The Smartline Report – December Edition

The month in review: Brisbane

By Herron Todd White
December 2016

It was a year that promised so much, but probably under delivered in the great Southeast.

A look back at our predictions from February reveals most pundits were keen to see a stronger market after a somewhat deflating 2015 – but despite others saying 2016 would be Brisbane’s year, Herron Todd White’s outlook was more drab. No matter how we dressed it, there was no way to create a buzz. In fact, here’s a direct quote from our February 2016 publication:

We’ve now taken the real-estate temperature and are ready to predict the coming year’s market direction… and the winner is (drum roll please)… MODEST!

Words like “unexciting” and “steady” followed on from that quote – but we call them as we see them!

Beyond the flat generalisation, we also took a look at our market nuances to see what else could be said, and our expert calls on the various sectors were more interesting.

We said the good news for 2016 would be the near city localities such as Morningside, Murarrie and Carina, which would have terrific profit potential – plus their neighbouring suburbs would also benefit if you were looking for a “bridesmaid” option. These areas had detached dwellings priced between $500,000 and $800,000, which deemed them affordable and well positioned.

Renovators were also on our tick list – we highlighted suburbs such as Stafford Heights and Geebung as worthy of mention as they offered detached 3-bedroom housing for half the price of a Sydney bedsit and with the ability to create a little “sweat equity” through paint and floor coverings.

We also thought areas such as Enoggera and Wavell Heights to the north, or Holland Park to the south were solid options, despite their median price being a little higher.

Our call for unit hunters was to stick with secondhand unit stock in areas with a large potential tenant base this year. We specifically liked well laid out unrenovated units in quiet positions but within five kilometres of the CBD.

In terms of sectors to be treated with caution in 2016, we said buyers must continue to watch their step with inner-city, off-the-plan units based on oversupply concerns. Our thoughts were if you feel you absolutely MUST get into this market, then seriously consider well designed, owner-occupier type units to broaden your potential buyer base come resale.

So how did we go? Well we’re pretty pleased with our powers to call the year in advance.

The strongest market continued to be inner-city dwellings – although, in general, prices remained fairly stable. This includes housing in Bulimba, Balmoral, Hawthorne, Norman Park, West End, Highgate Hill, New Farm, Teneriffe, Paddington, Red Hill and Auchenflower.

Inner-city property performed best when it had all the right fundamentals. Buyers were, however, price sensitive so vendors needed to get that right or risk sitting on the market.

One thing we didn’t pick early was the potential strength in vacant land – particularly within five kilometres of the city, but further afield as well. Anyone who managed to grab a well-positioned site at the start of the year would be pleased.

As for the underperformers, one sector was townhouses in outer suburbs such as Marsden, Browns Plains and Dakabin. It’s resulted in a lot of rental stock in areas that are oversupplied.

And we needn’t detail how spot-on we were about the off-the-plan inner-city units.

We predicted the market direction would be modest and that is generally how it has played out. A solid nine out of ten performance (in our humble opinion).

And to round things off, here’s the eye candy transactions from this year

The highest sale for the year was $10.5 million achieved for a modern three storey home on an 800 square metre river boardwalk front property in New Farm. The other sale of note was the Courier Mail reported purchase by the honourable Kevin Rudd of approximately $8 million for a penthouse unit in the CBD (though this is still to be confirmed).

From all of us at Herron Todd White Brisbane, have a great festive season, safe New Year and we look forward to taking care of your property needs in 2017.

Find out more information and to chat with a local Mortgage Broker in Brisbane.

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 – 2016. 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.