As published by Herron Todd White Valuers
The Toowoomba market may be described as multispeed at the moment. Some suburbs are performing better than others but overall, there has been a strong start to 2017.
Agents are still reporting slow enquiry from investors with the take up rate of new units slowing considerably from the highs of previous years. Absentee investors drove the unit market from about 2012 to 2015, however there has been a marked decline in investor demand for this product over the past two years. Notwithstanding, new unit complexes positioned in in-fill areas, namely across the eastern and southern suburbs such as Centenary Heights, Rangeville and Middle Ridge, are still popular with owner-occupiers which is underpinning values. Conversely, there is some concern that there is a concentration of units and duplexes across the western suburbs including Glenvale and Cranley.
New home construction is still strong with activity in new residential land estates across Middle Ridge and Kearneys Spring. New homes in the sub $650,000 price bracket in Middle Ridge are seeing steady demand with properties priced at or near the market generally selling within one to two months.
Homes that are overpriced are taking much longer to sell in this market given the ample supply.
2016 and early 2017 have seen the prestige market perform much better than previous years.
Renovated colonial homes in East Toowoomba and modern resort-style homes in Mount Lofty and Middle Ridge have been transacting well. A number of sales in the plus $2 million price point have occurred since the start of 2016. Original cottages with renovation potential across South Toowoomba, North Toowoomba, Centenary Heights, Newtown and Harristown are sought after given their relatively affordable price point, say $250,000 to $450,000, and their value-add potential.
Satellite suburb markets are also showing mixed signs. While Westbrook to the south of Toowoomba is seeing some reasonable activity in the $400,000 to $550,000 price point, the northern satellite suburb of Kleinton is steady to slow, with the take-up of new land and spec-homes much slower than previously observed. Homes on larger lots of say 2,000 to 6,000 square metres are transacting well at the moment. Regional towns in the Darling Downs can almost uniformly be described as slow and steady.
The markets in Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles and Roma are slow given the post-mining boom environment however there may be some up-side in 2017 as coal seam gas exploration activities ramp up. Caution is still advised when investing in mining markets given their historic price and rental volatility.