Houses in Mackay run the gamut from original highset Queenslanders to lowset brick homes. Multistorey blocks of flats are running amok at the Mackay Harbour and alongside the Pioneer River.
Mackay went through a housing boom for some years and builders and tradesmen were in very short supply. The 2008 floods meant a long wait for people who needed any restoration work or repairs however the situation has completely changed since the mining downturn. House prices have dropped alarmingly and there are many empty houses in the area.
Rental premises were at a premium for several years and rents skyrocketed often leaving people on low incomes in a desperate situation. Rents have dropped enormously and there are many empty units in the area.
There are new housing estates all over Mackay and also numerous retirement villages.
There are numerous shopping centres spread all over Mackay which appear to cater for every need. They include the two original centres, Canelands and Mt Pleasant, which are enclosed and which have double-storey car parks, and the incomers including Greenfields and an enormous area nearby where Harvey Norman and Good Guys etc. are located.
Stand-alone supermarkets can be found at South Mackay where the original Hatfields now trades as IGA but everyone continues to call it Hatties; at Andergrove where Woolworths has a large store, and further toward the northern beaches area where Bi-lo is established. The latest stand alone supermarkets are at Walkerston, and near Planlands, at Mirani, and the Bi-lo area has been extensively developed.
My personal preference for shopping is with local small businesses where one is assured of a constant and friendly service. I live in South Mackay where, with one screaming exception, all the local small businesses are superb.