January has been a busy month for sales enquiries and sales.

The residential market i.e. housing, has been strong in the $400,000 to $600,000 range and we've made a number of sales in Sunrise Beach and Cooloola. In this market if the property is priced right it will sell. I would still describe it as a buyers market, however, if the rate of sales continues it would tip the balance towards sellers. I would not expect this to happen for 12 to 18 months. We need to keep in mind this market peaked in November 2003 so it's been flat for three years now.

An interest rate rise could also have an adverse effect.

On the mid weekend in January there were 14 auctions of various properties mainly in the upper end. Only one of those properties sold at auction - a penthouse at Picture Point Terraces for $3.95 million.

The unit market is patchy with some good and bad results. Prime property with a scarcity factor is still achieving record prices. Examples of this case two units at Mariners Point right on the main river selling for $2.45 million and $1.95 million respectively and a three bedroom unit at Las Rias for $2.3 million.

Our office has achieved a record price for one of the original homes on Noosa Parade which was listed for sale at $6 million.

Summing up - prime scarcity top end property is bringing strong prices. Homes in the $400,000 t0 $600,000 are selling very well provided the price is right.

Elsewhere the market is patchy with buyers being nervous. Generally property needs to be priced well and if it is - it's selling.

Peter Dowling