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Australia’s Best Property Market Will Be Townsville

Australia’s Best Property Market Will Be Townsville
June 18, 2024 Propertyology Head of Research and REIA Hall of Famer, Simon Pressley

After analysing key metrics for property markets of each of Australia’s 400+ cities and towns, Propertyology ranks Townsville’s capital growth rate potential as the best in Australia for the next 3+ years.

We are anticipating the outstanding performance of Australia’s 14th largest city to be the biggest property market star to catch Australians off-guard since the stellar run of Hobart from 2015 through to 2022.

Homeowners and property investors in Townsville should start licking their lips.

Already, some of the properties that Propertyology purchased for investors in mid-2019 for approximately $350,000 are worth about $600,000 (70 percent growth) just 5-years later.

The highest rate of capital growth is about to begin now.

All things being equal, real estate values in Townsville will increase by somewhere in the vicinity of 50 percent over the 3-calendar years ending 2026.

Existing homeowners in Townsville now have a fantastic platform to upgrade to a nicer or bigger home. And there will absolutely never be a more affordable opportunity for first home buyers to get their first foot on the property ladder.

Among the numerous metrics that Propertyology measure is economic development activities across the country.


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Townsville’s 21.5 percent increase in jobs over the last 5-years has smashed the national average of 11.8 percent and is more than 4-times higher than Sydney’s 5.6 percent. But the view out of front windscreen towards Townsville is even more spectacular.

As listed below, no location in Australia (capital city or regional township) has a more impressive pipeline of major projects than the northern capital of this nation.

This major regional city has $12 billion worth of committed projects, and the pipeline of other ‘likely’ projects is just as big. That’s jobs on steroids.

On an infrastructure investment dollar-per-capita basis, Townsville is Australia’s clear gold medal winner.

As momentum increases during the next few years, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government departments will identify even more opportunities than the 39-major projects listed in this research report.

The exciting economic performance of Townsville will produce a level of energy that will power unprecedented growth beyond the current horizon.

A plethora of employment opportunities across a wide range of sectors, housing affordability which is officially Australia’s very best bang for a real estate buck, plus a remarkable amount of investment in lifestyle amenities is a salivating combination for attracting a tsunami of internal migrants in the next 3-5 years.

Among the expected spike in internal migration will be 500 extra military personnel (plus their families) who will be part of two entire Army battalions which will relocate to Townsville during 2025.


Tighter than ‘tight’

Three key housing supply metrics confirm Townsville’s property market to already be as tight as a mouse in a matchbox. And it will take many years for an equilibrium position to be restored.

The current supply of properties available to buy or rent is already 40 percent lower than when Propertyology first alerted our clients to the opportunity and began investing there, this time 5-years ago.


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Analysis conducted by Propertyology confirms that Townsville’s housing construction pipeline is already miles behind current housing demand needs.

The below graphic illustrates the early stages of what is likely to become an even larger vacuum in future years.


Lowest Risk Profile

Townsville’s property market has the lowest real estate risk profile in the country.

The northern capital has Australia’s lowest household mortgages, the strongest economic outlook of any Australian city, an incredibly diverse workforce and seriously tight housing supply. No other city currently has better credentials than that!

The economic diversity of Australia’s 14th largest city is a rock-solid combination of Health, Military, Education, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Precious Metals, Recreation and a fast-emerging tourism sector.

The biggest core of Townsville’s workforce is a staple of Health (18 percent of all jobs), Education and assorted government jobs (13 percent of the total workforce, including the biggest contingent of defence personnel in Australia).

Mining represents just 3 percent of Townsville’s workforce.

According to Census data, Townsville’s hospitality workforce (‘Accommodation & Food’) tripled over the last decade.

The significant growth of this sector is a well-earned compliment for the amazing transformation of Townsville’s amenities, overall lifestyle offering for its residents, and its fast-growing popularity for tourism and conferences.

Hard to beat

Those who haven’t been to Townsville for several years are gobsmacked by the many amazing urban development initiatives. The transformation has been outstanding.

The year-round outdoor lifestyle is now in elite status. Huge investment in a suite of amenities such as the picturesque The Strand, many new restaurants and bars, recreation and sport facilities.

Development of a $300 million world class sports stadium in 2020 and the ongoing evolution of an adjoining entertainment precinct really has been a brilliant community energiser.

For more details, check out the list of Major Projects below.

The recent investments in lifestyle and liveability, combined with Townsville’s current median house price of $450,000, are certain to attract the attention of the growing volume of Australians who relocate away from our big, congested, expensive cities.

For example, over the last 20-years, Sydney (400,000 net) and Melbourne (80,000 net) have already produced sizeable population declines through internal migration.


Australia’s Biggest Project Pipeline

Gathered through Propertyology’s daily research activities for locations (literally) all over Australia, this dot-point summary of Townsville’s major projects is an extract from Propertyology’s vault of intel:

  1. NQ Stadium ($300 million): the 25,000 seat modern stadium development was completed in Q1 2020. An adjoining $40 million high-performance training centre opened in H2 2021. This elite stadium has already produced a year-round boon, adding more than $100 million per year to Townsville’s visitor economy. A meaningful portion of the 250,000 people who attend home games for the NRL Cowboys come from other parts of Australia. In March 2024, 40,000 out-of-towners flocked to see Pink in concert. Other recent main events include the Socceroos, international rugby and Elton John. There are plans to further develop adjacent vacant land into a world class entertainment precinct with restaurants, retail and a variety of attractions.
  2. Ardo Luxury Hotel ($88 million): ultimate luxury accommodation with 132-rooms has many special trimmings, including a rooftop restaurant looking out to Magnetic Island officially opened in late-2023.
  3. Hilton Hotel ($60 million): a 190-room, 5-star, luxury hotel development adjacent to the sports stadium. Completion is due early-2026.
  4. The Ville ($80 million): Townsville’s premier resort and casino has undergone a major redevelopment and expansion.
  5. Marine Hub ($30 million): floating bar, restaurant and function facility at Flinders Street Wharves (completion mid-2026).
  6. Great Barrier Reef Aquarium redevelopment ($0.5 billion): a major CBD tourism attraction and marine science centre of excellence with a level of sophistication to rival NASA.
  7. Waterfront Prominade ($20 million): a multi-staged urban development of the banks of Ross River Creek into recreational amenities. It stretches from Townsville’s CBD, along the river and out to the suburbs.
  1. North Rail Yards ($1 billion+): originally used as a railway maintenance workshop for more than 100-years, this large parcel of inner-city prime land has sat dormant since 1990. With Townsville now set to launch into a prolonged economic boom, it is well overdue to repurpose this enormous Council-owned asset. The site has officially been gazetted as a Priority Development Area, with suggestions to rejuvenate the existing heritage buildings and to develop a large mixed-use precinct that will include some housing. The eventual development cost will be in the $billions.
  2. University Hospital expansion ($530 million): a major expansion of Health infrastructure, including an extra 143-hospital beds, will be constructed between Q1 2024 and H2 2026.
  3. Kirwan Community Health Campus ($40 million): due for completion in H2 2024.
  4. James Cook University: already one of Australia’s largest universities, JCU’s Master Plan prioritises harnessing its position as a global leader for all things ‘tropical’ (marine science, tropic disease, agribusiness, engineering, etc). Executing its plan will include many $100’s millions investment.
  5. TropiQ Precinct ($evergreen): adjacent to Townsville’s major hospital and the James Cook University, TropiQ is an evolving health and science precinct. The broad charter for this collaboration of sharp intellects and innovators is to continuously explore breakthroughs and to pursue excellence, including development of the $32 million NQ Spark simulation training facility.
  6. TAFE Townsville Trade Training ($38 million): 2,000 apprentices per year now benefit from a recently developed state-of-the-art trade skills facility in the outer suburb of Bohle.
  7. Telstra Building ($31 million): Australia’s biggest telco is developing a new office and warehouse in the CBD (Flinders Street) for 370-Telstra staff.
  8. Harvey Norman Warehouse ($23 million): to support fast-rising demand in Townsville for big-box retail products, the retail giant completed construction of a 5,150m2 warehouse facility in H1 2024.
  9. Townsville Seaport ($1.6 billion): already handling commodities and cargo worth more than $10 billion per year, the recently completed $230 million port infrastructure upgrade and channel widening is part of a $1.6 billion master plan to increase cruise ship patronage and triple port cargo capacity.
  10. Townsville Airport: Australia’s 11th busiest airport is gearing up for recommencement of international flights in 2025, and an overall doubling of passenger volumes over the next 20-years. In recent years, the airport has invested $15 million on terminal upgrades and $10 million on the runway apron.
  11. Defence Investment ($1 billion): The industry already contributes $4 billion annually into Townsville’s economy. The government has committed $1 billion for a series of Defence expansion projects, including a $700 million upgrade of the RAAF base (commencement in 2025).
  12. Army Personnel: two established battalions of 500-military personnel, and their families, will relocate to Townsville from 2025. The Australian Army is Townsville’s second largest individual employer.
  13. Greenvale Military Training Facility ($1.1 billion): a world-class combat training facility is proposed for development at Greenvale, 200-kilometres north-west of Townsville. Once completed, Australian military will train 14,000 Singaporean defence force personnel there every year, creating a significant increase in demand for goods and services from Townsville. Final design and investment sign-off is pending.
  14. Hells Gate Dam ($5.4 billion): a game-changing infrastructure proposal which would create 7,000 construction jobs. A solution which captures an enormous amount of reliable rainfall would instantly open up countless agribusiness opportunities for northern Australia.
  15. Burdekin Falls Dam ($1 billion): Townsville’s water supply largely comes from the Burdekin Falls Dam, located 200 kilometres south of the city. To stop wasting precious rainfall, a 2-stage development to raise the dam infrastructure wall height provides long-term water supply security. 300-jobs are being created during the $540 million Stage 1 construction period 2023-2025.
  16. Haughton Pipeline Project ($500 million): a 5-year program to instal a water pipeline from Burdekin to Townsville is scheduled for completion in mid-2025.
  17. Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct ($3 billion): a massive 2,500-hectare environmentally friendly industrial precinct 40-kilometres south of the CBD will be a major hub for advanced manufacturing, technology, emerging industries and processing businesses. In 2023, the state government allocated $74 million for foundational infrastructure such as roads. The progressive development of this large precinct is anticipated to create 5,000 construction jobs, plus a further 10,000 ongoing jobs upon completion.
  1. Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub ($2.1 billion): QLD Pacific Metals has plans to develop a $2.1 billion lithium battery manufacturing plant at the new Lansdown precinct. The proposal was recently placed on hold, pending improved commodity prices.
  2. Project Green Poly ($7.8 billion): To compliment the fast-growing battery and solar energy sectors, this proposed polysilicon mine-to-manufacturing integrated project would be developed at the new Lansdown industrial precinct, creating up to 4,400 jobs.
  3. Townsville Ring Road ($280 million): development of one of Townsville’s most important road arteries was completed as recently as October 2023.
  4. Bowen Bridge ($100 million): to support transport needs for Townsville’s growing population, construction just commenced on a duplication of the bridge on Bowen Bridge Road. The project creates 120-jobs and should be completed mid-2026.
  5. Townsville Connection Road ($96 million): expanding from 2 to 4-lanes will improve productivity for 24,000 daily commuters to the university precinct. Construction of the Stuart Drive road infrastructure project should be completed mid-2025.
  6. Police Academy ($100 million): construction of a state-of-the-art police training facility for new recruits, new police station and emergency services centre in the suburb of Kirwan should be completed in H2 2028.
  7. Glencore Copper Refinery ($500 million): the raw commodities which are mined in the Mount Isa region are transported to the Townsville copper refinery, where more than 500 employees process this valuable metal for future production of copper wiring, copper pipes, electrical components and more.
  8. CopperString Project ($5.7 billion): Townsville is the epicentre for the government-backed, enormous green energy and critical minerals project in the north-west QLD province. It has a reserve of $500 billion in rare earths such as copper, zinc, nickel, lead, vanadium, cobalt, tungsten and graphite. $1.3 billion investment is slated for 2024, with total project completion in 2029.
  9. Sun Metals Zinc Refinery ($455 million): located 15-kilometres south of the CBD, one of Australia’s largest zinc refineries (350 employees) completed a major expansion in H2 2021, including a renewable energy conversion.
  10. Critical Minerals Processing Facility ($75 million): construction of Asia-Pacific’s first critical minerals processing facility is likely to be completed in 2025.
  11. Jet Fuel Refinery ($600 million): a consortium of companies, which includes Qantas, have identified a site in the Townsville suburb of Cleveland to develop a fuel refinery from sugarcane. 1,000 jobs will be created if investment approval is granted in H2 2024.
  12. Eva Copper Mine ($0.9 billion): South African company, Harmony Gold, has state government support to fast-track development of Queensland’s biggest copper mine, near Cloncurry. More than 800 construction jobs and 450 ongoing jobs are expected.
  13. Ravenswood Gold Mine ($370 million): located 130-kilometres south-west of Townsville, the state’s largest gold mine recently completed an expansion for a direct and indirect workforce of more 1,000 people. The gold mine is likely to be involved in production of medals for the 2032 Olympic Games.
  14. Sconi Minerals Project ($1.4 billion): located 2-hours west of Townsville, this major nickel and cobalt mine and processing plant will support the battery industry for electric cars.
  15. Paradise South Phosphate Mine ($300 million): a mining lease has been granted.

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