An aerial view of Mackay.
An aerial view of Mackay. Melanie Plane

REVEALED: How Mackay real estate market stacks up

WHILE neighbours to the north and south in Townsville and Rockhampton continue to struggle in terms of rental vacancy rates and house prices, Mackay is starting to find its feet, according to Real Estate Institute of Queensland's quarterly results.

Over the most recent data period, the September quarter, the Mackay rental vacancy market continued to tighten.

However, there was a marked drop in the price of both homes and units.

Across Queensland, the rental market generally tightened over the September quarter but REIQ analysts singled out Mackay's performance as a "positive surprise”.

In a remarkable turnaround and good news for investors, Mackay rental vacancy rates are now at the lowest in years after tightening for a third consecutive quarter from 7.9 per cent in December 2016 to 2.8 per cent in September 2017 - compared to 5.5 per cent in Rockhampton and 4.3 per cent in Townsville.

Rent prices are following this demand, prices have forged an upward trend over the past year increasing between $10-20 per week.

This continued from June-September with the average rent for three-bedroom houses and two-bedroom units increasing by $18 and $10 respectively while the average weekly rent for a three-bedroom town house fell by just $2.

In sales, Mackay has reported a mixed bag.

The September quarterly data revealed a marked fall in both house and unit prices - 10.3 per cent and 22.7 per cent respectively - to a quarterly median price of $307,250 for houses and $170,000 for units.

But it's good news for buyers, as Mackay assumes the mantle of the most affordable unit market in Queensland.

So, the volume of unit sales is also on the rise.

Annually, unit sales have increased by a significant 31.6 per cent from 152 sales in September 2016 to 200 sales this September.

REIQ predict this activity to be even higher, however, once the preliminary September quarter data is updated.

The volume of house sales also increased by 6.6 per cent with 1018 homes sold in the past 12 months compared to 955 by September 2016.

In September alone, 230 homes sold, exceeding the volume of sales in the whole of the June quarter.

Despite sales volume increases, REIQ say the sales market statistics do not yet reflect the improvements being seen in the employment sector and rental market, but there is optimism as the report states, it usually takes time after the rental market recovery for the sales market to stabilise.

It goes on to say the economic fundamentals supporting regional development continued strengthening, referencing the ring road project and Adani mine prospect.


House sales

  • Quarterly house sales: 230
  • Average price: $307,250 which is down 10.3% on the last quarter
  • Annual house sales: 1018
  • Average price: $320K

Unit Sales

  • Quarterly unit sales: 39
  • Average price: $170K which is down 22.7%
  • Annual unit sales: 200
  • Average price: $212K

Vacant land Sales

  • Quarterly land sales: 13
  • Annual land sales: 146
  • Annual average price: $165K

On the market

  • Houses: 2930 listed in August for an average of 64 days
  • Units: 563 units in August for an average of 104 days

Rental trends

  • Vacancy rate: 2.8%
  • Rental pool: 6.4% growth in 12 months with 12, 692 properties compared to 11,927 in September 2016.
  • Rental house price: up 5.1% for the quarter
  • Rental unit price: up 6.4% for the quarter

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