The Smartline Report – August Edition

The month in review: Brisbane

By Herron Todd White
August 2015

Brisbane has been an Australian city on the grow for most of the past 20 years and while fortunes may fluctuate occasionally, we’ve generally had steady construction activity in the sunshine state capital. In addition, our fringe suburbs are dotted with a number of new residential housing estates where a gaggle of uted tradies can be seen competing for a hot pie and chips from the lunch van.

Of course, construction costs through the ages have also varied– the cost of materials and labour certainly ran hot for a while there. Right now, there’s strong demand from investors and owner occupiers in many suburbs, particularly along the western corridor through to Ipswich. Springfield Lakes, Brookwater and Bellbird Park, as well as Brassall and Leichhardt, all feature on the list. There’s also keen interest in our northern corridor estates located in the suburbs of North Lakes, Dakabin, Narangba, Mango Hill, Griffin and Murrumba Downs. In these areas, first home buyers taking advantage of the building grant incentives compete with investors who are eager to get a piece of our market.

Let’s kick off with entry level housing. Here we’re talking about a typical low set 3- or 4-bedroom brick and tile abode with reasonable finish plus basic quality, functional fittings and fixtures. Advances in design and materials mean that even at entry level, you’re living in a comfortable home. Back in 2009 this property would set you back about $750 to $800 per square metre but nowadays you’re between $900 and $1,100 per square metre. On smaller lots, tinier homes are being built and that sees the rate per metre rise. These courtyard style dwellings can cost as much as $1,200 to $1,300 per square metre. For this money, expect laminate cabinetry, Caesarstone bench tops in the kitchen, one light bulb to each room, limited power points and split system air conditioning to the living room only. Outside there’ll be a driveway and fencing, but possibly no landscaping.

Step up a little further and you’ve got stone bench tops, air conditioning throughout, high ceilings and quality finishes. These homes were costing $1,100 to $1,300 per square metre in 2009 and that price is still about the same in 2015. Another $200 per square metre would get you ducted air-conditioning instead of a split system and a higher standard of appliances and finishes.

Getting into the good stuff, a nice contemporary home with a bit of flair is going to come in at around $2,200 to $3,300 per square metre in 2009, and once again, not much has changed since then. This sort of finish will include Miele or Delonghi appliances, Cbus home automation, integrated audio, security systems and fully kitted out media rooms. Hot inner city suburbs have plenty of this housing, particularly on infill allotments.

Moving into your architectural designs and you’re unlikely to see anything much below $3,500 per square metre. This will score you quite the contemporary abode or even a high end renovation in some of our most desirable inner city suburbs such as Clayfield, Hamilton, Ascot, New Farm, Teneriffe, Newstead and out to Hendra. As the rate per square metre increases, it typically brings in all the bells and whistles plus high attention to detail in finishes and fixtures.

While there is evidence of strong demand for construction at present, the issue in the outer areas is that there are also established two to three year old properties on the market for sale at a price point lower than the cost to construct new. If construction costs increase, then purchasers, particularly investors, may be more likely to purchase the existing product rather than a new construction. Wait and see.

Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2015. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325


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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.