MARKET MOVING: LJ Hooker Bundaberg principal Jonathon Olsen says there has been an increase in buyer inquiries and numbers at open houses.
MARKET MOVING: LJ Hooker Bundaberg principal Jonathon Olsen says there has been an increase in buyer inquiries and numbers at open houses. Mike Knott BUNOLSEN

Buyers spending up

WHETHER you're buying in, buying up or investing, LJ Hooker principal Jonathon Olsen says Bundaberg's real estate market is on the move.

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) figures show the median house price in Bundaberg has risen 2.9% to $283,000, from a 1.8% increase a year ago.

Mr Olsen said the rise was not so much about Bundaberg house prices increasing, but rather people buying more expensive houses due to low interest rates, poor returns on fixed term deposit investments and a volatile share market.

"An increase in the median sale price, that is a good thing - it means they're (the buyers) are spending a bit more money and they're upgrading," he said.

"There's been a lot of buyers who have been sitting on their hands, but we're finding we're getting a lot more inquiries and a lot more people through open homes."

He said people had been conservative and watching how they spent their money but were now finding they did have a bit of equity and combined with low interest rates, could upgrade to a more expensive home.

Mr Olsen said others entering the market were older investors.

"Especially if they've got money tied up in super or fixed term deposits," he said.

"They're realising real estate is the better option where they can get anywhere from 5% to 7% return on their money."

Mr Olsen said affordability was a big part of Bundaberg's attraction.

"Right now, there's an opportunity for buyers to get homes for very reasonable pricing," Mr Olsen said.

He said the bottom to the middle of the range was most popular in the housing market, with the the $200000-$350000 range "moving really well".

"There seems to be a lot of inquiries for the four bedrooms, double lockups, especially with sheds at the back."

Synergy Property Specialists principal and owner Tim McCollum agreed and said young people and others renting were also doing the sums and realising high rental demand and low interest rates meant it was actually cheaper for them to buy their own home.

"We are noticing, in recent weeks, more activity from the first home buyer market," Mr McCollum said.

"And it's the first home buyer market that always drives the market."

Mr McCollum said buying was making sense for young current renters.

"With a median price of $280 000 and you can borrow money at four point something perfect," he said.

"Alternatively, you can pay $300 a week to rent something."



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