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Brisbane real estate a mix of growth, consistent, plateauing and declining suburbs: Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder

Brisbane real estate a mix of growth, consistent, plateauing and declining suburbs Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder

Brisbane shows how complex markets can be and illustrates the folly of generalisation.

My winter survey of sales activity and prices reveals that the number of rising markets across the Brisbane metro area is matched by the number of declining/danger areas – and in between are the majority of suburbs which are consistency or plateau markets.

Brisbane’s data shows the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown while also displaying a good level of resilience. The number of suburbs with rising sales activity (28) is lower than the Autumn 2020 survey (37), but better than at the same time last year (24).

There continues to be a high level of consistency markets (50 suburbs, down slightly from 56 in the previous survey). The existence of 28 growth suburbs and 50 consistency suburbs shows a solid degree of resistance to the virus crisis period. But also significant is the 113 plateau markets (suburbs where sales activity has dropped below the previous levels), the highest in three years.

Brisbane also has 21 suburbs ranked as declining markets, slightly fewer than in the previous quarterly survey (23) and substantially lower than six months ago (32). There are also seven danger markets, ones where sales activity and prices are down and vacancies are uncomfortably high.

The Brisbane market was poised for a long overdue boom before Covid-19 struck. As we wrote in the previous edition: “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.”

Because of those factors, we believe Brisbane will return to strength quickly in the recovery-from-corona phase.

As we often find with these surveys, there is particular strength in the northern suburbs of Brisbane – the Brisbane North precinct and the Moreton Bay LGA jointly account for half of the 28 suburbs ranked as rising markets. The southside has many of the struggling markets and Brisbane’s inner-city provides all of the danger markets.

In our analysis we divide the sprawling Brisbane City LGA into five precincts (inner, north, south, east and west) while the more distant parts of the metro area are covered by the LGAs of Ipswich, Logan, Redland and Moreton Bay – a total of nine precincts. 

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

The Moreton Bay Region LGA has regularly been the best-performing Brisbane market, boosted by affordability, good infrastructure and proximity to employment nodes (including a new university campus). And its status has been enhanced in this survey, with the number of rising suburbs increasing from eight to nine. This LGA also has 10 suburbs ranked as consistency markets, which overall creates a strong result for this precinct in a virus-impacted market.

Leading suburbs include Petrie (quarterly sales of 43-47-53-69-66), Strathpine (65-79-81-83) and Banksia Beach (46-54-67-68-70).

Brisbane North has 5 suburbs classified as rising markets, 9 ranked as consistency markets and none ranked as declining or danger markets. There are two particular clusters with strongly-performing suburbs: the inner north (which includes suburbs like Newmarket, Windsor, Stafford and Kedron), and the north-east precinct (which includes Nudgee, Nundah, Northgate and Wavell Heights). 

Ashgrove, with quarterly sales of 54-57-60-71-74, is typical of the suburbs with rising trajectories. Zillmere (42-47-49-56-62-64) is another of the growth markets.

The other standout market to emerge in this survey is the Brisbane-east precinct, which has five growth suburbs, seven consistency markets and no locations ranked as declining or danger markets. Leading locations include Wynnum West (54-67-74-80) and Murarrie (22-28-29-35-47-51).

The Brisbane-inner precinct is a confusion of suburbs with contrasting rankings: the 22 ranked suburbs include 2 rising, 17 plateau, 1 consistency, 2 declining and 7 danger. The danger markets (Albion, Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Kelvin Grove, South Brisbane, West End and Woolloongabba) are those where sales activity has dropped markedly, prices are down and vacancy rates are high – particularly with a recent virus-related surge in empty apartments in the inner-city areas.

Logan City in the far south of the Brisbane metro area continues to struggle. It has 12 suburbs with declining sales activity. But there are also signs of life, with two rising suburbs and five consistency suburbs.

Brisbane is split almost 50-50 between markets where prices are up in annual terms and those where prices have fallen in the past 12 months: 52% of apartment markets have recorded annual growth and 44% of house markets have risen, providing an overall result of 46% growth markets and 54% with falling prices.

In most cases, whether rising or falling, the change has been minor (less than 5% in the past year).

Leading suburbs for growth in their median house prices include Coorparoo (16%), Morningside (13%), St Lucia (15%) and Windsor (22%), but the market leader is Fig Tree Pocket, where the median price has increased 32% to $1.18 million. 

Among the unit markets, the best for annual growth in median prices have been Bulimba (23%, Mango Hill (13%), Alderley (12% and Annerley (11%).





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Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020.

How is the market going?

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020

It is probably the question I am asked most, sometimes many times each day.

Specifically referring to the Brisbane market, as I have been buying for our clients here for over a decade and investing for myself for close to two decades.

In my position, there is one thing I can offer that the media and many theorists cannot – an on the ground perspective.

And I can assure you, what is making headlines in the media currently, is not playing out at ground level – in the right locations.

Let me explain what I mean when I say the “right locations” or talk about “Brisbane” in general.


When I say Brisbane, I am talking about select suburbs within 10km from the Brisbane CBD.

Suburbs where there is significantly higher demand due to employment, public transport, superior schooling and education, along with greenspace and lifestyle precincts.

And on the flip side, there is very, very tight supply, with next to no new land available anywhere.

Interestingly, unlike our bigger City cousins, you can expect a vastly different environment buying just 15km or 20km out.

I am constantly amazed when interstate buyers and the FIFO buyers’ agents target fringe suburbs in highly inferior locations, expecting a similar result to a Sydney or Melbourne.

To highlight this point, REA produce a great graphic comparing the level of demand for a Suburb vs. the Average for QLD.

I have chosen two suburbs in Brisbane, being Camp Hill (approx. 5km from the CBD) and Mansfield (approx. 10km from the CBD).

The levels of demand currently in these locations are quite extraordinary and close to three times the average for QLD.

Here is what I am seeing and expecting to happen in these superior locations…

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (12)

It is a vastly different story when you start moving further out where I selected three suburbs that I know our competitors are quite fond of, Zillmere (15km), Redcliffe (25km) and Pimpama (50km).

These suburbs are well below the averages and do not meet all the strict investment criteria we look for in investment grade suburbs.

These are the suburbs at risk moving forward as job security is inferior and people are living week to week.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (2)

The Current Market

The latest numbers from Corelogic show our capital cities remaining relatively unchanged, specifically over the last quarter to 19th June 2020.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (3)

If anything, Brisbane has held up slightly better than Sydney and Melbourne, likely due to more modest growth over the last 12 months.

I would suggest that this would be easy to explain in the sense that yes there are less buyers in the market due to COVID-19, but there is also less sellers.

Stock levels are well down on this time over the last 4 years.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (4)

It appears buyer and seller numbers may have effectively cancelled each other out and there remains a form of equilibrium as we round out the financial year.

Another very interesting set of numbers recently, has been a change in the number of searches online for property.

Sure, with more people at home scrolling through real estate you could expect that, but almost a 45% increase on the same time last year represents a clear trend – upward!

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (5)

This trend is also playing out on ground level with many local agents reporting much stronger numbers through open homes here in Brisbane.

I know we have also missed out on the odd property due to the odd home buyer willing to pay that little bit over where we see value.

So, there is still buyer emotion in the market and no sign of a bargain as many had predicted.

Another strong set of numbers in recent weeks have been the rise in Auction clearance rates for Brisbane.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (6)

These numbers are published by Domain each week and usually hover consistently between 20% – 40% on an average weekend in Brisbane.

They are now up around 50% – 60% plus and well above this time last year in a pre COVID-19 market.

More Headwinds

There is no doubt that there are several strong headwinds still in our faces, particularly once we hit September.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (7)

It may see the end of the Job Keeper and Job Seeker payments and more people will very likely face the unemployment line.

Unemployment is tipped to hit more than 10% over the next few months.

We also face a great deal less immigration and overseas visitors during this time.

Many are also predicting the end of the honeymoon from banks for mortgage and investment loan payments may also create serious issues.

And the list could go on and on…

I have no doubt there will be impacts on the overall property market, but here is why I am optimistic about…

Investment Grade Locations in Brisbane

Starting on a Macro Level, with the Federal and State Government incentives.

The current Job Seeker / Keeper payments are support mechanisms, the stimulus is starting to arrive and in almost all previous downturns housing is a target.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (8)

From First Home Buyer Grants, to Construction incentives and even talks about abolishing stamp duty has been on the cards.

Whatever may happen moving forward, all forms of Government will make this a priority as they always have.

In the next few months there is no doubt that the unemployment rate will rise and so too will mortgage stress.

It will happen in all suburbs, but significantly less in these superior locations, close to employment hubs where the types of jobs have been less effected.

In superior suburbs there tends to be dramatically less unemployment and less mortgage stress, on the other hand as you may further away from major employment hubs, unemployment and mortgage stress rises.

Now you can see that even if Demand dropped in suburbs like Camp Hill and Mansfield by up to 30% or 40% there is enough to keep demand quite high, while the other suburbs may have some serious issues.

Jobs to the Rescue

I have written previously about the current transformation of Brisbane, with more than 50,000 jobs expected between the CBD and Airport.

This will be the saviour for Brisbane over the medium term.

I often here that an outer suburb has a new rail line, or university or hospital that will create a few hundred jobs.

This is barely a drop in the ocean compared to the next few years in Brisbane.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (9)

In Conclusion

With less buyers and less sellers in the market currently, property prices have remained stagnant.

However there are some serious headwinds on the horizon in the form of unemployment and other challenges for buisnesses and employees as the mortgage free period comes to an end around the same time

I have no doubt that that there will be some serious issues for certain types of property in the wrong location.

The dramatic forecasts may well yet prove correct, but I remain very opimistic about the Brisbane market over this period.

In superior locations, more people are lucky enough to have not been efffected as much by the current financial environment and will likely get through the next hurdle relatively unscathed.

They are predminanlty home buyers – driven by cheap interest rates and combined with solid employment grounding are taking a longer term approach.

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (10)

They have the ability to buy in superior locations close to work and ammenities as demand continues to remain high.

For others looking for employment, there is a jobs boom starting to ramp up across the Brisbane CBD and out to the Airport.

So demand for housing will continue to remain high within that 10km ring.

If you are looking to invest and are looking for direction, certainty and a level of perspective around the Brisbane market, get in contact today.

Now is the time to take action and set yourself for the opportunities that will present themselves as the market moves on

Brisbane Property Prices to Defy the Critics and Strengthen in 2020 (11)

If you’re wondering what will happen to property in 2020–2021 you are not alone.

You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with directionguidance and results.

In challenging times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.

If you’re looking at buying your next home or investment property here’s 4 ways we can help you:

  1. Strategic property advice. – Allow us to build a Strategic Property Plan for you and your family.  Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now!
  2. Buyer’s agency – As Australia’s most trusted buyers’ agents we’ve been involved in over $3Billion worth of transactions creating wealth for our clients and we can do the same for you. Our on the ground teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane bring you years of experience and perspective – that’s something money just can’t buy. We’ll help you find your next home or an investment grade property.
  3. Wealth Advisory – We can provide you with strategic tailored financial planning and wealth advice.

Property Management – Our stress free property management services help you maximise your property returns.





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Covid-19 Creates Unique Opportunities for Buyers

Covid-19 Creates Unique Opportunities for Buyers

The top suburbs tipped for future performance in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have been revealed—with the coronavirus shifting the landscape for both rental and sales markets, new research shows.

According to PRD’s latest affordable and liveable property guide Covid-19 made its mark on rental markets in particular over the first half of 2020.

The pandemic also led to market cooling in some capital cities and there was a reduced percentage of homes available in the lowest price range bracket below $500,000.

The exception to this was Brisbane, where homes under this price were more readily available, and Hobart, where properties under $350,000 could be found.

PRD researchers looked at property trends, investment potential, affordability, project development and liveability factors to generate the list.

Top suburbs to buy homes

House locationMedian Price (,000)Rental YieldUnit locationMedian Price (,000)Rental Yield
Everton Park$6153.7%Arana Hills$3955.6%
Virginia$6253.9%Daisy Hill$4116.7%
Altona$8852.7%Moonee Ponds$4704.1%
Oakleigh South$9232.8%Brunswick East$5254.7%

PRD chief economist Diaswati Mardiasmo said this data captured Covid-19 conditions and how that affected the market, with Sydney suburbs ranking the highest.

“Sydney metro market has recovered from the significant price-drop in mid-2019,” Mardiasmo said.

“However, thanks to Covid-19, the median house price only increased by 1.3 per cent over the past 15 months, which creates unique opportunities for both buyers and sellers.

“Brisbane continues to be a haven for first home buyers, with 45 per cent available for under $500,000.

“In comparison, only 5 per cent of Melbourne is available under $500,000, and zero per cent of Sydney .

“Melbourne presents an opportune time for first home buyers, as there has been a -11.1 per cent softening in median house price over the past 15 months.

“Buyers with a budget of under $800,000 can now access 46.3 per cent of the market; 18 months ago buyers with the same budget could only access 23.1 per cent of the market.”

The market was also changing in Hobart, where only 37.5 per cent of homes were available for under $500,000 in the second half of 2019, and this dropped to 34.6 per cent in the first half of 2020.




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WeWork Defies Headwinds With New Brisbane Digs

WeWork Defies Headwinds With New Brisbane Digs (1)

WeWork has opened its third Brisbane location with two further co-working offices to follow in Sydney in the next two months.

The co-working giant has opened the doors of its latest office at
123 Eagle Street, in Brisbane’s golden triangle, after taking out an 11-year lease on 4,500sq m of office space across four levels of the Riverside Centre.

The recently refurbished building, which is owned by GPT’s Wholesale Office Fund, comprises 41 levels of office space, as well as waterfront restaurants and open-plaza retail and accommodation.

The new office will be WeWork’s 19th since launching in Australia four years ago and will accommodate up to 900 members.

The expansion follows a turbulent period for the co-working giant after it finally ditched plans in October last year for an IPO.

Following the scuttled IPO, Softbank Group, an early investor in WeWork, withdrew longstanding plans to bail out the stricken co-working operator.

WeWork Defies Headwinds With New Brisbane Digs (2)

The fragmented co-working sector had the highest growth rate of any tenancy during the past four years, but became one of the hardest hit during the coronavirus crisis, with many tenants cancelling bookings.

For some co-working providers, occupancy has plunged—in some cases to less than 10 per cent—with social distancing forcing people to work from home and many operators temporarily closing facilities or decreasing their operating hours.

The pandemic has also delayed the opening of WeWork’s planned new locations at Sydney’s 320 Pitt Street and 66 King Street, which are now scheduled for September.

WeWork had looked at taking space at 55 Market Street, in Sydney, but did not proceed.

The announcement of newly-added space in Brisbane and new openings in Sydney comes after recent reports revealed WeWork’s Australian subsidiary is relying on payments from its US parent to meet cashflow needs.

Last month, corporate filings revealed WeWork Australia had become dependent on the parent company, the We Company, to meet revenue needs.

WeWork Australia’s net after-tax loss widened during 2019 to
$42.6 million from a $7.2 million loss a year earlier, even as revenue nearly doubled to $89.5 million from $49.1 million.

The company has since reported renewed optimism, with foot traffic across its Brisbane locations moving in the right direction—up 50 per cent week-on-week.

WeWork Australia general manager Balder Tol said that Covid-19 had shifted companies’ thinking on what the future of office work will look like.

“Flexibility has become increasingly valuable as companies around the world rethink their workplace needs,” Tol said.

“Over the last decade we’ve had more than 690,000 members join our community because they recognise the value of flexibility for their workforce—be it remote working, flexible office space or even distributed teams.”

As of July, WeWork said it had more than 12,000 members in
19 open locations across Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.




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