The month in review: Brisbane
By Herron Todd White
We are well aware in Brisbane that the bar for prestige property is set exceptionally high by the southerners. We cannot boast about regular sales in excess of $10 million, but certainly residents are becoming more accustomed to paying decent dollars for the really great property.
Historically, any sale exceeding $2 million was seen as an impressive transaction. You could buy great quality homes located in our most desirable suburbs for this sort of coin. Things have changed up a little in recent years and the figures for prestige kick starters now sit from $2.5 million to over $3 million, with premium prestige property north of $5 million. Old-money, established inner suburbs are where most cashed up purchasers tread. Ascot, Hamilton and Clayfield will have their fair share of private school; students, but there are less obvious riverfront addresses which also boost the values. In detached housing $2 million to $3 million will generally buy you a good size family home on 809 square metres through Ascot, Hamilton and Clayfield, but you aren’t getting views at those figures, unless you’re happy to settle for a more modest home on a smaller block – then a nice outlook comes with the price tag. If you’re a rich unit buyer, then $2 million to $3.5 million can get some extraordinarily good property throughout Newstead, Teneriffe and New Farm – all hot, hot, hot suburbs with heaps of kudos. The outlay will see you own 170 square metres to 250 square metres of living space plus outdoor areas with river views. Prices exceeding $3.5 million are pretty scarce but if you have the means, then it’s a prestige penthouse or large ground level courtyard unit. A strengthening prestige sector often flags markets in the ascendancy and Brisbane is seeing some nibbles of excitement. Over the past 18 months in particular there’s been genuine activity in the sector. There were 13 sales in 2014 north of $5 million, which is the highest number of transactions since 2007. Two of those sales exceeded $10 million which is quite something.
The prestige sector tends to operate without the influence of interest rate movements with participants keen to buy when the our overall economy is bullish. In Brisbane, activity is partly supported by the fact that, traditionally, there’s been a lack of high quality prestige homes. Of late, however, there’s been more construction activity. Another move stoking the fire is the strengthening of lower price brackets in desirable suburbs which has created some inflated confidence generally, and this has led to more properties being listed.
We believe that, overall, activity in Brisbane prestige property will ease a little as the year progresses – coming off some of the heady numbers from 2014. This is not to say it’ll go cold, but more likely simmer along.
As for examples of recent prestige sales – our fair city managed to gain interest from one of Australia’s highest profile mining magnates. She happened to spend a lazy $14 million on a 3,450 square metre riverfront site in August 2014 which is piquing plenty of interest among our local property watchers. No doubt we’re wondering if some of the upper crust will follow.