Townsville declared a great region to buy as global real estate consultancy celebrates the 25th anniversary of its office opening

6 September 2023

Townsville, Australia – Townsville has been declared a ‘buy’ region for good quality commercial and residential property by Knight Frank Senior Partner Townsville and Mackay Craig Stack as the global real estate consultancy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the opening of its local office.

Mr Stack said he had seen many changes in the Townsville’s property market over the past 25 years since Knight Frank’s office first opened, but the biggest has been a diversification in industry which has led to a strengthening of the economy.

“The expansion in employment diversity has meant that Townsville, which used to boast loudly about its diverse economy in the 1990s, now has an even greater diversity, including the addition of the renewables and critical minerals sector, as well as a significant expansion in the logistics sector.

“The regional economy across northern Queensland is the strongest it has been at any time since its last major development phase in the 1960s and 1970s.

“This means it will maintain a very high demand for employees over the next decade across a diverse range of industries, which will lead to greater demand for both commercial and residential property.”

Mr Stack said the region was definitely a ‘buy’ region for good quality residential and commercial property, with the main driver for value growth set to be occupancy demand throughout the 2020s.

“Investors will benefit from not only value uplift, but from affordability when buying in North Queensland,” he said.

“While increased development costs have been an issue for many years now, commercial and residential property across the region is still very affordable by any measure when compared to other parts of Australia.

“This difference is more stark than it was in the 1990s, particularly in comparison to the major metropolitan areas.”

According to Knight Frank Valuations data, the population of Townsville over the past 25 years has grown by 161% to 198,577 people, while the number of dwellings has increased by 182% and the number of businesses has more than doubled, rising by 205%, with the number of people employed rising by 174%.

Head of Valuation and Advisory in Townsville and Mackay Matthew Ryan said: “The highest house sale has also grown by 231 per cent in terms of value over the past 25 years, increasing from $2.6 million to $6 million between 1998 and 2023.

“Over the same period the highest commercial sale has risen by a huge 720 per cent from $18.33 million to $132 million.”

Over the past 25 years, Mr Stack said, Knight Frank’s Townsville office has seen major changes in line with the greater region, with the team growing from just three staff in 1998, including Mr Stack, to 56 today, with some of the service lines covering as far south as the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast as well as Mackay, west to Emerald and Mt Isa and north to Cairns.

The full service line coverage of the Townsville office has allowed Knight Frank to have been involved in more than half of the 161 transactions that have occurred over $5 million during the last 25 years.

“When we first opened we offered commercial sales, leasing and valuation services,” Mr Stack said.

“We commenced commercial property management in 2003, and now we manage the highest value portfolio of commercial assets in regional Australia as an independent agency.

“Within our first five years of operation we had attracted major developers to the city, selling the land for the future developments of North Shore, Kalynda Chase and Crestbrook, and we continue to do this with the most recent sale of Bluewattle Estate.

“We started project marketing in 2015, and since then our team has achieved the highest values for residential land north of Noosa.”

Knight Frank’s Townsville office will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an event at Flinders Lane on September 7, with Knight Frank’s Managing Director, Queensland, Dominic Long and Knight Frank’s Chief Executive Officer James Patterson in attendance.