Light switches on in Rockhampton

Light switches on in Rockhampton

Posted on Thursday, May 10 2012 at 10:15 AM

Since API profiled Rockhampton in its April issue this year as the next place to watch, the city’s residential property market has started sizzling with buyer numbers at open home inspections tripling and tenant competition firing up for rentals, according to Prime Properties Rockhampton principal Todd Brandon.

The media
certainly plays a part in triggering this recent flurry of activity and
“turning on the switch”, particularly after the good mileage of attention given
to Gladstone and Mackay, said Brandon. “Interest rate drops don’t hurt either.
It’s only natural that Rockhampton is increasingly attractive to buyers as it’s
only 40 minutes from Gladstone and of equal distance to other major mining

are recognising Rocky as affordable compared to its neighbours of Gladstone,
Emerald, Blackwater and Mackay and it has better infrastructure.”

Investors are mostly arriving
from outside of Rockhampton, he said. “They’re literally flying in, wanting to
see properties for sale, and flying out.”

They like the yields and the
security of the Rocky market, Brandon said. “On $300,000 houses or units
returns can be $350 per week plus, in some cases, the benefit of depreciation.”

Even better yields can be found
across the city depending on the dwelling type and location, he said.

Because Rockhampton’s economy
has remained relatively stable throughout the global financial crisis, with
beef, education and health industries holding strong, owner-occupier confidence
has also returned, particularly those upgrading, said Brandon.

The city still firmly remains
beef capital of Australia and this week hosts Beef Week 2012 with 18,000
visitors expected through the gates. The event demonstrates Rockhampton’s
strength and innovation in the beef industry.

Buyer confidence across the
“full spectrum” of the Rockhampton residential market – not only from property
investors – demonstrates the sustainable future of the housing market in
Rockhampton, Brandon said. “Activity creates activity. When vendors see more
sold signs they think ‘now is the time to put the property on the market’ and
investors think ‘now is the time to buy’.”

Vacancy rates are down to around
two per cent “with very good applications at the moment and people without good
rental history more likely to miss out on a property”, said Brandon.

The rental demand has been
influenced by a surge of new workers to the city, not only for mining jobs but
also for the various other jobs available and the housing affordability, he

When API profiled Rockhampton, a
possible passenger rail connection to mining boomtown Gladstone was mentioned.
Brandon said the discussion of providing four passenger services daily on
existing infrastructure continues between local and state governments.

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