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First Home Fever

By Andrew Allen

All local real estate agents have reported an increase in enquiry over the 4th quarter of 2014 coinciding with an increased level of transactions.

Surprisingly, the most active purchasing group was first home buyers buoyed by house prices at their lowest level since 2006. We expect that this segment of the market will remain strong with recent interest rate reductions taking effect in the near future.

3 and 4 bedroom homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 bracket are most popular with the first home buyer. The market for apartments and townhouses remains very weak, however demand for new house and land appears to be showing some signs of recovery.

Meanwhile, the rental market may have reached its trough with vacancy rates falling across all market sectors and prices remaining steady. Ray White Gladstone was able to record a vacancy rate of 0.7% following the Christmas period. With occupancy being at its highest level since October 2012 we anticipate upward pressure on rental rates in the first half of 2015.

The impending exodus of constructions workers from the Curtis Island gas projects remains a controversial issue, with commentators split on exactly what the impact will be to the local economy. It may not be until the second half of 2015 that the full effect of this wind-off is realised.

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