Property markets cool in QLD and warm in Northern NSW

THE once-overheating housing markets of Central Queensland are cooling and home prices along the New South Wales North Coast are finally starting to warm up.

The apparent topsy-turvy shift is being reported through sales figures for houses and units in the first three months of this year.

The figures were analysed by Australian Property Monitors and their senior economist Andrew Wilson said the increase in house prices in Melbourne and Sydney seemed to be slowing after a strong run in the final months of last year.

Brisbane prices had more room to continue going up. Dr Wilson said the Queensland capital's median prices were still below the highs they hit four years ago.

In regional NSW, buyers seemed willing to pay that little extra in key coastal towns.

"Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Ballina have been particularly robust over the last six months," Dr Wilson said.

"Those trends are showing up in the data.

"There is a feeling those northern NSW and south Queensland markets are on the move again."

Towns and cities off the coast, including Grafton and Lismore, were quieter.

In regional Queensland, Ipswich's housing prices were "solid".

The Sunshine Coast had slowed a little in the past three months, with median house prices falling 2.2% to $483,000. Dr Wilson was surprised by the figures, particularly following some "quite healthy growth" on the Coast.

It was the Central Queensland market though that was "the most interesting", as house prices fell in Rockhampton, Gladstone and Mackay.

A correction phase was still occurring in all three areas as buyers and sellers tried to make sense of prices as the demand that was driven by resource growth continued to wane.

FACTBOX:

Current median house prices in our regional areas, plus % change over the first three months of 2014.

NSW

  • Byron: $547,500 (3%)
  • Coffs Harbour: $387,000 (5.8%)
  • Lismore: $315,000 (3.1%)
  • Tweed: $430,000 (1.1%)

QLD

  • Bundaberg: $285,000 (1.6%)
  • Fraser Coast: $315,000 (-4.9%)
  • Gladstone: $410,000 (-2.6%)
  • Gympie: $291,500 (4.8%)
  • Ipswich: $320,000 (2.6%)
  • Mackay: $417,500 (-1.2%)
  • Rockhampton: $350,000 (-2.9%)
  • Sunshine Coast: $483,000 (-2.2%)
  • Toowoomba: $275,000 (2.1%)

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