It’s a terrific time to buy in Stanthorpe
STANTHORPE couple Daniel and Angela Gunnlaugsson have just purchased their first home but unlike their Brisbane counterparts they're not complaining about the price.
RP Data figures released late last month revealed a massive downturn in Granite Belt house prices, making it the perfect buyer's market.
Median sale prices for March and April fell by almost $100,000 compared to last year ($272,500 in April 2014 to $195,000 in April 2015).
Although well above the Granite Belt median house, for $330,000 the young couple bought a home on 2ha on the outskirts of town.
That price still sits well below the June 2014 median price peak of $377,500.
Before signing the contract in February the couple, who have just moved into their new Storm King home, had been scouring the Granite Belt housing market for more than six months.
"It was hard to find something that we both liked at the right price," Mrs Gunnlaugsson said.
"He (Mr Gunnlaugsson) wanted acreage and I wanted a nice home."
The couple, who have a two-year-old daughter, Porsha, and are expecting another baby in November, had been renting together for almost three years.
"It was time to own our own home," Mr Gunnlaugsson said.
"We were sick of paying off someone else's mortgage."
There were just two pieces of advice Mr Gunnlaugsson had for budding first home buyers.
"Stay true to your wish list and your budget as much as you can," he said.
"The great Aussie dream to own your own home is still feasible, you just have to keep your eye out."
David Schnitzerling real estate agent Anne Lindsay said prices had dipped largely because future retirees looking to downsize were moving into the region.
"I think prices are starting to move though because the main thing people want is value for money. That's what you get here," she said. "We've already noticed the influx of the baby boomer market and young families wanting to relocate to Stanthorpe."
Southern Downs house sales per annum over the past decade peaked at 156 in 2007 but have declined steadily ever since, reaching their lowest point of 69 in 2011.
Last year reached 83 but so far only 23 have been sold this year.
"The Brisbane market has out-pushed itself. It's reached as high as the average person wants to spend. It's a lifestyle thing," Ms Lindsay said.
"The market reached its peak around 2006-07 and then we experienced a reasonable correction. It's been stable if anything sincethen but it's going upnow.
"I think we're seeing a throwback now to people wanting to have self-sufficiency and value."
Number of homes sold in March quarter and median price:
Southern Downs houses: 70 sold, price $225,000
Southern Downs acreage: 23 lots sold, price $370,000
Stanthorpe: 18 sold, price $220,000