Is the Townsville market Showing early signs of strain?

Posted: 15 March 2024

Is the Townsville market Showing early signs of strain?

MEDIA RELEASE: Is the Townsville Market Showing Early Signs of Strain?

The Northern Eye reports on the macro economy downturn and what we are seeing on the ground in Townsville and explores what can be done to ensure a strong short- and long-term outlook.

Townsville, Queensland, Thursday 14th March 2024: The March quarter Northern Eye reports a turn in our labour market recording an increase in unemployment, population and cost of living predicted in 2024. Townsville and the broader national economy appear to be at tipping point, with higher operating and borrowing costs catching up to the post-COVID growth period.

Townsville, however, remains (comparatively) highly affordable, with both houses and units remaining well below the price of new construction. Our relative financial strength and high local incomes give us confidence that the local economy can weather the impending economic slowdown.

Matthew Kelly, Principal Economist at Regional Economic Advisory in Townsville, and author of the report comments, “On the one hand, increased business closures and relocations are impacting the commercial property market as businesses battle with labour shortages, cost pressures, and the flow-on effects of the COVID working from home revolution as employers reassess their space requirements. On the other hand, the demand side of the economic equation remains robust, with full flights, restaurants, schools, and a buoyant residential property market all pointing to one thing: Townsville is growing”.

Townsville will not escape the 2024/25 downturn unscathed with significant economic links to world trade and commodity markets, with several major economies already in recession. However, it remains well-positioned for long-term growth. Keys to unlocking this growth include economically viable higher density housing options and catching the lagging perception up to the reality of Townsville as a top regional destination to live, work and invest after the difficult social and economic years leading up to COVID.

Townsville Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Turner commented on the report, “It is heartening to read in the Northern Eye report that the future is bright for our region. We are seeing many businesses caught between increasing costs of doing business, and lower consumer spending.

"At Townsville Chamber of Commerce, we will be holding a mirror up to our three levels of government to address our key advocacy areas to reduce red tape and the cost of doing business, reduce crime and ensure we are well positioned to maximise upon future opportunities to raise the region."

Read the Northern Eye Report