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One of Rockhampton’s landmark properties is up for grabs, as a senior agent claims the local housing “doldrums” are over.
A four-bedroom house on a landscaped 1012-square-metre block, built by radiologist Dr Jack Gillogley and his wife Nella in 1951, is for sale by expression of interest closing October 7.
Located opposite the lush green ovals of the Rockhampton Grammar School in the Range, the period pad is described by its selling agent Patrick O’Driscoll of Pat O’Driscoll Real Estate as “elegant”.
Its standout historically significant feature is the bathroom for its main bedroom. When it was added, in about 1960, it was arguably a trailblazer for central coast Queensland.
“He [Dr Gillogley] put in a second bathroom, creating what, I guess, we think of today as a master bedroom suite, which was extremely rare for its time in the 1960s,” Mr O’Driscoll told Domain.
“It was designed by Neil McKendry, who was also instrumental in the design of many Rockhampton structures including the Pilbeam Theatre, and while the double-brick cavity style was not a total rarity it was certainly unique for its time up here.
“He [Mr McKendry] was a progressive architect.”
The mid-20th century house was recently renovated and updated and is now “Hamptons meets French Provincial”, as the agency put it.
The floor plan is centred around the central living-dining and kitchen zone, which flows to a large outdoor entertaining area. There is a separate library and a family room, an office, a storeroom, double garage and double carport, timber blinds and plantation shutters.
But while contemporary features including 40-millimetre stone bench tops and hard-wiring make this 68-year-old family home future-ready, plenty of period features remain including hardwood floors, three-metre ceilings, marble fireplaces and ornate cornices.
As 2020 nears the Rockhampton residential property market is upbeat. After five years in “the doldrums”, as reported by Domain in March this year, forecasts that better times were coming are proving accurate with early signs of growth in the past six months.
Rental vacancy rates are “about 1.5 per cent, about half what they were 12 months ago”, Mr O’Driscoll said. The real estate agent has sold homes locally since 1979 and he said a decade ago “8, 9, 10 per cent” of all rental properties were empty.
“I have been in this market for 40 years and what I am seeing this year is a generational cycle shift partly because of the mining activity west of Rockhampton plus the tourism activity around Great Keppel Island and Yeppoon, which are both going to bring industry and development to the greater region, our beef industry and excellent education facilities.”
In the first quarter of 2019, Domain data put house prices at $305,000 year-on-year in 2018. According to Mr O’Driscoll, current median sale prices sit between $280,000 and $300,000.
“We are still very affordable, very good value and offering this excellent lifestyle, jobs and education.
“We haven’t seen any move at that end of the market this year, that is true, but we are definitely seeing more demand overall. We sold eight properties in the $850,000 to $1.795 million range in 2019 predominantly in the Range facing towards the city from the south and also some pockets in the north.
“In the cycles I have seen in my 40 years in this industry, that is a sign: we are coming out of the doldrums.”