Good news outweighs bad across the state

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The unit and townhouse market is showing steady signs of improvement in most areas.

BRISBANE’S unit market data was a mixed bag in the last quarter, with the latest figures revealing some suburbs had massive increases in values while others experienced big drops.

But even the drops are not necessarily bad news, says Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Anton Kardash.

He says, on the whole, the figures show the unit and townhouse market is improving and even though some regional areas recorded drops in their medians, the unit and townhouse markets are a lot smaller in those areas, so values are prone to fluctuate between quarters.

"Fraser Coast, for example, registered a median unit price fall of 15.6 per cent to $270,000 over the December quarter, however this was because there was reduction in the number of new and waterfront properties sold compared to the previous quarter,” Kardash says.

REIQ median unit and townhouse figures show the Brisbane market recorded an increase in values of 2 per cent for the December quarter. The median unit price is now $400,000.

In the Brisbane region, Kangaroo Point was the standout performer for the quarter, with its medians jumping by more than one-third to $535,000.

But that wasn’t enough to take out the honour of being the suburb with the highest median unit price in Brisbane.

That went to West End, with a median of $550,000.

Medians in many areas of the state increased during the December quarter and, similar to the housing market, the last quarter of 2011 possibly marked the turning point in Queensland’s property market.

He says agents are reporting healthier levels of inquiry, with first-home buyers and investors particularly interested in the more affordable unit and townhouse market.

The figures also reveal an increase in the preliminary numbers of unit sales on the Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns over the quarter.

According to Lachlan Walker, of Place Advisory, the inner-Brisbane apartment market outperformed expectations, with $257 million worth of sales in the December quarter.

He says Meriton’s Soleil figured strongly in the quarter with 111 unconditional sales, although most of those transactions were transfers to a related party and will be rented out.

But even if those transactions were removed, the inner-Brisbane market still performed stronger than expected.

Five new projects were launched during the quarter, Fish Lane, The Green, Duo at New Farm, The Hudson at The Mill and Hamilton Reach’s Green Quarter.

Source: REIQ obtained from PriceFinder based on data from DERM

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