 

There are also some suburbs where demand and prices are still falling, so the recovery remains patchy.

Mount Isa remains mired in downturn and its suburbs continue to be classified as danger markets. The suburb of Townview, for example, has recorded only 11 sales in the past year and prices remain lower than the levels of 10 years ago.

Overall, Queensland’s regional areas are producing plenty of price growth. Close to 60% of locations have delivered growth in their median house prices in the past 12 months – that’s 120 locations across the state with rising prices, including 44 which have grown by more than 5%.

Around 55% of apartment markets have also recorded annual growth in their median prices.

Terry Ryder is the founder of

[email protected]

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Terry Ryder Regional Qld


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