City achieves highest median value on record

Alistair Coonan  TBW Newsgroup
PRICE SURGE: Realtor Alistair Coonan - from Elders Real Estate - welcomes news Mount Gambier's median house prices have climbed to record levels. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO

Alistair Coonan TBW Newsgroup
PRICE SURGE: Realtor Alistair Coonan – from Elders Real Estate – welcomes news Mount Gambier’s median house prices have climbed to record levels. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO

MOUNT Gambier’s house values have surged to record levels amid a 10pc jump in the median house price over the past 12 months.

It is understood a cluster of commercial investment, a robust rental market as well as strong agricultural and forestry sector are fuelling a lift in property prices.

New figures show the Blue Lake city’s median house has now hit $295,000, smashing the previous record of $275,000 set in 2016.

The Blue Lake city was also crowned the top selling centre in regional South Australia in the December quarter, which will deliver another shot of confidence to the city’s home owners.

Real Estate Institute of SA has also described the rise in the state’s regional median house price to $280,000 as “breathtaking” and a “massive lift” for the non-metropolitan housing sector.

Real estate sales consultant Alistair Coonan – from Elders Real Estate Mount Gambier – said yesterday the city’s real estate market was recording a buoyant period.

“A 10pc growth in a year is the largest rise we have seen for a long time,” Mr Coonan told The Border Watch yesterday.

He said confidence was also climbing due to a strong investment sector from local and interstate buyers as well as a solid home buyer market.

“Lower end properties always have lot of interest and turnover from investors and middle-range home buyers are spending more while the interest rates are low,” Mr Coonan explained.

There is also a greater trend of people purchasing new properties to “up-size” while lending was affordable.

Mr Coonan said it also appeared commercial property growth in Mount Gambier was helping to lift confidence.

“This adds confidence to the rest of the market,” he explained.

These developments included the ALDI, Coles and the two On the Run developments as well as fresh investment flowing from major industries.

“When businesses spend money, people tend to be a bit more confident in spending money themselves,” Mr Coonan said.

“A strong farming sector also helps. Generally when the farmers are happy, that keeps the economy ticking along.

“The $60m proposed development at Tarpeena – that was announced in The Border Watch yesterday – gets people excited about the area. If that creates more jobs, then that is more people with money to spend.”

Mr Coonan said the Blue Lake city was also on the national radar in terms of its stable climate and housing affordability.

“I dealt with a lot of people from other parts of the nation that were looking at relocating here to not only get away from the hotter climates, but because we are a stable and affordable market,” the realtor added.

Mr Coonan said it appeared properties across the board were in demand if they were priced “market right”.

“We have a lot of people constantly looking for investment listings and properties around the $300,000 to $350,000 mark appear to be very popular at the moment with people selling lower priced properties to move up in that price range.”

Mr Coonan said Mount Gambier’s 35pc rental market also helping to underpin sales activity.

“Any standard three to four bedroom home we see 30-plus applications every time – a family home gets a huge amount of demand.”

He foreshadowed the market would continue to remain buoyant given the high number of people attending open inspections.

“Every weekend we are getting groups of people through all different properties. From those priced $200,000 up to $500,000.”

Gebhardts Real Estate manager Paul Chuck said his agency recorded “very strong sales” in the December quarter and predicted the market trend would continue well into the next quarter.

“Enquiry remains strong for all types of properties in the city and there has also been a huge interest for coastal properties, from Port MacDonnell through to Cape Douglas and Pelican Point,” Mr Chuck said.

“Open inspections for January and February have been very well attended, with offers being presented on inspection.”

The realtor said the selling times were becoming shorter and the number of properties on the market had also reduced.

“We should see a steady increase in prices in the city and surround,” Mr Chuck said.

Meanwhile, REISA president Brett Roenfeldt said the regional housing market recorded a “stunning” record median house price of $280,000 in the December quarter.

This represents a “fantastic” 5.6pc increase from the previous quarter and a significant 1.8pc increase from the same quarter last year.

He said sales were “massively” up from the previous quarter and the same quarter last year.

“What a stunning result for the regional housing market and I am thrilled they have mirrored the metropolitan figures,” Mr Roenfeldt said.

“The record median price and the volume of sales in this quarter are breathtaking and a great indicator of the underlying strength and resilience of the regional housing market.

“I am looking forward to 2020 with great confidence and optimism.”

Suburbs which have seen the largest growth over a 12 month period are Berri, Whyalla and Mount Gambier with increases of 29.9pc, 15.95pc and 10.28pc respectively.

Top selling suburbs in terms of recorded sales over the December quarter were Mount Gambier, Victor Harbor and Murray Bridge.