The REIQ’s March quarter Queensland Market Monitor found that against a backdrop of cooling southern markets and falling listings volumes, Brisbane house sales demonstrated “admirable” resilience, buoyed by steady population growth driving demand and underpinned by good economic fundamentals.
REIQ media and communications manager Felicity Moore said that anyone thinking of selling was going to find willing buyers in good supply.
“In this market, we could potentially see a rise in off-market sales as eager buyers pressure sales agents to see property before it hits the market,” the manager said.
The unit market eased over the 12 months to March 2018, losing 1.8 per cent off the annual median price of $442,000.
Ms Moore said that the unit market was at the tail end of an unprecedented level of supply. Rising demand would undoubtedly absorb excess stock, and the only question remaining was just how long that would take.
“Queensland has become the number-one destination for internal migration, taking over from Victoria in the latest ABS Census data, and our overseas migration is at its highest level in years, which means demand for accommodation will continue,” Ms Moore said.
The rental market is operating in the healthy range, with vacancies at 3.1 per cent for the March quarter and rising demand levels easily absorbed almost 3,200 new rental properties hitting the rental pool this quarter.
The Ipswich house market grew by 3.0 per cent to a new annual median house price of $340,000. March was a quiet quarter for this market, falling by 1.5 per cent, but over the year, it performed well.
The growth in the house market was offset by falls in the unit market, contracting by 3.0 per cent over the 12 months to March 2018 to an annual median unit price of $319,900.
The Logan house market delivered among the strongest performances for all markets in the March report, adding 4.0 per cent to the annual median house price to $395,000.
The unit market was one of the few markets to grow, adding 0.7 per cent to an annual median unit price of $271,000. However, over the past five years, the unit market has fallen by 7.5 per cent.
The Moreton Bay annual median house price grew a steady 2.4 per cent over the 12 months to March to deliver a median house price of $435,000. This growth is the smallest in Greater Brisbane.
The unit market felt the pain of the combined factors of strong supply and the affordability of houses, with a 3.8 per cent contraction in the annual median unit price to $346,250, down from $359,900 this time last year.
Redland LGA delivered “rock star” growth of 3.9 per cent for the year to a median house price of $530,000. The heavy lifting was done in the suburbs of Birkdale and Cleveland, which delivered 6.3 per cent and 6.7 per cent growth, respectively. The lifestyle and affordability options in this region are proving very popular with buyers.
Similar to the house market, the Redland unit market delivered stellar growth over the 12 months to March 2018, adding 3.4 per cent growth to a new median unit price of $409,500. This was by far the strongest unit growth in all of Greater Brisbane.
The Gold Coast has taken the gold medal for annual median house price growth again, adding 6.0 per cent growth to a median house price of $620,000, the highest growth in the state.
The unit market added 1.9 per cent to deliver a median unit price of $428,000 for the year.
The Toowoomba market has been a consistently steady performer, delivering 1.1 per cent growth for the year to March 2018 to a median house price of $355,000.
The unit market has defied regional trends throughout most of 2016 and 2017; however, gravity is now catching up and this market contracted 2.9 per cent to $300,000. The market remains 17.6 per cent larger than it was five years ago.
The house market of the Sunshine Coast Statistical Division (SD), incorporating the Sunshine Coast LGA and Noosa Shire, has delivered moderate and sustainable growth for the quarter, the past year and the past five years.
A typical house in the Sunshine Coast SD increased in value by $31,250 for the past year to reach an annual median price of $576,250. Noosa continued holding the title of the most exclusive market compared to the Sunshine Coast local government area as Noosa houses generally cost $100,000 more.
In March 2018, the Noosa median house price reached $665,000 compared to the Sunshine Coast median house price of $563,000.
The Noosa unit market also performed well for the past 12 months, growing a stunning 7.1 per cent to reach an annual median price of $525,000 and remaining as the most expensive unit market in Queensland.
The Fraser Coast house market continues to be a steady performer, with annual median prices holding steady for the past quarter and increasing very modestly (only 1 per cent) for the past year. A typical house in Fraser Coast had an annual median price of $315,000 in March 2018.
The unit market performance was weak in the March quarter. However, its performance for the past year was better compared to the house market as the annual median unit price increased by 2.2 per cent. A typical unit in Fraser Coast had an annual median price of $259,500 in March 2018. Only about 11 per cent of the regional dwellings were units.
The Bundaberg house market has held its ground over the past five years, with a house costing about the same today as it did five years ago. However, the market showed small growth levels of 1.8 per cent over the past 12 months, which is encouraging.
A house in Bundaberg cost an annual median price of $285,000 in March 2013 and March 2018.
The unit market performed a bit better than the house market over the past five years. A unit in Bundaberg increased in value from $251,400 in March 2013 to $259,000 in March 2018.
Gladstone has stared down some of the most challenging market conditions in the state. This market lost 8.5 per cent over the 12 months to the March quarter to have a median house price of $280,000. This market is more than 38 per cent below where it was five years ago.
The unit market fell by 36 per cent over the past 12 months to an annual median unit price of $167,500.
The Rockhampton property market slipped moderately for the past year, with house prices falling by 1.9 per cent to $265,000 and unit prices contracting by 1.3 per cent to $295,000.
Units continued to outperform houses, as they’ve done for much of the year, and ended the year more expensive than houses. This atypical performance may be the consequence of the limited unit market, which represents less than 10 per cent of the region’s dwellings.
The Mackay house sales market has delivered an outstanding 4.1 per cent growth to the annual median house price to reach $333,250 and live up to last quarter’s forecast of a stronger start to 2018.
This market is now officially in recovery.
However, the unit market performance remained weak as unit prices fell by 7.8 per cent to $212,000 for the past year. Mackay is the second most affordable unit market in the state.
Townsville delivered a surprising fall of 3 per cent in the annual median house price for the year to March to reach $325,000.
Even more surprising, units grew a massive 5.7 per cent for the year to March to $280,000.
Cairns delivered steady growth of 2.5 per cent over the past 12 months to arrive at an annual median house price of $410,000 in March 2018.
The Cairns house market has been one of the top two regional performers (excluding the south-east corner) for the past five years of all the areas analysed in the Queensland Market Monitor. House prices increased by 17.1 per cent, or $60,000, from $350,000 in March 2013.
The unit market was weak in the year to March, with the annual median unit price falling by 1.7 per cent to $232,000.
Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak
With dwelling values now falling across most capital cities, the topic at weekend BBQs across the country might very well be, what’s next for Australia’s property market?
Corelogic’s latest models show, at least for the short-term, that values are likely to continue trending lower, with the rate of decline easing later this year and into 2020.
National housing market downturns have generally been short-lived. Although, the current downturn of 16 months is now the second longest, with the 2010-12 decline running two months longer than the current downturn.
By next month, assuming the falls continue, Corelogic says this will be the largest downturn in the combined capital city index since 1980.
There is an expectation that interest rates may move lower. This week a report from the Reserve Bank cited shifting interest rates as responsible “more than any other factor”, for weakening house prices and construction rates.
“We probably won’t see the entire rates cuts passed through to mortgage rates and the much tighter credit conditions are likely to limit any rebound in the housing market,” Corelogic said.
“Particularly given borrowers are being assessed on their ability to repay a mortgage at a much higher rate, above 7 per cent.”
Since peaking in July 2017, Sydney’s dwelling values have fallen by 13.2 per cent to February 2019.
Corelogic says this is one of the longest periods of decline.
“With little sign that the falls will abate over the coming months, this current downturn may end up being the deepest and longest in modern times.
“This downturn is also very different to other downturns which have generally been driven by an economic contraction or higher interest rates.
“This downturn is more closely linked to a significant tightening of credit conditions at a time in which the economy continues to grow and interest rates are unchanged – despite some moderate increases for owner occupiers and larger rises for investors.”
From Melbourne’s housing market peak in November 2017 through to the end of last month, dwelling values across the city have dropped by 9.6 per cent.
“Interestingly, comparing the downturn in Melbourne to Sydney, 15 months into Melbourne’s downturn values have fallen 9.6 per cent compared to a decline of 8.2 per cent 15 months into Sydney’s downturn.
“The downturn in Melbourne’s housing market is closing in on its largest downturn of 10 per cent between 1989 and 1992 while the downturn (so far) has been much shorter than the 36 month period in 1989-92.”
Brisbane didn’t experience the great upswing in property prices recorded in Sydney and Melbourne in recent years. And as such, after experiencing moderate growth the data shows Brisbane is recording a moderate decline.
Brisbane’s property values peaked in April 2018, dropping 1 per cent to February 2019.
“To date the fall is moderate however, with housing market weakness entrenched values are expected to move slightly lower or, at best hold firm, over the coming months.”
Following the slowdown in the mining sector, Perth’s housing market has experienced an extended downturn since June 2014 when the market last peaked. Perth’s property values have fallen by 17.8 per cent since then.
“The current downturn has run substantially longer than previous downturns and it is also a much deeper value fall than recorded across previous downturns,” CoreLogic said.
“In late 2017/early 2018 it was looking as if the falls were coming to an end, however, the market has weakened further in line with weaker labour market and economic conditions as well as tighter credit conditions.”
Much like Brisbane, Corelogic says Adelaide’s growth has been moderate over recent years however, with values starting to decline over recent months.
Adelaide’s values peaked in December 2018, recording a fall over the past two months of 0.3 per cent at the end of February 2019.
“While there have been previous periods of value falls in Adelaide, they have tended to be more moderate than those recorded across the other capital cities.
“To-date the decline has been short and moderate and it will be interesting to see over the coming months whether values continue to fall.”
SHAFSTON ESTATE, WHICH INCLUDES ONE OF BRISBANE’S OLDEST HOUSES, IS ON THE MARKET
A large parcel of prestige riverfront land, which includes with one of Brisbane city’s oldest houses, is on the market.
Known as The Shafston Estate, the 1-hectare block at 23 Castlebar Street in Kangaroo Point has been the home of the Shafston College educational facility for more than 20 years.
The site features six freestanding campus buildings totalling about 2675 square metres, one of which is the heritage-listed Shafston House that was entered on the Queensland heritage register in 2005 for its historical, cultural, and aesthetic significance.
The estate was previously on the market in 2013, and property records show that the estate was last sold in 1993 for $1.8 million.
Kangaroo Point is one of Brisbane’s most prestigious suburbs. An $18.48 million sale recorded there in early 2017, for a riverfront home on almost 1200 square metres, made it Brisbane’s most expensive house at the time.
The property is in one of the most prestigious suburbs of Brisbane.
Herron Todd White Brisbane director Gavin Hulcombe said prestige inner-city riverfront property had been in strong demand lately due to its scarcity.
“It is unusual to have a parcel of this size, in this proximity to the city, with river frontage. Riverfront sites have been quite constrained throughout Brisbane,” Mr Hulcombe said.
“There has been a lot of interest generated in riverfront property as evidenced by a couple of recent home-site purchases.
“It is a very popular location. It is unusual to have this size block of land through this pocket, irrespective of being on the river.”
A riverfront property in New Farm, directly opposite Shafston Estate, sold in March for $7.75 million, equalling the Brisbane auction price record.
Shafston College has operated from the site for 20 years.
State government records show that Shafston House, designed by well known 19th century architect Robin Dods, was constructed in several stages between 1851 and 1904 and is an example of the Victorian gothic architecture style that was popular at the time.
According to the heritage register, it is likely the third oldest house in the Brisbane metropolitan area, after Newstead House (1846) and Bulimba House (1849-50) and a rare surviving remnant of a riverine estate of a type typical in the early development of Brisbane.
Marketed by Cushman & Wakefield, expressions of interest close at 4pm on Wednesday 10 April.
Council says ‘imposing’ Nudgee property needs heritage protection
A large bungalow home in Nudgee that Brisbane City Council says it at risk of demolition or removal could be placed under a two-year protective order while its history is investigated.
The property on St Vincents Road has a large 3000-square-metre block of land and a building the council believes could be constructed in 1900.
At Tuesday’s council meeting a request for a temporary local planning instrument that would last for two years was put forward for debate.
The council agreed to write to State Development Minister Cameron Dick requesting the TLPI so they could have more time to investigate the heritage of the property.
A report made to council’s establishment and coordination committee noted the property was “currently at risk of either demolition or removal” and any subdivision of the garden “would have a detrimental impact on the cultural significance of the house” and the gardens.
The building had already seen some upgrades made to it, including a part of the building constructed after 1946, but it was believed the original building could have been constructed in 1900.
City planning committee chair Matthew Bourke said the council did not want to see the house disappear.
“Council needs more time to properly research the history of this site and determine its historical significant, as well as heritage value so it can then be put onto our heritage register,” Cr Bourke said.
“Due to the current zoning and size of the lot, there is the possibility this site may become subject to a multiple dwelling development application.”
Cr Bourke said on face value the building didn’t look like a pre-1940s house, but local councillor Adam Allan (Northgate) had raised the potential for it to be of heritage interest after conversations he had had.
“That’s why we’ve taken this opportunity to protect it, to be able to do the detailed investigation, and then assess on that information,” Cr Bourke said.
Cr Allan said the property was well-known to residents as an “imposing old home” and was originally on farmland.
“This property has remained as a beacon of a bygone era,” he said.
“Any moves to move or demolish the property would not be well-received by the growing local community and would result in the loss of an element of the heritage and history of the area.”
Independent councillor Nicole Johnston (Tennyson) questioned why the council was seeking a TLPI on the Nudgee property when many other requests she had made to protect houses in her ward were rejected.
The move from council to protect the building follows several weeks of discussion about the council’s attempt to ban townhouse and apartment developments on blocks larger than 3000 square metres in low density residential zoned suburbs.
The council is waiting for a final response from the state government on both their request for a permanent ban to be written into its planning legislation, and a temporary ban while the permanent ban is considered.
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