A stunning historic home in Brisbane’s inner north has changed hands for only the third time since being built, selling under the hammer on Saturday for a whopping $2.8 million.
It was an unusually quiet week for auctions in Brisbane, with only 36 properties put to market across the city. Despite this, there was a healthy reported clearance rate of 33 per cent, and a number of quality results.
The best of those saw the stately home known as “Highgate” at 117 Adelaide Street East, Clayfield sell for $2.8 million.
A rare example of Spanish mission architecture, Highgate has a long and storied history, with past owners including Elizabeth Hart of well-known Brisbane legal firm Flower and Hart Solicitors.
The six-bedroom, two-bathroom house set on a sprawling 1712 square metre block attracted attention from across the country for its beautifully-preserved original features and established gardens.
Bidding opened at $1 million, then quickly jumped in $500,000 increments to $2 million.
A few bids later the price hit $2.7 million, at which point proceedings were paused for negotiations between the owners and the bidders. Twenty minutes after that, the house was announced on the market at $2.8 million and then promptly sold.
“Highgate is a significant estate which has had only three owners since being built in the 1930s,” said selling agent Christine Rudolph, of Ray White New Farm.
“It was built by one of Brisbane’s most prominent architects, Richard Gailey, and held by the current family for the past 30 years. It was time to pass the legacy to another family.
“The buyer is a prominent Queensland pastoralist who loved the privacy, space and classic Spanish mission architecture. He and his family were delighted with the purchase.”
Elsewhere, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit was sold for $858,000 in the inner Brisbane suburb of West End, despite agents decrying the difficulty of selling such properties.
About 15 people watched for half an hour as one registered bidder tried to stake their claim on the apartment at 266/8 Musgrave Street. Bidding opened at $800,000, and selling agent Karen Simons, of Place Graceville, said the price jumped from there.
“We only had one registered bidder, but we had a number of post-auction people who had interest,” she said. “The bid went from $810,000 through to $830,000 and then we underwent some negotiations, and finally got up to $858,000.
“In this situation we had a number of people who weren’t able to bid on the day, but were certainly there and hoped it fell over and didn’t get a result on the day so they could actually have a chance of buying the property.”
The vendors had been living in the apartment for a number of years and had decided to move into a house nearby. Simons said they had originally chosen that area because of its location in the Brisbane State High School catchment.
“We see school often determining where people choose to buy,” she said. “I think we’ve all got to remember that it’s not just about the house, whether it’s got the right features; the bedrooms, the bathrooms. There’s also a big significant factor that plays into people’s minds as to what sort of lifestyle it’ll deliver them.”
The successful party had set their hearts on the property primarily because of its proximity to specific schools. Both the buyers and the vendors were pleased with the result.
“Everyone was happy all around,” Simons said. “The apartment market is a very tough market and there has been a lot of oversupply. Many vendors have suffered losses in their sales, and that is something we have to battle and try to achieve the best result we can.”
Brisbane rents: Landlords in ‘rosier position’ as unit oversupply eases
Brisbane rents are creeping up and the proportion of vacant homes is inching down, as the city’s rental market recovers from years of oversupply, experts say.
Asking rents for units rose 1.3 per cent to a median $380 a week over the past year, the latest figures from the Domain Rental Report for the September quarter show.
House rents also edged up 1.3 per cent to a median $405 over the same time period, according to the report released on Thursday.
The combined vacancy rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 2.2 per cent during the September quarter.
It comes after a wave of new apartments were built in Brisbane’s inner city in recent years, with the extra supply keeping a lid on rents.
Domain research analyst Eliza Owen said the market was now in good health, despite appearing to be near-stagnant.
Median weekly asking rents for units
|REGION||SEP-19||JUN-19||SEP-18||QOQ % ∆||YOY % ∆|
|Brisbane – City wide||$380||$380||$375||0.0%||1.3%|
|Brisbane – East||$405||$405||$400||0.0%||1.3%|
|Brisbane – North||$370||$365||$363||1.4%||2.1%|
|Brisbane – South||$385||$380||$375||1.3%||2.7%|
|Brisbane – West||$400||$415||$390||-3.6%||2.6%|
|Brisbane Inner City||$420||$425||$410||-1.2%||2.4%|
|Moreton Bay – North||$315||$315||$310||0.0%||1.6%|
|Moreton Bay – South||$340||$335||$335||1.5%||1.5%|
For units, the stability was a positive story compared to oversupply-induced market weakness a few years back, Ms Owen said.
“There’s been a lot of fear about over-development but in the building space there’s been tightening of dwelling completions,” she said. “They’ve come down sharply and are returning to long-run average levels.”
Rents were now trending up and vacancy rates down, she said.
“The picture for south-east Queensland in terms of rental returns is pretty good, it’s also one of the most affordable rental markets for houses.”
Ms Owen said interstate migration, mostly from Sydney, was a major factor in keeping the rental market balanced.
“The tightening of the rental market is off the back of strong population growth and a very affordable lifestyle, and this is reflected in the rental vacancy rate which is down to 2.2 per cent from 2.6 in the previous year,” she said.
Investec Lists Fortitude Valley Office Tower
The newly-listed Investec Australia Property Fund will divest its 11-storey Fortitude Valley office building with an expected price north of $90 million as it moves to recycle capital.
Fresh off the heels of its fully underwritten institutional placement and purchase of three industrial properties in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia for $84 million last month, Investec has motioned to sell its Brisbane, 757 Ann Street, tower.
Investec purchasted the Nettleton Tribe-designed tower for 68.5 million after it was completed in 2014.
Comprising 9,422sq m of office space with a weighted average lease expiry of approximately five years, the A-grade building, anchored by technology company Asea Brown Boveri, is 100 per cent leased.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Mike Walsh and Peter Court are managing the international expression of interest campaign, to kick off mid-October, with expectations it will generate strong interest from domestic and off-shore institutions, funds and syndication groups.
“The entire commercial component of the asset is structured on a net lease basis, providing smooth, predictable cash flow for investors,” Court said.
Sales over the first half of the year surpassed the total volume of sales over 2018—reaching $1.2 billion, according to Colliers research, with Australian institutional investors dominating the lion share of transactions.
Commercial assets currently on the market include Perth-based investor RG Property’s 410 Queen Street in Brisbane’s ‘golden triangle’.
Recent Brisbane assets changing hands include the sale of the Jubilee Place Office development at nearby 470 St Pauls Terrace to a real estate fund managed by Credit Suisse, Malaysian-backed HCK’s 116 Adelaide street for $30 million, and QIC’s Q&A Centre at 141 Queen Street and 140 Elizabeth Street which sold to Taiwanese developer Shayher Group.
As for development plans in the Fortitude Valley precinct, Sydney fund manager Millinium Capital in August announced plans for a new university campus and 30-storey tower that would comprise student accomodation, co-living and co-working space at 240 Brunswick Street and 11 Overells Lane.
Australian property management startup raises $3.5 million, expands to Brisbane
Australian proptech startup :Different has announced it raised $3.5 million in its latest funding round to continue its national expansion.
The fund raising coincides with the company’s launch into Brisbane today.
:Different is a full-service property management startup where property owners pay a fixed fee of $100 per month instead of a percentage based on the rental price of the property.
The appeal of :Different is their tech base which automates the everyday tasks of a property manager.
:Different’s owner app provides 24/7 access to documents like lease agreements, statements, and maintenance requests, while the tenant app helps streamline requests and fast track communications.
Over the last 12 months, :Different’s customer base has grown five folds with more than $700 million worth of properties now under management across New South Wales and Victoria, while its team has quadrupled to 32.
The latest funding round supports :Different’s ambitions to expand into new markets, further enhance its tech platform and continue to build its team of expert property managers, said Mina Radhakrishnan, Co-Founder at :Different.
“We’ve already had huge success since launching in Sydney and Melbourne, and we’re thrilled to offer the same great offering to Queenslanders,” Radhakrishnan said.
“We have big growth ambitions for :Different. This latest funding round will help us continue to rebuild property management in Australia and beyond.”
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