Brett Wortman

Real estate agents expect boom in housing turnover

REAL estate agents are expecting an increase in property turnovers across Queensland in 2014 with market reports of growing economic confidence since the Federal Election.

Regional cities, except for a slow Gladstone, and the south-east corner are already reporting increased turnover which will slowly lead to increased prices too.

"Real estate agents like to talk about price growth but the best thing for a healthy market is increased turnovers," Real Estate Institute of Queensland's new chairman Rob Honeycombe said.

"It means people who need to sell can sell and buy again.

"It is good for people trying to buy their first home or people trying to get back in, like those who have come out of divorces.

"We've come off a pretty low base in most areas but 2013 was an improvement in terms of turnover and in 2014 we see that trend continuing."

Mr Honeycombe said Toowoomba's price growth in the year to the end of September was one of the strongest in the state and had been "reasonably good" since the election too.

He said its rental market was showing good signs which meant the city could expect more investor activity.

Mr Honeycombe said Toowoomba was faring similar to the rest of the south-east Queensland market which was gathering pace.

"There's no reason to be talking booms in any area but 2014 will be an improved market compared to 2013 and a definite improvement compared to 2011 and 2012," he said.

"Each region has its own twists and turns but they're all tied to the same economy and employment is a big factor for what is happening in real estate.

"Traditionally we do see a pause in the market around elections. It's only ever short.

"This year, because there was a sense of seismic change happening, confidence has gone up across the economy and that's flowed through to real estate."

Mr Honeycombe said Gladstone had a fantastic run while the rest of Queensland was suffering through a slow period but was now at a low point in the cycle.

He said members were reporting Mackay, though, likely had seen the worst of its lull after the mining rush boosted figures.

"Year to date turnover's down but the September quarter was up and the December quarter is expected to show an increase as well," he said.

"Gladstone still has some recovery time to go."

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