25 June 2017

Who’s responsible? Housing policy mismatched to our $6 trillion asset

Image: Australian Government Cabinet Meeting Photo: Andrew Taylor/APP
Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock? We ask this question in a newly released research report. The answer is critically important to both household opportunity and prosperity, and to the management of our largest national asset.

Australians’ wealth is overwhelmingly in our housing. As of late 2016, our housing stock was valued at $6 trillion. That’s nearly double the combined value of ASX capitalisation and superannuation funds.

Clearly, the way the housing sector is managed has huge implications for household prosperity and opportunity. The public debate about high house prices, for example, reveals a gnawing anxiety that the distribution of housing as an asset has shifted too far in favour of a growing class of rentiers rather than households.

Housing also has clear national economic implications. This relates both to its scale as an asset, and to the way it provides shelter for those most in need where that need is clear.

Any misallocation of housing to low-productivity uses is potentially a major drag on the economy. This necessarily requires a wide understanding of productivity.

How is Australian housing policy framed?

We asked whether there is a clear systematic policy framework through which the Australian government understands the dynamics of the housing system and its contribution to productivity. We might expect such a framework to be clear and prominent given recent public and policy attention to housing questions.

To better understand the Commonwealth’s approach, we surveyed recent major housing policy reviews by the government. We assessed how housing was conceived in terms of its economic and social dynamics, its influence on productivity, and the role of policy in shaping these effects.

There is no shortage of documentation to appraise. Our sample included the Henry Review of Taxation (2010), the National Housing Supply Council report series (2009-2013), the Productivity Commission inquiry into planning (2011), the COAG Report on Housing Supply and Affordability Reform (2012), the Financial System Inquiry (2014), the Federation Report on housing and homelessness (2014), and (albeit not a government report) the Senate Inquiry into housing affordability (2015).

We also prepared an inventory of housing policy instruments operated by governments in Australia to understand how these were conceived within the policy reviews. We found 13 policy instruments that influence housing systems. These operate across housing, economic and fiscal policy and at multiple tiers of government.

A picture of incoherent policymaking

We were surprised to discover that few of the major policy reviews provided a systematic framework for understanding the economic role of housing.

There is thin evidence, at best, that these inquiries constructed or articulated a systematic conceptual understanding of the links between the housing system and economic productivity.

Even the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into planning and zoning, which focused on housing affordability, did not offer a conceptual framework for understanding the influence of planning regulaton on urban or national productivity.

Our review of these documents further shows there is no coherent framework articulating how policy objectives link to instruments and their effects. Housing policy, despite the $6 trillion value of housing, seems strangely incoherent. Australia doesn’t currently have a minister for housing.

The debate over negative gearing during 2015 and 2016 partly demonstrates our contention. During this period we counted at least six reports by non-government organisations articulating a view on the purpose and effect of negative gearing. Nowhere could we identify a government policy document articulating a clear, extended and analytically based position on this policy explaining its purpose and effects.

The fractured approach to housing policy appears to be at least partly a result of deliberate political decisions
The fractured approach to housing policy appears to be at least
partly a result of deliberate political decisions.
vovan/ from www.shutterstock.com
Our search for an explanation of these gaps in policy was not exhaustive. But we did assess the current administrative orders for housing within the Australian government.

Responsibility for understanding housing issues is divided. The Department of Social Services is responsible for social housing, rent assistance and home ownership. The Treasury has responsibility for housing supply policy.

Elsewhere, the Reserve Bank deals with monetary policy and financial stability. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority APRA manages macroprudential policy. And the Tax Office (ATO) administers tax concessions. The Productivity Commission offers occasional advice on housing.

Yet there appears to be no obvious co-ordinating point in government that oversees housing. No one authority is responsible for formulating a coherent systematic understanding of housing and its effects on productivity and Australia’s economy or society generally. The National Housing Supply Council established in 2009 partly filled this role, but was abolished in 2013.

Further dispersion appears via COAG, which is convened by the Commonwealth government. COAG periodically marks out a housing issue, such as land supply, for discussion with state governments and to formulate policy recommendations. But COAG communiques are typically short political statements and not analytically founded.

Within state governments, responsibilities for different aspects of housing are typically spread across several agencies.

What needs to be done?

Our report demonstrates weaknesses in Australia’s approach to housing and housing policymaking. There is evidence this is deliberate. For example, the Coalition members’ minority response to the 2015 Senate inquiry into affordable housing rejected almost all of its policy recommendations. Many of these would rectify some of the deficits we have identified.

The weak formal coordination in housing policy contrasts with other sectors such as energy, defence, biosecurity, disability, heritage, drugs and road safety, among others. Each has a dedicated national strategy articulating policy objectives, problem conceptualisation and coordination of policy instruments.

It is doubtful that housing is less significant to the nation, economically or socially, than these sectors.
We recommend that the Australian government reflects on the position of housing within the architecture of government. The $6 trillion national asset that housing represents deserves much better understanding of its dynamics and effects on the national economy, including productivity.

We argue that Australia needs a federal minister for housing, a dedicated housing portfolio, and an agency responsible for conceptualising and co-ordinating policy. The current fragmented, ad-hoc approach to housing policy seems poorly matched to the scale of the housing sector and its importance to Australia.

Authors: Jago Dodson, Sarah Sinclair & Tony Dalton  republished from



Further reading:

Bust the Regional City Myths and Look Beyond the "Big 5" For A $378b Return

First home buyers grant “Pitted” by Queensland Treasurer

Guide to selling a luxury home

Guide to 22 knockout marketing tips to sell a home

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The Conversation

Bust the regional city myths and look beyond the ‘big 5’ for a $378b return

Townsville City - Capital of North Queensland
Investing in regional cities’ economic performance makes good sense. Contrary to popular opinion, new research out today shows regional cities generate national economic growth and jobs at the same rate as big metropolitan cities. They are worthy of economic investment in their own right – not just on social and equity grounds.

However, for regional cities to capture their potential A$378 billion output to 2031, immediate action is needed. Success will see regional cities in 2031 produce twice as much as all the new economy industries produce in today’s metropolitan cities.

Drawing on lessons from the UK, the collaborative work by the Regional Australia Institute and the UK Centre for Cities spotlights criteria and data all Australian cities can use to help get themselves investment-ready.

Build on individual strengths

The Regional Australia Institute’s latest work confirms that city population size does not determine economic performance. There is no significant statistical difference between the economic performance of Australia’s big five metro cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide) and its 31 regional cities in historical output, productivity and participation rates.

Growth rates regional vs metropolitan cities


So, regional cities are as well positioned to create investment returns as their big five metro cousins. The same rules apply – investment that builds on existing city strengths and capabilities will produce returns.
Rapid population growth is driving
the Gold Coast economy, making it a ‘gaining’ city.
Pawel Papis from www.shutterstock.com

No two cities have the same strengths and capabilities. However, regional cities do fall into four economic performance groups – gaining, expanding, slipping, and slow and steady. This helps define the investment focus they might require.

For example, the report finds Fraser Coast (Hervey Bay), Sunshine Coast-Noosa and Gold Coast are gaining cities. Their progress is fuelled by high population growth rates (around 2.7% annually from 2001 to 2013). But stimulating local businesses will deliver big job growth opportunities.

Similarly, the expanding cities of Cairns, Central Coast and Toowoomba are forecast to have annual output growth of 3.2% to 3.9% until 2031, building on strong foundations of business entries. But they need to create more high-income jobs.

Geelong and Ballarat have low annual population growth rates of around 1.2% to 1.5%. They are classified as slow and steady cities. But their relatively high creative industries scores, coupled with robust rates of business entries, means they have great foundations for growth. They need to stimulate local businesses to deliver city growth.

Get ready to deal

Regional cities remain great places to live. They often score more highly than larger cities on measures of wellbeing and social connection.

But if there’s no shared vision, or local leaders can’t get along well enough to back a shared set of priorities, or debate is dominated by opinion in spite of evidence, local politics may win the day. Negotiations to secure substantial city investment will then likely fail.

The federal government’s Smart Cities Plan has identified City Deals as the vehicle for investment in regional cities.

This collaborative, cross-portfolio, cross-jurisdictional investment mechanism needs all players working together (federal, state and local government), along with community, university and private sector partners. This leaves no place for dominant single interests at the table.

Clearly, the most organised regional cities ready to deal are those capable of getting collaborative regional leadership and strategic planning.

For example, the G21 region in Victoria (including Greater Geelong, Queenscliffe, Surf Coast, Colac Otway and Golden Plains) has well-established credentials in this area. This has enabled the region to move quickly on City Deal negotiations.

Moving past talk to be investment-ready

There’s $378 billion on the table, but Australia’s capacity to harness it will depend on achieving two key goals.
  • First, shifting the entrenched view that the smart money invests only in our big metro cities. This is wrong. Regional cities are just as well positioned to create investment returns as the big five metro centres.
  • Second, regions need to get “investment-ready” for success. This means they need to be able to collaborate well enough to develop an informed set of shared priorities for investment, supported by evidence and linked to a clear growth strategy that builds on existing economic strengths and capabilities. They need to demonstrate their capacity to deliver.
While there has been much conjecture on the relevance and appropriateness of City Deals in Australia, it is mainly focused on big cities. But both big and small cities drive our national growth.

Author: Leonie Pearson republished from


Further reading:

First home buyers grant “Pitted” by Queensland Treasurer

Guide to selling a luxury home

Guide to 22 knockout marketing tips to sell a home

Free subscription offer

You're fired! The best summer. Bugger - Go Digital. Join TREN. It's Free. Explore more..
You're fired! The best summer. Bugger - Go Digital. Join TREN. It's Free. Explore more...
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The Conversation

22 June 2017

Real estate investing guide: Lessons from a State of Origin victory

Image: Johnathon Thurston kicking the winning goal in the State of Origin
Real estate investing

This may come as a complete surprise to some people and you might even ask what does real estate have to do with the State of Origin? It is rugby league for goodness sake, a sport nothing like the business of real estate or property investing you might say. Well, you would be mistaken.

Understanding State of Origin rugby league as a game with its significant challenges and enormous success presents an excellent case study with direct parallels to real estate investing.

As a team sport, with goals, boundaries and high stacks on the line, it fits well as an opportunity for learning and guiding people in the values, skills and attitudes needed to be successful in the real estate game.

The excitement of the Queensland State of Origin victory last night against the NSW Blues revealed how many Townsville and North Queensland heroes turned up to win game 2 to level the 3 game series one all.

Local leaders

Names such as:

  • Tim Glasby (Townsville born),
  • Gavin Cooper (NQ Cowboys),
  • Valentine Holmes (Townsville born),
  • Billy Slater (Innisfail Junior),
  • Dane Gagai (Mackay born),
  • Michael Morgan (Townsville born),
  • Coen Hess (NQ Cowboys) and 
  • Jonathan Thurston (NQ Cowboys)

All of these leaders in the game of rugby league played their part in yesterday's victory by Queensland, some engaging their time and skills more than others, but they all played an important role in the game.

How do these great players relate to real estate? Well, most of these professional players own a home or are in fact real estate investors. As significant as this information might be, knowing the Townsville players and the seemingly trivial fact they share similar interests doesn't really mean a thing unless you are a North Queensland rugby league fan.

Parallels with rugby league

There is a more poignant reason to discuss these players apart from the fact they all play or come from North Queensland. They are also State of Origin heroes teaching us the secrets to success in real estate investing and if we pay attention, they could help you forge a victory in as a player in the arena of State of Origin of real estate.

Have you ever been to watch a State of Origin match? It's electrifying and a real gripping encounter. The noise and atmosphere is overwhelming.

If you haven't been to a game of rugby league, maybe you have watched it on television. Then you would have heard the words "great yards JT" or "great yards taken by Queensland Fatty" or "Great hit up Coops".

These are footy terms meaning the player is gaining better field position or acquired land while carrying the ball in play. The player has effectively purchased land to use a real estate term, applying their energy, skill and effective decision making to gain the advantage yard by yard.

Making a break, showing the dummy, showing speed, breaking the defensive line or scoring tries are all terms expressed to represent positive ground or advantage is being gained.

Location, location location

Field position and gaining ground on the football field is like location, location, location in real estate investment terms.

It is the decisions being made by players, their physical effort and the process of the game that make the player look dazzling and entertaining on the field. They make the game look effortless.

It is the decision making and action of the player that causes what ground is gained, or lost for that matter as the standard of play or luck of the bounce turns the game against us or for us. It's an observation of advantage or disadvantage, favourable or unfavourable events impacting the game or real estate market.

Skills, judgment, and decisions

Jonathan Thurston, playing five-eighth for the Maroons and half back for the North Queensland Cowboys, is a master investor on the rugby league field in every aspect of the game.

JT’s capabilities kicking the ball, running and passing, planning and programming the plays and communicating with the team are all great strengths of a legendary player. His individual brilliance is mesmerizing and it comes from years of practice, persistence and experience.

When defending his goal line or resisting the opposing team competing for yards, JT is masterful at tackling, reading the play and constantly checking for weaknesses and strengths in his teammates and observing the same aspects in the opposing players in the context of the overall game.
The playmaker is constantly processing data and information, applying judgment and making decisions faster than a lightning strike.

In other words, he thinks about what land to purchase, location, advantage, results, and victory off the field. Let's call this the whys and what’s of the game. On the field in the heat of the moment, he is thinking where, how and who, whilst dealing with any issues resourcing, referring and coaching concerns. He already knows what is the best real estate is on the field.

He is never thinking how much he is tired, or how much his game fee is, or how much he could lose if he gets injured. He just plays hard with purpose and skill.

Secret to success

Rugby league and the Jonathan Thurston game on the football field is an excellent way to learn and understand the rules, skills, and strategy of property investing.

It's a matter of perspective and mindset and making the best decisions based on the landscape presented to you within the blink of an eye. It happens fast and it's tough. It’s not for the faint hearted, at least not a professional level.

We must focus and think away not of "how much" pain in the next tackle, or the difficulty of winning against all odds, or admiring the strength of the opposing player and being intimidated.

Video: Channel 9's Phil Gauld describing the
greatness of Johnathon Thurston

Instead, we should focus 100 percent of our attention on field position (where is the location), strategy (planning how to action) with masterful skills (who has the expertise), and the results of winning and victory will come step by step, yard by yard, location by location.

This type of leadership motivates team mates, demonstrates a culture and tradition of risk taking, decisive execution and winning with a humble strength and respect of the opposition. It inspires an extraordinary spirit of gratitude, gracious in celebration and integrity of management for nurturing the next generation of younger players.

These characteristics are what have become of the Queensland way. A never say die spirit, that when the chips are down and the game is seemingly unwinnable, the Queensland heart and soul keeps the ship straight, cool, calm and collected under pressure.

This is the secret to Queensland’s success.

Focus and work hard

Great players do the work off the field (why, what, how much) and take action (how, where, when, who) on the field. The talent of the players to master these disciplines is a key pathway to professional attainment.

Queensland's secret to success over the past decade of State of Origin has been its spirit of winning while the key to the opportunities they have created is the focus and hard work of players and the team.

They have avoided all of the distractions, controversies, and the drama around the sport to stay focused and true to their talent and their dreams.

Understanding boundaries

A rugby league field is 122 m long and 68 m wide. The in-goal areas on each end of the field are 11 metres long. The playing field is measured and marked from the goal line in 10 metre lots until the distance reaches the half way line which is 50 metres from the goal line.

Each ten metres is counted down from the goal line, 40, 30, 20 and 10 metres to the centre line or kick off point. The same markers are used on the opposition side of the half way line creating a separate territory for each team. These lines are marked with white chalk and adjudicated by referees.

Although not always marked with chalk on the grass, invisible lines run length ways up and down the field. The most important of which are the sidelines, and the 10 metre lines inside the side line (also touch line). The centre line is where the ball is kicked from to start a game. In the mind of a player like JT, the field is mapped like a grid pattern in his mind just like the streets define the location of real estate in the suburbs in which we play the real estate game.

The most valuable location on the field is the 11 metres from the try line to the dead ball line (in-goal) and 10 metres from each goal line in the field of play at each end of the field. In real estate terms, these are prime locations.

Does your why make you cry

Let's assume you have already decided why you are interested in real estate. This is the most important of all decisions. If you are doing it for the wrong reasons, like making lots of money, you are less likely to avoid the traps of thinking about the wrong things when you are on the field of play and taking action.

If you are investing in real estate for the wrong reasons, you are more likely to make the wrong decision too.

However, if you are playing for the love of the sport, love of the community, or love of your identity, heritage or culture, and it makes you cry, then you are already on the money and born with greatness within you.

Being in the right place at the right time to take advantage of opportunities is not enough. You must know you are actually there when the opportunity is presented.

There is no "I" in Team

As a committed aspiring professional player in real estate investing, the first point to understand is that it is a team game.

To play the game professionally you must understand the rules and mission (what), understand what is your best fit for a position (who to become) and who's capable of what in your fellow players.

Make the profession or industry about you; losing value in the team, then you have already lost. Doing it for your mates, doing it for your team is a great motivator but it’s when your spirit or pride is hurt, or you are injured or suffer loss, that you need the support of the team to recover and get back on course.

In real estate terms, your team is your advisors, experts, partners and service providers. Respect them and treat them honourably.

Avoid dream stealers

Just like children we all must start somewhere. As inexperienced players in real estate, and just like rugby league players, we start putting on a jersey and running like numbnuts around a grassy paddock with no idea why what and how it works.

You choose to play rugby league, or cricket, or table tennis or greco-roman wrestling. It doesn’t matter which one. But your mates like to play a sport, or your parents have a preference, so a decision made and you get started. We just go with the flow. More often than not, we don't know why we started and have not a clue what to do.

It is quite cute, funny and even distressing sometimes watching an 8-year-old kid running the football in the wrong direction, gifting the ball to their best friend on the opposite team, or even urinating on the field.

This is raw, but the fact is we generally learn how and who before we learn why, what and how much it costs to the play the game.

Practice, persistence, and experience

Not everybody can be Jonathan Thurston, but if you want to earn a living playing real estate you must become a professional player, and that means going to practice (education), persistence (don’t give up) and (learning and wisdom) experience are the keys.

You must go to school and study, enroll in training courses, attend seminars and find the right coach or mentor.

Learn about every aspect of the real estate game such as finance, money and lending, budgeting, building design and architecture, legal, accounting and taxation, real estate and property, etc.

Research, attend events, and engage with community groups and build relationships with people who already have what you want. Do not associate with people who have not walked the talk. A JT does not follow a C grade player.

Make a start and buy your first property.

Conclusion

Loving your kid is not the same as loving children generally. Buying a dream home to live in is not the same as buying an investment property from which you make a living. One is a financial asset and the other financial liability.

Winning a State of Origin of real estate is a dream come true but not everyone can achieve this level of success unless they are prepared to become the professionals that have made the entire North Queensland community proud last Wednesday night.

Further reading:




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21 June 2017

Top Price Property of the Week - $955,000 - 18 The Point Castle Hill

Image: 18 The Point Castle Hill Photo thanks: Lyn and Rohan, Remax
This week’s winner
18 The Point Castle Hill
This week’s residential property Top Price Winner of the Week has all of the features that family buyers dream about when looking for a great home; beautiful views, plenty of space for his and her privacy, living space for mum and dad and the kids and a plenty of facilities to accommodate and entertain special guests from time to time.
Castle Hill is arguably the most prestigious suburb in Townsville because of its elevation overlooking the Great Barrier Reef and Islands and the short distance to the City's business district and tropical beaches.
The property sold for $955,000 which is $130,000 above the current median house price at $825,000 for the suburb.
The pinnacle of Castle Hill and the world-heritage listed landmark is 286 metres above sea level.
Dynamo property marketing duo, Lyn Griffiths and Rohan Banning from Remax describe the features and benefits of the property this way.
The property
This double storey Castle Hill residence also features a basement level which gives the man of the house his 'shed' or it could be a future granny flat. It boasts a quality finish and interesting views throughout the day and night, the sales agents said.
The main home is set over 2 levels and the layout is perfect for those families with older teens, or elderly parents. The property is featured packed including:
Image: Pool, 18 The Point Castle Hill
Photo thanks: Lyn and Rohan, Remax
  •            4 king size bedrooms
  • ·       3 large bathrooms, including master bedroom en-suite
  • ·         Open plan living and dining upstairs
  • ·         Extra living room on the lower level with direct access to pool area
  • ·         Awesome kitchen featuring BOSCH appliances (induction cooktop, electric oven, dishwasher) granite benchtops, well designed storage drawers and a large corner pantry
  • ·         Tiled entertainment area boasting stunning views
  • ·         Private in-ground pool with views
  • ·         Double (high clearance) lock up garage, with additional hardstand for off-street parking
  • ·         Generous storage cupboards throughout
  • ·         Exposed timber staircase in entry foyer
  • ·         Fully tiled throughout
  • ·         Internal laundry and kitchenette
  • ·         Insect and security screens throughout
  • ·         Fully air conditioned (split systems)
  • ·         Ceiling fans throughout
  • ·         Lush, irrigated gardens and lawn
  • ·         Well utilized 717 sqm block
  • ·         Fire-pit with built in seating
  • ·         40+ sqm basement level for workshop, storage, man-cave


The lower (entry) level is fully tiled and includes a formal entry, large central lounge room, generous storage, 2 large bedrooms, outdoor area, large full size bathroom, separate toilet and the combined laundry and kitchenette.
This level flows directly out onto the pool deck that features glass balustrade which shows off a gorgeous in-ground pool and waterfall, and a full length tiled patio with views and room to relax.
The high clearance double garage (with remote controlled panel lift door) has direct entry into the main foyer giving you direct access from your car to the home.
An exposed timber feature staircase takes you to the upper level which opens on one side to the remaining 2 bedrooms and bathrooms, and on the other side into an enormous open plan living and dining space which will make you feel instantly at home!
The master bedroom has its own private balcony, walk in robe and deluxe en-suite with double basins, wide vanity mirror and corner bath.
The last of the 4 bedrooms is at the opposite end of the adjoining hallway and includes a wall of mirror door built-ins and views to Castle Hill. Add to this area, the third bathroom and separate toilet and all we have left to explore on this level are the expansive living areas!
The living area is the hub of the upper level and encompasses a large lounge room, central dining area, casual sitting area and a massive high quality kitchen.
Image: Living and kitchen, 18 The Point Castle Hill
Photo thanks: Lyn and Rohan, Remax
Anywhere you turn on this level you are greeted by extensive views out of any of the windows!
The kitchen has been thoughtfully designed and ensures that any cook remains in the middle of the action as they prepare meals. It features granite benchtops, an island bench, generous storage drawers throughout, double sinks, a large plumbed fridge space, BOSCH dishwasher, induction cooktop and electric oven, plus there is plenty of room for a convection microwave and much more.
You'll never be left wanting for storage space within this kitchen, especially when you add in the large corner pantry!
The basement level of the home is accessed just across the lawn from the fire-pit and is secured by a roller door. This area is 40+ sqm and houses all of the air conditioning compressors, hot water system, pool filter equipment and much more.
You can create the ultimate man-cave, use it as a shed, convert it into a granny flat or just keep it as it is. At the back of the home, you'll find a lovely lush and flat lawn and garden with established trees and shrubs (and more of those lovely views).
In addition to this, there is an extra area within the block which is shaded and cool and features a myriad of fruit trees (mulberry, avocado, lemon, lime, paw paw) and an impressive herb garden!
You will search for a long time to find a home built as solid as this Ms. Griffith and Mr. Banning said in their online listing.
It sits high on the block and this also means you capture extra breezes and have more privacy than most, the couple said.
Investment profile
TREN's research has identified that the suburb of Castle Hill is the second most prestigious suburb in Queensland with a population of approximately 1000 people as recorded in the 2011 sensis.
Much of Castle Hill is a nature reserve but the sub-division of Yarrawonga, which was developed in 1983, covers an area of approximately 33 hectares on the north-eastern side of the Hill.
The suburb has a current median house price of $825,000 and over the past 12 months has recorded a median house price from $925,000 at the end of 2015 to $788,000 to the end of 2016.
Due to the low volume of sales data, just 16 sales in 2016, and a relatively small population sample in the suburb, Castle Hill is susceptible to anomaly sales because of the variations in sale prices that can sometimes occur with a limited pool of available information.
Achieving a sales price of $955,000, number 18 The Point will have a positive impact on the median sale price for the area as it exceeded the suburb year to date median house price of $825,000.
Image: Garden and firepit, 18 The Point Castle Hill
Photo thanks: Lyn and Rohan, Remax
Castle Hill is a destination suburb for its lifestyle. The suburb sales continuum has been very patchy over the past five years, making the median sale price out of reach for most investors. No recorded sales exist for 2011 and 2013.
On the back of just 10 sales, the median price for the suburb in 2012 reached $1.07 million and then dropped back $873,000 in 2014 off the back of just 10 sales. Over the past 18 months, the median house price has declined by 11 percent.
The median house rental price in Castletown is $585 per week. No data exists for units.
The residential rental yield for houses in Castle Hill is 3.7 percent. Over the past 12 months, 12 rental houses have been tenanted. Only 7 houses are advertised on the market for rent today at the time of our research.
The demographic profile of Castle Hill attracts older established couples with families making up 54 percent of the suburb, while matured aged buyers make up 8.5 percent.
Castle Hill is not affordable for the majority of buyers in the Townsville market. Young families make up just 2 percent of the population.

Castle Hill the landmark was named in 1864 by early explorers. In its early history, the area was known based on its Aboriginal place name of Cootharinga, which is one of only two areas in Townsville named by local aboriginals.

Further reading:

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