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Property Management

Rents dive amid flood of units in Brisbane



Rents for Brisbane apartments have fallen by as much as 17 per cent over the past six months amid an unprecedented flood of unit ­developments on to the city’s market, according to one of Queensland’s biggest property managers.

Prominent agency owner Andrew Coronis, managing director of Coronis, which operates 23 offices across southeast Queensland, said tenants were moving more readily to get better deals, forcing existing unit stock and “investor-style” apartment owners to cut prices.

Brisbane’s market has suffered a sharp turnaround with a collapse in off-the-plan apartments to one-third of the level compared to last year and strain in the construction industry resulting in builder CMF Projects going into admin­istration.

“We’re seeing a 17 per cent drop in rents and it is happening right now,” Mr Coronis said. “It is between 10 (per cent) and 17 (per cent). Everybody is scrambling to lock tenants down.”

Mr Coronis said gave the example of an older sixpack style unit block in suburban Chermside where previous rental income was about $420-$430 and would now attract between $350 and $360 a week.

Coronis agencies manage more than 8000 properties from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast. Mr Coronis stressed that he was bullish about the long-term prospects of the Brisbane market and said the major oversupply would resolve over the next two to three years. He said high-quality apartments continued to attract strong interest and rents.

The warning comes after Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures showed the official vacancy rate in inner Brisbane was 4.4 per cent, the highest proportion since the global financial crisis. The previous peak was 4.1 per cent in the December quarter of 2013.

Across the wider Brisbane area, the vacancy was 3 per cent, down from the September-quarter peak of 3.3 per cent. The Brisbane city centre vacancy rate was 3.7 per cent.

A report from Place Advisory released this month showed Brisbane’s off-the-plan sales have fallen to the lowest level since June 2011. Last quarter there were 272 unconditional transactions, a 13.7 per cent drop since the previous quarter.

Mr Coronis said the uptake of investors in the new-build sector in the city’s unprecedented apartment-development rush over the past three years had led to fewer investors scoping the market.

But he said there were no more distressed sales than usual because people continued to extract a reasonable yield in the low interest rate environment.

“The benefit for the community is the affordability,” he said. “Until the surplus gets taken up it will be a great time for renters.”

The changing market dynamics have spurred Coronis to change its approach to property management, placing a greater emphasis on assisting tenants through the rental process.

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Property Management

Queensland property chiefs warn rise in land tax will hurt more than the rich



Brisbane Tax News

NEW Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad has defended the Government’s planned “Robin Hood” property tax ahead of her first Budget update tomorrow.

Ms Trad dismissed claims from the Property Council that the planned 2.5 percent land tax on properties worth more than $10 million would hurt jobs growth and property values.

“This is a very modest increase… we think it’s fair that those that can pay a little bit more, do pay a little bit more,” Ms Trad said.

Overnight, The Sunday Mail quoted property chiefs as warning Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s last-gasp election tax grab would destroy jobs and wipe more than $41 billion from land values in Queensland.

A 2.5 percent extra slug on owners of land worth more than $10 million was part of a suite of tax measures in Labor’s final campaign announcement, two days before last month’s state election win.

The Premier compared herself to Robin Hood, targeting only the richest.

But the Property Council says ordinary Queenslanders will pay the price, with a risk to employment and businesses forced to pass on the cost to consumers.

The land tax measure will be included in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review to be presented tomorrow by Ms Trad, who was handed the role of treasurer in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

It is expected to raise an additional $227 million for the state’s coffers.

“The inconvenient truth for the Government is the vast majority of properties that will have to wear this tax are commercial, retail, industrial and tourism properties,’’ Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said.

It would inevitably flow on to tenants.

“We heard all through the election campaign that business cost pressures are particularly acute because of price increases like electricity … making it tougher for businesses to employ people. Now Queensland businesses will need to add land tax to their list of concerns before they think about hiring staff.”

Economist Nick Behrens said the amount raised through land tax had risen faster than any other tax in Queensland in the past decade – up 10percentnt, compared to the 66 percent Australian average.

The new measures mean only South Australia and Western Australia will have a higher rate. That will make it harder to lure businesses to set up in the Sunshine State.

“We’re in a race to attract and retain investment. Now we’re putting lead in our saddlebags that will impede our ability to compete,” Mr Behrens said.

Ms Trad said the extra land tax would apply only to the wealthiest 850 payers of land tax.

“It does not include farms, and it does not impact on the family home. The land tax ensures that those who are benefiting most from our growing economy and rising land values make a fair contribution to frontline services in Queensland.”

Ms Trad defended the Palaszczuk Government’s employment performance, saying 143,400 jobs were created in the first term of office.

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Property Management

Why buyers are flocking to Morningside



Why buyers are flocking to Morningside
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Property Management

Disputes between Queensland landlords and tenants at record high



brisbane property management

DISPUTES between tenants and landlords in Queensland have reached a record high as fed-up renters fight back against unfair treatment.

The Residential Tenancies Authority was forced to intervene in 27,405 disputes between tenants and property managers or owners during the 2016/17 financial year.

Half of those disputes related to bond distribution, 17 per cent to compensation in excess of the bond and 8 per cent to property repairs.

More than 800 agents and owners were also investigated for non-compliance with some of the most common breaches including failing to lodge a tenant’s bond to the RTA, not providing documents such as entry reports and tenancy agreements and unlawful entry to properties.

Brisbane woman Jessica Thomas has taken agents and landlords to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal six times over rental disputes and has won every case.

“Landlords taking the bond for no good reason happens all the time and most people just accept that they lose their bond at the end of a rental and that’s just wrong,” Ms Thomas said.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella blames mum-and-dad investors.

“It is quite a scandal as far as I’m concerned.”

From entering her property without warning to harassment in her home, refusal to undertake repairs and even legal threats, Ms Thomas has seen it all.

“Last year when I moved into a new property, the real estate and the landlord lied to me about the state of the property,” she said.

“As soon as I turned the water on, water started seeping out of the walls and I found mould was growing everywhere.

“The majority of us aren’t those terrible tenants you hear about, we just want a safe place to live in peace.”

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the increase in disputes corresponded with an increase in renters and that most landlords were mum-and-dad investors.

“For these landlords every expense can exert additional financial pressure and increase friction between landlords and tenants,” she said.

Do Not Rent Me founder Anthony Ziebell

“Both sides can become more litigious in such a high pressure economic environment.”

Anthony Ziebell who founded Don’t Rent Me, a website dedicated to helping tenants expose bad landlords and agents, said renters were becoming more confident standing up for themselves.

“It’s very difficult because landlords hold all the power and that’s because a lot of people can’t afford to own their own houses,” Mr Ziebell said.

“Unless we’re prepared to stand up and do something together, we won’t see any change.”

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