Chris Childs

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3 mining towns after the boom: What’s next?

People have always tried to settle around areas of the highest value. Whether it's the bounties of the ocean or the spoils of the soil, we like to make sure we have quick and easy access to those things that ensure our survival – food, water, shelter and resources.

However, in the modern world, knowing these property hotspots is not quite as easy as it was thousands of years ago – supermarkets have replaced hunting, and money has replaced barter, but one thing still remains the same: Castles, palaces or townhouses, it's your property portfolio and its location that spells whether or not you come out on top.

Not all property is quite so obviously valuable.Not all property is quite so obviously valuable.

In recent years, we quickly saw the mining towns become the place to be for property investment, as we dragged coal and iron out of the ground and saw the mining boom rise to new heights. However, as commodity prices drop and demand dies down in these areas, people have begun to wonder if its still worth investing in regional Queensland. We aren't going to paint a false picture for you: rents are low, and values have dropped. However, property is always about keeping your eyes locked on the value-positive future. Here are just three of the lights at the end of the tunnel for mining towns in Queensland.

Chinchilla.

You might have come for melons, but with values having dropped, does property here still bear fruit?

Chinchilla, located in the Western Downs Region, is perhaps better known as the Melon Capital of Australia, even playing host to a festival dedicated around the popular fruit. You might have come for melons, but with values having dropped, does property here still bear fruit?

While mining is certainly an important part of the local economy, that doesn't mean there aren't myriad other diverse industries that will keep your investment properties filled. Resource hauling, education and age-focused healthcare all provide employment and consistent demand for real estate in Chinchilla. Meanwhile, coal and gas are still transitioning from the construction phase to the operational phase (hence the recent drop), so don't be surprised if you see a recovery in the near future.

If you're an investor in this town, it is these developments that will keep the property market ticking along as a proper upswing is initiated.

Cloncurry

Cloncurry is located in the far north-west of Queensland, and like many regional zones, has suffered from the drop in mining commodity values. While many other areas are reforming around new industries, Cloncurry is set to continue down the mining path, due to a recent push for the exploration of the North West Queensland Mineral and Energy Province – conveniently located in Cloncurry's vicinity.

North West Queensland contains about 75 per cent of Queensland's precious resources, such as silver, copper, lead and zinc, according to the state government. But only recently has there been a real push for these resources to be fully exploited, perhaps spelling a resurgence in mining in previously-abandoned mining towns. If you're thinking of selling, your wealth coach may well being telling you to hold on for just that reason.

Are we about to see a resurgence in mining in north-west Queensland?Are we about to see a resurgence in mining in north-west Queensland?

Gladstone

If you want to keep your town attractive to investors, you have to keep up with the times, and that is exactly what Gladstone is intending to do – particularly when it comes to their industry and infrastructure. 

There's a whole slew of developments that are sitting in the proposal stages, any one of which could act as a serious booster shot to the Gladstone economy. A $6 billion steel plant, a $15 billion liquid natural gas project, not to mention the associated infrastructure and ongoing mine developments. The seesaw has certainly tipped a little too far the other way in the most recent market correction, but this ongoing support for the local economy will see the market in these areas strengthen and confidence return.

The current mining boom might have gone, but that doesn't mean it's time to abandon your investment properties in mining towns. Make sure you get in touch with the property mentors at Think Money and let us show you why it pays to stand tall and confident in your regional property, regardless of the recent downturn.