Despite conservative developer activity in the apartment market, property research consultancy Urbis says many Brisbane developers are buoyed by levels of sales absorption, low vacancy rates and Brisbane’s solid growth drivers.
While Brisbane’s investor market is still subdued, in the latest update of the Apartment Essentials snapshot, owner-occupiers are the key target market with many projects now boutique in nature, catering to the needs of a longer-term resident.
The weighted average sale apartment price recorded in last year’s fourth quarter was $831,884, with 48 per cent of buyers owner-occupiers.
“Despite the drop in the volume of sales, the weighted average sale price was significantly higher than 2017’s quarterly reports, indicating that the style and quality of stock currently selling has changed,” the report said.
The snapshot shows 674 apartments were approved in the fourth quarter 2018.
Urbis director Paul Riga says approximately 2000 apartments are expected to launch amid three quarters of 2019.
“And with a replenishing pipeline, it’s likely we will register a pick up in sales,” he said.
“Ultimately it will be access to finance, for buyers and developers, that will temper the inner Brisbane market in the short-term.
“But the drivers of demand are there, and smart developers are already looking at opportunities for their next move.”
Brisbane apartment launches slow as stock dries up
Inner Brisbane’s new apartment launches dropped off last year, down by around 35 per cent on 2017 launches.
While inner-Brisbane recorded 138 sales in the fourth quarter, Riga says this was a drop after “a stand-out quarter three result”.
“There were a total of 840 new apartment sales in 2018, almost 30 per cent lower than 2017.
Riga said sales as a percentage of available stock also dwindled to a record low of 9.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2018.
“The fourth quarter result was to be expected, with no new projects launching, buyers are essentially soaking up the current projects on the market,” he said.
Plans Lodged for Ann Street Apartment Tower
A long-vacant sliver of the Brisbane CBD looks set to finally be developed, delivering the first boutique residential project to the CBD in more than two decades.
An application for a new 24-storey luxury residential tower has been lodged in the heart of the Brisbane, located at 466 Ann Street.
The Bureau Proberts-designed residential tower comprises 19 single-floor apartments above a five-storey podium of car parking and retail.
The narrow 486sq m site, wedged between the New Yorker art deco apartments and Mantra on Queen, was recently sold by Archery Capital and Crossbow Investments as mortgagee in possession for 466 Ann Street Pty Ltd, an entity associated with Sydney-based Treelight Development Group.
After purchasing the site for $3.7 million in 2015 and several false starts, Treelight lodged a development application for a 37-storey residential tower mid-2016.
Receivers appointed Adam Rubie and Brendan Hogan of Colliers International to sell the site in mid-2018.
The vacant site, bounded by Ann Street and Perry Lane, was purchased for $3.85 million by a joint venture between developer Di Marco Group (editor’s note: Adam Di Marco is the founder and publisher of The Urban Developer) and Singaporean property developers TG Development Pte Ltd.
According to Di Marco Group managing director Adam Di Marco, the site presented a unique opportunity to develop a boutique residential project in the heart of the Brisbane CBD.
“Raw land in the heart of the Brisbane CBD is rare commodity, with this project presenting the first boutique residential development in the city for over two decades,” Di Marco said.
“Our proposal is to develop striking single-floor residences that weave the best of urban living together — architecture, landscape, location and lifestyle.”
The design offers 19 typical floor-plates of three and four-bedrooms averaging 220sq m and are presented as boutique stacked sky homes separated by a “green” atrium.
Podium car parking has been enabled through a vertical car lift accessed off Perry Lane which provides each apartment with a minimum of two car parks, including four individual private sky garages.
The proposal also includes a retail tenancy on ground floor along with a cross-block link connecting Ann Street and Perry Lane.
The vacant site, which was the scene of a building collapse in the 1990s was originally the site of a proposed 40-storey pencil tower by the previous developer.
“We always knew the site was going to be tricky when we bought it, however we took the view that less is more in this instance,” Di Marco said.
Development Opportunity in Growing Economic Hub Hits the Block
A development site in the centre of a south-east Queensland economic hub has been listed for auction, with opportunity for a 30-storey mixed-use tower on the doorstep of transport and retail amenity.
The 1530sq m site offers two-street access within Beenleigh’s CBD.
The 57 Main Street Beenleigh property is located opposite the Coles-anchored Beenleigh Mall while the Beenleigh train station and Dexus’ Woolworths-anchored Beenleigh Market Place is adjacent to its southern boundary.
The property will be auctioned 20 June as part of LJ Hooker Commercial’s National Auction Day.
LJ Hooker Commercial Brisbane’s Tony Hope and Kerry Armstrong are marketing the property.
Hope said there were few prime redevelopment sites remaining in the heart of Beenleigh, which has been identified by Logan City Council as one of the region’s four activity precincts.
With the site’s mixed-use zoning and proximity to retail and transport amenities, Hope said a strategic development on the site could attract a multitude of tenants.
Developing office space for public sector accommodation was one of many opportunities that could be produced from the site, he said.
“Beenleigh is perfectly positioned at the midway point between Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” Hope said.
“The geography of the site makes it very attractive for government and non-government agencies, enabling them to service Queensland’s two largest centres which are only a 35-minute drive either way on the M1.
“There is an under-supply of high-grade office space to meet government accommodation requirements.
“Being directly serviced by public transport and neighbouring retail amenities allows this site to be tailored toward government workers, but the overall opportunities are numerous, including residential.”
Logan City Council has enticed precinct-changing development applications in the heart of Beenleigh through its local precinct plan.
Indeed, its development arm, Invest Logan, is teaming up with the private sector to deliver a portfolio of regenerative commercial developments around the region. Currently, it is in the planning phase for a medium-rise commercial tower in York Street which will be home to 140 workers when completed.
Under the local plan, the Council is encouraging workers in the Beenleigh town centre to take bus and train transport by lessening parking provisions. Parking requirements have been set at 1 per 100sq m of GFA.
The property enjoys 32.6m of street frontage. Approximately 5,700 vehicles pass the site every day.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, Logan City’s population grew by 10.5 per cent between the 2011 and 2016 Census’ with the population now more than 320,000 residents.
The site will be auctioned 11am, 20 June at LJ Hooker Commercial Brisbane Springwood Offices.
Aria Lodges Plans for Kangaroo Point Tower
Brisbane developer Aria Property Group has lodged plans for a 13-storey residential tower east of Brisbane’s CBD.
The 2,581sq m site, located at 470-480 Main Street along the narrow Kangaroo Point peninsula, currently consists of two, two-storey residential buildings and a two-storey retail building.
The amalgamated site was sold by the developers of Brisbane’s Howard Smiths Wharves, Adam Flaskas and Elisha Bickle, late last year for a combined price of $3.6 million.
Aria has now moved to build 127 apartments above two levels of basement parking for 167 carparks, as well as a rooftop recreation area with indoor and outdoor spaces.
The apartment tower, flanked by the Brisbane River, will also sit between Devcorp’s 13-storey Lume project, which is currently under construction, and Gallus and Partners’ 12-storey 240-apartment River & Main project.
Aria said it matched the building’s height and mass to its neighbouring projects in order to “create a coherent built form along the cliffs above the Brisbane River”.
“Aria is excited to bring this project to life that will truly integrate the surrounding landscape of Kangaroo Point into a residential building,” Aria Property Group development director Brent Liddell told The Urban Developer.
An architectural design competition was undertaken between Bates Smart, Richards & Spence and Koichi Takada.
The winning design, from Bates Smart, was selected by Aria due to its “striking architecture” and facade materiality.
The design was also praised for its floor plan layouts which featured a very high percentage of naturally lit apartments.
“Our vision is to create a distinctive architecture that captures the uniqueness of the site’s clifftop location while maximising river and city views,” Bates Smart noted in the proposal.
The building’s horizontal spandrel facade will also helps to articulate the cliff faces along the banks of the Brisbane River which connects architecture to its proposed location.
The proposed design also aims to respond to the sub-tropical climate and aims to connect internal spaces to the external environment in line with the Buildings that Breathe strategy adopted by Brisbane City Council.
Aria has also enlisted RPS Landscape Architects to champion that strategy and create a succinct experience, from the building’s entrance, extending through all levels and culminating in a “generous” communal rooftop.
On the ground level, residents will be met with a reflection pond which leads to a resident’s lounge.
The ground level will also feature a dry creek bed with boulders, nature play space, butterfly walk and a cinema and cellar dining room.
Speaking at this year’s residential property summit held by The Urban Developer in Fortitude Valley on Friday, Aria Property development director Michael Hurley said Aria’s brand reputation and philosophy for placemaking had allowed it to press forward with high-end developments in challenging market conditions.
“Our product speaks for itself, but we do spend a tremendous amount of time making sure that we are exceeding people’s expectations,” Hurley said.
“We want to create developments we are proud to walk our families past in 20 years time and we want our buildings to get better in time.”
Aria recently completed Valencia in Kangaroo Point and The Drapery in Woolloongabba.
The developer also has plans for a 145-apartment tower in West End, designed by Rothelowman.
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