While figures from the quarterly median house price report by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) show much of the state's property market has regained the ground it lost following a series of natural disasters last summer, price growth remains relatively subdued.
The number of houses bought in the 56 areas of Brisbane affected by flooding increased by 14 per cent in the three months to June, the REIQ reports. In other parts of Brisbane the figure was closer to seven per cent. But both sets of figures, according to the report released on Sunday, are still well behind sales levels from the year before and are unlikely to turn around before next year. Median sale prices for Brisbane city have dropped by one per cent to $510,000 since the previous quarter, but remain unchanged year on year.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan on Sunday told reporters in Brisbane's northern suburbs that the Queensland and Australian economies took a big hit as a result of the floods and Cyclone Yasi. About 35 people died and thousands of homes were destroyed in the floods, which covered about 70 per cent of the state.
"In some of the recent data we have seen a big tick up in the number of indicators about the Queensland economy; the Queensland economy is picking up," Mr Swan said.
The REIQ said the resources sector had prompted strong growth in sales and prices in central Queensland and would underpin the market more broadly from the second half of 2012. Gladstone was the state's top performer, with median house prices increasing by 6.1 per cent to $440,250 over the quarter, or 10.8 per cent throughout the year. Mackay's median house price rose by 4.4 per cent and house sales in Rockhampton were up by 23 per cent compared with the previous year.
The REIQ's managing director Dan Molloy said buyers continued to be mostly hesitant, given the steady stream of poor economic indicators being released in Australia and overseas. The high Australian dollar also continued to impact on Queensland's tourist destinations with sales numbers down by nine per cent on the Gold Coast and 10 per cent in Cairns, Mr Molloy said.
"The number of buyers active in the Queensland marketplace is still well below long-term averages, and until there is more certainty surrounding interest rates and the global financial landscape generally this circumstance is unlikely to turn around before next year," he said in a statement.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald