Regional Queensland’s property affordability, high-yielding returns and low vacancy rates mean it’s time for investors from Sydney and Melbourne to sit up and take notice, according to Superbrand Raine & Horne.
“Towns such as Rockhampton, Nanango, Bundaberg, Kingaroy and Hervey Bay have loads of quality rental properties as low as $145,000, which is a fraction of the price of a Sydney or Melbourne apartment,” said Steve Worrad, General Manager, Queensland, Raine & Horne.
“Many regional markets have low vacancy rates and properties delivering returns of 7-8%. “The biggest problem for these regional centres is that the great investment opportunity remains a secret to Australia’s biggest audience of investors in NSW and Victoria.”
Mr Worrad urges investors to consider buying into regional Queensland towns with strong, diversified economies that provide plenty of job opportunities, such as Nanango. Located in the South Burnett region, Nanango is a 2-hour drive from Brisbane’s northern suburbs.
“The South Burnett region is tipped to become ‘Queensland’s Hunter Valley’ thanks to our expanding wine industry,” said Greg Pogson, Principal, Raine & Horne Nanango.
“The region is already home to the coal-fired Tarong power station, which is a major employer. In addition, 115 wind turbines will soon be built at Coopers Gap, near Cooranga North, after the state government approved the project in early March.
“What’s more, the median 3-bedroom house price in Nanango is $180,000, which can generate rents of $250 a week. This is a gross yield of more than 7%, which is very attractive compared to Sydney, where the median house price is almost $900,000 and median rental yields are 2.8%,” said Mr Pogson.
On the Fraser Coast, Bundaberg is a thriving regional centre that is 45 minutes from Brisbane by air and 4 hours by road.
“Bundaberg is a major hub for the region, providing health care, retail and other essential services for communities in the surrounding areas,” said Josh Rub, Principal, Raine & Horne Bundaberg.
“It’s a key employment centre for the region. There are growing areas of employment that are likely to draw more people to Bundaberg in the future, including the aviation industry, health care, technology and professional services.
“Moreover, the construction of the gas pipeline has led to new enterprises launching in Bundaberg including the Knauf Plasterboard manufacturing plant, which will increase the use of the underutilised Port of Bundaberg. In turn, the expansion of the port’s activities will attract more business to the region.”
The Queensland Government has recognised the port’s potential, and has flagged areas around it for development, according to Mr Rub.
“The Bundaberg Regional Council is moving forward with its infrastructure spending and it is backing this support with discounts on development fees that will enable businesses to spend more money on new building works.”
“Tourism is seeing an uptick in Queensland, and that could also mean more employment opportunities in the hospitality industry, given Bundaberg’s proximity to the Great Barrier Reef,” said Mr Rub.
Furthermore, Bundaberg offers investors an irresistible combination of real estate affordability and generous rental yields.
“It’s possible to buy a 3-bedroom entry-level property in Bundaberg from $180,000, which can rent for $270 a week. This represents a very competitive yield of 7.8% in the current low interest rate environment,” said Mr Rub.
Hervey Bay has benefited from major improvements in health facilities and infrastructure in the Hervey Bay Hospital and St Stephen’s Private Hospital precincts, according to Graham Cockerill, Principal, Raine and Horne Hervey Bay. This is driving strong growth in surrounding housing developments, which are attracting specialist medical staff looking for a new place to call home.
The long-awaited upgrades of the region’s health services are increasing the appeal of Hervey Bay for retirees from across Australia and also for those with young families. “Once people visit Hervey Bay and witness for themselves the lifestyle it offers, they want to stay or buy a place they can retire to later in life or bring up a family,” said Mr Cockerill.
“In the past, many buyers noted this region’s limited health care facilities. Now we have an industry which is not only a major employer but also provides the infrastructure needed to support the town’s healthcare needs, and that is making a big difference.”
Mr Cockerill nominates Urangan and Point Vernon as Hervey Bay’s best-performing suburbs. In Urangan, 30 homes sold in the last quarter, according to the REIQ, and the median house price is $315,000. In Point Vernon, 25 homes sold in the last quarter and the median house price is $314,250.
“Urangan and Point Vernon are at opposite ends of Hervey Bay, and their popularity can be attributed to their quieter appeal and proximity to the beach,” said Mr Cockerill.
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