“We are not discounting [the original prices of] apartments in Brisbane, but rather managing an orderly sell down of any remaining stock we have,” Metro marketing and sales general manager Phil Leahy said.
Brisbane City Council has overhauled its approach to city planning on the back of the Plan Your Brisbane campaign.
Apartments and townhouses are out and backyards are in under Brisbane City Council’s new blueprint for the city.
Lord mayor Graham Quirk, who unveiled the blueprint on Friday, said the revised plan for the city was on the back of the $2.1 million ratepayer-funded Plan Your Brisbane campaign.
Opposition councillor Jared Cassidy questioned why the LNP had to spend $3 million of ratepayers’ money simply to listen to residents.
“If he got out of his chauffeur-driven car and spoke to ordinary people, he’d understand the basics,” Cr Cassidy said.
“Graham Quirk should listen to residents instead of developers. He could have learnt all of this without having to blow $3 million of ratepayers’ money.”
Cr Quirk said the resident responses gathered during the Plan Your Brisbane campaign had been developed into 40 action items which focused on creating neighbourhoods and protecting backyards and would be implemented over the next 18 months.
“In this blueprint, council has committed to putting a stop to townhouses and apartments being built in areas for single homes, and restrict repeated designs for townhouses to ensure the city retains its unique character,” he said.
The council will also introduce a Chief Design Office to implement a design strategy and a new alert system that would notify residents of proposed developments in their area.
Cr Quirk said the Plan Your Brisbane campaign demonstrated that while residents felt the council was doing many things right in planning for the future, there were things that needed to be done differently.
While announcing the new plan Cr Quirk refused to comment on which specific suburbs would be affected by the changes.
“This will affect a range of suburbs, and I’m not going to get down to that detail,” he said.
“People can check the city plan, it’s all available online.”
Cr Cassidy said Cr Quirk had previously cut the number of car parks developers needed to provide and approved some of the city’s “worst development” but was now pretending someone else did while claiming he saved the backyard.
The revised blueprint bears similarities to Labor’s 2016 council election commitment of a seven-point overhaul of the city plan.
During the campaign Labor committed to “fix” the city plan which included informing residents of any new development, stopping streets being parked out from developments, appointing an independent city architect and strengthening the protection of pre-1946 homes.
Cr Cassidy said Labor should be flattered the new-look LNP planning guidelines were a carbon-copy of the ALP’s 2016 election commitments.
“They are out of touch and out of ideas,” Cr Cassidy said.
Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said while the blueprint had some positive initiatives, it would make it hard to provide housing choice for a growing population.
“Appropriate infill development will be required to meet Brisbane’s future housing needs and keep Brisbane an affordable place to live,” he said.
“We will need more of all types of housing – from studio apartments to traditional housing, and every housing type in between, if we want to avoid following Sydney’s path to eyewatering levels of unaffordability.”
“The property industry is therefore concerned about aspects of the new ‘charter’ aimed at stopping forms of development like townhouses, or placing further regulatory hurdles under the auspices of ‘better design’.”
The amendments were expected to be made to the existing city plan within six months.
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Couple turns $145k into $7.5m
The massive 1.97Ha site of their family home sits in the middle of Wakerley, about 16km to the east of the Brisbane CBD – a popular area with families that’s been targeted for major subdivision work.
Property records released last week show a $7.5m deal was struck off market in late March, while just two years ago, the site was valued around $1.1m. It’s believed the property was bought for $145,000 in 1987.
Preparation for the development approval began last year, with the couple then selling to a firm that then filed a development application to split the site into 27 housing lots in the first stage and five lots in the second stage.
The large “rural” home site was surrounded by residential subdivisions on three sides and fronts Manly Road – one of the main feeder streets to the area. The new plans mean it will join seamless into the other subdivisions in the area.
The company that bought the site received development approval from the Brisbane City Council in May and waived the appeal period.
The previous highest price fetched in Brisbane’s east was at 114 Virginia Avenue, Hawthorne – an ultra-modern six bedroom, five bathroom, six car space home that sold for $7.48m in six years ago.
Built in 2008, the Viriginia Avenue home has solid concrete walls and floors over all levels, with full walls of glass fronting the river.
Metro Property’s discounts leftover Brisbane apartments
Want a bargain? Metro’s Newstead Towers in Brisbane has 20 per cent discounts. Supplied
Real estate agents are offering 20 per cent discounts on apartment sales at four of Brisbane-based developer Metro Property Development’s Brisbane CBD projects as the apartment market continues to face headwinds.
Along with 20 per cent discounts on one and two-bedroom apartments, buyers were being offered a 4.5 per cent rental one-year guarantee at Aqua Newstead, Broadway on Ann, Canterbury Towers, and Newstead Towers. These apply to apartments priced between low $400,000 to nearly $600,000.
The oversupply problem in Brisbane is heating up, with the Queensland Treasury now warning its apartment market could take a turn for the worse, especially if the bigger Sydney and Melbourne markets begin to falter.
But Metro said the discounts applied only to residual stock, not entire projects or launch prices, with residual discounting being part of a business-as-usual stock clearance.
“The heat has certainly come out of the Brisbane market from where it was a couple of years ago, but we see it as just back to normal market conditions with good buying opportunities and plenty of growth potential in the coming years to buyers entering the market now.
“We have already secured buyers for the four buildings and are in the run up to settling the last of these units over the next couple of months.”
He said discounts were sometimes offered by agents on their own accord, hoping developers would accept the lower prices.
“We see this all the time, however I can confirm there is no discounting to our [original] price lists and we have been successful in maintaining pricing levels thanks to the locations, amenity, inclusions and designs offered in the apartment projects we have been selling,” Mr Leahy said.
Discounts aside, a 4.5 per cent rental guarantee was reasonable and agrees with SQM Research’s data which show the latest rental yield for two-bedroom units in Brisbane was close to 5 per cent.
“We are taking an average of 18 days from handover to secure a tenant via our in-house rental team. Given this strong demand, we do offer a one-year rent guarantee to investors,” Mr Leahy added.
“We are having excellent success getting investors from both Melbourne and Sydney to look at Brisbane as a more affordable investment option than the other wo capitals vis-à-vis lower purchase prices with high rental yields.”
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