A top national property expert has named Townsville as one of the top 10 places to invest in the country. Economist Colin Dwyer agrees that Townsville is about to turn around.

Source: Townsville Bulletin 21 April, 2018

MAJOR job-generating projects expected to inject billions into North Queensland’s economy have landed Townsville in the top 10 places to invest in the country.

National property analyst and founder of the Hotspotting website, Terry Ryder, listed Townsville in his National Top 10 Best Buys April-August 2018 edition.

Mr Ryder, who has a track record of identifying future price-growth areas, listed Townsville because of the city’s diverse economy, historic property price growth, declining rental vacancy rates and falling unemployment.

In the report he says major projects either proposed, approved or under construction are likely to create massive job growth that will flow on to the property market.

“Townsville ranks among the sturdiest regional economies in Australia,” Mr Ryder says in the report. “We always seek economic diversity in a property investment location and Townsville has more than most regional cities.

“It has strong elements of government administration, education, defence, resources, health, tourism and manufacturing, plus an export port.

“Its property market experienced an unbroken run of double-digit growth years from 2002 to 2007 and, after experiencing some mixed fortunes in the past couple of years, is ready to resume forward progress.”

Vacancy rates are sitting at 4.1 per cent after continuing a downwards trend from a peak in September last year at 7.1 per cent.

At the end of 2017, median house prices were $335,000 after declining 2.9 per cent in 12 months, while the median unit price was $256,000, a decline of 2.8 per cent, according to CoreLogic.

Figures from the first quarter of 2018 are yet to be released but real estate insiders are forecasting a much more positive start to the year compared to 2017. The latest Herron Todd White report Townsville in Focus places Townsville’s residential market at the start of recovery.

Townsville’s employment growth is also above the state average of 3.5 per cent, sitting at 12.6 per cent in the 12 months to February 2018, according to the ABS.

Keyes & Co principal and REIQ regional director Damien Keyes said investor interest was increasing and he had recently sold an inner-city apartment under the hammer to a southern investor.

“The investment side of things has really picked up and we’ve had (the) State Government selling housing commission properties and they are really cheap stock, which is attracting investors on a local level,” he said. “We had a cheaper apartment sell in North Ward and 90 per cent of the inquiry was from investors in New South Wales.

“I think we’ll continue to see a lift in investor interest because Townsville will become more attractive because our median house price is low compared to capital cities.”

Regional economist Colin Dwyer (pictured) said there were positive indicators that Townsville’s economy was starting to turn around.

“We’ve had high unemployment rates and low confidence in 2016 and 2017 and we’ve also had high vacancy rates and low residential building approvals but now some of that data is starting to turn around,” he said. “I think we’ve reached the bottom of the cycle and now we’re starting to improve. As soon as vacancy rates get to lower than 3 per cent there will be more income and then more jobs and you will start to see better investment activity.”

 

Source: Anderson, C., 2018. Property guru puts Townsville near top, Townsville: Townsville Bulletin.

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