"The Queensland unit and townhouse market held its ground over the December quarter last year, even as the number of investors and first home buyers remained relatively subdued.
Completing a trend throughout 2010, the last three months of the year were characterised by lower overall buyer demand, particularly from the type of buyers who typically target the unit market.
Similar to the house market over the December quarter, Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) figures show unit sales across the State easing over the quarter however some regions fared better than others.
“The unit and townhouse market at the end of last year was impacted by less overall demand from investors as well as the lower number of first home buyers in the market compared to the same period in 2009,” REIQ acting CEO Ian Murray said.
“Although we have experienced a number of natural disasters in Queensland in the beginning of 2011, it is hoped that the steady interest rate environment and the stable property pricing that now appear to be in play will result in a strengthening unit and townhouse market by year’s end.”
In Brisbane and surrounds broadly, a drop in the number of unit and townhouse sales occurred predominantly within the $350,000 to $500,000 price bracket which is the price range usually targeted by first-timers and investors.
The inner city continues to be the most sought after for units in Brisbane with Brisbane City recording 76 preliminary sales, New Farm recording 48 preliminary sales, and Fortitude Valley recording 33 over the period.
Over the December quarter on the Gold Coast it was the bottom and top end of the market that performed the best with preliminary sales increasing in the sub $250,000 price bracket and the $1 million-plus price bracket compared to the September quarter. Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach were the star performers with each recording 20 more preliminary sales than the previous quarter.
On the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Beach and Caloundra recorded increases in preliminary sales numbers, while the region as a whole saw unit sales numbers hold steady."