City a top property performer
HOUSES are selling like hot cakes in Ipswich.
The latest real estate statistics are in and Ipswich has emerged as the "standout performer", beating Brisbane and surrounding suburbs.
In the three months between June and September more than 630 houses were sold in Ipswich at an average price of $325,000.
That's a sales increase of 1.4% compared to the previous three months and the latest numbers earned Ipswich the official title of one of Australia's fastest growing real estate markets - if not the fastest, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.
Owners looking to sell can expect to wait just 44 days to find a buyer, but demand for rentals is tight.
The REIQ figures show Ipswich is still teetering on the border of what would be considered a housing shortage with a vacancy rate of 2.1%, where anything below 2% is likely to push up rental prices.
Yet real estate agents say that could be because most of the people buying homes in Ipswich are moving into them, rather than renting them out.
'Character homes' in the older suburbs are the most sought-after for homeowners while investors are fuelling growth in new development areas.
Real estate agents are constantly fielding calls from out-of-state investors that barely care what the house looks like.
Adam Horth, Johnson Real Estate Principal, says while 50% of the inquiries his agency receives are from investors, 80% of successful sales are to people already living in Ipswich.
It's that trend that will help Ipswich shed its reputation as 'undesirable' with more Ipswich residents choosing to stay within the city limits.
Mr Horth is expecting the market to take a little turn in some traditional suburbs, particularly Raceview, where low-set brick homes are expected.
"There is still that stigma attached to Ipswich, which is unfounded," Mr Horth said.
"With more owner occupiers moving into homes, rather than renters, we will see that changing.
"Often where you have areas predominantly filled with renters there is no sense of pride but with more and more Ipswich people choosing to stay we will see that slowly changing."
In the past few months Johnson Real Estate has seen their sales jump from 10 a month to about 25.
It's a trend agents are expecting to see continue into the New Year, along with the lift in prices which keep climbing.
Ipswich REIQ Chair Darren Boettcher has issued a gentle warning to anyone looking to buy a house where they intend to live.
He said Ipswich can roughly be divided into two types of areas; those where the houses are largely owned by investors and those filled with owner occupiers.
"People need to make informed choices," Mr Boettcher said.
"A lot of the new areas aren't being firmly controlled by developers the way they are in Ripley, for example, and they're filled about 90% with renters.
"Established areas or master-planned communities are where people should be looking, to live among home owners."