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Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.
LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

UPDATE: 3.01pm: 

AS 2016 draws to a close property valuers Herron Todd White still say there is room to move at the bottom of the property market in Gladstone.

But Gladstone's Ray White principle Andrew Allen said it was always difficult to tell when the market had hit the bottom, adding that his information from the "coal face" indicated that things were improving.

"There are a few signs starting to emerge that might suggest the market has bottomed which wouldn't show in (Herron Todd White's data)," Mr Allen said.

"We're seeing multiple offers on properties for sale, an increased level of buy enquiries and we're also seeing days on the market reduce significantly.

"For us we've sold as many homes in the last three months as we did in the first six months of the year."

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He said the continual drop in property prices had stopped over the last eight weeks and although the first eight months of the year were "stagnate", prices had dropped to such a level that buying property represented "good value".

EARLIER: 

AS PROPERTY prices plummeted throughout 2016 real estate agents in Gladstone consistently said the market had hit the bottom.

But perhaps this speculation was all in vain because in its end of year report property valuers Herron Todd White said the Gladstone property market continued to fall.

Giving themselves a pat on the back, Herron Todd White said its predictions for Gladstone for 2016 had been "pretty much spot on given that values and rents have continued to fall", citing the "volatility" in the employment sector as having a "big impact" on the market.

"Values have fallen approximately 10% in most property sectors since the beginning of 2016," the report said.

"Mortgage in possession activity also increased significantly in 2016.

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PROPERTY CLOCK: According to Heron Todd, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market. It contradicts what many other property experts have said -- that Gladstone has bottomed out.
PROPERTY CLOCK: According to Heron Todd, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market. It contradicts what many other property experts have said -- that Gladstone has bottomed out. Heron Todd

"Until such time that mortgage in possession activity slows and the vacancy rate drops considerably, it is difficult to predict when we will reach the bottom of the market."

Since the peak of the market in 2011 and 2012 housing had dropped 50%, with units and townhouses dropping by as much as 80%, the report found.

However there were some positive signs in the market with a recent increase in sales activity and the stabilisation of rental values.

PROPERTY CLOCK: According to Heron Todd, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market. It contradicts what many other property experts have said -- that Gladstone has bottomed out.
PROPERTY CLOCK: According to Heron Todd, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market. It contradicts what many other property experts have said -- that Gladstone has bottomed out. Heron Todd

But the report put the increased sales activity down to the bargain basement house values not seen in the region for more than 10 years.

"It is important to note that the (rental) vacancy rate has been steadily declining over the course of 2016, which shows the oversupply is slowly being reduced," the report said.

"However given that Gladstone's vacancy rate is still well above average (7.5%), there is potential for further decreases in 2017.

"New job opportunities in Gladstone are very weak and without a major project on the horizon...job losses have had and will continue to have a direct effect on the property market in the Gladstone region."

Herron Todd White's national property clock still has Gladstone as approaching the bottom of the market, which is where it has been all year.

Topics:  bankruptcy banks property values



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