Statistics don't tell full story

STAYING PUT: North Booval resident Sheila Smith outside her home which didn’t flood in January 2011. Sheila isn’t worried about the price drop in houses in the area. Photo: Sarah Harvey
STAYING PUT: North Booval resident Sheila Smith outside her home which didn’t flood in January 2011. Sheila isn’t worried about the price drop in houses in the area. Photo: Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH residents should disregard figures showing the house prices in one city suburb have dropped further than anywhere else in Australia - according to the company that collected the data.

Figures from property research company RP Data showed North Booval experienced a 46.3% drop in the median house price during 2011.

But one of RP Data's own senior research analysts, Cameron Kusher said the suburb, which was partially flood affected last year, had recorded extremely low sales in 2011, meaning very little should be read into the results.

"The report that has been out today (Tuesday) hasn't been put into context," Mr Kusher said .

"Yes, the median sale price did fall by 45% over the 12 months; however you are looking at a very small sample size of sales."

Only 22 properties changed hands in North Booval in 2011, far below what RP Data accepts as a reasonable sample size.

The results showed a median sale price of $154,000 compared to median sale price in equally flood-affected Goodna of $263,500.

Mr Kusher said the huge drop was out of step with other Ipswich suburbs and indicated a short-term correction.

"Out of all the areas in Ipswich, North Booval is the cheapest median sale price," he said.

"It certainly indicates to me that the vast majority of those sold properties have been flood- affected and people have just walked away.

"Many wouldn't have had insurance and have decided to get out and start their life somewhere else."

Former Ipswich real estate agent Phil Jackwitz encouraged homeowners to "hold on" to their properties and avoid rushing into a sale.

When asked if this type of data could panic homeowners, Mr Jackwitz urged caution.

"Yes, it certainly can," he said.

"But this is a house-by-house or case-by-case situation."

Many North Booval streets remained untouched during January's floods, as they did during the 1974 disaster.

Resident Sheila Smith who has lived in the riverside suburb since 1982, said she was surprised to hear of the huge price fall, but felt many residents would be unaffected.

"Most people in this area have been here for years and I don't know of anyone who wanted to sell anyway." Mrs Smith said.

Three other residents in the same street - two of which had been in North Booval since 1974 - all agreed they were unconcerned about the "surprising" reports.

Regardless of the current figures, Mr Kusher said he expected to see this year's median house price increase significantly.

"You'll see the median price in 12 months time will be higher than it is now."

Whether the figures are right or not, pensioner Merle McKenzie won't be spending anytime worrying about it.

The former newsagent said after building the house with her husband in 1974 she had never thought about selling

"Here I am and here I will stay she said.

"Let's just hope that it's a little better when I do finally need to sell one day."


1. North Booval (QLD) -46.3%

2. Mittaggong (NSW) -45.1%

3. Joliment (WA) -44.4%

4. Carey Bay (NSW) -42.6%

5. St Kilda West (VIC) -41.8%

6. Port Augusta (SA) -41.5%

7. Golden Beach (VIC) -40.9%

8. Rainbow Beach (QLD) -40.8%

9. Acacia Ridge (QLD) -40.8%

10. Eagle Farm (QLD) -40.4%

Topics:  house prices property real estate

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