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Unit and townhouse demand strengthens

By Michael McMahon

Friday 7 June 2013

Sales of units and townhouses across Queensland have strengthened further over the last year, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) data report.

Over the March quarter, according to the Queensland Market Monitor, the preliminary numbers of unit sales in Queensland increased by 2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

But it is sales in our major tourism centres of Cairns and the Gold and Sunshine coasts that are the real story with sales sky-rocketing over the past year in these areas.

“The popularity of units and townhouses in our major tourist precincts has returned,” REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said.

“These areas have experienced the highs and lows of the GFC, and the strength of the Aussie dollar, more than most over the past four years so it is heartening to see them stepping back into the light.

“Many of these areas have also become more affordable, even those with unique seaside locations, so this is no doubt spurring buyers into action before the tide has turned to the positive completely.”

According to REIQ data, the numbers of unit and townhouse sales in Cairns increased 54.5 per cent in Cairns, 22.6 per cent on the Sunshine Coast, and 19.4 per cent on the Gold Coast compared to the March quarter last year.

In Cairns, the strongest growth in sales was in the sub-$250,000 price bracket. On the Sunshine Coast, compared to the March quarter last year, there was a significant increase in the numbers of unit and townhouse sales priced between $350,000 and $500,000.

On the Gold Coast, according to REIQ data, there was an increase in sales in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range as well in the upper-end of the market.

“There have been reports of late that the prestige market is improving and these figures support that with the numbers of sales between $500,000 and $1 million on the Gold Coast increasing nearly 30 per cent compared to the same period last year,” Mr Kardash said.

In Brisbane, the median unit price was steady at $390,000 over the March quarter. Solid performers over the period were Upper Mount Gravatt and Kelvin Grove which posted price growth of 9.6 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively.

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