The Smartline Report – April Edition

The month in review: Townsville

By Herron Todd White
April 2015

Vacant land sale volumes tapered during the course of 2014 to a level of around 60 sales per month as at December 2014 compared with 72 sales as at December 2013. Current land sale volumes reflect a lack of buyer confidence in the market stemming from the subdued economy, as well as the wide price differential between new versus existing houses retarding the economics of new house construction.

Currently the largest land estate in Townsville is Stockland’s North Shore development, which is taking place in Burdell along the northern beaches corridor. This estate has been well received by the market with significant infrastructure and services provided and ongoing commercial expansions. This development offers a range of product from small lots to larger traditional sized allotments with extensive paths and parks.

Other developments offering a smaller lot sized product include Greater Ascot at Shaw and The Village in Oonoonba. Greater Ascot has land from around 350 square metres, while The Village has land under 150 square metres. The lot size offering at The Village means price entry can be very affordable, providing the opportunity for development of a unit sized house with a small amount of land and no body corporate fees.

Fairways Residential is a master planned golf course community at the Townsville Golf Course in Rosslea. Lots within this estate range from 350 square metres to 800 square metres with price entry from $215,900. This estate is located about three kilometres from the city centre.

Over the past 12 months, we have seen an increasing trend in duplex sites being offered within developing land estates as demand from investors for this style of product increases. Typically we are seeing two by 3-bedroom layouts providing a dual income stream or flexibility for owner-occupation on one side while still deriving an income from the other side.

Median vacant land prices have remained consistently within the $155,000 to $165,000 band over the past three to four years and shown a dead flat ‘trend in the trend’ of around $160,000. There is pressure for land prices to rise to offset higher costs of production, but it remains to be seen whether increased costs will be recoverable in the current price sensitive market. Affordable stock is the key to sales on the back of low demand.

Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2015. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325


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