Market Reacts to Natural Disasters

Article excerpt

THE natural disasters earlier this year, coupled with the higher interest rate environment, resulted in a weaker March quarter for residential property, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

The impact of the Queensland floods was keenly felt in affected Brisbane suburbs over the period with many suburbs not recording enough preliminary sales for a reliable median house price to be calculated.

The REIQ's March quarter median house price report found that out of about 50 Brisbane suburbs reportedly flood-affected, only 17 recorded a minimum of 10 preliminary sales to allow a median house price to be calculated.

The biggest drops in preliminary sales occurred in Moorooka, Graceville and Kenmore when compared to the December quarter last year.

aMany would-be sellers in these areas have wisely either taken their homes off the market a even if they were not flooded a or decided they will ride out any market reaction to properties in flood-affected areas,a REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said.

aWhile some affected Brisbane suburbs did record a drop in preliminary sales, a number of others that were partially flooded continued to record steady sales over the quarter, which is a testament to the continued desirability of living in locations such as New Farm and West End.

aAbout 75 per cent of Brisbane was not affected by the floods and these areas are continuing to record steady sales and results.a

Over the March quarter, the Queensland property market remained soft with sales numbers down about 14 per cent compared to the December quarter last year.

The Brisbane median house price decreased 1.9 per cent to $515,000 over the quarter.

Preliminary sales numbers were down about 15 per cent on the previous quarter.

The Gold Coast's median house price remained steady at $490,000 over the quarter and was also one of the few areas across the state to record a stable number of preliminary sales.

aThe majority of Queensland is still very much a buyer's market,a Ms Bennett said.

aThere is no doubt that the floods and Cyclone Yasi had a detrimental effect on the market, which had already started to soften in reaction to the interest rate rises of November as well as the poorer economic conditions overall, in this real estate cycle. …