by Mackenzie Colahan
THERE has never been a better time to buy in North Burnett, at least that's what the numbers are saying.
According to figures released by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, North Burnett homes are the most affordable in the state.
The region recorded a median sale price of $132,500 for properties under 2,400 square metres in the most recent Market Monitor report - down a whopping 14.1 per cent over the last five years.
And the over 2,400 square metre category isn't far behind, rating second in overall affordability with a median sale price of $209,000 after dropping by 6.1 per cent in the last 12 months.
While this is music to the ears of prospective buyers and investors, local home owners shouldn't be concerned, according to Brett Allen of Monto Livestock and Property.
"Although people would like to see more value in their properties it's generally a lot more stable here, without the boom and bust you see in major markets,” Mr Allen said.
"We don't have a high demand and the first home owners' grant is only offered on new housing, creating a void in the market.
"Our market is traditionally dominated by second and third home buyers.
"In the last three years, 85 per cent of our sales have been to people from outside the local area - our buyers are coming from all over Australia.
North Burnett is more affordable simply because it's not subject to the market pressures of the coastal areas and regional centres.
But with so much to see and do in the region, now is the perfect opportunity to pack up and move.
"There's not many rural towns in New South Wales or Victoria that can offer what we can,” Mr Allen said.
"There is such good value here and people are left with more in their pockets after cashing out in those competitive markets.”
That is precisely what attracted Peter and Kay Warren, who recently purchased a four-bedroom home in Monto after living in Brisbane for 18 years.
"We looked at a lot of areas and found the Monto housing market to be extremely reasonably priced,” Mr Warren said.
"Since we came here we haven't looked back. We just love the place.
"In Brisbane you would be paying upwards of $750,000 for a similar property.
"Absolutely we're here to stay, we're going to be opening a business.
The message is clear: if the North Burnett is on your radar, come and take a look for yourself.
"We have a lot of confidence in this area. The opportunities are endless,” Mr Warren said.