What’s Affecting The Toowoomba Property Market In 2020?
Toowoomba’s property market took a small dip thanks to COVID-19 but is now back on track.
Find out more about what’s selling and who is buying, and what to expect as 2020 unfolds in the Garden City.
Impact of COVID-19 on Toowoomba’s property market
2020 started well, with good stock levels and sales across Toowoomba. Then, in March, COVID-19 hit.
Now it’s impossible to talk about the 2020 property without talking about COVID-19.
During March and April, we definitely saw a ‘hold fire’ attitude across the market. Buyers and sellers became cautious, choosing to sit back and see how it would play out. There were very few new listings and low stock levels.
A fast market rebound
In retrospect, we can see that this hesitancy was due to a big dip in consumer confidence. This began to turn around as Queensland seemed to get the Coronavirus under control, the government’s JobKeeper wage subsidies came into effect and the banks agreed to generous mortgage repayment pauses for those suffering from financial hardship.
By May, the Toowoomba residential property market had rebounded back to business as usual, and June has shaped up to be a better than average month for our residential sales volumes.
Everything is ticking along well and buyers and sellers should feel reassured that the market has quickly stabilised.
A tighter market
A quiet March and April meant there was limited new stock hitting the market and few properties were available. This led to a lot of older listings being sold and helped put a cushion under prices.
As stock levels increased over May, so too did buyer numbers, meaning property prices stayed strong. This is reflected in data from CoreLogic, which revealed that in May 2020, new listings across the country rose 22.4% but total listings fell -2.9%.
We’ve received multiple offers for many properties and there are good sales being achieved. In fact, the real impact of COVID-19 in the Toowoomba property market to date has been to tighten it up even further.
Buyer trends in the Toowoomba property market
Owner-occupiers are a strong force in the market right now. First home buyers, in particular, seem to be concentrating on new builds or land because of the current government incentives, especially the Commonwealth Government’s HomeBuilder grant.
We believe the HomeBuilder grant will be a good thing for the housing market in Toowoomba and for its economy more generally. We expect to see some owners use it to renovate before selling, while others will use it for knockdown rebuilds. And we’ve already witnessed it causing land sales to spike.
Market segments such as professionals who don’t work in retail or hospitality have been relatively unaffected by COVID-19 and are still moving on with family plans. This includes upsizing and buying and selling property, assisted by historically low interest rates.
While we’ve observed fewer investors in the market this year, there is some good news for this important market segment. Despite expectations, our property management team has so far had very few tenants approach us about reducing rent. This shows that the JobKeeper payment, JobSeeker top up and other initiatives are definitely helping at this time.
A very different year
The real estate market usually follows reasonably predictable patterns and seasons but this year is already very different.
As mentioned, we had a quiet time at the start of autumn during the lockdown. Now it feels like it’s already spring selling season and that we’ve skipped winter altogether.
May and June are typically quieter months in Toowoomba’s property market but that’s not true this year. We don’t think buyers and sellers should wait for spring because it already feels like spring right now.
We also don’t yet know what will happen from September, when JobKeeper is set to end. However, given Australia is in a better position than most countries and the market has rebounded we’re hopeful and optimistic.
As we’ve reported on many times before, Toowoomba has been a hotspot for major infrastructure projects in recent years, which places our city in a unique position for growth, with natural flow-on effects for the local property market.
Toowoomba’s east-side remains very popular and properties around the $300,000 to $450,000 mark are tracking well.
Over the past six months we have also seen some significant property sales ripe for development occur close to the CBD, and satellite suburbs like Westbrook have also become more popular.
As of 1 June 2020, realestate.com.au figures are as follows:
Median house price: $295,000
Median unit price: $245,850
Median house price: $512,500
Median unit price: $310,000
Median house price: $330,000
Median unit price: $303,500
Median house price: $345,000
Median unit price: n/a
Take advantage of Toowoomba market conditions today
Looking to buy, invest or sell your current home? Talk to the Toowoomba real estate experts and find out how we can help make your property dreams a reality.