Herron Todd White Valuers – Month In Review
As published by Herron Todd White Valuers
2019 looms as an interesting year for the Toowoomba market. 2018 saw a continuation of the trends in 2016 and 2017, with slowing levels of sales activity and some value stabilisation following the boom period from 2014 to mid 2015. Although sales activity has been steady across the board, the market has continued to be multi-speed and property specific. There has been little consistency with variations in sale prices and buyer interest making it difficult to establish well-performing suburbs and specific property types. This is expected to continue throughout 2019.
Toowoomba is currently a hub for major infrastructure projects including the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing road construction expected to be completed early this year and the recent completion of QIC’s Grand Central Shopping Centre extension. Also in the imminent pipeline benefiting the Toowoomba area will be the Inland Rail Project.
These infrastructure projects are believed to have assisted in holding vacancy rates low with many employees living in the Toowoomba area through the construction processes. This is expected to continue throughout 2019.
The key development areas for new housing included the suburbs of Glenvale, Cotswold Hills, Torrington, Kleinton, Highfields, Cambooya and Westbrook. Demand for vacant land has slowed significantly as a result of reduced investor demand and limited local buyer enquiry for lots less than 500 square metres in size. Sales rates for land in new housing estates are very slow, especially compared to recent years when projects often sold out off the plan. Developers are starting to look at buyer incentives to attract interest in their respective projects.
West of Toowoomba, towns within the Surat Basin have experienced significant declines across the board following the decline of the construction phase of the mining and gas boom. These towns have reverted to levels which are more aligned with their predominantly rural-based economies, and as such, local employment factors are now contributing to the trends witnessed in each of these towns. This stabilisation is expected to continue in 2019 with enhanced interest for dwellings from owner-occupiers as affordability has returned and a significant over supply situation in the unit market which will continue to place downward pressure on the sector. The Roma market is relatively inactive and downward pressure appears to continue, while Dalby is showing good signs of stabilisation with a strong occupancy rate currently being enjoyed leading to positive movement in rental values.