Recovery on horizon

first_imgREIQ regional director Damien Keyes has backed a new report that says house prices in Townsville will grow 9 per cent in the next 3 years. Picture: Evan MorganTOWNSVILLE’S property market is yet to return to the highs of the resources boom era but industry insiders are predicting more prosperous times are ahead.The latest CoreLogic figures show that the median house price has remained steady during the three months up until April 2018 at $335,000 but has still declined 1.5 per cent in the past 12 months.Unit prices have fared better, increasing by 5.9 per cent in 12 months and remaining the same in the past three months.REIQ regional director and Keyes & Co Property principal Damien Keyes said while he wasn’t predicting substantial price growth in the near future there was positive indicators the market was starting to recover.“It’s definitely improving in terms of volume of transactions and buyer activity,” Mr Keyes said.“In the last quarter of 2017 we really started to feel that buyers were starting to poke their heads out and we were getting more instances of multiple offers on properties. We’ve also seen some southern interest on the investment front.“I don’t know that we will see a massive price jump quickly but there is a solid platform for the market to improve.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Residential vacancy rates have been continuing to tighten and are sitting at 4 per cent after peaking at 7.1 per cent in September 2016.However, the REIQ has still classified the city’s rental market as weak and it won’t be considered strong until vacancy rates dip below 3 per cent.The median weeky rent for a house is $320 and $280 for a unit while gross rental yields are sitting around 5 per cent.In the commercial market, job-generating projects such as the North Queensland Stadium and Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project are helping to increase confidence. However, vacancies remain high especially in the retail and CBD office sectors.Colliers International managing director Peter Wheeler said Townsville was at the bottom of the market cycle but was predicted to edge towards recovery.“It just looks and feels like things are getting better and we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.“Major infrastructure and construction projects are the biggest drivers of the market which obviously create jobs and build confidence.“The owner-occupier market has been the most active space in the commercial and industrial sectors over the last few years where strong businesses are taking advantage of where we are in the property cycle and historically low interest rates.”last_img read more

Badgers shock Big Blue

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald PhotoThe Wisconsin men’s soccer team opened its 2006 Big Ten season with a deserved and anticipated victory Sunday as it defeated Michigan 2-1 in a thrilling overtime clash at the McClimon Soccer Complex.Thanks to a little help from Michigan defender Chase Tennant, who lofted the ball over his own goalkeeper’s head for an overtime own-goal, the Badgers won their first Big Ten conference opener in over five years.”We only had two [Big Ten] wins last season. … We started 0-4,” junior Dirk Pearson said of his team’s 2005 conference performance. “We think we can win the Big Ten this year, and just starting off 1-0 is big. We let it almost get away from us there at the end, and we need to get a little more composure … but we have all the talent in the world.”After receiving a pass from freshman Brandon Miller, Pearson snatched the lead for the Badgers in the 76th minute when he dribbled past one defender and squeaked the ball past Michigan goalkeeper Patrick Sperry. Though not the most beautiful goal he’s ever scored, Pearson admitted he was pleased with his good fortune.”I was just trying to center it as I scooped it over the keeper,” Pearson said. “Luckily, from the angle I had, [the ball] went in. I’m not going to say there was a lot of skill there. … Obviously that was pretty lucky, but I’ll take anything that I can get at this point.”With only 14 minutes remaining in regulation, it looked as if Pearson’s strike would stand and the Badgers would hold on to their lead. However, with only 30 seconds left, Michigan senior Brian Popeny blasted a free-kick from 30 yards out past Wisconsin keeper Jake Settle for the late, late equalizer. Though initially demoralized, the bruised Wisconsin squad huddled together and found the strength in each other to not let another match slip out of its hands.With two minutes and nine seconds remaining in the first overtime period, the soccer gods were smiling on the Badgers as a long free kick by senior William Bagayoko was misplayed by Tennant into his own net from 20 yards out.”It’s often said that you create your own luck,” Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “And, you know — wet field, slick surface — when you put balls forward near the box and near the goal, things can happen and we got a break … it was obviously a great feeling to finally have something go our way today.”With an 0-2 overtime record after losing to both SMU and Creighton in extra time this season, Rohrman was more than happy with his team’s overtime performance and the resiliency they demonstrated.”I think the word ‘relieved’ comes to mind,” Rohrman said. “We should have closed [the game] out in regulation, but as disappointed as we were with … giving up the goal, I was really proud of the guys to put it together and find a way to win.”One aspect of Sunday’s match not to be overlooked was the play of Wisconsin’s stellar defensive line led by senior captain Aaron Hohlbein. Hohlbein and company shut down one of the nation’s top-striking duos, Peri Marosevic and Jake Stacy.”[Michigan] has two tremendous, dangerous forwards in Peri [Marosevic] and Jake Stacy,” Rohrman said. “They caused some problems with some great little combinations early in the game, but we talked about that at halftime, and I thought the second half was pretty good.”As the Badgers savor this sweet victory, they look forward to avenging a 2-0 loss suffered to in-state rival UW-Milwaukee last season when they take on the Panthers this Wednesday at the McClimon Soccer Complex.“[UW-M] is not a conference opponent obviously, but they’re definitely our biggest in-state rival,” Rohrman said. “We all want to get something rolling, and if we have confidence I don’t think anybody can stop us.”last_img read more

Three takeaways from Chiefs vs. Patriots: Red-hot Kansas City makes Tom Brady, New England go cold in playoff picture

first_imgThe Chiefs’ defense turned in the performance it needed to take the Patriots further down in the AFC playoff picture. Kansas City (9-4), as a field-goal underdog, held on to beat New England (10-3) in Gillette Stadium, 23-16.While the Chiefs won their third consecutive game to move within a game of the Patriots for the No. 2 seed and maintained the No. 3 seed over the Texans (8-5), the Ravens (11-2) now have a full-game lead, plus the head-to-head tiebreaker, on the Patriots for the top seed and home-field advantage in the AFC. The good news is the Patriots’ final three games are at home against the Bengals, at home against the Bills and on the road against the Dolphins. The Buffalo game will be tough as New England tries to stay ahead of the Bills in the AFC East with their lead cut down to one game. But the bottom line is, the Patriots won’t need to be all that explosive to win those games.In the bigger picture, however, with their 21-game home winning streak having ended, the Pats are not playing like the same, daunting team that should be the AFC’s No. 2 seed. Their best win came all the way back in Week 1 against a Steelers team that’s very different than the 8-5 version it is now.It’s premature as usual to write off the Patriots because of their ability to adjust and evolve when the stakes are raised, and they will learn from their mistake-filled games. But the evidence we’ve been given in November and December tells us it’s easier to trust the field over New England. Here are the most important takeaways from the Chiefs’ Week 14 win over the Patriots.MORE: Updated NFL playoff pictureThe Chiefs can win with big-time defense, too.The Patriots needed to rush effectively against the Chiefs to win, but they were able to muster only 94 yards on 22 carries after falling behind. Kansas City’s strength has been its pass rush and secondary coverage all season, and those units came through with three sacks and an interception of Brady, giving up only 4.3 yards per pass attempt against a limited wide receiver corps beyond Julian Edelman.The Chiefs blitzed at the right times and did a great job containing Edelman, down to the final incomplete pass in the end zone with Bashaud Breeland doing the honors. They clearly frustrated Brady by getting in his face (literally) up front and not worrying about big plays downfield, and they compressed the field and closed on his receivers. The Patriots were only 2-for-12 on third downs and 1-for-3 on fourth downs.BREEZY CALLED GAME ✊@Bree2Land6 | #ProBowlVote— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 9, 2019Defense was the Chiefs’ biggest question mark going into the season under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. They’ve been bad against the run and have had trouble with running backs in the passing game because of their linebacker issues, but their change to a 4-3 scheme has worked. They now are able to win when their offense gets into a bit of a grinding game, which was the case for Patrick Mahomes and Co. on Sunday.The Chiefs carried momentum from their dominance of the Raiders last week, as their defense continues to improve in different areas at the most important time of the season. The repeat AFC West champions can finish strong against the Broncos, Bears and Chargers for the ideal playoff tune-up through the rest of the regular season.The Patriots’ offensive woes are still (mostly) not about Tom Brady.Brady needs considerable help now as a more dependent quarterback at age 42. But his pass protection is poor, and the running game can be non-existent, especially when the Patriots get behind on the scoreboard and the receivers (away from Edelman and running back James White) don’t deliver.Brady (19-of-36 passing, 169 yards, TD, INT, 4.3 yards per attempt, 74.9 passer rating) is trying to force the issue with his arm, and it’s not working against teams that can mix up looks as well as the Chiefs can. His biggest play in the game, one that gave the Patriots a last-gasp chance, was a 17-yard scramble for a first down.And now @TomBrady RUNS it 17 yards for the first down.ON FOURTH DOWN.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 9, 2019Early in the season, the Patriots won games with big plays from their defense and special teams — which they are still getting. The only difference: The degree of difficulty of the opponents has been significantly raised.The Chiefs didn’t too much offensively, but they clearly had more speed and reliable playmakers around Mahomes, led by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, and a solid offensive line that’s now fully healthy.Brady is on an island, and he’s being marooned more times than not.MORE: Full Week 14 NFL scoreboardThe Patriots are not close to AFC favorites.The evidence is there. The Patriots have lost to the Ravens, Texans and now Chiefs in their toughest five-game stretch of the season, with their only wins coming against the Cowboys and Eagles. (Which, in retrospect, aren’t big accomplishments.)last_img read more