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Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city

Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (1)

Brisbane’s inner south is bustling with life and opportunity – and exciting new developments are no different.

These three new projects make the most of the city’s most sought-after locations, featuring modern architecture and innovative design.

With boutique sensibilities, these developments have opted for quality over quantity.

Thornclyffe Residences

Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (7)

If you’re looking for a refreshing mix of old and new, this unusual Brisbane development may excite you.

Located in the blue-chip inner-city suburb of Kangaroo Point, Thornclyffe Residences offers a boutique selection of two and three-bedroom apartments, sub-penthouses and penthouses, encircling a heritage-listed property.

The project is situated near picturesque Brisbane River and close to desirable retail and dining hubs including Howard Smith Wharves, Fortitude Valley, New Farm and Kangaroo Point proper.

The eight-storey tower is designed to curve around the historic three-bedroom Thornclyffe House, which was built in 1888.

The iconic home, with its wide verandahs, private gardens and original fireplaces in each bedroom, will be fully restored for sale.

Shaped like a boomerang, the neighbouring building will feature a maximum of three residences per floor, ensuring abundant light and space.

Floor plans are generous, ranging from 114 square metres to 392 square metres.

Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (6)

Privacy and natural light have been integrated thoroughly into the building’s design, with only one common wall between residences and wrap-around glass to offer northern-aspect views from each apartment.

Two-bedroom homes start from $750,000, while three-bedroom homes begin at $975,000.

Sales agent Ally Edmonds said heritage and history played a large part in the concept of Thornclyffe Residences.

“Rising from the 1880s building boom, Thornclyffe House, the boutique development’s namesake, stands as one of the finest examples of a Victorian-style Queenslander of its time,” she said.

“It is the respectful preservation of such a fine example of Brisbane’s early architecture that has been at the heart of creating a new era in living at Thornclyffe Residences.

“There are also a number of 100-year-old trees which will be retained on the site.”

Thornclyffe Residences is under construction and will be completed in early 2021.

The development is located at 162 Lambert Street, Kangaroo Point, Queensland.


Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (5)

Set in the heart of South Brisbane, Atlas is next door to some of the city’s most vibrant and popular attractions.

The development offers luxury apartments neighbouring the iconic South Bank parklands and close to the CBD, West End and the cultural precinct.

Just 450 metres from the Cultural Centre Bus Station and 500 metres from the South Brisbane train station, the site easily connects to greater Brisbane and beyond.

Residents can enjoy a pool, gym, sauna and barbecue area within the podium on level three, as well as a rooftop terrace, which offers views of Brisbane city and South Bank.

Interiors are sleek and modern, with timber floors, gas cooktops, Bosch appliances, stone bench tops and full-height joinery. Buyers can choose between light or dark colour schemes.

Atlas’ striking architecture is already part of the Brisbane skyline. The first stage of the project was completed in September 2018 and the second stage opened in November 2019.

Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (4)

Property consultant for BriStar Property Chris Liu said the project had already attracted a host of overseas buyers and a mix of owner-occupiers and investors.

“We have already sold 75 to 80 per cent, so there are not many remaining,” he said.

“We are aiming to have sold all the properties in about two months time.”

The development is far from the first in this sought-after pocket, but Mr Liu said it stood out in the market.

“We have three advantages compared to [other] brand new apartments,” he said.

“Firstly, the geographic location is an advantage; we only have a 650-metre walk to the South Bank parklands.

“Secondly, we are the only one to have on-site managers from 8am to 6pm every day, including weekends.

“Thirdly, we have a more affordable and reasonable price range for those quality units, and when we talk about the lower price, it means higher investment returns in the future.”

One-bedroom homes start from $390,000, two-bedroom homes start from $555,000, and three-bedrooms start from $1.1 million.

Atlas is at 39 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane, Queensland.

Amersham West End

Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (3)

With its unique design perspective and eye-catching architecture, Amersham represents a truly boutique offering in Brisbane’s bustling inner city.

Located within walking distance of Boundary Street, the heart of West End, the development offers just 24 two and three-bedroom apartments with styling befitting its trendy locale.

The site is also within 50 metres of a new inner-city school campus and within walking distance of both Davies and Musgrave parks, with Brisbane’s popular cultural precinct only slightly further away.

Amersham’s design is unusual; the building will be split in two, affording cross-ventilation and natural breezes to flow through to each home.

Inside the new developments in the heart of Brisbane’s inner-city (2)

Residents will also have access to the building’s rooftop, which features landscaped gardens, city views and a private, relaxing space.

Managing director of Di Marco Group Adam Di Marco said the location was chosen carefully to enhance an already vibrant suburb.

“We were really attracted to West End because it’s one of the few unique inner-city suburbs that has real urban character,” he said.

“For us, it was a combination of location and elevation. The site sits on top of one of four hills in West End, so it’s got never-to-be-obstructed city views and a beautiful north-eastern aspect that captures incredible breezes.”

Amersham’s design and limited number of residences are points of difference in a crowded market.

“What sets Amersham apart is fundamentally our less-is-more approach,” Mr Di Marco said.

“We could have developed about 40 apartments on the property, but instead we opted for 24 well-sized apartments.

“We’re really excited by the opportunity we’re going to have to work with a small but very local community.”

The development is targeted at local owner-occupiers, including downsizers, young professionals and young families.

Prices start at $643,900 for a two-bedroom apartment and $945,250 for a three-bedroom apartment. Penthouse prices can be found on application.

Construction will begin mid-way through 2020, with completion expected to take about a year.

Amersham West End can be found at 8 Amersham Street, West End, Queensland.




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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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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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