Chris Childs

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Mining towns ripe for the picking

Queenslanders are feeling optimistic about the year of real estate that awaits them in 2012, according to one property expert.Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) chief Anton Kardash said that the sector was improving a year after floods and Cyclone Yasi hit the state.“Last year was a very tough one for everyone in Queensland with the series of natural disasters having a drastic impact on our economy as well as on confidence levels overall, he explained (Feburary 19).“With the first anniversary of these events now passed, it certainly appears that Queenslanders are feeling more optimistic about the future and this is starting to have a positive effect on our property market.”Mr Kardash feels that while the two consecutive rate cuts may not have had an impact on the state’s December 2011 median house price figures – which witnessed a 0.2 per cent fall – they are sure to have an impact on the property market over the next 12 months.But the RBA’s decision to drop the cash rate may not be the only factor that is playing on the mind of investors.The state’s resource boom is said to be having a direct impact on the local property market, and it seems that buyers will be able to pick up a tidy profit in mining regions if they play their cards right.The REIQ is tipping the mining towns of Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba to bring in the highest return for homebuyers.And with the median house price in Gladstone growing by 8.6 per cent to $478,000 over the December quarter, it is not hard to see why this lesser-known destination is catching the attention of investors across the country.First home buyers are also showing a renewed interest in the property market, many of whom are snapping up houses in areas where prices have plateaued.