Figures released in the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) March quarter median unit and townhouse report show a decline of buyer activity for this more affordable type of property.
While demand and price growth was relatively steady compared with the December quarter, the number of preliminary unit and townhouse sales was down significantly compared to the June and September quarters last year.
Over the six months ending March, there were about 10,000 preliminary unit and townhouses sales across Queensland, down 20 per cent on the numbers sold during the previous six-month period.
“The decline in demand over the six months to March coincides with the reduction on 1 October 2009, and then cessation on 31 December 2009, of the First Home Owners Boost and highlights the exodus of first home buyers from the market ever since,” REIQ managing director Dan Molloy said.
According to the REIQ, the fall in sales may also be reflective of the much tighter lender criteria now in play for prospective buyers.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance figures show the number of first home buyers in Queensland has fallen 65 per cent since April last year. The total number of residential buyers has also fallen more than 30 per cent since last year.
“Some good news is that the numbers of investors is increasing and as these types of buyers usually look to the unit and townhouse market, they are helping to absorb the reported drop in activity across the board,” Mr Molloy said.
For the March quarter, Mackay was the best performer of any major region across Queensland with a median unit and townhouse increase of 8 per cent to $302,500. New developments in Mackay and North Mackay helped lift the region’s median over the quarter.
While Rockhampton experienced an 18 per cent upward fluctuation in its median unit price over the period this can be attributed to a larger than normal number of new properties sold in Yeppoon and Norman Gardens over the quarter.