REGIONAL Australia has experienced huge interest from COVID-19 escapees looking for a sea-change after lockdowns, and regional Queensland is proving to be hot property.

New data from realestate.com.au shows just where you can still bag a beachside bargain but you had better act fast --- the secret is out!

REA Group director of economic research Cameron Kusher said the allure of the beach had always been strong for Australian property hunters.

"No more than now when city dwellers are eyeing an escape, whether temporary or permanent, from an urban life characterised by pandemic-induced restrictions and lockdowns," he said.

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Cameron Kusher, REA. (Picture: Andrew Henshaw/Supplied)
Cameron Kusher, REA. (Picture: Andrew Henshaw/Supplied)

The research shows Barney Point in the Gladstone region offers the cheapest beachside property in regional Queensland, with a median house sales price of just $142,000.

For units, the data shows Holloways Beach in Cairns comes in at an affordable $160,000.

But you don't have to look far to snare that seaside dream, with suburbs up and down the regional Queensland coastline offering beachside "bug out" havens at a fraction of the cost of an average city house.

 

REAL ESTATE: This renovated three-bedroom house on 622 sqm and just a walk to the beach at 23 Golding St, Barney Point, is on the market for only $279,000.
REAL ESTATE: This renovated three-bedroom house on 622 sqm and just a walk to the beach at 23 Golding St, Barney Point, is on the market for only $279,000.

BEACHSIDE BARGAINS - REGIONAL QUEENSLAND

Cheapest house prices

Barney Point $142,000

East Innisfail $157,500

Forrest Beach $220,000

Cardwell $227,500

Balgal Beach $249,500

Gladstone Central $260,000

Bowen $275,000

Mackay $282,500

Wonga Beach $288,750

North Mackay $297,500

Source: realestate.com.au

 

 

This three bedroom house at Forrest Beach was on the market for $278,000 and is now under offer
This three bedroom house at Forrest Beach was on the market for $278,000 and is now under offer

 

In the Townsville region, Balgal Beach (median house value of $249,500) and Nelly Bay (units, $174,500) offer the cheapest escapes.

Explore Property Townsville agent Allison Gough is marketing a number of properties in Balgal Beach.

She said the price point was "absolutely attractive" to buyers, with many interstate buyers buying sight unseen or after viewing 3D videos.

"At Balgal, you can still get a three bedroom, one bathroom house on a 809 sqm block for under $300,000 which is incredible," she said.

"But a lot of southern buyers are jumping on that now … I even had one from Western Australia.

"Many have been prompted by COVID-19 and the extended lockdowns and just want a lifestyle change."

Allison Gough from Explore Proeprty has listed 8 Waterview Drive, Bushland Beach. Picture: Matt Taylor
Allison Gough from Explore Proeprty has listed 8 Waterview Drive, Bushland Beach. Picture: Matt Taylor

Ms Gough said buyer activity had strengthened over the summer months, a trend she described as unusual.

She said many buyers were keen to make a permanent move to the region, and were undeterred by the heat.

"Usually our busiest months are in winter when southern buyers escape their winter, the grey nomads for example," she said.

"But this year, the heat hasn't been a big turn-off and houses, in particular, are moving at a good rate."

In the tourist and celebrity haven of the Mackay Whitsundays region, you can also still find a beachside bargain in the suburbs of Bowen and Mackay (houses) and Cannonvale and Mackay (units).

 

 

Ray White Whitsundays agent Steve Marks said the local property market was "extremely busy".

"I did a report for a buyer recently and it showed there were seven sales over $1 million in 2019 and last year there were 25 sales above a million," he said.

"We are seeing a lot of activity from locals and interstate buyers who are seeing what great value we have in our market.

"You can still get a two-bedroom unit in Cannonvale for $150,000, and get $280 a week rent for that."

This two-bedroom unit in Cannonvale is listed for $220,000
This two-bedroom unit in Cannonvale is listed for $220,000

Mr Marks said some buyers were also rediscovering the beauty in their own backyard because of international borders closures, and were making a lifestyle changes as a results.

Others, he said, were realising that it was cheaper to buy than rent in many cases due to record low vacancy rates and rising rents.

"The lifestyle we have here is outstanding," he said. "We live where people holiday."

One of the cheapest beachside suburbs, Forrest Beach, is also experiencing a massive surge in demand, with data showing hits on property listings are up a staggering 147.1 per cent.

The sleepy suburb, which is located in the Hinchinbrook shire, has a median house value of just $220,000 - a third of the price on an average house in Brisbane.

Wonga Beach, in the Douglas Shire, has also had a huge jump in demand, with a median house value of $288,750.

In the Cairns region, a popular destination for interstate visitors when borders reopened, unit bargains can still be found in Holloways Beach ($160,000), Cairns North ($220,000) and Yorkeys Knob ($229,500).

Mr Kusher said that with few "truly beachside suburbs in Brisbane", it was no surprise growth in regional Queensland demand had tended to be stronger in central and north Queensland.

"Queensland is seeing strong demand growth currently, particularly from states like NSW and

Victoria, and this should lead to increasing popularity of coastal markets over the coming year," he said.

In the capital cities, Brisbane's cheapest beachside suburb is Deception Bay, which has a median house price of $373,000.

For units, Beachmere is the cheapest at $122,000.

Chittaway Bay is the cheapest beachside location in Greater Sydney, with a median house price of $589,000, while units in Bateau Bay come in at $445,000.

In Greater Melbourne, Crib Point came in the cheapest for both houses and units, with median values at $560,000 and $393,750 respectively.

 

 

11 Walang Crt, North Mackay sold for $1.25 million in November, 2020. Picture: Explore Property
11 Walang Crt, North Mackay sold for $1.25 million in November, 2020. Picture: Explore Property

 

BEACHSIDE BARGAINS - REGIONAL QUEENSLAND

Cheapest unit prices

Holloways Beach $160,000

Gladstone Central $165,000

Nelly Bay $174,500

Cannonvale $210,000

Mackay $210,000

North Mackay $213,500

South Mackay $215,000

Cairns North $220,000

West Mackay $225,000

Yorkeys Knob $229,500

Source: realestate.com.au



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