Lisa Sweeney and her husband Brent bought their home in Gladstone just before the LNG boom really took off.
Lisa Sweeney and her husband Brent bought their home in Gladstone just before the LNG boom really took off. David Sparkes

Gladstone prices soaring

TIMING is everything, especially when you are buying a house.

Research from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland shows Gladstone's house values rose 10.8% during the 2011-12 financial year, more than any other region in the state.

With such a big increase, last year's buyers could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief, while those now hunting for a home must be kicking themselves for not buying earlier.

Lisa Sweeney and her husband Brent, 29, bought their home in October last year.

Mrs Sweeney said they timed their purchase well, as the Federal Government announced in October it had approved Gladstone's LNG projects.

Most real estate agents in Gladstone agree that announcement was the pivotal date from which property values began to soar.

“We signed the contract a few weeks before the announcement,” Mrs Sweeney said.

“We'd been having a bit of a look. This time last year there was a whisper the announcement was coming.”

She was understandably happy that property values had gone up some 10% since they bought their home, but she sympathised with young people trying to break in to the Gladstone market now.

“I can't even imagine trying to buy something now,” she said

The Sweeneys bought their home through Ros Waters, at RE/MAX in Gladstone.

Ms Waters said the announcement on October 23 sent Gladstone's property market into overdrive.

“Six months prior to that the global financial crisis was still affecting the market,” she said.

Ms Waters estimated the increase was actually more than the institute's figure of 10.8%.

Good timing

Lisa and Brent bought their home, in New Auckland, last October for a price ‘in the low 300 thousands’. Lisa said it is hard to know what her home is worth now, but she estimates it has gone up about 20%.

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