Friday, March 12, 2010

Apartment Sales Soften - REIQ

Continuing a trend in Queensland’s residential property market, the number of sales of units and townhouses reduced markedly during the tail end of 2009, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). The REIQ research report, Queensland Market Monitor (QMM), has found the number of preliminary sales of units and townhouses fell 24 per cent between the September and December quarters last year.

The number of sales under $500,000 was also down 28 per cent over the period.

REIQ managing director Dan Molloy said the drastic reduction in sales – especially in the affordable price range – mirrored the retreat of first home buyers from the market.

“Unit and townhouses are popular with first-time buyers as they provide a less expensive way into the property market, especially in South East Queensland,” he said.

“However, first home buyers have now fallen to lows not seen since the high interest rate environment of mid 2008 which means demand for this segment of the market has lessened.”

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance figures show that lending for all Queensland buyers fell dramatically in January to be down some 20 per cent on the year before.

“The recent batch of interest rate rises, even though inflation appears to presently be under control, is obviously having an impact on the Queensland market with sales numbers well below what they were during the global financial crisis last year,” Mr Molloy said.

Across the State, the December quarter median unit and townhouse prices edged upwards as sales in the affordable end of the market softened.

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