The latest Corelogic Data shows overall dwelling values in Brisbane declined -0.1 per cent, but houses were stable and the decline came from the unit sector, down -0.3 per cent. Since January, Brisbane house values have reported an increase of 1.6 per cent, despite the pandemic, and yet unit values have slipped -1.8 per cent.
This stability has been seen in Brisbane, despite very early predictions from many of price falls across all Australian markets. The price changes in Melbourne have been more pronounced, with -4 per cent coming off the value of houses and -2.2 per cent off units over the last three months. On this basis, it seems that the performance of the housing market is intrinsically linked to the number of coronavirus cases in a particular region and the subsequent policies in place around social distancing. Stage 4 shutdowns seem to have had a big impact in Melbourne.
That said, in Brisbane, despite small cluster outbreaks from time to time, our strict border control measures appear to be keeping the virus under control. Most of us are able to return to the labour market, sentiment is fairly strong and we seem to be able to move around with a certain degree of freedom. This is all very positive for our local property market as well.
According to SQM Research, listing volumes are still 9.7 per cent lower in Brisbane than they were 12 months ago, and in the last month alone (between July and August 2020) listing volumes were down a further 5.1 per cent so we expect transactions volumes will remain low for some time yet, simply due to limited supply.
New research from realestate.com.au has revealed that Queensland property seekers are the most confident buyers in Australia. In Brisbane the suburbs with the highest views per listing according to realestate.com were as follows:
• Ashgrove Qld 4060
• Kalinga Qld 4030
• Qld 4155
• Holland Park Qld 4121
• Tarragindi Qld 4121
• Stafford Heights Qld 4053
We can confirm from being on the ground that these areas have strong demand from buyers with many properties going to multiple offer very soon after being listed. These are some of the areas that are outperforming, with upward pressure on prices. The high number of buyers, combined with limited listings, tends to have this effect.
The rental market in Brisbane remains resilient also at this time. We are seeing the vacancy rate at a city level continuing its downward trajectory, after an initial spike from March to April 2020.
Since then, rental markets have tightened, with many markets across Greater Brisbane experiencing the tightest vacancy for many years. We are also seeing multiple applications from prospective tenants being submitted on properties for rent, illustrating the shortage of quality rental properties available.
There remain some “at risk” locations in certain pockets of Brisbane. For example, postcode 4000 (which includes the Brisbane CBD) has a local vacancy rate of 13 per cent, which is extremely high-risk for an investor who may be looking at buying into that market.
While there is no evidence of distressed properties coming to the market in Brisbane, there continues to be talk about the economic cliff that is apparently ahead of us. Once JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments ease, and mortgage repayment deferrals stop, perhaps some people may need to sell as they are no longer able to hold their property. We remain of the opinion that different markets around Australia will be impacted in different ways.
According to a recent NAB announcement, Australian Home Loan deferrals are broadly in line with the total portfolio spread. This means the exposure of some states to potential “forced selling” is much less than other states around the country.
Queensland makes up approximately 17 per cent of the total number of NAB Home Loan facilities and 16 per cent of the total Home Loans that have been deferred across Australia. Compare that with NSW/ACT, which makes up 38 per cent of the total portfolio but 40 per cent of the total deferrals, and Vic/Tas, which makes up 31 per cent of the total portfolio and 32 per cent of the total deferrals. Then there is WA and SA/NT with much lower exposure again.
This provides a greater level of confidence for property owners and property buyers in Brisbane, given our exposure is a lot less than other locations around Australia.
Shane Oliver, AMP chief economist, also updated his forecasts recently for Australians’ property market. His thoughts are that Sydney and Melbourne are more exposed to price falls given their higher dependence on international migration, higher debt-to-income ratios, higher price-to-income ratios and greater investor penetration.
Over recent years, Brisbane’s growth has been underwhelming compared with Sydney and Melbourne, for example. While the other capitals experienced amazing capital appreciation, Brisbane property values remained quite flat. This is because local drivers of supply and demand vary considerably between different locations. Different property markets behave in different ways during various market conditions, so there is no reason to expect the outcomes to differ considerably throughout this pandemic.
Brisbane properties are more affordable and our income-to-debt ratio is a lot lower. The amount of our take-home income that we spend on our mortgages here in Brisbane is also a lot lower. Property markets around the country are all responding differently as a result of the pandemic, and at this stage we remain optimistic about the performance of Brisbane in the months ahead.
Unit oversupply remains an issue in Brisbane CBD: RiskWise’s Doron Peleg
The inner-city Brisbane unit market, already hit hard by unit oversupply, continues to remain a huge danger zone for investors since the advent of COVID-19.
Not only is equity risk the major issue for investors, increased vacancy rates and risk to cash flow are also heavily impacting the market.
According to RiskWise Property Research CEO Doron Peleg, things have not improved in the market since the pandemic hit and, if anything, have become worse.
“RiskWise reported in July 2018 that there were 14,813 units in the pipeline in inner-city Brisbane for the next 24 months, being an addition of 20.1 per cent of the current stock,” Mr Peleg said.
“Two years later and there is still a very high level of supply with 5,431 units in the pipeline, making up an addition of 5.9 per cent of the current stock.”
Pete Wargent, co-founder of Buyers Buyers, a national marketplace now offering affordable buyer’s agent services to all Australians, said that rental demand had been weak for CBD apartments for some time.
“The trend has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and CBD rents have been very soft” Mr Wargent added.
Analysis by RiskWise in 2018 showed unit over-supply in inner-city Brisbane had created weakness in the market leading to an elevated level of risk for investors and, therefore, lower valuations and rising defaults on settlements.
“The issue of oversupply is not a new problem and has been there for a few years and the continuous weakness of the unit market in inner-city Brisbane should raise red flags for developers and lenders,” Mr Peleg said.
“Defaults have been rising and will continue to do so.
“One of the key factors has been developers’ lack of foresight regarding unit oversupply as well as the impact of lending restrictions introduced from 2014. It seems there has been no methodological and structured risk-management approach including identification, assessment, and mitigating action plans to address those risks.
“This takes us back to the feasibility stage which includes the assessment of the projected fair market value and the likelihood of defaults and their potential consequences. Developers and lenders must find the right balance between taking risk and making profit.
“COVID-19 has only served to increase the risk. Currently, there are many high-rise properties being offered to a smaller number of investors. This is because there are less investors in the market due to the pandemic.
“The point is that if developers and lenders had put more proper risk-management practices in place, this could all have been avoided.”
Mr Peleg said it must also be remembered the value of off-the-plan property could decrease between the original contract date and settlement resulting in capital loss, as the equity in the home could be reduced, and this was well known in inner-city Brisbane.
He also stressed that investors buying rental apartments unsuitable for families were taking an enormous gamble, with both equity and cash flow risk expected to materially increase. Serviceability is also a major factor for investors who rely on a stable rental income to cover the costs associated with property and particularly the mortgage.
Mr Wargent of Buyers Buyers said houses for investors often carried significantly lower risk for those with the right budget because renters, especially in the more established suburbs, included families and, in many cases, those with permanent full-time jobs. They were also more likely to deliver good medium and long-term capital growth.
Additionally, as rental properties are not fully substitute products with owner-occupied dwellings, there is inherent risk associated with them as they do not appeal to families looking for three bedrooms, with outdoor space, close to schools, transport, and employment hubs.
This article is republished from https://www.propertyobserver.com.au/ under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article
Queensland Extends Commercial Eviction Moratorium
Queensland commercial tenants impacted by the pandemic are set to get further relief, with the state government extending the ban on evictions until the end of the year.
The move means that to the end of 2020 commercial leaseholders can’t have their lease terminated if they fall into arrears as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
First introduced in March by the national cabinet, the six-month ban on evictions are due to expire at the end of this month.
Leaving out residential tenancies, the Queensland government’s latest announcement pushes the moratorium on evictions in the commercial space to the new date of 31 December 2020.
Queensland’s announcement comes as other states have extended eviction protection.
Last month, Victoria extended its own ban on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants until 31 December.
While Western Australia and South Australia have each put a six-month extension in place for residential and commercial tenancies until the end of March.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said that landlords and tenants had been working together “in good faith” to “tackle the economic challenges”, describing the announcement as “a shot in the arm” for many small businesses still struggling because of the pandemic.
“This extension is about giving businesses, and the thousands of workers they employ, the certainty they need in these challenging times,” D’Ath said.
With no mention made about Queensland residential tenants, the end of the moratorium looks set to remain as 29 September.
The Queensland government’s decision has been criticised by three of the five members of its Covid-19 Housing Security Subcommittee; Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Q Shelter and Tenants Queensland.
“Since the Covid-19 crisis began, demand for the state’s tenant advisory services has increased drastically,” Tenants Queensland chief executive Penny Carr said.
“Particularly from tenants fearing eviction after losing their jobs or having their income reduced as a result of Covid-19.”
The code extension means that affected businesses can come forward to receive assistance under the code until 31 December.
Buyer Demand Builds in the Outer Suburbs
Buyer demand has significantly jumped compared to last year across all capital cities aside from Melbourne.
The Domain buyer demand indicator shows that the market has rebounded in recent months—revealing the top suburbs piquing buyer interest.
Houses and apartments in the outer-suburban areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, were the highest in demand for the month up to 6 September.
This follows a state of hiatus caused by caused by Covid which is ongoing in Victoria where restrictions have stopped inspections and dropped listings.
Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said they tracked people who were most likely to buy, indicated by shortlisting, sending inquiries, inspecting and frequently viewing photos.
“The current health crisis has changed the way we use our homes, and for some altered our purchasing decisions and property wish lists,” Powell said.
“And while Covid-19 lockdowns sent buyer demand into a state of hiatus, activity from people likely to buy has rebounded in all capital cities apart from Melbourne.”
Top greater Sydney suburbs
|1.||Hawkesbury demand increase since Covid||Rouse Hill-McGraths Hill||Wollondilly (Houses)|
|2.||Rouse Hill-McGraths Hill||Pennant Hills-Epping||Richmond-Windsor (Houses)|
|4.||Hornsby||Eastern Suburbs-south||Gosford (Units)|
|5.||Dural-Wisemans Ferry||Warringah||Hawkesbury (Houses)|
Top greater Melbourne suburbs
|1.||Whitehorse-west||Mornington Peninsula||Macedon Ranges (Houses)|
|2.||Macedon Ranges||Cardinia||Manningham-east (Houses)|
|3.||Manningham-east||Knox||Mornington Peninsula (Units)|
|4.||Mornington Peninsula||Maroonah||Yarra Ranges (Houses)|
|5.||Yarra Ranges||Kingston||Frankston (Units)|
Top south-east Queensland suburbs
|2.||Nundah||Coolangatta||Noosa hinterland (Houses)|
|3.||Carindale||Redcliffe||Gold Coast hinterland (Houses)|
|4.||Surfers Paradise||Ipswich inner||Noosa (Units)|
Meanwhile major gains have been made in national vacancy rates to pre-Covid levels with outer suburbs also showing the most improvements.
Residential property prices dropped by 1.8 per cent in the latest quarter according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In Perth, Mundaring houses and Wanneroo units topped the list, Canberra’s Weston Creek was listed for houses and Gungahlin for units. Litchfield, Darwin topped the list in the Northern Territory for both houses and units.
Hobart was the only other city to record a fall in activity over the four week period to 6 September, along with Melbourne, where the most demand was seen for Sorrell-Dodges Ferry and Hobart.
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