Traveston Dam auctions signal possible market revival

The successful auction of 10 out of 12 rural properties compulsorily acquired for the abandoned Traveston Dam project could signal a revival of the property market in the Mary Valley, north of Brisbane.

The 12 properties were being sold by the Queensland Government which bought them along with 466 others in 2007 for the dam project which was eventually scuttled by Pater Garrett – the environmental minister at the time.

Of the 12 properties taken to auction, nine sold under the hammer and one sold in post-auction negotiations.

Prices for the predominantly grazing land ranged from $310,000 to $840,000.

The properties were sold by three different agencies – John Bambling from Bambling Rurual, Lex Townsend from Professionals Gympie and Matthew Condon from Landmark Harcourts Gympie.

Reports varied but there were anywhere from 200 to 400 people there on the day in what was a surprisingly strong turnout for the agents.

“We think it was a terrific result in the context of our current market because it’s been so poor for the past couple of years. The prices on auction day were better than expected for the current market for rural properties,” Amanda Bambling told Property Observer.

Many of the properties sold to local buyers though some went to interstate investors. None of the properties sold to previous owners. Agents say it’s a sign of things to come in the area.

“It’s a good indication. There haven’t been many rural sales for quite a few years because of all the government owned up here. It’s a good here for the area and it’s good to see those places get back into production and be utilised,” Townsend said.

“The area we are selling is quite a sought after area, only minutes from Noosa and Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. I think it will pick up.

“Once people see these sales they’ll be a little more confident to spend. There won’t necessarily be more dollars but there should be more sales. They have something to base it on.”

In 2012 the Newman government said the properties acquired by the Bligh government for $445 million were now worth just $220 million.

Saturday’s auction suggests prices haven’t dropped quite that far. Although previous sale prices were not released, agents said the properties sold for a lot more than half their previous prices.

The $1.7 billion dam which was initiated in 2006 after a prolonged drought. It would have held 153,000 square kilometres of water but was denied approval from the federal government following extensive environmental concerns.

Saturday’s sales:

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Bambling Rural - John Bambling

687 Coles Creek Road, Coles Creek 74.4 hectares - $535,000

2433 Bruce Highway, Coles Creek 37.61 hectares with dwelling - $425,000(pictured above)

568 Coles Creek Road, Cooran 41.65 hectares with dwelling - $625,000 (pictured below)

830 Coles Creek Road, Coles Creek 2 hectares with dwelling – passed in at $312,000

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The Professionals Gympie - Lex Townsend

388 Kandanga Creek Road, Kandanga 8.09 hectares with dwelling - $320,000

Lot 2 Bergins Pocket Road, Kandanga 30.65 hectares - $454,000

172 Ironstone Creek Road, Tuchekoi 102.5 hectares - $595,000

245-437 Newspaper Hill Road, Belli Park 123.53 hectares with dwelling - $840,000

Landmark Harcourts Gympie - Matthew Condon

45 Frayne Road, Amamoor 7.85 hectares with dwelling – sold after auction for $310,000

Lot 11 Summerville Road, Kandanga 58.51 hectares with dwelling – $405,000

80 Traveston Crossing Road, Kybong 38.06 hectares – passed in

199 Melawondi Road, Melawondi 38.06ha with dwelling – $506,000

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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