Revealed: The towns where property prices have crashed
THE Valuer-General's 2019 Property Market Movement Report confirmed for agent Brad McInally what he had known for years: Monto residential property prices are sliding.
"Land values have certainly dropped, house sales have been slow for a couple of years,” Mr McInally, who owns Monto Cattle and Country alongside wife Donna, said.
While he said that he has made a few sales at the lower end of the market in the past few months, and the rental market is performing strongly, there are "heaps of listings” driving the price down and not enough prospective buyers to move them.
He said the "drought has affected everything” from the property market to local businesses, who are struggling for patronage.
Brett Allen, principal agent at Monto Livestock and Property, puts it more baldly.
"It's simple economics, it's called supply and demand,” he said.
"I don't know where it's not happening in rural towns.”
However, the drought has also had an unexpected side effect.
The market for grazing and irrigation blocks has taken off, fed by people from out west who are even more affected by the drought "chasing grass”.
"It's hard to get a rural listing at the moment,” Mr McInally said.
In some cases, these properties are being snapped up before even making it to market.
"From $3million down there are plenty of people looking, I've had three calls this week, but no listings,” he said.
"For your smaller scrub country, they're certainly not making any more of it, what's there is there.
"There are people that will spend $1million in the blink of an eye.”
Mr Allen said residential and rural markets are two entirely different things.
He said rural land turnover was especially "buoyant” in late 2017 and all throughout 2018.
85 per cent of his enquiries, he said, are from people who don't live locally.
"People from out there look here and see value,” he said.
However, Mr McInally said things were becoming more difficult since the banking royal commission, which has "thrown a spanner (in the works) here and there”.
Another agent who agrees the banking royal commission has made a bad situation worse is Ian Sutton, from Sutton Nationwide Realty.
Mr Sutton lists properties in Mount Perry, another town named by the report where residential prices are backsliding.
He said it was getting harder to secure a loan for property in Mount Perry, which "really kicked in after the royal commission”.
"(There's a) definite drop off, it is very difficult to move in Mount Perry,” he said.
"There are some really nice homes for very cheap.”
He uses an example of a home on Railway St, "no more than 10 years old, one-and-a-half acres, wrap-around balconies, good shedding and they can't sell it for $220,000.”
"Everyone else on the market has to compete against that,” which obliterates the value of older properties on the market, Mr Sutton said.
The report notes that in the two years since North Burnett was last valued (2017), "urban land values have fallen in Monto and Mount Perry, while other urban centres and most rural living areas have generally remained unchanged.”
"Larger centres such as Gayndah, Biggenden, Mundubbera and Eidsvold are unchanged, however some smaller centres such as Kalpowar have increased,” it said.
"Other land uses such as commercial and industrial have generally mirrored the residential areas with reductions in Monto and Mount Perry.”
However, "farming land values have increased across the region, with generally moderate to significant increases evident reflecting the increased demand for both smaller and larger farming properties.”