Rocky hears mining echoes
AS the mining boom blows Central Queensland real estate prices sky high, Rockhampton is finally starting to hear the echoes.
It's good news for Keith and Del Williams, who are selling their Frenchville home to follow their dreams of life as grey nomads.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland recently reported that Rockhampton's quarterly median house prices to March increased 1.6% to $320,000.
While numbers across Queensland are some of the most positive within 18 months, they are nothing compared to the real estate hot spot of Moranbah.
The average price for a basic home in the mining town is a whopping $750,000, up 45.2% over the past year and 6.4% in the past quarter.
But those miners not wanting to dig quite so deep into their pockets are looking at homes in nearby cities, such as Rockhampton.
Ray White Rockhampton real estate agent Juan Alvarez said one in every two home-buyers were miners, some as young as 20-years-old.
But REIQ Rockhampton zone chair Noel Livingston said the industry was not relying on the mining sector for business and there had been a lot of demand at the lower end of the market.
"Anything priced up to $400,000 is selling relatively quickly," Mr Livingstone. "Interest is coming from local investors, those associated with the mining sector, and from the southern states."
Properties in Wandal have proven popular, rising from 26% to $315,000 this quarter.
Gracemere's prime location near the resources hub of Gladstone has helped it to rise by 11.4% up to $341,000. While Gladstone appears to have plateaued after posting a median house price increase of 16.5% over the past year.
But Yeppoon and The Range have suffered drops of up to 14%.
The Williams said it would be hard to let go of their magnificent view overlooking much of Rockhampton and the Fitzroy River.
But if the right cashed-up miner comes along, they will happily hand over the keys.
"I feel that things are happening around Rockhampton," Mr Williams said. "You can buy a house now and it will double in time."
Median house prices:
- Blackwater: $410,000
- Clermont: $300,000
- Emerald: $440,000
- Gracemere: $370,000
- Isaac region: $703,000
- Moranbah: $750,000
- Rockhampton: $320,000
- Yeppoon: $347,500