Bundaberg offers affordable taste of paradise

Bundaberg is an affordable taste of paradise. Ocean Heights residential development
The Ocean Heights residential development at Elliott Heads is one of many under way in the Bundaberg Region.

A recent report by BIS Oxford Economics, Residential Property Prospects 2019-22, predicts the median house price in Brisbane is set to increase from $552,000 to $665,000 by 2022.

With interest rates falling and credit conditions easing this will no doubt make it easier for families to buy their first home however with prices also expected to rise in Brisbane many may look further afield for greater return for their buck.

This places Bundaberg in prime position to capitalise on those priced out of the market in Brisbane and/or investors keen to take advantage of the strong rental fundamentals that Bundaberg offers.

According to the REIQ market monitor March Quarter 2019, the median house price in Bundaberg was a mere $270,000.

This compares to $530,000 in greater Brisbane, $598,000 on the Sunshine Coast and $316,000 in the Fraser Coast region.

Located only four hours drive north of Brisbane, the Bundaberg Region offers affordable living for families and couples who are looking for the winning combination of lifestyle and career opportunities.

Bundaberg affordable: Median house price by region
Median house price by region

Bundaberg affordable with high yield

While being affordable for families the region also offers strong market rental fundamentals for investors.

The median rent of a three-bedroom house in the region is only $300 per week, significantly below that of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast both at $450 per week, Cairns at $390 per week, Mackay $350 and Fraser Coast $318.

The gross rental yield achieved for houses also achieved equal top spot with Rockhampton, at 5.7 per cent.

Median rent and gross rental yield
Median rent and gross rental yield

Affordability and strong rental yield however are not the only ingredients to a good property purchase and/or return.

Essential to the mix is also improved economic outcomes, especially job creation and wage growth.

Bundaberg is already seeing improved economic outcomes achieved in the region, with unemployment falling from 9.6 per cent mid last year to sit around 7 per cent today.

Driving growth over the next few years will be significant public and private investment which will fuel the demand for high-level skilled positions in the region.

Some of these projects include:

  • New Bundaberg Hospital
  • $156 million Bundaberg Brewed Drinks facility
  • $12 million macadamia processing facility at Macadamias Australia
  • $70 million new Gateway Marina Development
  • $3 million recently installed pasteurisation equipment and cracking room upgrade at Pacific Gold Macadamias.

Additionally a recent article in the Courier Mail entitled “Bundaberg jobs: 60 positions offering $100k or more” detailed the recent emergence of highly skilled professional positions on offer in the Bundaberg region.

The development of medical technology, ag tech, food tech and other advanced manufacturing in the region has led to the creation of new highly skilled professional service and technical positions which many companies are finding hard to fill.

The future appears bright for Bundaberg with innovative and creative companies leading the way both nationally and globally within their industry and field.

No doubt it won’t take long for the secret to get out and the influx of many southerners to follow to the Bundaberg Region.

The Bundaberg Region can offer a taste of paradise without a hit to the career wallet — a winning property combination that many other regional coastal locations find hard to achieve.

  • Helen Swanson is the Industry Investment Advisor in Bundaberg Regional Council's Strategic Projects and Economic Development unit. She was formerly Research Manager at Colliers International in Brisbane.