MEDICAL BOOM: The medical precinct in Hervey Bay's Urraween has strengthened the suburb's prices. Pictured is the team working on the construction of a new aged care across from St Stephen's Private Hospital.
MEDICAL BOOM: The medical precinct in Hervey Bay's Urraween has strengthened the suburb's prices. Pictured is the team working on the construction of a new aged care across from St Stephen's Private Hospital. Valerie Horton

Hospital hub key to recovering Fraser Coast market

AN IDYLLIC coastal lifestyle without the crowds has long been the Fraser Coast's major selling point but in recent times state of the art medical facilities have attracted a new breed of buyer.

This is reflected in the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures that show the medical suburb of Urraween continues to go from strength, posting the highest inner city median price of $358,000 compared to the regional average of $303,000.

Raine and Horne Hervey Bay principal Graham Cockerill said major improvements in health facilities and infrastructure in the Hervey Bay Hospital and St Stephen's Private Hospital precincts were driving strong growth in surrounding housing developments where specialist medical staff were finding a new place to call home.

He said the long awaited upgrades of the region's health services were pivotal to a market of retirees and young families.

"Once people see this place and the lifestyle it offers, they want to stay or buy a place they can retire to later in life," Mr Cockerill said

"In the past, one of the things holding people back was the limited health care facilities but now we have an industry which is not only a major employer for the region but also provides the infrastructure needed to support it and that is making a big difference."

According to the REIQ figures, every suburb in Hervey Bay continues to post better results than this time five years ago.

In the December quarter, Urangan, where 30 homes were sold and the median price rose 4.5% and Point Vernon where 25 homes were sold and the median price rose 4.9%, were the best performing suburbs.

Mr Cockerill said the two suburbs at opposite ends of the seaside town had always retained their popularity because of their quieter appeal and proximity to the beach.

But he believed the increased demand there and in the wider area was likely due to government and council incentives which had seen a noted increase in first home buyers.

Acreage in the outer suburbs of Toogoom and Booral have also risen year on year.

There was more good news in the nearby riverside town of Maryborough where the median sale price for the year sits at $196,150, up 0.6% on last year. It is a welcome change for the Heritage City but still 12.2% behind where it was five years ago when the median house price was $223,500.

And in the last quarter, 52 homes sold and the median price rose 9.2% to $211,000.

SUBURBS TO WATCH:

Urraween

Size: About 7sq km.

Predominant age group: 65-74 years.

Households: Primarily childless couples.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 68.3% of homes owner-occupied.

Urangan

Size: About 18sq km.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily childless couples.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 58.1% of homes owner-occupied.

Point Vernon

Size: About 6sq km.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1800-$2400 a month.

Ownership: 65.7% of homes owner-occupied.

Maryborough

Size: About 26sq km.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1000-$1400 a month.

Ownership: 61.8% of homes owner-occupied.

Dundowran

Size: About 13sq km.

Predominant age group: 0-14 years.

Households: Primarily couples with children.

Likely mortgage repayments: $1400-$1800 a month.

Ownership: 79.7% of homes owner-occupied.

Source: CoreLogic RP Data



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