Why real estate agents are nervous about the market for 2020
A SLOWING market and changes to rental laws have real estate agents nervous about the new year.
This year has been an up and down affair for the housing market in the Lockyer Valley.
Gatton Real Estate owner and agent Rhonda McLucas said the market had slowed at end of 2018, and despite picking up again at the start of this year, it dropped.
"I think the drought has something to do with it," Ms McLucas said.
"It's been so dry - you haven't seen much happening out on acreage."
While prices in the towns have remained "reasonable", Ms McLucas had expected prices to pick up sooner with low interest rates creating a buyer's market.
"If you've got money in the bank, you can be getting far better return for bricks and mortar at the moment," she said.
But the outlook for next year was less than rosy, with concerns surrounding the ongoing drought and changes to the residential tenancy act.
Ms McLucas said the proposed reforms had rattled both real estate agents and landlords.
Particularly concerning were proposals to remove landlords' rights to refuse pets and allow tenants to make modifications to a property without consent.
"If they do a lot of changes they're talking about doing, we might get flooded with investment houses (for sale)," she said.
"I've heard some rumblings (from landlords). If it goes through, I think we'll see an amount of investors who will definitely get out of the market."
But she also expected to see more first home buyers coming into the market in the new year, with low interest rates and a proposed government deposit scheme making it easier to break into the market.
It would be a welcome change, as Ms McLucas said there had been very little activity from first home buyers recently.
She encouraged first-timers to look to the Lockyer Valley for their first home, rather than large centres like Ipswich or Toowoomba.
"It's much cheaper out here - (they should) start off with something that doesn't become to hard financially for them," she said.
"In most cases they find that they're paying less for their mortgage than what they would be paying for rent."
TOP TEN HIGHEST SELLING HOMES IN 2019
41 Main Greenswamp Road, Spring Creek - $1,150,000
2 Forbe Road, Lawes - $920,000
26 Continental Court, Gatton - $862,500
63 Six Mile Creek Road, Postmans Ridge - $835,000
400 Upper Flagstone Creek Road, Upper Flagstone - $730,000
211 Silver Pinch Road, Silver Ridge - $680,000
81 Lakes Drive, Laidley Heights - $660,000
4 Sherlock Close, Preston - $650,000
1 Ogilvy Place, Hatton Vale - $635,000
5 Baker-Finch Place, Kensington Grove - $630,000