A COLOSSAL RISK: Huge danger sign for housing in Australia - Queensland Property Investor
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A COLOSSAL RISK: Huge danger sign for housing in Australia

There could be far too many apartments for sale in coming years. Picture: Glenn Hunt/The Australian What does a million dollars buy in Aussie capital cities?

IT COULD be a bad year for housing prices if building approvals are anything to go by. With the housing market teetering on the edge of a serious downturn, apartment developers seem to be having a “last blast”.

Building approvals data released last week shows a serious uptick in the number of homes that were approved. November building approvals were up 0.9 per cent compared to October, and are 8.1 per cent higher than November 2016. The source of the lift is mainly apartments, which rose from already high levels.

Do that many people really want to live in new apartments?

Do that many people really want to live in new apartments?

Do that many people really want to live in new apartments?

The timing of this big push is fascinating because November is exactly when Australian capital city housing prices started falling. Corelogic shows prices fell by 0.1 per cent in that month as Sydney took a sharp downturn. The developers didn’t know in advance that was going to happen, but they might have sensed it. After all, what could drive such a big uptick in building approvals is the sense that it is now or never.

Builders who have just got their approvals will be racing to get their apartment blocks and new developments done before everyone else. Those who finish early can hope to get in before prices really slump. Any who have delays will be worried they’ll end up selling into a soggy, lifeless market.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Markets are supposed to co-ordinate supply and demand. But that’s a hard job when supply takes a long time to come online. If you’re halfway through building a big development when the market falls by 10 per cent, you’re in a bind. The losses involved in finishing the properties and selling them for less than they cost to build will almost certainly be smaller than the losses involved in abandoning the project, so you have to push on to get at least some money back. This is the essence of the boom and bust cycle that characterises property.

If apartments are nearing completion in a market downturn, it can be cheaper to finish and sell quickly rather than abandon the project. Picture: Glenn Hunt/The Australian

If apartments are nearing completion in a market downturn, it can be cheaper to finish and sell quickly rather than abandon the project. Picture: Glenn Hunt/The Australian

Some very large developers might finish properties and then sit on them, hoping the market improves over time, but that’s also a risk. Markets can take a very long time to recover.

SOUTH OF THE MURRAY

The really interesting thing about the November building approvals data is where it was focused. All the increase was focused on Victoria. The average number of building approvals in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia was actually lower than in the previous month, by 2 to 3 per cent. But Victoria saw a whopping 27 per cent rise.

That anomaly becomes especially curious when you consider that Victoria was the market that actually went on to see price appreciation in November (0.5 per cent growth in prices, according to Corelogic). Could it be that developers, sensing Victoria is the only market with price growth left in it, are focusing their attentions there?

It’s curious there’s still many apartments being approved in Victoria, after real estate agent Mariecris Tagala last year claimed more than half of new apartments in Melbourne’s CBD, Docklands, and Southbank have sold at a loss since 2011. Picture: David Geraghty / The Australian.

It’s curious there’s still many apartments being approved in Victoria, after real estate agent Mariecris Tagala last year claimed more than half of new apartments in Melbourne’s CBD, Docklands, and Southbank have sold at a loss since 2011. Picture: David Geraghty / The Australian.

Another explanation for such a massive jump would be if a single large project came through the pipeline in the month of November. A giant apartment development somewhere in Melbourne, for example. For now, it’s not clear if that’s the case. Whether it is one project or many, the impact on housing markets of a big rush of supply is largely the same – extra supply generally makes prices lower than they would otherwise be.

QUIT WHILE YOU’RE WINNING

Some smart developers have already got out of the property development game, telling the financial press they are sitting out until the market repairs itself. The so-called “pipeline” of new building had been shrinking. The November building approval data shows a different picture. It suggests the pipeline might get fatter again for a little while and there could be one more flurry of cranes going up. The one caveat is this – builders can pay to get a building approval and then not use it. That might be the best case scenario.

The big question hanging over Australia’s high housing prices is whether a housing downturn can happen without also crashing the economy. A gentle and controlled downturn might be a positive – young people can afford to get into the market more, but people don’t feel like the sky is falling.

But a severe sharp downturn could be different. A giant backlog of supply that could be released into an already weakened market is a concern because it could accelerate a modest slide into a hard one.

Originally Published: sunshinecoastdaily.com.au

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Brisbane

Brisbane Prices Could Be Headed For Recovery

Brisbane Prices Could Be Headed For Recovery

Brisbane prices are at their lowest level in the cycle, according to the latest national property clock from Herron Todd White (HTW).

The house values in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Ipswich, Rockhampton, and Toowoomba were at the bottom, according HTW.

Meanwhile, prices in Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville, and the Whitsundays are starting to recover, the data showed.

There was momentum for the price growth in Brisbane, given that the capital city had been “bouncing along the bottom for some time now”, HTW Brisbane managing director Gavin Hulcombe told The Courier-Mail.

“I think it will be (a) steady rise, but my suspicion is in a couple of years’ time we might look back and think it (now) probably wasn’t a bad time to buy. Some areas are likely to perform better than others,” he said.

Brisbane units are also at the bottom of the price cycle, along with Bundaberg, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, and the Whitsundays, according to HTW.

Apartment prices in Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, and Townsville are already rising, the figures showed.

 

 

Source: www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au

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Brisbane

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers

A new housing index has warned that Brisbane will face a flood of ageing baby boomers with nowhere suitable to live unless it embraces greater density in suburbs where houses dominate.

A NEW housing index has warned that Brisbane will face a flood of ageing baby boomers with nowhere suitable to live unless it embraces greater density in suburbs where houses dominate.

The DORIS Index — Downsizer Opportunity to Remain in Suburbs — compared just how ready various Brisbane suburbs were to face the challenge, marrying the availability of smaller housing options with the ageing population.

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers 1

Suburbs like Pinjarra Hills, Pullenvale, Wacol, Riverhills, Chapel Hill, Ashgrove, Tarragindi, Wishart, Wakerley, Belmont, Geebung and Graceville were among the hardest for residents to downsize into, according to the report by Place Design Group and AHURI.

Report analyst Chris Isles of Place Design Group said the irony was the “grey haired keyboard army” had forced the issue, after fighting against higher density residential development in low density suburbs.

But he warned, it was a decision that “will come back to bite them”.

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers 2

This as the Brisbane City Council works its way into the final week of public feedback on its proposed citywide amendment restricting townhouses and high density housing from single-home areas.

Among the changes would be the removal of provisions in zone codes, development codes and neighbourhood plans that support multiple dwellings like townhouses and apartments in low density residential zones.

A Brisbane City Council spokeswoman said the proposal came out of concerns by residents during Plan Your Brisbane consultations.

“One in five households gave feedback and stopping townhouses being built in areas for single homes was a strong theme,” she said, adding that it was not expected to impact council’s ability to meet the state target of more than 188,000 new dwellings by 2041.

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers 2

“Brisbane City Council is currently calling for residents to help shape Brisbane and have their say on proposed plans to restrict townhouses in low density residential zones,” she said.

“These changes are about protecting the Brisbane backyard and our unique character by ensuring our planning scheme reflects community expectation on townhouse developments.

“Council is committed to supporting a broad range of housing options for all of Brisbane’s current and future residents and ensuring our city remains a great place to live, work and relax.”

She said there were several different residential and commercial zones available in suburbs across Brisbane that supported a broad range of housing types.

“While the State Government’s SEQ Regional Plan sets a target of more than 188,000 new dwellings by 2041, this amendment would not impact Council’s ability to meet this,” she said.

“The proposed amendment cannot be finalised until after community consultation and a second sign off from the State Government.”

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers 2

Place Bulimba lead agent Matthew Hackett said buyers were already “looking for quite a while” to find properties to downsize into in their suburbs or close to them.

“In my 21 years of selling in Bulimba what I find, especially recently, is people want to downsize into the same area because they feel safe, they know the area and have friends or it may be as simple as a bridge club they go to every week,” he told The Sunday Mail.

Index warns council unit ban will impact boomer downsizers 5

Long time Bulimba residents Pauline Burchardt, 67, and Lyall Gamble, 69, were among the fortunate ones, having found property to downsize into about 800m from their family home.

The couple is trying to sell their three storey family home at 16 Shakespeare St in the $2m price range, effectively looking to sell it off for two smaller units.

They’ve already moved into a three-bedroom apartment overlooking the river. at Bulimba — though it was not their first choice — and have a holiday unit on North Stradbroke.

“We had been looking for at least two years,” Ms Burchardt told The Sunday Mail. “We wanted single storey because as you get a bit more frail you worry about stairs.”

She supported improved higher density properties in the suburbs. “Why not? I don’t see a problem with it. All of the houses here are raised but when those people get older, I wonder what will happen. If they have bigger units, that would be good, You need a spare room for when the kids come over.”

Townhouses were ideal, she said, “because you get a little garden or courtyard and we’ve got two pets” but they could not find a suitable one.

According to AHURI, new housing options “need to be designed with older Australians in mind” including not just apartments but also smaller houses.

 

Source: www.news.com.au

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Brisbane

Property market update: Brisbane, July 2019

Property market update Brisbane, July 2019

Amid the decline experienced by the property markets of Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane has remained resilient, ultimately becoming increasingly popular among investors. How can they maximise wealth-creation opportunities in the Sunshine State?

Following the conclusion of the federal election, the property market has regained stability as a result of the securing of negative gearing and capital gains tax, the Reserve Bank slashing interest rates to its lowest ever levels and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) removing the serviceability buffer for borrowers.

With consumer confidence rising, experts believe that the worst is over for the Australian property market and, by 2020, property prices are likely to show considerable growth.

Through the turbulence in some major capital city markets, Brisbane managed to power through, remaining slow and steady in terms of property price growth, according to experts.

Patrick Leo’s managing director James Nihill: “(Brisbane’s) affordable housing market allowed the city to bypass the impact of the restrictive lending criteria that other major capital cities felt.”

CoreLogic’s data showed that the capital city’s property market saw dwelling prices rising by 0.3 of a percentage point for the year to November and by 0.1 of a percentage point over the past three months.

Over the next three years, Brisbane could be looking at up to 20 per cent growth as a result of high levels of interstate migration, steady population growth and major infrastructure projects, including the new Queen’s Wharf and the construction of Brisbane’s second airport runway, BIS Oxford Economics predicted.

 

“The July home value index results provide further confirmation that the housing market has reacted positively to the recent stimulus of lower mortgage rates and improved credit availability; however, the response to date has been relatively mild,” CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless highlighted.

However, the property expert doesn’t foresee a fast recovery for the overall property market. As a result, Brisbane may continue its slow and steady ascent, with significant growth far off in the future.

According to Mr Lawless: “Housing credit policies remain much tougher than they were prior to the [banking] royal commission as lenders continue to move away from the Household Expenditure Measure and examine borrower spending behaviours and expenses more closely.”

“The ongoing tightness in housing credit is expected to keep a rapid rebound in housing values at bay, despite the lowest mortgage rates since the 1950s.”

Property values

Over the past year, property markets have collectively shown signs of recovery, with five of the major capital cities showing price jumps, according to CoreLogic.

The home value index showed the dwelling prices rose in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart. Combined, the rise is modest at 0.1 per cent, but nonetheless represents a turnaround to the consecutive months of falls.

Meanwhile, in the past month, Darwin recorded the sharpest monthly increase, with values rising 0.4 per cent. This was followed by Hobart, where values increased 0.3 per cent, then Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, each recording monthly spikes of 0.2 per cent.

On the other hand, dwelling values decrease in Perth, Adelaide and Canberra by 0.5 per cent, 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

Over the quarter, Brisbane, in particular, continued to fall with a 1.4 per cent drop in median house prices and a 3.1 per cent drop for unit prices.

According to Domain’s latest House Price Report, tighter lending conditions and the apartment construction boom have weighed down on property prices for the city, but strong population growth has meant the correction in unit prices was not as severe as predicted.

The share of Brisbane suburbs with a median house value under $500,000 declined by 12.1 per cent—that is, from 52.4 per cent in 2014 to 40.3 per cent in 2019, based on data from CoreLogic.

Additionally, 12.5 per cent of Brisbane suburbs have a current median unit value in excess of $500,000—up from 8 per cent of suburbs five years prior.

Supply and demand

CoreLogic data showed that, over the second weekend of July, 854 homes were taken to auction across all capital cities over the weekend, returning a preliminary clearance rate figure of 69 per cent.

The weekend result comes after the previous weekend recorded “the highest final clearance rate since April last year” when 953 homes were taken to auction with a final clearance rate sitting at 64 per cent.

However, a state-by-state breakdown showed a mixed result across the country’s capital cities.

Brisbane, in particular, found buyers for only 30 per cent of the 70 houses and 7 units sold at auctions over the said weekend.

Based on the data, the city’s auction clearance rate was recorded as lower than the same weekend in 2018, when 70 properties returned a 37.9 per cent clearance rate.

During that time, the median house price in the Queensland capital sits at $720,000.

Further softening the demand for housing in Brisbane is the losses to internal migration, according to a new analysis from Propertyology.

Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), only 10 per cent of all internal migrants to Queensland settled in Brisbane.

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley suggested that the Brisbane labour market “will need to improve for it to be a major beneficiary of Sydney and Melbourne’s housing affordability squeeze”.

While Mr Pressley believes that examining where Australians are choosing to move and settle is a good indicator for where growth is to be expected, he argued that population growth is not the sole factor that drives growth into property markets.

“Far too much emphasis is placed on the role population mass and population growth plays on property price fluctuations,” he said.

“Even if an individual town or city had zero population growth, there will still be between 3 to 5 per cent of dwelling stock that will change hands within a typical year. Depending on the volume of dwellings listed for sale in that year, property prices may still grow.”

In contrast with capital cities, ‘tier-2 and tier-3 cities’ saw significant boosts to internal migration, including the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Maitland and Port Macquarie—all of which also saw increased median house prices to match the growing demand.

The Sunshine Coast saw a median house price increase of 4.3 per cent in the year ending June 2018, while Geelong saw an increase of 11.9 per cent.

According to Mr Pressley, housing affordability and desirable lifestyle opportunities were key factors in the demand and growth of these areas.

Strategy

Investors who are keen to take advantage of the housing affordability in Brisbane are encouraged to look into buying units or high-rise apartments in and around the CBD as the Brisbane unit market sits at a ‘point of equilibrium’, according to the director of Right Property Group, Steve Waters.

Simply, areas at a point of equilibrium have enough supply and enough demand, he said.

“We’re starting to see rents increase there – that’s a sure sign of where the demand is, and the supply for that matter.”.

“This has come off the back of being heavily oversupplied,” Mr Waters highlighted.

Apart from studying the level of current supply, the property expert also strongly advised investors to look into ‘what’s in the pipeline’ in order to get an understanding of the growth potential of the property market.

He said: “It’s not just a matter of what’s constructed now but what’s in the pipeline in terms of DAs or just beginning construction and what have you.”

“Investors who can identify those good areas with the right fundamentals and perhaps take advantage of a market now where not everybody is in should be able to set themselves up for the future.”

“But once again, buying in the correct area is paramount.”

 

 

Source: www.smartpropertyinvestment.com.au

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