Glen Winney from Win Projects. Photo: File
Glen Winney from Win Projects. Photo: File

‘Mad scramble’: Coast developers are running out of blocks

A COMBINATION of factors is driving Hervey Bay's property market amid the COVID-19 crisis.

It comes as leading property valuer Heron Todd White tips Hervey Bay as a rising market.

Developer and Fraser Coast Property Industry Association President Glen Winney said the group held a meeting this week and a similar sentiment was shared by representatives across the industry.

"Hervey Bay is on very solid footing during COVID-19 and we believe the market is on one of the best upswings in many years," he said

"There is a combination of factors pushing the market.

"Firstly the $25,000 Federal Government grant, plus the $5000 regional grant and $15,000 first homeowners grant is having a massive impact on land sales and our biggest problem now is we have just about ran out of titled land pre-Christmas.

"Several developers are madly scrambling to bring on extra stages in key estates to keep up with the demand, but we will have a shortage.

"This is also creating a boom for the house builders who are now booked out for many months in advance."

The current rental shortage was also creating movement in the property industry.

"People are buying established houses to move into because they cannot rent," Mr Winney said.

"The established stock is also more scarce because during COVID-19 people stopped listing houses because they didn't want people in their house for inspections.

"There is nowhere to rent locally, therefore its now creating more demand than stock available in the established housing market."

The biggest driver was yet to hit the market, Mr Winney said, and that was migration.

"Australia has now had a cognitive generational shift in their behaviour and psyche and people realise they can work remotely and live in regional Australia," he said.

"This is making the regional seaside towns even more attractive, because they now know they can have their lifestyle and still maintain a career.

"So places like Hervey Bay will become very attractive place to invest and live in the coming months and years."

Coronavirus fears could also drive people to want to live in the region as well, Mr Winney said.

"On top of the workers are the retirees, who are now scared of living in capital cities after what has happened in Victoria," he said.

"So once the borders re-open we believe we will get a second wave of buyers coming through wanting to relocate and live in places like the Fraser Coast.

"The industry believes 2021 could be a really good year for the Fraser Coast and that our region could come out of COVID-19 better then when we entered it."