Mackay is a large regional city situated on the eastern coast of Queensland. It is approximately 338km South of Townsville, 337km North of Rockhampton, and 971km North of Brisbane.
When we said large, we mean that Mackay is definitely no simple country town, with more than 112,000 residents. Summers here consists of warm to hot weather. The rest of the year, this suburb boasts of sunshine and blue skies throughout the day and cool winds at night. In fact, Mackay’s weather is one of its top attractions, not to mention that in this region, one could visit a different beach every day for a month. That is because Mackay region has 31 beaches.
Aside from tourism, Mackay has experienced growth from mining-related activities, being situated on the east of Bowen Basin where the largest coal reserves in Australia can be found.
Before we explore the potential (and possible drawbacks) of Mackay being an investor’s choice of location, let us dissect the figures that make up this city—the population, family composition, industry of employment, facilities, etc.
The median age of people in Mackay was 38 years old. About 28% belong to the 0-19 age group and another 28% to the 40-59 age group.
Around 33% of those studying in Mackay are in primary level; followed by those in secondary level at 21%.
Country of Birth
In Mackay, 81% of people were born in Australia. Most common residents of Mackay come from countries like New Zealand (2.8%), England (2.2%), South Africa (1.1%), Philippines (1%) and Zimbabwe (.3%)
Majority of workers in Mackay are Technicians and Trades Workers (22%) and Machinery Operators (13.9%).
Type of Houses
Compared to the national and state-based figures, the percentage of separate houses in Mackay are higher (85.2%) The rest are flat unit or apartments (7.7%).
There are more people who owned a home with a mortgage (37.3%) in Mackay than those who are renting (29.5%).
Industry of Employment
Travel to Work
In Mackay, as in the rest of Australia, majority of those who work travel by car, either as passenger or as a driver.
In Mackay, QLD, 46% of couples have children while 39% of couples are without children.
Mortgage and Rental Payments
The median rent in Mackay, QLD was $315 and median mortgage repayments were $2167—a bit higher compared with the state average.
There are campuses of the Central Queensland University, James Cook University and the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE. There are also 12 private schools, three state secondary schools, 25 state primary schools, 20 state pre-schools and 27 day care facilities in this region.
When it comes to healthcare, Mackay Base Hospital (public) and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital (private) provide 100-200 beds each in a range of medical and surgical specialities.
There are also several shopping centres in Mackay—the largest being the Canelands shopping centre, a major shopping centre in the middle of Mackay’s CBD precinct. Several other shopping centres are located in surrounding suburbs, such as Andergrove and Mount Pleasant.
As we mentioned earlier, tourism is a big economic driver of Mackay, the region being home to some of Queensland’s scenic and cleanest beaches. The region also has several sports and recreational facilities that attract tourists all year-round.
Infrastructure and Investment
Mackay being near the mining region of Bowen Basin, it serves as a route for transporting coals, which will then be exported. It is no wonder then that most of the infrastructure projects in Mackay are coal, energy and other mining-related constructions. Ports and road projects as well as rail projects make Mackay a booming region with lots of economic growth drivers.
Mackay is a big and busy region that holds the distinction of being one of the few cities in Australia to have survived the global financial crisis, thanks to its top industries of coal mining and agriculture—particularly the processing and manufacturing of sugar (did we mention that Mackay is the sugar capital of Australia?).
Having enumerated the key factors that drive Mackay’s economic growth, any property investor who’s after capital growth can take advantage of this mining boom in Mackay. One must factor in though the floodings in Mackay. Flood maps are available to help an investor discern which places are prone to flooding.
Property in Mackay
Mackay is a town that has defied the overall property trends seen throughout Australia and has continue to grow in value over recent years. Mackay also offers many types of housing in different price brackets for those wanting to get into the Mackay property market.
There are older style homes in suburbs like Mackay, East Mackay, West Mackay and North Mackay, some of which start a little shy of $300k and move up from there. More established suburbs with good facilities, close to the centre of Mackay include Mount Pleasant and Andergrove. Prices here can vary between $400k to $900k depending on what you are looking for but medians in the $400k’s. Newer four-bedroom homes in the sought after suburbs of Glenella, Ooralea, Andergrove and Beaconsfield can be found for somewhere in the $500k mark. The Northerm Beaches area is also popular and there is a huge amount of residential development going on in this area.
Mackay is a place with a lot going for it and it demonstrates this with continued growth and good rental returns for investors. It is a location feeling the effects of the mining resources boom without being completely dependent upon it.
It’s a thriving city with a range of interesting suburbs, many of which offer properties that could provide a great investment and all for different reasons. There is old, new, renovated, un-renovated, large, small, inner city, outer suburban and beachside. Something here for everyone!