Quarterly property sales volumes fall in Central Qld

THE lucrative real estate run in Queensland's mining districts is slowing down but the residential housing market is moving again in south-east Queensland and far north Queensland.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland's September quarter median house price report found that the preliminary numbers of house sales across the state grew 9% over the September quarter.

But the figures, released today, show quarterly sales volumes have fallen in Central Queensland and associated regions over the past year.

The Gladstone, Mackay and Townsville markets have experienced falling numbers of preliminary house sales over the year ending September.

But Mackay posted a 5% increase in activity over the quarter as well as a steady median house price.

The heat in the Gladstone market continues to dissipate with its median house price dropping 8.5% over the quarter to $437,000.

The more affordable house prices, however, are likely to attract buyers back to the market in 2014.

REIQ chief Anton Kardash said agents had been waiting a long time, nearly five years in some areas, to finally experience "some good times" again.

"Unfortunately the Queensland market has never been consistent across the board. We often experience phases of recovery and growth in some regions, while other areas simultaneously experience patches of more stable activity," he said.

"Of course, our mining districts were performing exceptionally while the majority of the state remained in the doldrums not that long ago. So it's good to see that we all still get a turn at the good times at some point in time."

But Mr Kardash said that unlike Sydney and Melbourne, which appeared to be experiencing levels of relatively unsustainable price growth, the Queensland market was taking a more measured approach.

He said the majority of Queensland's regions experienced mostly unchanged median prices over the September quarter but over the year there were healthy median increases.

Further evidence of Queensland's market recovery is the reduction in average vendor discounts in most regions as well as rapidly falling days on market.

Over the quarter, there was an increase in sales for under $350,000 across Queensland - potentially to investors - which has temporarily impacted some median house prices.

The median house price on the Gold Coast dipped by 0.6% over the quarter but increased 4.8% over the year.

Likewise on the Sunshine Coast, its median house price fell 1.3% over the quarter but grew 2.3% over the year.

Both regions experienced increasing numbers of house sales - up 12% and 10% respectively over the quarter.

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