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Brisbane property market looks set for long overdue boom: Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder

Brisbane property market looks set for long overdue boom Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

The Brisbane market is showing meaningful improvement and appears ready for a long overdue boom. Every statistic that matters depicts uplift in the Brisbane market and prices are expected to rise in 2020.

Many commentators have forecast a Brisbane boom in recent years, though many were simply assuming that the Queensland capital would follow the lead of Melbourne and Sydney. Brisbane, however, has lacked the core growth drivers that boosted markets in the two biggest cities.

But, increasingly, growth parameters are lining up for Brisbane. Population data is favourable, the affordability comparison is helpful, surveyed investors say they are targeting Brisbane – and the major piece of the puzzle previously missing, infrastructure spending, is starting to happen.

I have commented in the past: “Brisbane is like a car where the engine is revving but it can’t move forward because the handbrake is on.” Perhaps the handbrake has been released – a growing number of analysts are tipping good price growth in Brisbane this year (including Domain, BIS Shrapnel and Westpac) and I tend to agree.

My Autumn 2020 survey of sales activity reveals 37 suburbs with rising buyer demand, the second best result for Brisbane in the past three years – and almost double the number six months earlier. There has also been a marked decline in the number of problem locations (those classified as declining or danger markets).

Vacancy rates continue to improve, though there are still areas of weakness, and 43% of Brisbane suburbs have delivered annual growth in their median house prices, including double-digit uplift in the strongest areas.

There is particular strength in the northern suburbs of Brisbane – the Brisbane North precinct and the Moreton Bay LGA jointly account for 21 of the 37 suburbs ranked as rising markets. The southside has many of the struggling markets and Brisbane’s inner-city, while improving, still has its problems.

The Brisbane North precinct and its neighbour Moreton Bay Region are the standouts, as they have been in our surveys in the past.

Brisbane North has 13 suburbs classified as rising markets, another 24 suburbs with steady sales activity and none ranked as declining or danger markets.

The uplift in sales activity is producing solid price growth in many of these suburbs, well above the average for the Brisbane metro area. Kedron has recorded annual rises in its median prices for both houses (up 6%) and apartments (up 11%), while Windsor is up 22% for houses and 6% for apartments.

Newmarket’s median house price is up 16%, Northgate has risen 14%, while Stafford, Nudgee and Geebung have all increased between 6% and 8%.

The Moreton Bay Region LGA has regularly been the best-performing Brisbane market, boosted by affordability, good infrastructure and proximity to employment nodes. It’s been overtaken by Brisbane North in the latest survey, but remains a significant market.

The February 2020 opening of a new university campus will boost demand in nearby suburbs like Petrie and Lawnton (Petrie is already rated a rising market and is likely to get stronger as the campus effect clicks in).

Other precincts have some growth markets: Brisbane-east, Brisbane-south and Brisbane-inner each has four suburbs with rising sales activity. Currently these are out-numbered by plateau markets, but I expect that to change as the year rolls on.

The Brisbane-inner precinct is a confusion of suburbs with contrasting rankings: the 22 ranked suburbs in my Autumn 2020 survey include 4 rising, 7 plateau, 1 consistency, 7 declining and 3 danger. The danger markets (Albion, Fortitude Valley and Kelvin Grove) are those where sales activity has dropped markedly, prices are down and vacancy rates remain high. This, however, is an improvement – 18 months ago the Brisbane-inner precinct had 12 suburbs classified as danger markets.

It’s noteworthy that many of the Brisbane locations with solid median price growth in the past year are situated towards the upper end of the market. They include Hamilton ($1,560,000, up 11%), Balmoral ($1,050,000, up 7%), Indooroopilly ($950,000, up 12%), Newmarket ($950,000, up 16%), Rochedale ($1,035,000, up 7%), Sherwood ($935,000, up 7%), Toowong ($890,000, up 10%) and Windsor ($940,000, up 22%).

Inner-city Highgate Hill stands out with good median price both for houses (up 8%) and apartments (up 10%).

Usually, up-cycles in capital city property markets begin at the top end and ripple out from there.




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Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole

Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole (1)

Thousands of fed-up Victorians are using a loophole to escape stage 4 lockdown and head north – and many will likely never return.

Thousands of Victorians are reportedly looking to flee the state for good, heading north to Queensland to escape stage 4 restrictions.

And people are so keen to escape to the Sunshine State, they’re snapping up million-dollar properties without even seeing them first.

According to online removalist platform Muval, 20,000 Victorians have looked at relocating since stage 4 lockdown was announced a week ago.

Brisbane was their top choice, with 21 per cent wanting to relocate there, Muval said. About 17 per cent wanted to go to Perth and 15 per cent to Sydney.

“A lot of the calls we take are from people who have either lost their job or have had a business close down and they’re looking to relocate,” Adam Coward, who runs the site, told Seven News.

According to Mr Coward, 65 per cent of inquiries on his website over the past fortnight had been people looking to move from Melbourne. “We’ve had 80,000 people view our blog on our website in the past few months,” he told Nine News.

Under stage 4 restrictions, removalists are still considered essential businesses and Victorians are permitted to move house, within curfew hours.

To get across the border, Victorians need to be able to prove they have a valid lease or residency in Queensland and will have to go through mandatory two-week hotel quarantine.

While Queensland was already the top destination for interstate relocations before COVID-19,

– particularly from major cities like Sydney and Melbourne – that demand has strengthened during the pandemic.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the shift towards working from home had likely made moving interstate seem like more of an option – especially as people sought the affordability, liveability and lifestyle of the Sunshine State.

Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole (6)

“Spending more time at home is seeing more people considering their options,” Ms Mercorella told

“There’s a strong surge in interest up and down the eastern coastline of Queensland, with interstate buyers actively searching for properties from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast and further north to Airlie Beach.

“With buyers on the hunt for high quality homes with water or beach frontage as well as apartments with ocean views and healthy growth potential, we’ve recently seen a rise in ‘sight unseen’ property purchases in the $1 million-plus category, where interstate buyers have never even seen the property they’re purchasing.”

There’s also been interstate interest in renting in Queensland, despite vacancy figures showing a very tight market statewide.

Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole (5)

June data from the REIQ showed Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Mackay and Bundaberg had a rental vacancy rate of less than one per cent – even tighter than the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

“The reasons for the current level of rental demand shows that more people are reconsidering their living options – not just those renters within the state but those looking to migrate to Queensland too,” Ms Mercorella said.

Former Melburnian Ben De Heed, who now lives in Greenslopes, Brisbane, told Nine News he packed up and left after two years just as lockdowns kicked in.

“It just went crazy. I was living in Preston, which is in central Melbourne and they are in full lockdown,” he said. “I am relieved I am here.”

Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole (3)

Gold Coast buyers agent Tony Coughran, meanwhile, told Seven News he had received three phone calls in one day from people in Melbourne wanting to move.

“They just have had enough,” he said.


Meanwhile, long queues of motorists are forming at the NSW-Queensland border and extra flights will be dispatched up north today with hours to go before the state line is shut.

From 1am on Saturday, Queensland will declare NSW and the ACT virus hotspots, which means travellers from those areas will be unable to enter the Sunshine State, and returning residents have to quarantine for 14 days at their expense.

The border change means NSW and the ACT joins Victoria on Queensland’s virus blacklist. Queensland had already deemed Greater Sydney a virus hotspot.

Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole (3)

Hundreds of Queenslanders in other parts of NSW and the ACT have been rushing home before the 1am deadline to avoid mandatory quarantine.

About 60 extra flights to Queensland have already arrived since the border change was announced on Wednesday.

“If you are a returning Queensland resident, you are encouraged to come home immediately,”

Queensland Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said.

“For people who do not fit into any of those categories, the message is: Do not come to Queensland.

“We will be stopping individual vehicles; this is going to cause significant delays.”

Motorists have been told to brace for delays of an hour or more.

Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole (2)

There will be exemptions for residents in the Tweed and Gold Coast communities who have to cross the border for work and other essential reasons.

Those residents will need to apply for an “X-pass” on the Queensland Government website.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the hard border with NSW and the ACT were necessary as both jurisdictions presented a “concerning situation”.

“In NSW, we are continuing to see cases each day, and this is of great concern to Queensland,” she said on Wednesday.

“I can now confirm that our chief health officer is declaring NSW and the ACT a hotspot. This will take immediate effect from Saturday.

“This is the right thing to do. I know it’s going to be tough on Queenslanders. But your health comes first.”




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Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020

There is so much variation in what is going on around Australia right now. The Brisbane market is proving its resilience yet again, compared with other capital city markets during the current pandemic, writes Melinda Jennison.

Let’s take a look at some the data and some of our real-time observations to summarise what is happening in the Brisbane housing market and also the Brisbane unit market right now.

Brisbane property market prices

According to the latest Hedonic Home Value Index data by Corelogic, dwelling values in Brisbane saw a -0.4 per cent decline in value over the month of July 2020.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (2)

While the broader data shows some slight falls in dwelling values across the month and the quarter, the Brisbane market has proven its resilience to more widespread price falls.

Of course, there are many things in place supporting all property markets around the country. Record-low interest rates make borrowing very easy for those with secure jobs and good incomes. The record levels of government support and also the repayment holidays for distressed borrowers also help to insulate any immediate impact on property values. Additionally, the federal and state government incentives for first home buyers has increased demand for that group of buyers across the country.

In the Brisbane housing market, we saw median values for the greater Brisbane region fall -0.3 per cent across the month of July 2020. The current median value for a Brisbane house is now $555,284.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (3)

The unit market in Brisbane saw a slightly higher median value decline of -0.5 per cent for the month of July 2020. The current unit price in Brisbane is now $384,681.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (4)

What is happening in the rental market in Brisbane?

At a city level, the rental market in Brisbane has definitely recovered, although there are still some at risk markets around our city.

In short, the vacancy rate in many locations is trending down and is very tight. The areas where this trend is not happening are in the Brisbane CBD and locations immediately surrounding this and also in areas where there are a lot of higher-density unit developments. In these locations, vacancy is still a big problem. Therefore, these markets remain high-risk.

Asking rents according to SQM Research across the city have also been trending higher, so this is also reassuring for property investors.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (5)

That said, Brisbane is not one property market and caution definitely needs to be taken when looking at a postcode level.  You will see in the Brisbane CBD, for example, the situation is VERY different.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (6)

What are we seeing on the ground across Brisbane?

In our opinion, the data above may be slightly misleading based on our on-the-ground observations.  Despite the overall median data trend showing very slight falls in house values, we are in fact seeing quality housing in very high demand. Some open homes we have attended over the month of July have seen more than 30-40 groups through. This illustrates that buyers are still very active in the Brisbane property market.

Advertised properties that are listed for sale in desirable locations are being sold very quickly in Brisbane. Often, the sale is a result of multiple offers being submitted on the property. If listed for sale by auction, they are achieving high prices with multiple registered bidders.

There are markets within markets, and we are seeing strong prices being paid for quality properties in many regions around our city. In the most recent Herron Todd White Month in Review, it is confirmed that the coronavirus crisis has not resulted in a measurable fall in property prices across Brisbane, so buyers should not expect a bargain due to the pandemic. They also confirm that many properties are trading off-market, which is a trend we are seeing also.

How does the Brisbane property market compare with other capital cities around Australia?

Melbourne and Sydney are leading the decline in capital city values. Melbourne recorded a -1.2 per cent fall in dwelling values across the month, whereas Sydney saw a fall of -0.9 per cent in dwelling values for July 2020.

This is certainly now surprising, given the recent second wave of coronavirus cases in Melbourne. This has now resulted in stage 4 restrictions with the Victorian state government’s recent announcement.

This has impacted on consumer sentiment, with readings from the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating weakening throughout July, despite the huge recovery from the April lows. This index shows a high correlation with housing market activity (not prices). The recent downturn might therefore suggest that buyers and sellers may once again retreat to the sidelines.

In terms of changes in rent, Brisbane is doing well compared with other capital cities. The weakest rental conditions are being experienced in Hobart (house rents down -2 per cent and units down -4.5 per cent since March), Sydney (house rents down -1.1 per cent and units down -3.2 per cent) and Melbourne (house rents down -0.7 per cent and units down -3.1 per cent). It is important to mention that the weaker rental conditions are larger in the unit markets, compared with the housing markets in these cities.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (7)

What’s going to happen to the Brisbane property market moving forward?

There is a lot of worry and concern about what might happen to property values across the country when the government’s fiscal response starts to taper in October and repayment holidays expire at the end of March next year. Of course, we may see a rise in distressed properties coming to the market.  What we do not know is if this will put any downward pressure on prices. This is where I think the different property markets around Australia will each experience something slightly different.

According to the Commonwealth Bank Home Buying Spending Intentions Index, there was a 6 per cent rise in home buying intentions nationally up to the end of June 2020. This index showed the index had returned back close to levels seen in March – after much weaker readings in April and May.

Brisbane Property Market Update – July 2020 (8)

We are definitely seeing this trend on the ground with the current high volume of buyers in Brisbane.  Because of this, I’m sure we could see some moderate increase in new listings come to the market without any significant impact on the supply and demand balance. Remember, property prices will only fall when supply outstrips demand.

With dwelling approvals now at the lowest level in eight years, the future supply pipeline also looks tight. The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed a decline of -10.9 per cent in new detached house approvals in Queensland.

Real-time demand is still strong and Brisbane property buyers are being fuelled by the lowest-ever interest rates, good levels of affordability and strong rental yields compared with many other state capitals. This is good news for our local Brisbane property market, and these factors will continue to support our property values into the future.





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Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects

Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects (1)

Queensland is continuing to draw the attention of international buyers as global unrest from the Covid-19 crisis fuels a spike in inquiry for new property from foreign investors.

Residential property in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast has remained high on the radar of foreign investors—especially those located in Hong Kong—with international searches lifting 22 per cent year-on-year, according to REA Group.

REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said there was strong anecdotal evidence many expats were re-evaluating their circumstances due to the coronavirus, and the low Australian dollar combined with record low interest rates proved an attractive value proposition.

Conisbee said the majority of people searching for property in Queensland were based in New Zealand, the UK, the US and Hong Kong.

High-rise developments in the inner-city suburb of South Brisbane were amongst the most-viewed products online, with Pradella Group’s under-construction Halo Residences project and R&F Property Australia’s $500 million Brisbane 1 apartment tower scoring high attention.

Conisbee noted that beach locations such as Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, and Noosa on the Sunshine Coast were the most in-demand among overseas buyers.

Gold Coast coast projects including Sunland Group’s soon-to-be-completed Magnoli Apartments and Spyre Group’s Natura project in Burleigh Heads also featured.

“Brisbane doesn’t see a lot of overseas searches—when people think of Queensland, they think of the beaches,” Conisbee said.

Here are the most-searched development projects by foreign investors across Brisbane and the Gold Coast.


Natura—Spyre Group
Burleigh Heads

Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects (6)

Brisbane-based Spyre Group’s $77 million, 17-storey Natura project—built over a 1,011sq m site located at 112 The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads—replaces a current mid-level apartment building developed by Mimi Macpherson, the sister of Australian supermodel Elle.

The Bureau Proberts-designed development will comprise 33 apartments with 16 levels of half-floor apartments and one ground floor terrace unit.


Magnoli Apartments—Sunland Group
Palm Beach

Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects (6)

Sunland’s Magnoli Apartments—which was originally submitted to the Gold Coast Council for approval in late 2016—occupies the site of a former 1.3-hectare caravan park located on the corner of Gold Coast Highway and Nineteenth Avenue.

The Palm Beach proposal comprises a 2,250sq m community park, two 12-storey apartment buildings, and six architectural terrace homes.


Halo Residences—The Pradella Group
South Brisbane

Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects (6)

Pradella Group’s 123-apartment Halo Residences, located at 33 Manning Street in South Brisbane, sits alongside the iconic 88-metre SkyNeedle—a prominent feature of Brisbane’s World Expo in 1988.

The development features a residents-only rooftop Sky Lounge providing panoramic city skyline views, a private dining room with courtyard terrace, wine bar, and modern wellness centre.


Brisbane 1—R&F Property Australia
South Brisbane

Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects (3)

Late last year, R&F Property Australia completed its $500 million Brisbane 1 apartment development, spanning an entire block in South Brisbane.

The residential development, built by Hutchinson Builders, transforms the site of a former TAFE college and consists of three separate towers of up to 33 storeys.


Queens Wharf Residences—Destination Brisbane Consortium
Brisbane CBD

Brisbane’s Most Sought-After Development Projects (2)

As part of the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf development, 667 apartments will be delivered within a new 64-storey tower dubbed Queen’s Wharf Residences.

On track to open in 2022, Queen’s Wharf will showcase four hotels, 50 restaurants, cafes and bars, an extensive retail precinct, refurbished heritage buildings and a ­publicly-accessible Sky Deck offering CBD and river views.

In addition to Queen’s Wharf Residences, the development has scope for up to two more residential towers, with construction dates yet to be finalised.




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