Queensland forced sales rise amid drought, financial pressures

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Drought and financial difficulties are pushing landholders to resort to the forced selling of rural properties across Queensland, a report by property valuer Herron Todd White reveals.

The report, published as the group’s last study for this year, said buyers are willing to pay for quality country, but seasonal conditions have taken their toll on property values and sales.

Moreover, spokesman Tim Lane said the Australian housing market has been sliding since it peaked in 2008.

"In most regions, there has been some sort of decline in terms of asset values. In southern parts of Australia, after a dip, values have held up quite well and are back in line with some of those peaks of four years ago," Lane was quoted saying in ABC.

"But the Queensland market is still coming off that peak, to a degree, and most of the pain has already been felt in the reduction in values and I don't expect the same level of reductions going forward at all."

Lane said demand for larger properties from institutional buyers is evident and people buy smaller blocks for lifestyle reasons. However, the mid-range properties appear problematic as these assets are valued between the $2m- to $10m-range.

Despite the increasing number of forced sales, banks have stepped up to remedy the situation, Lane said.

 "Certainly, there is receivership, mortgage and possession type activity, but in my view the banks have actually managed this position very well,” he said. 

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