House hunters out in force

The Limestone Coast’s red hot property market is showing no signs of slowing down despite the first interest hike in more than a decade.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lifted its official cash rate 25 basis points from 0.10% to 0.35% last week, leading to expected impacts on all aspects of the economy, including real estate.

However, industry experts believe the region will be somewhat protected from any huge impact, given the current shortage of listings and rental proprieties.

Gebhardts Real Estate manager Paul Chuck said he has been in the job for nearly 35 years and had never seen the market so strong.

While properties in the area used to take a few months to sell, it is now only a matter of days or weeks,

while rentals receive dozens of applications.

“Real estate has historically been impacted by a rise in interest rates, however there will be bigger impacts in the city because of the pricing values in regional areas,” Mr Chuck said.

“We will not be affected anywhere near as much as the city and we still have an extremely strong market,” Mr Chuck said.

“There is a big backlog of people trying to buy here but 90% of our listing basis has disappeared so those that cannot get into the buying market are also trying to rent.

“The time on the market is down to the bare minimum because the listing pool is so low.

“If the markets do slow up around the country, we are going to still have a longer running period because of the excess of people trying to get in so I think our high demand market will still be here for at least another 12 months.”

Mr Chuck said Mount Gambier was a prime destination due to the proximity of the coast and the positioning between Adelaide and Melbourne.

“The confidence for this city and region is at an all-time high which is a positive for everyone,” he said.

“You only have to drive down the main street to see we have the lowest vacancy of shops we have had for the last 15-20 years.

“Our prices are still affordable here so your return on your investment is still high, we have a quality build product here and a high demand for rentals so there are investors locally and interstate trying to target this area.

“When a property comes on the market there are home buyers and investors both chasing down the same property and I think both those markets will stay strong for some time yet.”

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