After nearly a decade of heated debates, protests and uncertainty, the environmental approval for the Adani coal mine was finally approved last month.
The confirmation is the final obstacle that real estate investors wanted to see covered before workers crowded the region, rents fill up and prices rise, realestate.com.au chief economist, Nerida Conisbee said .
Many are still licking their wounds after property collapses throughout the area when the mining boom ended in 2013, but the brave bettors are now preparing their finances.
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The mine will be based in the Galilee basin, but property speculators are looking at the coastal town of Bowen, halfway between Mackay and Townsville in North Queensland. The city is located near Abbot Point, where the Carmichael Project plans to ship coal.
It is foreseeable that Bowen will be the home for many workers during the construction of a railway line and the mine afterwards.
"Usually what happens is that we start seeing rental growth first," Ms. Conisbee told news.com.au on typical indicators of rising house prices in mining towns.
"Since people will have to move to a city, rental levels start to rise."
He referred to the recent 33% increase in value in the southern Australian city of Whyalla, where the rise in rents led to higher prices.
"Generally what drives the price increase is actually an investment activity compared to the occupying owner because people are able to get a pretty good return in a fairly inexpensive area and will potentially also see an increase in capital growth, "said Mrs. Conisbee.
Bowen suffered a significant drop in average house prices between 2015 and 2017, and rental prices followed a similar trajectory, but increased by 3% in 2017. House prices fell during the year dell & # 39; 11%.
In the 12 months to 30 June, the value of homes in Bowen has increased by 10%.
An emerging investor in the region, Norbert Kaess, bought his fourth house before the age of 23 and is optimistic about the potential of the market while the Carmichael mine is approaching the operation.
"Now that it has been approved, I think the growth trend will continue and be even sharper over the next two years," he told news.com.au.
"Investors can still raise a lot of homes on sizable blocks from $ 150,000 to $ 200,000.
"Most of these houses have a positive cash flow and do not require a large deposit."
The young investor says that the rental market will shrink only when workers flock to the city of North Queensland.
"It is not unusual to get a 10% rental return and with the current upward trend we can also hope to see capital gains in addition," said Kaess.
"With the cost of relatively inexpensive investment it is not a big risk for younger investors and could be a good springboard for further ownership if their research is conducted thoroughly."
But Mrs. Conisbee warned aspiring investors to proceed with caution.
"You really have to be a sophisticated investor when you enter these markets, you could see big losses in value and you have to be careful that things can change pretty quickly," he said.
Completing a mining project will drag the market down, as well as completing the stages along the way as needed for the workers.
"The transition from construction to operation can lead to a sharp decline in employment," said Conisbee.
"Anything that affects the number of workers required on the mine can have a big impact."
Whitsunday regional councilor Mike Brunker lives in Bowen and doubts there is an increase in value.
He said workers were forced to bunk in car ports after the property collapsed at the end of the mining boom.
During the surge in the value and demand of the past decade, the city has increased development to cover housing and Cr Brunker said he is sure there is enough housing to ensure that prices do not fluctuate dramatically in the future.
"When approaching the operation and the trains arrive, we could see a peak, but we have enough homes in Bowen now that it's for sale that they welcome it," he said.
"So it won't be a mad rush in the development of residential properties because we've already done it.
"And I, as an adviser, certainly will not support other residential properties until the excess supply has increased."