VALUE ADDED: A 2018 annual land valuation program snapshot from across the southwest.
VALUE ADDED: A 2018 annual land valuation program snapshot from across the southwest.

Shock land valuations show market optimism

RESIDENTS in Murweh and the Maranoa woke up to a surprise on Wednesday morning, with the new land valuation release detailing large increases in the value of land across the southwest.

Maranoa boasted a 59.6 per cent increase in the value of rural primary production land, with Murweh following suit with a 52.9 per cent rise.

The sharp increase to economic activity and a "continued level of optimism that surrounded rural land markets during 2017” are the reasons given for the sharp increases by State Valuer-General, Neil Bray.

"Land values are generally static since the last valuation in the urban centres with significant increases in the rural property market,” he said.

"The median residential land value within the town of Roma remained unchanged at $66,000.

"The continuing effects of strengthened beef commodity prices and low interest rates have generally resulted in significant increases in rural property markets throughout the regional councils.”

The figures were less staggering when it came to residential values. Maranoa recorded a slight 5.8 per cent increase, and residential value in Murweh dropped 57.9 per cent.

Maranoa Deputy Mayor and portfolio chairman for finance, Jan Chambers, said the council would be discussing rate changes in the wake of increased valuations.

"We were surprised by the extent of the rise. We knew it would go up some, but didn't realise to this extent,” Cr Chambers said.

"In relation to the valuations, they have increased significantly in the Maranoa and, therefore, as part of our next budget discussions, we will have to look into it.”

Murweh CEO Neil Polglase said the valuation rise was positive in the face of the current climate.

"While the region is in drought, I think it's obvious that cattle prices are holding their own and maintaining current (land) value,” he said.

"The Murweh Council understands that there is a reduction in the residential valuations for the shire, so we will be determining our grading policies (for rates) based on the new valuations.”

The Balonne region, which was excluded from this year's report, was valued in 2017.

In that report, Balonne Shire Council land values had an overall increase of 17 per cent, with the value of rural production land rising 32.6 per cent and residential land falling 35.4 per cent in comparison to 2015 values.

The 2018 valuations will take effect on June 30.