Source: The Gladstone Observer, Thurs 16/01/2014
A PROPERTY crash or a property correction? After last week’s interest in the SQM Research managing director’s predictions on Channel 7’s Sunrise, investors and local professionals alike have urged the public to consider their long-term investment in Gladstone property.
Gladstone investor Russell MacKenzie resides in Melbourne but has two investment properties in the region, which he has owned for about 11 years.
He said since purchase both properties had doubled in value.
“And at the moment they are just sitting under the double amount,” he said. “They are probably $15-$20,000 under. But for a 10-year investment that’s all right.”
Mr MacKenzie said he was not looking to sell.
“You ride the cycle, hold it for the longer term,” he said.
Mr MacKenzie said investors needed to be looking at the five-10 year average, rather than just the six-monthly movements.
“It’s like the petrol prices before Christmas. You know it’s going to go up and then it comes back to where it was,” Mr MacKenzie said.
He said the current Gladstone property market values were more a correction and not a crash.
Gladstone Ray White property management and leasing director John Fieldus said their current vacancy rate was back to 3.5%, compared to nearly 9% last month.
“Basically the tide goes out and then the tide goes back in,” he said. “We’ve had a really good run. Before Christmas I was very concerned.
“But I know from our point of view at 3.5% that’s a good way to start the year.”
On January 9 the local office let out six properties in one day.
“The town should be concerned but the town needs to be confident as well,” Mr Fieldus said. “We have a massive challenge to pull back that vacancy.”
Gladstone Wide Bay business banking manager Emma Brenton said as Gladstone came out of a boom phase, locals tended to fear a “bust” environment.
Yet she said this wasn’t entirely true.
“It is more likely the town is simply returning to its rightful place within the property market,” Ms Brenton said.
“And Gladstone’s economy can still benefit if you make your money elsewhere but spend it at locally owned stores.”