Buyers are not biting on sales

DATA has revealed almost one in three houses sold throughout the Wide Bay in the June quarter this year sold at a gross loss.

The RP Data Pain and Gain report placed the Wide Bay as the fifth highest gross loss region in the country with 31.9%. Just Mackay at 47.6%, Fitzroy with 35.6%, Townsville at 34.0% and the WA Outback with 32.6% saw a greater percentage of sales with a gross loss.

RealWay Bundaberg sales manager Brent Illingworth said the figures came as no surprise with the Bundaberg market seeing limited capital growth since 2007.

"We had the first home buyers boost thrown up by the Kevin Rudd government in 08 or 09, that kicked on the first home buyer sector for a little bit.

"But abolishing the first home buyers' grant for existing homes has caused some serious lack of interest or drop off from first home buyers, which is frustrating," he said.

"Investors are coming back into the area because our returns are good but certainly as far as capital growth goes, that's also what they're looking at.

"But if you're purely looking for a rental return and you're happy to set and forget for the long-term then Bundaberg is a good place to look at because our returns are up around 7-9% which is pretty hard to get in other markets."

Mr Illingworth said, however, there were people who studied the market and were still prepared to sell in this climate.

"They will sell in this market and possibly lose, but it might free up some cash to buy another good investment or maybe upgrade their own home," he said.

"So it's not stopping people selling, but unfortunately there are always going to be people that have to sell."

Mr Illingworth said his advice was not to sell for the sake of selling, but if you did have to sell then buy again quickly.

Bundaberg LJ Hooker principal Jonathon Olsen agreed that on the positive side, it was a buyers' market and sellers could work to offset losses.

"It's a good time to be upgrading," he said.

"If you are buying and selling in the same market then there are some good deals to be had at the higher end of the market.

"Property has always been a liquid market so even if you have a $20,000 loss on a $400,000 property, if you buy again you're likely to save at least that, so it's the same result."

Mr Olsen said Bundaberg had been and continued to be a very affordable place to live with the price of housing compared to the average wage significantly less than other regions.

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