Advice for first home buyers as Gladstone prices drop 8.5%

First home owners discuss their experience

First home advice

GLADSTONE has experienced a drop in preliminary house sales over the year ending in September, a very different picture to three years ago.

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland house price report shows the heat in the Gladstone market continues to dissipate, with its median house price dropping by 8.5% over the past quarter to $437,000.

However it says the more affordable house prices are likely to attract buyers back to the market next year.

The picture is very different to that of the September period three years ago, when median house prices had increased 5.9% to $392,000.

The rise in 2010 was due to the conditional approval of Curtis Island's LNG projects, when investors began to move in from across the country, including people buying houses on the premise they would secure work on one of the projects.

With mining slowing and the LNG construction also at a peak, REIQ reports the run of good times for mining districts appears to be slowing with quarterly sales volumes falling in central Queensland in the past year.

REIQ chief executive officer Anton Kardash said unfortunately the Queensland market had never been consistent across the board.

Surburbs

  • Talina is the most sought-after suburb
  • West Gladstone has bigger blocks, older homes
  • The CBD is good for new units/apartments
  • Boyne Island/ Tannum Sands offers a lifestyle change

- Ray White Gladstone

IT’S OURS: Stacey McKewin and Simon Clarke were excited to buy their first home.
IT’S OURS: Stacey McKewin and Simon Clarke were excited to buy their first home. Brenda Strong GLAHOUS

First home owners discuss their experience

HAPPY and settled in, Stacey McKewin and Simon Clarke had a fairly smooth time of buying their first home.

But that didn't stop them from experiencing plenty of emotions in the meantime.

"It was exciting but scary because you're looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars," Stacey said.

"We were looking at home loans, and you'd tell how much you want to spend and get the best bank with the best price."

The 25-year-olds didn't want to pay rent anymore and when the decision was made to buy a house, it took them only a month to find their perfect place online.

"We've both lived here (in Gladstone) forever and wanted to buy a house here," Stacey said.

"We wanted a low-set, four-bedroom, two-bathroom on a good-sized block."

After finding the house online, they arranged an inspection with Ray White and sorted their finances with Home Loans Etc.

"We had to wait a couple of weeks because the seller was away, and we had pest and building inspections, so it was about another two months before we moved in."

FIRST HOME ADVICE

Macdonald and Michael Lawyers: Greg Michel

  • You shouldn't sign a contract without advice
  • Ask for a lower price if the property needs fixing
  • Look into buyer's risk insurance protection
  • Know how often you can access the property
  • Joint tenants (married couples) or tenants in common

Ray White Gladstone: Derran Corke

  • Gladstone's house prices have dropped and then flat line
  • There's a great choice of affordable homes out there
  • New Year/March to June is the best time to buy
  • Compare listings for more accurate prices
  • Industry announcements won't change much

Gladstone Suncorp Bank: Ally Ingram

  • See a financial advisor before shopping for a house
  • Variable rates are good if you don't see yourself in the property long term
  • Fixed rates have been at their lowest in 50 years, but have early termination fees
  • Online calculators only offer a "guesstimate"
  • It's not in the bank's interest to give you more than you can afford

Data research