Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley
NATIONAL property analyst Simon Pressley says Townsville is on the cusp of a more prosperous era but a lack of local confidence is holding the region back.
Mr Pressley (pictured), who is the head of property investment service Propertyology, was in Townsville earlier this month to speak at the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Hot Property event.
He said that Townsville’s diverse economy, huge pipeline of infrastructure projects and history of strong property growth before 2008 were sure signs better times were ahead but more confidence was needed.
“I think the outlook of your city has greatness in it but there is a very important missing ingredient and that is confidence,” he said.
“I think you’re about to see some price growth and that will be in 2019 and I think at first it will be mild.
“If you capitalise on all the infrastructure coming and start talking positively it becomes infectious and your economy can go from busted to really good, really quickly.”
Despite Mr Pressley’s optimism Townsville’s property prices are yet to budge. Core Logic’s latest Regional Market Update for the September quarter shows that median house values have dropped by 1.3 per cent in the 12 months to September 2018 to $301,816 and unit values are down 3.9 per cent at $239,543.
However houses are selling three days faster compared to August 2017 while units are selling 20 days faster.
Mr Pressley said there was no doubt Townsville had experienced a tough decade but other regional centres had fared worse only to recover and become some of the hottest real estate markets in the country.
He said Townsville needed to capitalise on its proximity to Asia to help boost the economy.
“I can’t think of a single location in Australia that has a more impressive list of economic assets,” he said.
“You’ve got gold, silver, copper, nickel and coal and you also have beef, mangoes and bananas.
“You have that in your backyard and you’re close to someone living in China, India or Vietnam and you’ve also already got a world-class export port and an international airport.”
Mr Pressley said Townsville could capitalise on the region’s tourism potential but city leaders would need to be bold and build something out of the box to attract visitors.
He suggested a tropical zoo, a sporting museum or a boutique brewery with “The Big Beer Can” to rival Coffs Harbour’s big banana.
“What can Townsville put on a postcard to take advantage of the tourism boom worldwide?” Mr Pressley said.
“You could have a tropical zoo, a six-star hotel or a regional sporting museum to showcase the great athletes who have come out of regional Queensland. Be innovative and work with your strengths because it will create jobs and it will give people a reason to come here.”