Linda Bland outside a Point Vernon property that has just sold as part of an emerging trend of home buyers angling for older, cheaper homes that need renovations. Photo: KARLEILA THOMSEN 10h2133b
Linda Bland outside a Point Vernon property that has just sold as part of an emerging trend of home buyers angling for older, cheaper homes that need renovations. Photo: KARLEILA THOMSEN 10h2133b

Budget buys buoy market

“ROUGH diamonds” are strengthening the region’s real estate market.

The Real Estate Institute says that houses that need TLC and are in the older parts of Maryborough and Hervey Bay are putting smiles on the faces of the bargain hunters, with a flair for renovation.

“I think it may partly be because of all these TV home improvement shows like The Block,” Linda Bland, the local REIQ chair said yesterday.

“As long as the location is right, it’s good buying to get yourself a home that is a bit of a rough diamond and then do it up.”

The total investment in Qld house and unit renovations increased by four per cent in 2009/10 to $7.98 billion following a soft 2008/09, Warwick Temby, the executive director of the state’s Housing Industry Association, said.

“Investment is forecast to ease by a modest two per cent this financial year before recovering by three per cent in 2011/12.”

Ms Bland said buying the worst house in the best street was a well-known real estate philosophy.

“In our region there remain plenty of rough diamonds to choose from but buyers need to be realistic and be able to afford to invest the time, and the money, usually required to restore the sparkle to these hidden gems.

“Buyers need to be realistic because getting your foot in the door via the bottom end of the price range usually comes with some sacrifices on space and actual location within the suburb or some serious work required on the property itself.”

On the Fraser Coast, top-end properties are selling for near $1 million with ocean views, but opportunities are still available to buy into River Heads, with a three-bedroom house selling for $166,500 on River Heads Road.

Over on Ariadne Street, however, a two-storey modern home with four bedrooms and magnificent ocean views recently went for $990,000.

Along Hervey Bay’s Esplanade, in Urangan and Point Vernon, Ms Bland said that two homes sold for $945,000 and $900,000 respectively.

“Both boast close proximity and views over Hervey Bay’s glorious beach and are on blocks in excess of 900sqm.

“While still being able to enjoy beachside living, without the views, two buyers have secured homes in Howlett Street, Urangan, and White Street, Point Vernon for under $240,000. This Point Vernon rough diamond was a one-bedroom holiday cottage, uniquely appointed with timber finishes.”

Ms Bland said that overall our home market was steady but buyers were still cautious. “We by no means escaped the global financial crisis.”



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