The quarter to 30 June 2012 saw the Gladstone market take its first breath since the QGC final investment decision in November 2010. Price stabilization was the main characteristic of second quarter this year with the median house price in Gladstone settling out at $475,000.
Supply of established housing kept pace with buyer demand as many long term investors and local residents exited the market taking advantage of the buoyant selling conditions. An increased level of new housing product also resulted in rents stabilizing across the second quarter with the average rental price levelling off at approximately $420 per week. The disparity between newly built product, generally the domain of company tenants, and older established product remains, with a gap of around $200 per week being commonplace.
The second quarter also coincided with the opening of accommodation facilities on Curtis Island. Expansion of these camps is continuing, and may have short-term impacts on the local market. Nevertheless, rental vacancy remains under 1% with the sub $500 per week market highly competitive.
Overall, we predict supply to remain in line with demand during third quarter 2012. Full-scale construction is set to explode on the Curtis Island projects late this year to early 2013 suggesting that the current conditions represent the best opportunity to buy in Gladstone since 2010.