Greater Brisbane house prices have stalled following six years of continuous annual growth, with prices flatlining over the year according to Domain Group’s quarterly house price report.
Brisbane house values slipped 1.1 per cent lower in the first quarter of this year and are down 1.3 per cent over the last 12 months.
“Homeowners may not be reaping equity gain but flat house prices is a better outcome than a fall, which is what’s playing out across most capital cities,” Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said.
However, the markets remain fragmented, with apartments continuing to underperform free standing homes, a trend running since mid-2012.
Brisbane apartment values remain 12.2 per cent below their peak 2010 conditions with the current oversupply of new apartments slowly being soaked up.
Unit prices are 9.6 per cent below the mid-2016 peak, with buyers now able to reap the benefits of purchasing at 2013 prices,” Powell said.
“Significant supply numbers have weighed heavily on unit prices. Although listing volumes are shrinking, it has not been enough to translate into price growth yet.”
For now, conditions in Brisbane, the apartment construction market that was first to boom and also the first to decline, remain weak.
Brisbane in numbers
• House prices fell 1.1 per cent over the quarter and 0.3 per cent over the year to $563,666
• Unit prices fell 3.7 per cent over the quarter and 5.2 per cent over the year to $372,852
Hopes are growing for the apartment market in the Queensland capital.
A separate report by JLL this month said Brisbane apartment prices and rents would stabilise over the next 12 months.
Moody’s Analytics has also tipped values in Brisbane’s apartment market to recover 0.9 per cent this year.
Queensland’s big infrastructure spend could stabilise housing
Brisbane, as well as most part of the state of Queensland, offers stronger capital growth prospects compared to other capital cities across Australia, banking on strong population growth.
Brisbane’s economy is being underpinned by major projects like Queen’s Wharf, TradeCoast, Cross River Rail, the second airport runway and the Adani Coal Mine, with many anticipating jobs and migration boost from these mega-projects in the near future.
“New residents will be further lured by growing job prospects, with Queensland leading the way in March for full-time employment growth,” Powell said.
“Several key projects will provide further economic benefits, both financial and as an employment base.”
“Placing these key factors into context provides a clearer picture of the strong underlying demand for housing from both investors and owner-occupiers.”
Queensland remains the third most popular destination for overseas migrants and is drawing the highest number of interstate movers, with Brisbane capturing the biggest flow of new residents.
Are these Australia’s cheapest blocks of land?
Just when we thought we had found the cheapest – a patch of dirt for $4.94 a square metre near the Queensland and NT border – we found another one.
And this “dirt cheap” vacant block is on the market for $2.08 a square metre – less than a 2L bottle of milk!
The fully fenced rural block of land has town water available and “power close by” but is only suitable for horses or recreation, hence the price.
It is listed with LJ Hooker Gayndah.
In Camooweal, yes that one near the border, a “drovers dream” is listed at 54 Cronin Street for $10,000.
With 2024sq m of vacant land that works out to be $4.94 a square metre — less than a beer at the local pub or a foot-long sub on discount day.
To help you wrap your head around that, that block of land would cost you over $1 million in Ipswich.
A recent report by property services group Oliver Hume found that Ipswich had the best value dirt in southeast Queensland, with land averaging $507 a square metre.
That is nearly half the price of vacant land in Brisbane, where buyers can expect to pay an average of $970 a square metre, so that block of land in Camooweal would set you back almost $2 million in the big smoke.
Bronwyn Finch of Jays Real Estate Mount Isa is marketing the Camooweal vacant block, which is located off the Barkly Highway.
Camooweal had a population of 208 at the time of the 2016 Census, with the average resident aged 36.
“It is walking distance to the local shop and garage, and you can wave at the tourists as they go past,” Ms Finch said.
“I sold another block about a year back, same deal for about $8000.”
Ms Finch said the cheap blocks were usually purchased by retirees looking for a spot to park their van between trips.
She noted it would be a tough ask to get a car park in Brisbane for the same price.
“It is quite close to the Gregory River, which is beautiful, and Adels Grove, our premiere tourist attraction out here, is about an hour away.
“That’s close for us. That’s a daily commute in the city.”
Meanwhile in Mungallala, a tiny outpost on the Warrego Highway west of Mitchell, is a 1012sq m vacant lot of land that is on the market for $6000, or the nearest offer.
That’s $5.92 a square metre – less than a cup of coffee in Ascot.
It is listed with Ray White Charleville agent Glenda Fill.
“There has been a new house built in the town in the last two years,” she said.
“It is very small town off the Warrego Highway and had a population of 136 in 2016.
“It is an hour and a quarter from here (Charleville) so it’s a bit closer to the coast than we are.”
And in Westwood, which is about half an hour from Rockhampton, the beef capital of Queensland, is an 1800sq m block for $9000.
There is also another 1174sq m lot for $8000, and the 962sq m lot, which was listed for $6000, has sold.
“Blocks are not serviced and would suit ‘off grid’ living,” the listing says.
“There is no town water in Westwood – households rely on tank or underground (bore) water.
“No town sewerage (septic or bio), Westwood has electricity – no current supply to this estate.”
Marketing agent John Neumann of Discover Real Estate said “it’s a bargain” with a “rural outlook”.
“There is a rail line nearby, a mining one,” he said. “I think there is a pub, a post office and a police officer there.
“It is only about 50km from Rockhamption and it is on the western highway to the mining belt.”
Mr Neumann said he had already had some interest in the lots, mostly from grey nomads looking for a base and people keen to “go off-grid”.
He said he had even had inquiries from uni students looking to get a leg – or toe – on the property ladder.
Westwood had a population of 174 during the 2016 census.
It was the first new town proclaimed in the Queensland Government Gazette, after the state became a separate colony back in 1859.
‘The margin will never be this close again’: Brisbane’s waterfront secret where property is still affordable
Think “Brisbane waterfront” and Moreton Bay darlings Wynnum and Manly quickly spring to mind.
But only 30 kilometres northeast, on the other side of the airport and a similar distance to the CBD, another bay-front suburb, Sandgate, appears.
The photogenic village topped Domain’s best performing Brisbane suburb list in 2018 with 18.8 per cent median house price growth.
Despite this overall rise in housing value, data-savvy local agent Jacqui McKeering makes the case that Sandgate’s waterfront properties are still undervalued compared to southside bay designer homes.
Ms McKeering, of Jim McKeering Real Estate, says Sandgate waterfront still remains great value because family groups have to buy further back to get more features.
“When the price-to-rateable-land-value gap narrows, you are getting a bit of a bargain,” she says.
“A simple calculation to illustrate this point shows the market value of Sandgate waterfront properties not that much greater than the rateable land value; on average 32 per cent greater.
“In fact one waterfront property sale, back in 2017, sold for 15 per cent less than the rateable land value, yet one block back and without bay view properties have a greater gap of 42 per cent.
“One particular [non-waterfront] property sold as high as 66 per cent greater than the rateable land value.
“The outtake here is there is plenty of money to be made on Sandgate waterfront properties.
“I do believe the margin between waterfront properties and the neighbouring streets will never be this close again.”
Flinders Parade, which runs along the foreshore of Sandgate and into Brighton, plus Eagle Crescent and Shorncliffe Parade, are the waterfront property strips in focus.
Ms McKeering says a lot of people have been buying these older houses and renovating and that at the moment there is some choice in “real cheapies” from about $900,000 to about $1.35 million.
“I know someone who bought for $1.4 million in 2017 with a $1.8 million renovation budget,” she says.
“When you see that sort of money coming into an area, it tells me people are seeing long-term capital value in this area.”
Fellow Sandgate agent Tamara Wecker of RE/MAX agrees suburb 4017’s waterfront properties are priced and selling considerably under their comparable Brisbane market values.
“When compared to Wynnum and Manly,” Ms Wecker says, “absolutely; I mean you can live in the Taj Mahal in Sandgate for about $1.5 million.”
She is seeing buyer migration from Sydney and “a little bit from Perth” because of affordability, and thinks Sandgate’s strict rules, which prohibit multi-unit developments on its waterfront, is a further drawcard.
“People tend to think of Wynnum and Manly but here you can have a premium home and lifestyle only 30 minutes from the city,” Ms Wecker says.
“To be honest, it has been a bit of a secret because we are off the highway so you have to have a reason to come here, but that is changing in the past 18 months.
“We are getting more inquiries from people, even from Brisbane, who just did not know about us.”
Mark Crew has been selling Sandgate housing since 1990 and thinks people have woken up to how great a suburb it is in the past 18 months.
The Professionals’ agent has reported strong interest from Sydney buyers “looking for a better family lifestyle”.
He estimates 25 to 30 per cent of Sandgate buyers this year have come from the neighbouring suburbs of Shorncliffe, Deagon and Brighton; people who want to upgrade but stay in “the village”.
“It is 31 minutes to the CBD and you can be walking on the waterfront with your kids after work and we’ve got excellent schools too,” Mr Crew says.
Regarding Sandgate’s waterfront property market and its value, he says three factors should be considered.
“There are few waterfront properties for sale, land is scarce and over the past 20 years there has been a lot of change to the houses themselves, a lot of renovation and/or raising older three-bedroom cottages and transforming them into often substantial five-bedroom luxury houses,” he says.
“So these houses on their waterfront blocks are, quite rightly, going to fetch more in sale prices when they do one day return to the market; and that is showing.”
Cheap Units In Brisbane Suburbs
Twelve suburbs in Brisbane have a median unit price of just under $400,000, according to Domain’s June House Price Report.
Ten out of these 12 suburbs are in the inner city, the report said.
Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Albion, and Spring Hills are all within three kilometres of the Brisbane CBD. The median unit prices in these suburbs are below $400,000, the figures showed.
East Brisbane, Coorparoo, Clayfield, Nundah, Taringa, and Kedron also offer some of Brisbane’s cheapest unit values, according to the report.
Bowen Hills is the cheapest suburb to buy a unit, with prices falling 13.7% in the past 12 months, the figures showed.
Here are Brisbane’s cheapest suburbs to buy units by median price, according to Domain:
|Suburb||Median price||YoY % growth||5-year % growth|
In Greater Brisbane, the median unit price fell 8.6% over the year to June, according to the report.
The capital city’s unit prices are “sitting at 2013 levels”—down from their peak in 2015, according to Domain research analyst Eliza Owen.
However, prices are expected to bottom out this year, with the end of the downturn in the unit segment in sight, Owen said.
“Unit listings are also moderating, which should reduce downward pressure on prices,” she said.
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