UNPRECEDENTED: Gympie house prices defy all expectations
PROFESSIONALS Gympie agent Ashley Coleman knows what he is talking about when it comes to Gympie real estate, having been in the industry for the past 20 years.
And in all his years, he said he's never seen anything like the current market.
"The market is good," he said.
"It's just strange."
Mr Coleman said it was a typical lead-up to Christmas with the market "powering along" and listings easy to come by.
However in the past couple of months even though listing numbers have dropped, prices have remained stable, defying the rules of supply and demand.
"You'd expect with less properties on the market, that would drive the prices up, but that hasn't happened here. I'd describe the current climate as a slumbering market," he said.
But he's expecting that market to "wake up" in the very near future.
Properties in Gympie city and the immediate suburbs can feature character-filled homes, such as established Queenslanders, miners cottages and other historically significant dwellings, and while the demand for these types of homes is limited, they do appeal to a certain slice of the market looking to renovate or restore, or to buy an older, unique home filled with old-world charm.
Also, moving to town is something older residents are doing to be closer to medical facilities and to downsize from acreage.
However, a large portion of the market is interest from outside the area.
The main advantage to buying in Gympie for these people is affordability.
Across the entire region, properties on the market are half the price of those on the coast and a quarter of metropolitan prices.
This means buyers are selling up down south to buy a comparable lifestyle here and having money left over, or moving to the area debt free.
With the recent upgrades to the Bruce Highway, former coast residents are also moving into the area and commuting to their jobs, with places like Nambour, Maroochydore and Noosa now less than an hour's drive away.
Mr Coleman also said the Gympie Bypass, in the early stages of construction, would largely be beneficial for residents with only those businesses on the highway relying on passing trade likely to be adversely affected.
"The town itself will benefit from it," he said.
"Gympie town has a bright future. We've got the climate, the affordability and services and a laid-back lifestyle without the hassles of a huge population.
"No doubt there will be plans on the eastern side, once the bypass goes through, for more light industrial properties and those people currently fronting the highway will find their property's price increasing," Mr Coleman said.
As for the current "slumbering market" this is a situation likely to change sooner rather than later.
"Real estate is traditionally quieter in winter. I'm expecting inquiries to pick up around late September/early October, when people will know if they'll be transferred for their jobs. That will drive that market. It will happen," he said.