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Units and townhouses: the ones to watch?

Queensland benefits from having a wealth of different prospects for real estate investment – from the high returns of apartments in Brisbane to the units of Rockhampton, there is no shortage of stock.

However, it seems that units and townhouses are currently leading the pack when it comes to Queensland investment property, as both have seen strong returns over recent months.

Units and townhouses at a glance

Regions throughout Queensland have a large amount of units and townhouses, making them an appealing prospect for investors.

They are an attractive option for anyone thinking of purchasing a Queensland rental property, not least because they offer strong returns and a relatively large amount of space.

The average rental cost of a one-bedroom unit in the Townsville City Council area, for example, has risen over the past two years.

Between the March quarter of 2011 and 2013, the average rent has increased from $230 per week to $250 – and experts believe this trend is unlikely to be reversed any time soon.

The same situation has been witnessed in the Darling Downs – areas covered by Toowoomba Regional Council have seen the rental cost of a two-bedroom townhouse rise from $235 to $260 over the same period.

Sales pick up in 2013

It seems that those interested in property investing have sat up and taken notice of the strong rental demand for units and townhouses, as reflected in latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

During the three months to March alone, sales have increased two per cent compared to the same period of last year, with Cairns and the Sunshine Coast leading the pack.

Cairns, for example, saw sales of units and townhouses rocket by 54.5 per cent in the March quarter, while the Sunshine Coast experienced a 22.6 per cent rise.

Particular success was seen in the under-$250,000 price bracket in Cairns, while buyers on the Sunshine Coast were keen to snap up properties valued between $350,000 and $500,000.

There have, of course, been various other positive performers – the median unit price in Brisbane remained steady at $390,000 over the three months to March.

Meanwhile, Upper Mount Gravatt and Kelvin Grove recorded price growth of 9.6 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively.

Looking to the future

As with any property investment, it is still yet to be seen how the units and townhouses market will perform in the future – although the current signs are promising.

If this current trend continues then investors could have some real success stories on their hands, leaving the market open to more people hoping to capitalise on Queensland's popularity.

Units and townhouses are apparently the ones to watch at the moment, so any wise investor should be keen to capitalise on this trend.