Brisbane April 2017

The month in review: Brisbane

By Herron Todd White
April 2017

Brisbane is a very easy market to understand from a big picture perspective.

If you were to adopt just one rule about what will be the most likely hotspots in our town, it’s that the closer you are to the CBD, the more likely buyers will have the desire to own a piece of your dirt.

We are seeing a lot of activity for our abodes close to town – particularly anything of quality. It seems if the property is detached and located in near city addresses such as New Farm, Teneriffe, Camp Hill and West End or similar, there are plenty of suitors ready to front up the dollars.

It’s the old driver of short supply. These suburbs only have a limited amount of housing and there’s no denying we are a reasonably affordable capital city for investment – particularly compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

And it’s not just the ready-to-move-in stock that’s making waves. The potential to renovate or demolish and rebuild has investors and homeowners in a frenzy. Suitable property in these inner-city hubs is limited, so it’s no wonder they’re running hot with buyers.

When looking in these locations the first question is obviously what will I get for my money?

In Camp Hill expect to fork out $1.25 million to $1.75 million for a detached home. For this amount, you’ll land a decent size dwelling of 220 square metres to 270 square metres, and it will be on a 405-square metre allotment.

In West End it’s a little trickier to find stock, but with $1 million to $1.3 million to spend you can find a 4-bedroom home on a smaller lot of 200 square metres to 300 square metres, or perhaps a smaller home of around 3-bedrooms on 300 square metres to 500 square metres.

If you’re considering New Farm or Teneriffe, expect to pay between $900,000 and $1.5 million to get in the door, and then your pride and joy will still need a little work.

So who’s driving this inner-city demand? For housing, it’s mostly owner-occupiers or local investors, but there’s no denying a few savvy buyers from the southern capitals are making their way into our town and testing the market at the $1 million to $1.5 million price point – and why not?! For that sort of money, they’re barely getting a garage the same distance from the CBD in Sydney.

While units have taken a beating in the market – you know… looming oversupply and all that – there is still some activity for the right kind of stock. In particular, owner-occupier designed units are doing all right with the locals when they’re priced appropriately. Demand from investors, particularly interstate and overseas, however, is cooling rapidly for attached housing.

As for future growth, it looks like housing is set to lead the charge. Growth across the board should be slow and steady but if big economic drivers and employers start coming to Brisbane, then expect demand to ramp up for detached homes.

For unit holders we’re afraid the story might play out a little differently. The trend looks to be continuing downward in terms of both activity and price – particularly investment product. If you are looking at better quality owner-occupier type product, then prices will be more resilient in the right locations.

In our experience, new units are off about 5% from their market highs if they were purchased in the past three years.

Another change in the weather has been detached housing in Bulimba. Where it used to be cool to acquire a large double block with a classic cottage, many are looking to get a post-war and enjoy more flexible options when it comes to a possible demolition and rebuild.

There is strong demand for both renovated Queenslanders as well as modern dwellings completed to a high standard, although already completed homes do seem to be what most cashed-up buyers want.

Another hot sector is homes with the ability to create additional accommodation for either a family member or for a bit of extra income. Buyers keenly seek blocks with extra space out back for a granny flat.

Overall the hottest ticket in town is in the $700,000 to $1 million price bracket – that’s above the city’s median price. It’s a solid mix of owner-occupiers, investors and upgraders looking around this price point. Finally, in our opinion, as long as the government doesn’t change the status quo, the price of housing in Brisbane will continue to increase.


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