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Brisbane’s real estate sector holds steady: Herron Todd White

Brisbane’s real estate sector holds steady Herron Todd White

Brisbane’s residential real estate sector performs relatively steadily throughout its price cycle, avoiding dramatic dips, swings, peaks and fluctuations, according to the latest report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

“Long-term property owners tend to do fairly well as long as their asset selection is on the mark,” the March report found.

“There is also a fairly typical range of buyer types. Our first home owners are motivated by affordability and getting the most bang for their buck. Their tick list will obviously be driven by location, but they’re also keen to find decent size allotments, potential for renovation, proximity to amenities and easy access to the CBD or a wellestablished lifestyle hub,” the report continued.

“While many of our first home buyers would no doubt like to buy within the five-kilometre radius, their price point usually means a balance between location and property type and quality. As such, there are those able to cope with a second-hand unit in a prime near-city position, while others will seek a newer home on a larger lot in a suburb a bit further out.”

“Both options could appeal to first home buyers at a similar price point Of note also is that first home buyers are becoming more prominent in our market.”

“The $15,000 state government first home buyer grant (which is limited to new property) and federal government deposit scheme are helping to boost their numbers. Add to that low interest rates as a motivation to getting first timers on the property ladder.”

Conversely, upgraders in Brisbane are looking to draw on increased value in their existing homes to secure better-quality accommodation in their location of choice.

“Their desired suburb will probably be dictated by their households needs. Young professional couples might look to move out of units and head towards a detached home with some renovation potential so there’s opportunity to build fast equity.”

Upgraders are mostly looking for the advantage of more space or larger yards and hopefully improved location compared to their first home – While upgraders will reside anywhere from outer suburbs through to near CBD depending on the budget, many find themselves in mid-range suburbs with easy access to the city.

“Family buyers could almost be considered an advanced subset of upgraders. These buyers are typically driven to certain properties by school catchments, proximity to public transport, parks, amenities and lifestyle amenities.”

“While many family buyers might want to look for renovation potential, there are plenty who are motivated to acquire something ready to live in so as not to tie up their weekends doing upgrade work.”

Brisbane downsizers and empty nesters are looking for low-maintenance homes with lock-and-leave potential to allow for trips out of town – a smaller detached dwelling of good quality and with a low maintenance yard, the report found.

“We are also seeing ever increasing numbers seeking accommodation in high-end units of minimum two (even three) bedrooms. They like the security while still having space for the kids and grandkids to stay. Downsizer locations vary from the CBD through to the bayside suburbs.”

Downsizers are also drawn to large apartments in suburban nodes within close proximity of shopping centres, amenities and hospitals.

The final buyer group highlighted in the report is the business professional – These buyers want to be close to the CBD or suburban nodes so their commute is short.

“Again, low maintenance is a priority as is public transport and lifestyle facilities. It’s suspected that these buyer numbers may well increase from the interstate migrant cohort coming to Brisbane chasing a better lifestyle than in Sydney or Melbourne,” the report found.

“The above list is, of course, not exhaustive. We are seeing a societal demographic shift with the rise of single-person households, multi-generational homes, single-parent families and share ownership among friends.”

“It’s envisaged that these varying household makeups will spur innovative and thoughtful design changes that will become more common over the next few years,” the report concluded.




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Coronavirus pandemic to slug Queensland’s property prices, industry figures say

Coronavirus pandemic to slug Queensland's property prices, industry figures say

For Queensland mortgage broker and property consultant Carolyn Walshe, it is not a matter of if, or when, the coronavirus will hit property prices, but by how much and for how long.

“You’d have to expect that they’re going to fall,” Ms Walshe said.

“The question is going to be just exactly how much — I think the smartest thing that people can do right now is just to hold back and wait and see what happens over the next few months.”

The latest figures show Queensland reached record median house prices for Brisbane, Noosa and other parts of the state in the last quarter of 2019.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) chief executive Antonia Mercorella agreed that COVID-19 would put a dent in that.

“Inevitably we will see the property market impacted by the coronavirus — I think it would be incredibly naive to think otherwise,” Ms Mercorella said.

“We know that a large volume of people will lose their jobs during this time.

“We know that it will completely erode confidence and those things — security and confidence — are very much key to the property market.”

Last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison included the property sector in the latest moves to limit social interaction.

“Real estate auctions and open house inspections, in particular open house inspections — that cannot continue,” Mr Morrison said.

He said that from midnight tonight they would not be allowed.

Lenders, investors cannot foresee what’s to come

Ms Walshe, who also advised clients through the global financial crisis — suggested the forced shutdowns of parts of the economy, the restrictions on travel and the massive queues for Centrelink all added to the uncertainty.

“The list of instructions that people have to live under is breathtaking, so until we see some endpoint to all of that, it’s going to be very, very difficult to see exactly where the other side is,” Ms Walshe said.

Ms Walshe said the fact the Federal Government had moved the budget from May to October showed neither it nor investors, could foresee what was to come with any certainty.

“I don’t think anyone can have a lot of confidence at the moment until we see things that are far less alarming,” Ms Walshe said.

“Therefore, less property sales will complete until we have some confidence returned to the market and people are back at whatever semblance of normal work is.”

She said banks would be reluctant to lend, as people’s ability to repay loans also looked uncertain.

“Lenders are now going to be seriously looking at [the] possibility of there being lower numbers of borrowers who are in occupations where their income can be absolutely guaranteed,” Ms Walshe said.

Ms Mercorella said while some investors would be reluctant, others might pounce.

“We will see some investors perhaps getting cold feet and making a decision to suspend that,” Ms Mercorella said.

“But similarly, we will see some prospective investors being quite bullish about it and actually looking at this as an opportunity and probably pouncing on what’s available to try and secure a property at a better price, at a lower price.”

Coronavirus pandemic to slug Queensland's property prices, industry figures say (1)

Renters and landlords also to come under strain

Ms Mercorella said the REIQ’s immediate concern was tenants facing eviction for not being able to make their rent.

“Around 35 per cent of the Queensland population rents,” she said.

“The vast majority of that supply comes via the private investor, so given the predicted job losses, we are concerned about the impact that will have on a tenants ability to make their rent obligations.

“We don’t want to see renters being evicted on account of non-payment.”

She said the REIQ welcomed any support governments could give to tenants.

“Equally, what we need to be cognisant of is that the vast majority of that rental supply is coming from private investors — mum and dad investors — and they will have their own obligations at the other end to the bank.” Ms Mercorella said.

“So the challenge will be how we protect tenants in this in this environment, but also supporting owners who ultimately — if they don’t meet those obligations — will end up defaulting on mortgages, and ultimately having to sell those properties and losing those properties, which will mean that we all lose.”

Coronavirus pandemic to slug Queensland's property prices, industry figures say (2)

Ms Mercorella said there was hope the property market would recover relatively quickly.

She said the Queensland market was robust and recovered well from the global financial crisis.

“Again, we bounced back from the GFC rather well, but I but I do expect that this will be far more severe than that,” she said.

“It will also depend on how long we’re in the situation for, so it really is crystal ball gazing at this stage.”





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Brisbane auction buyers still keen amid COVID-19 fears

Brisbane auction buyers still keen amid COVID-19 fears (1)

As social-distancing measures ramp up in response to COVID-19, public auctions present an interesting challenge for real estate agents. Despite this, a bumper 94 auctions went ahead across Brisbane at the weekend, with a clearance rate of 39 per cent.

“Buyers were cautious walking in,” said Nick Penklis, director of Space Property Paddington, of his auction of the two-bedroom, one-bathroom house at 20 Atthow Avenue, Ashgrove.

“[People] kept their distance. But, having it in the backyard certainly helped a lot, because it can provide private space.”

Brisbane auction buyers still keen amid COVID-19 fears (5)

About 30 people gathered for 15 minutes to watch the auction, with five registered bidders attempting to walk away with the keys. Bidding opened at $700,000, and quickly jumped to $750,000.

Things slowed somewhat after this as bids of $5000 and $10,000 edged the price higher. Eventually, the hammer was dropped, and the house was sold for $885,000.

Despite the need for social distancing and hand sanitiser, buyers were still keen, Mr Penklis said.

“The buyers were there to buy, not to view,” he said. “It wasn’t like ‘Oh, we’ll just see what happens’. That was a strong sign for our market. The only thing we can’t do is shake hands. But, there were smiles all around, within distance.”

Brisbane auction buyers still keen amid COVID-19 fears (4)

The vendors have owned the house since 1997, and have used it as a family home and an investment property. Meanwhile, the buyers are looking to get a foothold in the area.

Auctions in Sydney and Melbourne are under a cloud from next weekend with premiers in those states flagging shutdowns of non-essential activities. No such plans for Queensland have yet been flagged, though it remains to be seen whether coronavirus may bite into Brisbane’s much smaller auction scene.

“We’re not expecting to see an impact on the values of homes but we will see the number of sales fall as people wait and see what is going to happen,” said Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly.  “Estate agents are pretty good at adapting in these circumstances.”

Elsewhere, Kosma Comino, of LJ Hooker Sunnybank Hills, sold the five-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 10 Mansfield Place, Mansfield, in Brisbane’s south-east before auction. He said COVID-19 was having an impact on people’s willingness to sell in the short term, but several sellers were still keen to get things moving in the coming months.

“I’ve got a lot [of auction campaigns] launching after Easter, but I think a lot of the sellers are up in the air with what’s going on with the coronavirus,” he said. “At the moment, what we’re seeing is a lot of increase in buyer inquiry, I think there’s a lot of panic buying at the moment.”

Brisbane auction buyers still keen amid COVID-19 fears (3)

On the other side of the city in Brisbane’s inner north, the four-bedroom, one-bathroom house on a spacious 810-square-metre block at 295 Days Road, Grange, sold under the hammer.

Just one party attended the auction, making one registered bidder and an audience of two people. Despite this, the house sold over reserve.

The single registered bidder was a developer, who opened with a strong offer and, after about 20 minutes of private negotiation, the hammer was dropped and the house was sold.

The vendors were two sisters who inherited the house after a death in the family. It was particularly process for them because the house had been in the family since the 1980s.

Brisbane auction buyers still keen amid COVID-19 fears (2)

Selling agent Georgie Haug, of Belle Property Samford, said the successful result was thanks to an incredibly smooth process, as well as the vendor’s willingness to trust her advice.

“I sold the seller’s property in Ferny Grove a couple of years ago for a record,” she said. “So, just the trust and the communication. I took [this] job in a heartbeat because they had so much trust in me to do the right job and get the result. It was just a really beautiful process.”

Closer to the city, the two-bedroom, one-bathroom house at 16 Skinner Street, West End, sold in an incredibly fast auction. About 20 people gathered to watch as two registered bidders battled it out for under five minutes.

Bidding opened at $700,000 and moved quickly to $800,000. Bids continued in increments of $20,000 then $10,000 until the house was sold for $970,000.

Selling agent Keryn Osgerby, of Sold Property Group, said 33 groups inspected the property over the five-week campaign, with the vast majority of interest coming from families.

“It was overwhelmingly young families who wanted to be in the area of lifestyle reasons,” she said. “Second to that would be the schooling benefit, but most of it was all about the West End vibes and lifestyle.”

The buyers fit this bill exactly and will be moving in with their young family very soon. Meanwhile, the vendors live overseas and were using the property as an investment. They sold because of a change in circumstances.




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Auctioning your house? The best day of the week to sell in your capital city

Auctioning your house The best day of the week to sell in your capital city (1)
If you live in Sydney or Melbourne, don’t even consider putting your home up for auction on a Friday.

But if you’re a vendor in Brisbane, Canberra or Adelaide, take note that most buyers read from the same song sheet: ‘I don’t like Mondays.’

The worst days to take your home to auction, as well as the best days, have now been revealed in new research by the Domain Group in a national study of auction sales for the 12 months to the end of February 2020.

The research looked at clearance rates in each capital city in Australia and drilled down in the data to uncover what type of property sells most often, as well as when and where, in each capital city.

And they show some startling differences in the way property buyers in different cities behave.

Auctioning your house The best day of the week to sell in your capital city (5)

For instance, Saturday has proved to be the best day for house auction sales in Sydney and Canberra, and for unit sales in Melbourne, while Adelaide house sellers should always hold their auction on a Friday, and Perth ones on a Tuesday. At the same time, Fridays have the lowest clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne.

“It can be difficult to work out why these differences exist,” says Domain senior research analystDr Nicola Powell. “Some of it must come down to individuals’ psychology.

“There will be fewer auctions, of course, on Fridays but we think the clearance rate is so much lower on those days, when the next day it’s much higher, because people might be hanging out for Saturdays. They feel they’ll have so much more choice just the next day, so they’re very reluctant to commit on a Friday.”

Saturday is the best day for a sale in Sydney with a 67.4 per cent clearance rate (compared to the worst day, Friday, with a 17.3 per cent success rate). Your chance of success is highest selling a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in the inner west.

In Melbourne you’ve got the best chance of selling a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with two carparks in the inner east with a clearance rate of 66.1 per cent (with Friday the worst at 11.5 per cent).

Auctioning your house The best day of the week to sell in your capital city (4)

In Brisbane, the best day to sell is on a Saturday, taking to auction a two-bedroom, one-bathroom and one-carpark house on the north side, with a clearance rate of 35.1 per cent (versus black Mondays at 9.4 per cent).

Saturdays are also best in Canberra’s inner north for a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house at 61.4 per cent (against Mondays at 6.3 per cent), a three-bedroom, two-bathroom North Hobart house at 48.4 per cent (there weren’t enough sales to work out a worst day), and in Darwin, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the suburbs, where the clearance rate was at 49.2 per cent (versus Thursdays at 15.8 per cent).

Only Adelaide with its best day on a Friday at 55.2 per cent, and its worst day on Monday at 13.6 per cent, bucks the trend, along with Perth, whose highest clearance rate is on a Tuesday at 22.9 per cent and lowest on a Monday at 4.9 per cent.

In Melbourne, with its flood of super Saturdays, RT Edgar director Jeremy Fox says that buyers just aren’t in the right frame of mind on a Friday for an auction. “People are keen on a Saturday and you’ll always get a crowd but Friday isn’t a good day at all,” he says.

“If the auction is during the day, they’ll have trouble getting out of work at the end of the week. And while we’ll sometimes hold twilight auctions on a Wednesday, you’d never do that on a Friday. That’s when most people after work are ready to switch off and go for a drink or dinner with family and friends.”

Auctioning your house The best day of the week to sell in your capital city (3)

In Sydney, Damien Cooley of Cooley Auctioneers says that similarly the greatest number of auctions always take place on a Saturday, so Friday doesn’t receive the same amount of attention.

“There aren’t that many auctions on a Friday, but if the property is attractive enough, it will sell whatever the day of the week. I sold mine on a Friday with a 7pm auction with 10 registered bidders and a good price to prove the point.”

In Adelaide, ironically, Friday has proved the very best day for an auction, although the proportion of sales at auctions are considerably lower in that city. That’s because Fridays have become auction day almost by default, says Michael Love of Ray White Flagstaff Hill.

“It’s purely a time management thing,” he says. “Agents hold auctions in Adelaide on a Friday because it then frees them up to fit in all their opens on a Saturday. And they’ve found that if buyers really want a property, then they’ll be there, no matter what day it is.”

Perth is the other odd one out, with Tuesday as its peak auction clearance day. Michelle Kerr, the licensee of the Duet Property Group, believes that’s because most people hit a bit of a slump in their working week that day.

Auctioning your house The best day of the week to sell in your capital city (2)

“In the 24 hours from lunchtime on Monday to lunchtime on Tuesday, that’s when we have the highest number of eyes on real estate sites,” she says.

“I think it’s just about people’s mental state on Tuesdays after the shock of Mondays being back at work, and getting into the rhythm of meetings later in the week. Tuesday is traditionally the day – along with Friday – when people achieve the least at work, so going to an auction is a good idea.”

But after most of the nation’s auction activity on Saturdays, it’s little wonder that Monday is then Perth’s worst auction day, along with Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane. Rainy days and Mondays are just best avoided, believes Denis Najzar of Place Estate Agents Woolloongabba.

“I just think that’s a result of how Monday feels,” he says. “You’ve looked at property on a Saturday and on Monday you’re going back to work and you really don’t feel like buying a house. It’s the beginning of the week and you’ve got other things on your mind.”




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