Gladstone has been incorrectly labelled as an industrial, mining town for years. The true story is that we are actually a vibrant port city to the world.
Not only do we house a mix of existing and emerging industries but our geographical location puts us on the tip of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
The Port of Gladstone is Queensland’s largest multi-commodity port, handling more than 30 different products. With total throughput of more than 100 million tonnes per annum, major cargoes include coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, cement and liquified natural gas (LNG).
Tourism is becoming a large part of our local economy and the introduction of several cruise liners to our port has been warmly welcomed by locals and business community.
Gladstone is also renowned for its beautiful climate all year round. In winter you can comfortably wear trackie dacks and a sweater with thongs. In summer it’s always the right temperature to get out and splash in the waves to cool off after a hot day.
For a long time, Gladstone has been known as the region who housing market has collapsed. Our annual median house price has fallen about 40 per cent over the past five years, from $440,000 to $226,500.
The resources downturn has absolutely impacted our market. But it’s important to recognise that housing prices, at their peak, were unsustainably high, pushed up by the high incomes from our resources industries. That could never last. Now, we’re finding out new normal.
Lately I feel there is a change evident throughout our community. The business community is feeling more optimistic than it has in recent times. The general community is returning to the property market and confidence is returning.
Transaction volumes are improving with a lift of 2.6 per cent in sales levels and our vacancy rate has come down from 11.3 per cent in 2015 to 4.1 per cent in the September quarter of 2018. This is still high and landlords are feeling some pain finding good long-term tenants, as well as facing falling rents, but it’s a little less pain than they faced a few years ago.
Generally speaking we are seeing small signs that indicate we may be emerging from a difficult time. Things are moving in the right direction and that’s not something we’ve been able to say for a while. Real estate is a big part of our local economy and when real estate starts to improve, our local economy will enjoy the uplift. I’m optimistic about our market over the next medium term and I feel that there is much to be confident about!