MARKET DECLINE: Belle Property group principal John Stamp said facing problems with the market head on is better than pretending they don't exist.
MARKET DECLINE: Belle Property group principal John Stamp said facing problems with the market head on is better than pretending they don't exist.

Agent warns against sugarcoating state of housing market

AT FIRST glance REIQ's latest report paints a rosy picture for the Sunshine Coast's property market, but a real estate principal has put the organisation on notice for playing down the real story.

John Stamp, of Belle Property in Noosa, Coolum and Maroochydore, said he spat out his Saturday morning porridge reading the Queensland Market Monitor report. He has now demanded a meeting with REIQ to discuss the report's findings.

The report noted that over the year ending December last year, Noosa posted an annual median house price growth of 11.7 per cent, but a deeper read showed the median house price actually dropped 8.2 per cent in the last quarter to $680,000.

The annual volume of sales was also down from 835 to 800 in that period and median house prices in the Sunshine Coast statistical district dropped 3.1 per cent to $590,000.

Mr Stamp said the last quarter was a "very honest reflection" of the state of affairs and said he was "disappointed" in the report's sugarcoating of what was a "toxic gap between what people are told what is happening in the market".

"I was disappointed with the interpretation of the data because to me it clearly showed a lack of understanding of what was sitting in front of them," he said.

"I think you'd have to be insane to think property is going to increase in value in the near future.

"The Sunshine Coast as a whole probably has a more healthy market than other parts of Australia, but that doesn't mean our properties are increasing in value."

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Mr Stamp said the market was struggling to "align itself between buyer and seller expectations" which would hurt in the long run.

"The ones (properties) transacting are transacting at a lower figure," he said.

"That's the fact. If we deny it, it's very dangerous and we could be in the situation Noosa was in six to seven years ago when you had a massive gap between buyer and sellers due to an uneducated real estate cohort.

"To confront it correctly is far more useful than pretending it's not there."

Shane McCauley, director and co-principal of Richardson and Wrench, said he hadn't seen the report but was certain properties hadn't dropped in price.

Mr McCauley said he'd sold a one-bedroom penthouse on Noosa beach for 3.4m, a sale worth $900,000 more than any other in that building.

"We're not seeing any price drops at all," he said.

While stock is limited at the moment, Mr McCauley said slow sales were par for the course during the start of the year with "not as many people looking around to secure property".

Interstate investors were taking an interest in the market due to a high return on investment, according to Mr McCauley with Sydney and Melbourne buyers taking particular interest in Noosa Heads and Sunshine Beach.