Mackay is expected to lure investors back to its residential market this year, as well as record an increase in demand for owner-occupier purchases, according to Herron Todd White‘s February issue of Month In Review.

The report from Herron Todd White found that there will likely be no slowdown in employment opportunities related to the resource sector and infrastructure projects throughout the city and the neighbouring Bowen Basin.

Instead, there will be a rise in available jobs. This trend, together with the relatively less expensive cost of housing and rentals compared to the heydays, has been pulling many people to the Mackay region.

The tightening of the rental market will then drive weekly rentals to track upwards. This will have the two-fold effect of bringing investors back into the Mackay market based on increasing yields and potential for capital growth; and increasing demand for owner-occupier purchases as the cost of rents rise and become more difficult to secure.

The Mackay residential market will gradually become more successful over 2019 with both rental values and market values likely climbing.

While predicting the extent of the growth is difficult, the sentiment for both the general economy and residential market has shifted to the positive side.

This year marks an upswing in MacKay’s residential market after the downturn that occurred between 2013 and 2017. After experiencing a decline of more than 30% in median house prices and in unit values last 2015 and 2016, respectively, the Mackay housing market is finally recording an increase in detached house prices — up between 6 to 7% since September 2017. Unit prices, on the other hand, remain restrained.

The region of Mackay was ranked as one of the top 10 growth areas in Australia, with values rising to about 5.1% in the year to December, according to CoreLogic's monthly house price report.