Sunshine Coast Daily, 16 August 2008

| By Toby Walker


 Talk of an interest-rate cut has seen property watchers and investors perk up, resulting in a resurgence of interest from buyers.

Ray White's Brett Graham said in the past four weeks there had been a lift in the amount of inquiries, numbers at on-site auctions and, more particularly, sales.

This is more the result of sellers understanding the market and what it takes to sell today, he said.

The buyers are sensing and seeking out the serious sellers and as a result they are prepared to buy.

Mike Burns at Elders Palmwoods said buyers looking to the hinterland had more options now than they had had for some time.

When the market was running hot last year, buyers had to take what was on offer, he said.

Now there are better options to compare wha's available (and) there are plenty of buyers responding to value.

The positive economic outlook could be expected to bring with it more positives for sellers too, according to RP Data Research director Tim Lawless.

On the Sunshine Coast I think we'll start to see more buyers and greater levels of investment over the coming months because over the last nine months investment levels have been exceptionally low: there just hasn't been enough buyers in the marketplace, he said.

Mr Lawless said he expected median price growth on houses on the Coast to achieve returns between five and 10% in 2009 after a slight decline in median values in the first half of 2008.

A great deal of opportunity is going to be at the southern ends of the Coast because it offers affordable housing in addition to being relatively close to Brisbane because some people are choosing to commute between the two, he said.

The northern, more affluent market, was also expected to perform well, he said.

Quick turnaround

So much can happen in such a little time ... it was only late last month we were being told interest rates might not drop until 2009.

This week, however, Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Ric Battellino gave a strong indication the official cash rate might fall by at least 25 basis points, from 7.25%, next month.

And the Sunshine Coast property market has responded quickly.

Property Week editor Erle Levey said: In the 28 years since the Sunshine Coast Daily was launched, we have seen the property market go through booms and busts.

There has been a marked change from the bleak days of June. The sunshine of the past two weeks has also brought the buyers out.

When you couple interest rate reductions with the abolition of stamp duty for first home buyers for properties under $500,000 next month ... that is bound to have an impact.

The changes will save buyers $8750 on a $500,000 home, after September 1.