First home buyers looking to enter the property market in the Central Highlands could snap up a bargain, with several old council houses hitting the market in coming months.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said council last week voted to sell off the employee housing assets due to their age and rising maintenance costs.
‘Council owns over 180 properties across Blackwater, Emerald, Springsure, Capella, Duaringa and Tieri,’ he said.
‘The bulk of these houses were acquired prior to amalgamation in 2008 for staff housing. However, most are over 35 years old and aren’t fit for that purpose anymore.’
Mayor Hayes said council assessed the condition of all its housing assets in 2019 and found that 60% were in poor condition.
‘Like you would in your own household, we regularly inspect the condition of all of our assets and use this information to make decisions about what we keep, what needs work and what to get rid of,’ he said.
‘As you can imagine, a number of these houses need a lot of TLC and our reporting showed it just isn’t economically viable for us to hold onto them.
‘However, our loss could be someone else’s gain. For a first home buyer or someone looking for a fixer-upper this could be a great opportunity.’
The houses will be sold in stages over the next three financial years, starting in 2020-2021. The houses will be advertised through public tender via LG Tenderbox, as per requirements of the Local Government Regulation 2012.
Mayor Hayes said any proceeds of the sales of these properties could be used to purchase or construct replacement housing in practical locations.
‘Things have changed over the last 12 years, so this gives us a chance to look at where staff housing is really needed and be strategic,’ he said.