Postiive Time For Region

THE developers of a $1.5 billion masterplanned community in Mackay are readying for an improvement in the local market. A development application has been lodged to develop a 3ha retirement village within the Plantation Palms community.Site works have now also been finished on a number of townhouse and villa blocks near the town centre.

The joint Xcel Property Group and Paul Ramsay Holdings project is expected to include up to 2000 home sites, due for completion around 2020-2022.

Community developer Kim Clarke said retirees and downsizers now represented a large portion of Plantation Palms buyers. He said the latest stages would include about 110 affordable retirement homes,creating about 400 direct jobs

during the next three years. “In Mackay we’ve gone from about 5 per cent small houses to 15 or 20 per cent now,” Mr Clarke said. “Everybody wanted 800sq m back in 2000, now they are accepting 500sq m “It’s all about affordability people want to keep under $200,000 for land.” Mr Clarke said while Mackay prices had been flat for the past 12 months, he expected a positive turn was likely. “In the next six months, things will start picking up,” he said.

“The township itself is very wealthy – it has sugar, cattle and tourism – we’ve just had a situation where the mining companies weren’t making a profit.

“If the price of coal goes up a little more, those mines might start reopening.” Mr Clarke believed the carbon and mining tax repeals were good signs for the market. “Mackay has had a few flat points, but it’s always fairly strong, and it’s a good tome to buy at the  moment,” he said.“It’s still quite affordable compared to other areas.”

The median sale price of a Mackay house was $390,000 during the 12 months to May 2014, according to figures from RP Data. The median unit price was $280,000. Land at the Plantation Palms development is available in blocks ranging from 500sqm to 800sqm. Prices at the Mackay community start at $180,000.

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