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Property market bouncing back

QUEENSLAND'S property market has started to fire again, but it will be a slow and steady climb back to price growth, the Real Estate Insitute of Queensland predicts.
Speaking before the release on Saturday in The Courier-Mail of the REIQ's quarterly house value data, chief executive Anton Kardash said the figures for Brisbane in particular showed a real improvement in sales activity.
"Admittedly it is off a very low base, so compared to last year this quarter is substantially better,'' he said.
"When sales go up, you expect prices to go up as well. We have seen that across the board, not huge numbers by any means, but a positive slow growth in the price of properties.''
Mr Kardash said the bulk of transactions seemed to be in the $500,000 to $1 million range, slightly higher price points than in previous quarters.
He said all the data was pointing to a strong spring selling season ahead.
"Winter is the slowest month usually and what we are seeing is an improvement in our worst month.
"Once we get the election over and some stability back in the marketplace we are expecting a very, very good spring actually.''
"What we see is the affordability of houses improving, particularly with the interest rate cut that has not come through yet.''

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Queenslanders build back stronger

TOWNSVILLE: Premier and Minister for Reconstruction, Anna Bligh, today released guidelines designed to rebuild a stronger North Queensland following Queensland’s summer disasters.
Rebuilding in Storm tide prone areas: Tully Heads and Hull Heads is designed to help those who choose to rebuild their homes following the effects of Cyclone Yasi.
The document is the first of a series of guidelines designed by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, James Cook University and experts on cyclones and architecture, to rebuild a stronger Queensland following the recent natural disasters.
“We have said we want to build it back better in Queensland and we mean it,” said the Premier at a demonstration of the effects of cyclonic winds on houses at James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station in Townsville with the Chair of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Major General Mick Slater today.
“These guidelines will give people rebuilding their homes or building new homes some directions on how to limit the damage should a storm surge hit their region again,” said the Premier.
“We know the best way to survive a storm tide is to raise your house above storm tide level, but if that is not possible these guidelines recommend you make sure that walls which are essential to the structure are built perpendicular to the shore line.
“That means they offer the least resistance to the storm tide and are less likely to collapse. Simple tips like this can save homes and maybe even lives in the future.”
The Premier also released the draft of the second in the series of guidelines for consultation - Wind Resistant Housing - whichcontains practical information and recommendations for protecting houses in Cyclone conditions.
“We saw in Innisfail after Cyclone Larry how effective rebuilding homes to category 5 standard can be and these guidelines will learn again from the experience of Cyclone Yasi,” said the Premier.
“Public feedback is welcome and we expect to finalise the guidelines within the next six weeks and those interested on commenting should visit the Authority website
 “These guidelines are of particular relevance to residents of North Queensland but almost our entire coast can experience cyclones. These guidelines are relevant for communities from the tip of the Cape to the Sunshine Coast.”
Major General Mick Slater said the summer disasters also reminded us that cyclones do not only affect the Queensland coast.
“Cyclone Yasi crossed the Queensland coast causing millions in damage, but its sheer size meant its effects were felt 1500 kilometres west in Mount Isa,” General Slater said.
“Therefore, guidelines like these have benefits for communities not only around Australia, but anywhere in the world where serious storms like typhoons and hurricanes are prevalent.
“Queenslanders cannot afford to be complacent about the dangers natural disasters present. And as we approach the next cyclone season we need to make sure we’re prepared.”
The guidelines have been developed in partnership between the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and leading cyclone and architecture experts at James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station, CSIRO, Australian Institute of Architects, GHD and Cassowary Coast Regional Council. The Bureau of Meteorology also contributed to the second guideline.
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