Herron Todd White Valuers – Month In Review
As published by Herron Todd White Valuers.
An increase in sales activity during the second half of 2020 took a significant chunk of supply out of the market. This increase was driven by record low interest rates and strengthening personal financial positions despite the broader impacts of COVID-19.
The market in 2020 was dominated by owner occupiers and first home buyers. A tightening rental market driven by owner-occupiers buying previously rented dwellings and units made
it challenging for investors to re-enter the Toowoomba market, from which they had fled in large numbers over the 2015 to 2018 period.
Agents are reporting a re-emergence of investor interest in the Toowoomba region, however buyers continue to face strong competition from both local and relocating owner-occupiers. The reduction in the number of properties available for rent and strong demand from tenants has seen vacancy rates drop to below one per cent which is considered an extremely tight market position.
Rising rental prices are expected to materialise in 2021 as the competition for houses and units continues to be strong.
The south-western suburb of Darling Heights has traditionally been well regarded by investors given it accommodates the University of Southern Queensland and the associated need for student rental accommodation. An analysis of sales data shows a sharp rise in the median price in 2020.
Centenary Heights, located approximately three kilometres to the south of the Toowoomba CBD, features a mix of 1960s through to 1980s timber and brick dwellings generally of three and four-bedroom configurations. This is also a favoured investor hotspot given the relative affordability and location features such as the Centenary Heights State School and the Martin
Luther Primary School. Sales activity over the past twelve months has been rising slowly while median prices have increased by approximately six per cent over the same period.
The Toowoomba unit market rebounded in 2020 with approximately 440 sales, which represented a 23 per cent increase on the 2019 calendar year.
A recent increase in unit construction and development applications is likely to capitalise on the strong investor interest in the region. With the current shortages of some building materials and tradespeople, new unit and dwelling construction pipelines are already pushing into 2022 for some builders.