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Queensland leads the way in market recovery

Queensland leads the way in market recovery

Demand has started to increase in the property market on the back of the recent federal election results and interest rate cuts, with Brisbane and Mackay in Queensland leading the road to recovery.

REA’s Property Outlook for July has revealed the “ScoMo bounce” and two interest rate cuts were breathing new life into Australian property, with demand starting to increase and slowly flowing through to many indicators.

Search activity has seen a bump, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney’s hard hit markets, clearance rates in premium suburbs are getting back to high levels, and many mining towns are returning to growth after five years of negative conditions, according to the report.

realestate.com.au’s Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee said rental growth in these areas started some time ago, but a recovery is now following suit.

“Queensland is leading the way in the recovery,” Ms Conisbee said in the report. “Brisbane has been the first capital city off the block in terms of price growth, and Mackay is right now the top regional growth area in Australia.”

She added that jobs growth is also driving rental demand, which continues to be highest in Hobart, Gold Coast and Melbourne, and while the extreme price growth in Hobart now seems to be over, Launceston is taking over. Regional Victoria was also doing well, with many suburbs in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong experiencing never before seen property demand.

But according to the report, any real uplift in the number of people listing properties for sale is yet to be seen and pricing data is yet to reflect a change in conditions, and Ms Conisbee warned that while much of this sounds promising, there are some dark clouds looming on the horizon.

“Although buyers love an interest rate cut (we see an increase in search activity onrealestate.com.au almost as soon as it is announced), the Australian economy isn’t looking particularly healthy,” she said in the report.

“While many economic indicators have been poor for some time now, the bright spark has always been low unemployment. With this creeping up and the Reserve Bank pushing through two interest rate cuts very quickly, the positive effect of cheaper finance may not be enough to offset the fact that people are beginning to lose their job. Could it be that the worst for property is still be to come?”

Ms Conisbee said if the interest rate cuts were enough to stimulate the economy and property prices continued to see a rebound, we were still looking at a very different property market to what it was like during the boom, with investor lending down 45 per cent from peak and unlikely to make a full recovery any time soon.

“Buyers from Asia, a key market for new development, have dropped dramatically,” she reported. “Over the past 12 months alone, property seekers from China have dropped by over 60 per cent to the lowest level we have ever recorded, and confidence in the new apartment sector is low following some high-profile structural issues.”

 

 

Source: eliteagent.com

Brisbane

‘Absolutely inundated’: Lack of stock drives Queensland interest

‘Absolutely inundated’ Lack of stock drives Queensland interest

As open-home restrictions begin to lift, a Brisbane agency has reported huge interest from first home buyers clamouring to get onto the property ladder despite COVID-19.

Coronis Agency has reported that it had more than 80 potential buyers attend the first scheduled open home of an Archerfield property.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom property only hit the market last Thursday and received more than 56 phone and email enquiries within 48 hours.

Director Anthony Hunt said the agency was “absolutely inundated with buyer enquiries within 30 minutes of the property going live, with many buyers asking to schedule a private inspection on the Thursday night or Friday as they were eager to beat the rush on Saturday”.

“In the end, I opened the property up on Friday afternoon and had nine groups of buyers turn up purely from responding to their calls and emails,” he explained.

He added that at the Saturday open home, which was the first advertised inspection, “it took more than an hour to get everyone through the property due to the social distancing restrictions, but on the whole, everyone was really understanding and willing to wait their turn”.

Mr Hunt said the general feedback he received from most parties is that “they want to buy something right now, despite everything going on with COVID-19”.

“Many of them are first home buyers with pre-approval who are looking to get their foot on the property ladder and aren’t fazed about going out in public to attend open homes,” he said.

The director believes that what they’re more concerned about is the lack of properties to choose from and how quickly properties are selling at the moment.

By Saturday afternoon, Mr Hunt said he had received four offers and it was under contract by Saturday night for a price that exceeded the seller’s expectations, “so they’re very happy”.

While 140 Granard Road was “beautifully presented”, the agent expressed the opinion that the main reason it was so popular with buyers was because it offered “great value for money in a suburb only 15km from Brisbane CBD”.

He iterated that buyers are willing to look outside of their desired suburb to purchase the right property.

His message to those who are considering holding off on selling? Don’t wait.

“In the past week, the Coronis sales team has received more than 1,000 buyer enquiries, and from that, 550-plus groups attended an open home on the weekend, so there is no doubt about it — buyers have a strong appetite to purchase now, they just need more options to choose from,” he concluded.

 

 

 

This article is republished from www.smartpropertyinvestment.com.au under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Brisbane

Rio’s New Digs Hit High Point

Rio’s New Digs Hit High Point

Hutchinson Builders has topped out the “first-of-its-kind” full merging of two separate commercial buildings in Brisbane’s $700 million Midtown Centre.

Mining giant Rio Tinto signed a 10-year lease deal in 2019 on the 27-storey, Fender Katsalidis-designed tower, developed by AM Brisbane CBD Investment, a joint venture between wealth manager Ashe Morgan and developer David Mann’s DMann Corporation.

The project involves the $175 million connection and refurbishment of the former Health and Forestry Buildings located at 155 Charlotte Street and 150 Mary Street—acquired in 2017 for $66 million—into a cross-block hub comprising a commercial tower, with a public laneway connecting both streets.

Rather than using the conventional method of joining the existing 20-storey buildings by a skybridge, the buildings have been merged from top to bottom using a base podium and exterior, to provide large campus-style 2,500sq m floor plates.

The infill is locked in by a new level 20 slab supporting an additional six levels above, to form the single 26-storey tower currently being constructed by Hutchinson Builders—who, like other “essential services” have continued work while adapting to Covid-19 social distancing measures.

Fender Katsalidis director Mark Curzon said the infill completion is a huge accomplishment in terms of commercial design outcomes, adaptive reuse and sustainability in Australia.

“Through good design, we have given new life to the buildings in a somewhat unconventional but highly innovative and technically considered manner.

“We’re leading the way for more environmentally-friendly adaptive reuse while meeting commercial objectives in creating large floorplates that would otherwise be unattainable in this CBD location,” Curzon said.

Compared with a demolish and rebuild scenario, Midtown Centre’s infill achieves a claimed 231 per cent cumulative impact reduction across all environmental indicators, including a 37 per cent carbon dioxide reduction compared to a new build.

Rio’s New Digs Hit High Point (2)

Curzon said that although the successful merging of the structures in the Midtown development rests partly on the fact that the two buildings’ original designs mirror each other, the technique was transferable.

“The infill has afforded significant environmental savings, adding to the viability of this technique and its potential to be implemented across other buildings that sit side-by-side.”

Fender Katsalidis principal James Mills said the project sets a new standard for the repurposing of buildings.

“Despite nothing of this scale or nature taking place in Australia previously, we have found a way to add value to the site through a cutting-edge architectural process that is exemplar for Brisbane and beyond.

“Our work at Midtown Centre is focused on bringing the buildings in line with today’s needs, increasing net lettable area and producing environmental sustainability through the design of commercial assets,” Mills said.

Rio’s New Digs Hit High Point (3)

Even before coronavirus created the new normal of social distancing, which in turn is set to have transformative impact on office design—Ashe Morgan chairman Michael Moss predicted the “customised office solution” prescribed for Rio Tinto would “create a benchmark for workplaces of the future”.

The centre features a level 20 “sky garden”, landscaped garden terrace atop the podium and “green seam” encasing the tower along with landscaped areas across the development totalling in excess of 3,000sq m.

With the Midtown centre slated for completion in mid-2020, the next phase of construction involves the addition of six levels to create a single tower from the new level 20 slab.

 

 

 

This article is republished from theurbandeveloper.com under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Brisbane

Landlords hit by rising vacancies, falling prices

Landlords hit by rising vacancies, falling prices

Property prices don’t necessarily always fall during recessions but this time you would have to think that prices will tumble significantly, given the speed and depth of the COVID-19 economic shock.

Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology, says the problems in the property markets will be temporary.

Even those sober economists at the big banks are forecasting price falls of up to 32 per cent over the next couple of years – though the banks’ “base” cases, or most likely scenarios, are for price declines in the order of 10 per cent.

A lot of homeowners are ahead on their mortgage repayments and have a nice buffer in case they have to drop their payments to the required minimum, and history shows most people can hold on without becoming forced sellers.

That’s also likely to be the case this time, given the level of government support through JobKeeper and JobSeeker and lenders’ granting of repayment deferrals to their home loan customers affected by the financial fallout of the pandemic.

However, the situation is trickier for property investor landlords.

Rental vacancy rates in Sydney’s CBD hit more than 13.8 per cent during April – the highest ever recorded by property researcher SQM Research.

Vacancies at Melbourne’s Southbank are similarly at 13 per cent, and in the CBD it is 7.6 per cent.

So far, the vacancy rates in the suburbs of our two largest cities have risen only slightly, with the elevated rates contained to inner-city areas.

Still, the relatively low suburban vacancy rates may be understating the true weakness in rental market, given many tenants have negotiated rent discounts or deferrals with their landlords.

Robert Mellor, executive chairman of economic and property forecaster BIS Oxford Economics, describes the high vacancy rates of inner-city areas as “alarming”.

It is the number of people out of work, fewer international students and loss of immigration that’s driving the surge, particularly in areas with many higher-density developments.

Overseas travel bans have also led to demand for short-term accommodation through sites such as Airbnb drying up, leading property owners to list their housing for long-term leasing. That’s pushing vacancy rates in holiday hotspots higher, though that will change once interstate travel resumes.

Simon Pressley, managing director and head of market research at buyer’s agency Propertyology, says many landlords with investment properties in inner-city areas are finding it tough.

And those who bought investment properties recently risk being in negative equity if prices fall significantly, where they owe more on the property than what it is now worth, he says.

However, Pressley cautions against punching out doom and gloom predictions on a negative trend.

“I’m in the minority, but I’m not seeing double-digit price falls,” he says.

“It is a dreadful thing for some landlords but we are talking about specific pockets. It is not going to be like this forever.”

The coronavirus has at least ensured that interest rates and, therefore, borrowing costs, will stay low for years to come.

Time will tell, but the almost 2 million Australians with at least one investment property will be hoping Pressley’s optimism proves correct.

 

 

 

This article is republished from www.brisbanetimes.com.au under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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