Rockhampton has recorded a double digit increase in median house prices over the last quarter.
Rockhampton has recorded a double digit increase in median house prices over the last quarter. Bev Lacey

How Rocky's property market bounced back with double digits

IT'S almost the comeback of the decade.

In a remarkable bounce, Rockhampton's median house prices have jumped by double digits.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures released this month show the median house price in the area grew by 11% in the September quarter, up to $287,000 from $258,500.

This was the first positive growth following five consecutive quarters of negative results.

It was also the best performance by any Queensland city, with Gladstone (down 16.7%), Mackay (up 0.7%), Townsville (down 1.5%) and Towoomba (up 1.5%) an example of a long list of centres returning either flat or negative results.

The spectacular Rockhampton improvement was confirmed by a second set of figures, published by CoreLogic last week, showing a similar median price ($284,000) for the September quarter.

REIQ Rockhampton zone chair Noel Livingston, principal of Professionals Real Estate, said this was the good news the region had been waiting for.

Mr Livingston said agents had noticed a shift in the volume of sales last quarter, rather than in the value of those properties.

"We've been working pretty tough markets for some time now and we've had this air of expectation since the Federal Election and we're finally getting some results out of it, which is good for everybody," he said.

The positive shift has been attributed to a spate of recent funding announcements, as well as the selection of Rockhampton as a shortlisted FIFO hub for Adani's Charmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

While REIQ acknowledges some remaining environmental concerns, the report states the project is expected to impact the economy significantly over the 25 to 60 year life of the mine.

While the final decision will be made in the New Year, Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow is confident the city will be selected as the FIFO hub, a move which is expected to create up to 1500 jobs.

REIQ also reflected on the increased coking coal prices.

While they're still only reaching half the peak price, prices have increased to the same point they were five years ago at more than $US200 a tonne.

Government funding for the Rockhampton CBD revitalisation, Shoalwater Bay expansion and highway upgrades were also noted as influential in the region's housing market.

"There's so many possibilities for the region at the moment," Mr Livingston said.

"You've got all the talk about Adani.

"We're still waiting on progress on infrastructure projects like Rookwood Weir.

"All these things that are job creating are really good news for our region and we're looking forward with anticipation for the next twelve months. It's what we needed for so long now.

"We went through a period of time when mining went off the boil, lots of jobs went missing and we were just going up and down on the spot.

"This is a real burst of positive announcements that can only be good for the region. I'm not saying we're going to boom overnight, but we're certainly looking at improved market conditions in the next 12 months."

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