More than 50 Townsville residents turned out on a wet and windy night for a community forum on the Townsville property market post-2019 floods, held at Gossips, Clarion Hotel, on 27th March.
The convergence of a monsoon and a slow moving tropical low caused a flood event in February this year, which left well over 3000 homes with damage, almost half moderate to severe. Even minor damage caused many to become homeless.
Local real estate sales specialist Michele Hyde, from RE/MAX Excellence, organised the free information event to help residents grapple with what has been happening in real estate since the floods and what it may mean to them.
She says the true initiator of the event was leading Brisbane real estate business owner and agent Martin Hood.
“Martin contacted me while news of the flooding was still rolling out. He’s been through similar in Brisbane in 2011 and had held a post-flood community forum there.
“Since the floods, many property owners are asking the big questions of “What do we do now?” and ‘What’s my property worth?’ and Martin has been able to give them a great insight through his own experiences.”
Mr Hood, who owns RE/MAX Riverside, with offices in the Brisbane suburbs of Graceville and Seventeen Mile Rocks, was a key speaker at the Townsville forum, along with Joe Panzera from iLend Finance and Alex Dickinson from Opteon Valuers.
He said, “Michelle invited me to share some of my personal experiences from the devastating 2011 Brisbane floods, which were also a ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’, and observations on what lies ahead for the Townsville property market.”
“Our market at the time was like that of Townsville. We had a shortage of properties for rent or for sale. Then, suddenly, we were provided with an impossible task to locate short to medium term accommodation while people tried to piece together their lives.”
RE/MAX Riverside led the charge in the western suburbs of Brisbane to better understand the impact on values.
“We were facing the same obvious questions of ‘What is going to happen to the values of properties both for sale or rental in our affected area?’ and ‘Should we stay or move now, and if we stay, how long will it take for our property to increase in value?’,” Mr Hood said.
He gave first-hand accounts of homes on the market flooding and how approaches to the marketing of those properties changed; and of sellers who were motivated to stay and build up.
“The thing to remember is that all the many reasons for people buying or renting in Townsville remain – the diverse range of work and study options, affordability for families, excellent schools, shops and restaurants, beaches and parkland, transport and medical facilities. These have not changed in any way; and people will continue to buy and rent here.”
Mr Hood said that eight years on, values of flooded Brisbane properties had risen to levels above pre-2011 flood values. Most areas of Brisbane increased in value within five years.
“If we use Brisbane’s experience as a guide, the Townsville market is likely to return relatively quickly to preflood conditions.
“At RE/MAX Riverside, the question about flooding comes standard from most property buyers, just as they might ask about asbestos, termites or lead paint. While flood inundation can affect time-on-market, buyers’ greatest concerns stem from the ability to get insurance rather than the value of the property.
“Townsville sellers should look to knowledgeable real estate agents to price and market their property. The needs of each seller and the property’s unique circumstances will be assessed.”
Ms Hyde said her colleagues, and their buyers and sellers, were fortunate to have Mr Hood’s insight to call on.
“The Townsville flood event, though tragic for so many, mirrored Brisbane in that only pockets of the city were affected. There’s still a lot to be positive about in the Townsville property market,” she said.
“As a RE/MAX agent, I can’t forget that Martin extended his hand to help. We are indebted to him for sharing his experience as a real estate business owner, and agent and a member of a flood-affected community, and his willingness to assist us with what lies ahead.
“This is the RE/MAX network at its best,” said Ms Hyde.
Lyn Cox, Public Relations – M. +61 418 793 096, E. email@example.com
About RE/MAX:RE/MAX was founded in 1973 with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Its global reach is in more than 100 countries and territories, with more than 124,000 agents.