Herron Todd White – Fraser Coast Month In Review for April 2021

It has been reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that home loans for first home buyers are at their highest level since 2009. This is due to a combination of low-interest rates and economic incentives which are encouraging people to buy their first homes.

The residential market in Maryborough and the immediate surrounding areas has strengthened and improved in the past year and is on an upward trend after an extended period of static prices. There is limited stock across most asset classes, and the current strong demand has resulted in increased pressure on values. This is making it more difficult for first home buyers to enter the market. There has been strong demand for vacant land in the area, particularly in the suburbs of Tinana and the rural residential areas of Oakhurst and Yengarie, by first home buyers given the incentives available to them.

This has included the $15,000 First Home Owners’ Grant and the Regional Home Building Boost Grant from the Queensland government along with the federal government’s HomeBuilder Grant. This has given first home buyers a total of $45,000 in grants to build a new home. Given the incentives that have been available to construct a new home, vacant land supplies have rapidly declined since the announcement of the HomeBuilder Grant and the Regional Home Building Boost Grant. With very limited vacant land stock left, it is making it difficult for first home buyers to secure a property to build a new home.

Alternatively, the lower end of the residential market for existing homes in Maryborough has always been popular with first home buyers. This has generally been for property priced between $150,000 and $200,000. Unfortunately, the current sense of fear of missing out is continuing to be a major contributor to the rising market, with buyer demand continually being outweighed by available stock. This has resulted in increases in prices for entry-level housing in the area, and with no incentives available for existing houses, first home buyers are having to save more money for a deposit or have family go guarantor to help secure their first home.

However, Maryborough is still considerably lower in price than Hervey Bay and remains a relatively affordable regional location for first home buyers. Rising prices and limited stock are making it more difficult for some to buy their first home in the area, which may result in first home buyer activity falling away.

Hervey Bay has also seen a considerable decline in available stock, suiting a first home buyer. Historically property priced below $350,000 was an active market; however now, with limited stock and rising prices across most asset classes, including house and land packages, this price point has risen to almost $500,000. As a result of the building grants, construction activity is at an all-time high which has now resulted in some builders facing time delays for completion with suppliers struggling to keep up with demand. This time pressure is creating stress for those renting on short term leases waiting for completion of construction. With a vacancy rate of less than one per cent across the whole of the Fraser Coast, renewing for a further short term is very much by negotiation and in the owner’s favour.

Outlying areas such as Toogoom, River Heads and Burrum Heads are all experiencing similar situations with a lack of rental property and rapidly diminishing stock levels of vacant land and improved properties. These areas have typically been more affordable than Hervey Bay however, with the recent spike in activity; the price gap is reducing.

Tracey Werder / Tracy Lynd / Doug Chandler

Property Valuers