Mackay Mining town ‘recovering’

Despite continuing reports that mining town property markets are declining, a number of stakeholders are claiming Queensland’s Mackay has turned a corner and is experiencing a “surge”.

On the back of a report by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), issued on 9 March 2015, Total Property Group has claimed that confidence is returning to the mining town market. Total Property Group managing director Adrian Parsons said this was reflected in rising interest in the group’s new master-planned estate, Somerset Park, located in Andergrove, Mackay.

The group cited various sections of the REIQ’s December Quarter 2014 Queensland Market Monitor report to illustrate that “Mackay has moved past the bottom of the housing market cycle towards recovery”.

“The report states Mackay has turned a corner since the beginning of 2015 on the back of improved local confidence, with multiple applications received for rental listings and multiple offers on sales,” Total Property Group said in a statement.

REIQ zone chairman for the Mackay district Peter McFarlane added that he had seen a distinct improvement in the local market in 2015. He attributed the positive progress to increased confidence in employment, record-low interest rates and improved housing affordability.

“We have the lowest interest rates Australia has ever seen and the housing affordability of three to four years ago,” he said.

“Employment in the Bowen Basin mining sector is more secure as it moves from the construction phase to production phase, and we are seeing coal production increasing.

“We are now exporting more coal off the coast of Mackay, and overall there is a growing level of confidence in the region.”

Mr McFarlane said these factors have led to more activity in the sales arena and a boost to the rental market.

“We are seeing first home buyers purchasing existing houses in the $350,000 to $400,000 bracket and the sellers of those homes upgrading to other properties and creating a secondary buying market in the $500,000-plus bracket.”

Mr McFarlane said even though rental vacancy rates were at 10.3 per cent in December, he expects “they will be significantly down at the end of the first quarter of 2015”.

Somerset Park developer Jim Relph of Trinity Property Consultants said Mackay would continue to benefit from the mining sector.

“Mining employment is secure in the Bowen Basin and major mining developments in the Galilee Basin have received the support of new Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“The Queensland Labor government announced an agreement with Adani and GVK Hancock regarding a proposal for expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal – an important step towards putting necessary infrastructure for these mines in place,” the premier said.

“Queensland Resources Council data shows a spike in coal exports in 2014, reaffirming the importance of the coal industry to Mackay’s strong economic future.

“Mackay is also gateway to the Whitsundays, offering a desirable lifestyle and beautiful coastal and rainforest hinterland environments.”

Pilbara Residential Housing & Land Snapshot – Ending Dec 2014

Here’s the latest report (ending December 2014) by the Government of West Australia showing the Pilbara Residential Housing & Land Snapshot.

Here’s a quick summary:

Observations from this edition of the Pilbara Housing & Land Snapshot are:

The Pilbara:

  • In all three major towns the average advertised residential rental price dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Port and South Hedland:

  • Port Hedland’s average advertised rental price dropped for a ninth consecutive quarter from an all-time high of $2,544 per week during the September 2012 quarter to a seven year low of $1,153 per week in the latest quarter.
  • South Hedland’s average advertised rental price decreased by $194 to $965 per week, which is the lowest average weekly rental price since the June 2008 quarter.
  • For the ninth consecutive quarter the average advertised ‘for sale’ price of properties in Port and South Hedland dropped.
  • Port Hedland’s average advertised ‘for sale’ price of $775,238 in the latest quarter is at its lowest since the March 2007 figures.
  • South Hedland’s December 2014 average advertised ‘for sale’ price of $660,005 is the lowest it’s been since the September 2009 quarter.


  • Karratha’s average advertised weekly rental has dropped for the 13th consecutive quarter, down from $1,784 in the September 2011 quarter to $820 in the latest quarter. Karratha’s average rental price remains the cheapest across the major Pilbara towns since the beginning of 2012.
  • The average advertised ‘for sale’ price of $593,803 in Karratha, showed an increase of $3,802 for the 213 properties listed during the quarter, the first such increase in average advertised ‘for sale’ price for six quarters.
  • The 13 residential lots were advertised in the last quarter in Karratha, with an average advertised price of $278,400, represents the lowest average ‘for sale’ price since 103 residential lots were advertised in December 2010 at an average price of $220,365.


  • The average advertised rental price of $892 per week is the lowest since record keeping commenced in Newman in 2008, and the first time below the $1,000 per week mark.
  • The average residential ‘for sale’ price of $626,036 is at its lowest since the March 2010 quarter.
  • Newman continues to have the highest number of advertised residential lots ‘for sale’ in the Pilbara, with 34 lots advertised in the last quarter with an average ‘for sale’ price of $271,088.

You can also download the full report – Pilbara Residential Housing & Land Snapshot – Ending Dec 2014.