Queensland land markets showed resilience in the face of Covid-19 with sales surging by 24 per cent during the March quarter.
The two year high showed the land values continued to increase in the early part of the year, according to research by Oliver Hume.
Driving land sales up were good long-term fundamentals including liveability, population growth, economic prospects as well as major infrastructure projects.
The property development research for south-east Queensland and Victorian markets indicated the market was already starting to recover.
This sentiment was reflected by developers including Stockland and Satterley who said since restrictions were eased and display were reopened, house and land sales traffic was increasing.
The March quarterly insight showed a “tale of two halves” the first half showed strength through low-interest rates and first home buyer grants followed by a global economic shock.
The median purchase price over the quarter jumped significantly to $297,000 compared to $280,000 in 2019 attributed to increased borrowing power.
The majority of buyers were born in Australia (48.8pc) followed by India (29.4pc), Pakistan and Sri Lanka (both at 4.4pc)—a shift from 2019 when Australian-born purchasers made up 60 per cent of the market.
The drop in migration had caused some concern for developers for house and land sales, however the research team said the full impact of Covid-19 was yet to be felt.
In south-east Queensland the most commonly sold lot was 376-400sq m with a median size at 419sq m, price $250,000 equating to a value rate of $597 per square metre.
This compared to Melbourne where the most commonly sold lot was the same size however the median size was 400sq m, price $317,000 giving a value rate of $799 per square metre.
Oliver Hume national head of research George Bougias said there were still plenty of buyers in the market and land sales were still happening but the short to medium-term outlook would depend very much on the economy.
“Prior to the outbreak we were seeing some good signs that 2020 would be a much better year than 2019,” Bougais said.
“Some of the factors driving that recovery, including low interest rates and government assistance to home buyers, are still in place and should help the market return to more normal conditions.”
The head of research said any sustained recovery from Covid-19 was reliant on a range of factors.
“Employment growth and confidence are absolutely critical to the performance of the land market,” Bougias said.
“If buyers are confident and they expect the economy will remain resilient overall, they will continue to take advantage of low interest rates.”