PHOTO: Brisbane City Council wants to stop townhouses and apartments being built in areas for single homes.(ABC RN: David Lewis)
A Brisbane City Council plan to stop townhouses and apartments being built in areas for single homes is “going backwards” in terms of urban planning, experts say.
University of Queensland Urban Planning expert Dr Dorina Pojani said the Lord Mayor’s attempt to “save the Brisbane backyard” could drive up property prices.
“If you have more apartment buildings in neighbourhoods it means that you have higher densities in those neighbourhoods,” Dr Pojani said.
“With higher densities you can support much better public transport, if you have very low densities … then public transport will never become viable.
Council’s opposition planning spokesman, Jared Cassidy, described it as “a multi-million-dollar mea culpa”.
“The same Lord Mayor who has waved through the worst developments in Brisbane’s history is now claiming he’s saving the backyard,” he said.
Dr Pojani said restricting the type of housing in certain neighbourhoods would just drive prices “through the roof”, and it had already produced “disastrous results” in the United States.
“We’re already in the middle of a housing crisis in Australia so it’s the opposite of what we need at the moment.”
“It’s caused urban sprawl, it’s caused problems with access to housing because housing prices end up being very expensive if you can’t have the higher densities that apartments provide,” Dr Pojani said.
“It makes neighbourhoods more homogeneous because there’s only certain people that can afford family homes.
“Now that we’ve seen all that of that experience from overseas we go and do the same thing in Australia, that’s very disappointing. It’s almost like going backwards.”
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the plan was about creating a city of neighbourhoods “to protect the Brisbane backyard”, with more than 100,000 people responding to the Plan Your Brisbane campaign.
“It’s about stopping the cookie-cutter style of townhouses in some cases that we have seen in our city,” Cr Quirk said.
PHOTO: Experts say the plan will drive up property prices. (Giulio Saggin: ABC News)
He said 40 action plans had been developed, which would not contribute further to urban sprawl.
“People said they wanted the growth to occur around the inner-city areas, along transport corridors, and around the regional business centres and nothing has changed in that regard,” Cr Quirk said.
“What they do want though is greater protections in those single-dwelling areas of the city, that’s come through loud and clear and that will be provided.”
He said the council would also develop a new forum for residents to help guide the preservation of tradition designs, like the Queenslander.
Mr Cassidy hit out at the Lord Mayor’s close relationship with developers at the expense of residents.
“Brisbane’s had a gutful of the orgy of over-development,” he said.
“The same Lord Mayor who cut the number of car parks that unit developers have to provide is now trying to pretend someone else did it.
“The same Lord Mayor who has waved through the worst developments in Brisbane’s history is now claiming he’s saving the backyard.”
Brisbane DA Lodged for ‘Record Sale’ Site in New Farm
One of Brisbane’s best parcels of land is now the site of one of the city’s most ambitious houses, according to a development application lodged with Brisbane City Council.
The vacant clifftop block, located at 31-33 Moray Street, New Farm recently sold to local businessman Jamie Pherous and his family for a suburb record of $11.3 million.
The 1,103sq m lot was sold by Jane Gibson, the widow of celebrated Brisbane architect Robin Gibson, who acquired the site in 1986 for just $200,000.
Designed by Tim Stewart Architects, the proposal includes a four-storey house with a basement level of car parking and recreational facilities.
Located on land zoned medium density residential, the impact assessable application is currently in front of Brisbane City Council, according to CityShape’s new DA Tracker.
The proposal includes a lower level of basement car parking, games room and gymnasium that leads out to a clifftop pool and pool deck.
The upper ground level will comprise a media room, office, study, laundry and combined living, dining and kitchen terrace at the rear.
Level one will include a master suite with expansive dressing room, ensuite and storage room and is accompanied by five bedrooms each with an individual ensuite.
And on the uppermost level, the proposal includes an entertainment room with kitchenette, roof terrace and pool and guests quarters.
Jamie Pherous is the founder and managing director of Corporate Travel Management, one of the largest travel management companies in Australia.
He started the company in 1994 and later floated it on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2010.
The proposal comes amid growing confidence in the Brisbane residential market with BIS Oxford Economics predicting Brisbane will lead the Australian capitals with 13 per cent property price growth predicted by 2021.
The average price of a block of land in New Farm is $2.6 million and the previous record for a vacant lot in the suburb was a $5.5 million sale to a developer.
South Brisbane emerges from unit glut with some of the fastest rising rents in the city
The epicentre of Brisbane’s unit oversupply is reaching equilibrium, as renters flock to thousands of new apartments in amenity-rich areas.
But less-developed inner-city suburbs that lack amenities continue to languish.
South Brisbane saw significant levels of development over the past few years, with 1225 units listed for rent in the three months to the end of December, according to the latest Domain Rental Report for the December quarter.
But the supply is starting to be absorbed and the median asking rent for units has risen 5.4 per cent to $485 over the last year, the fourth-sharpest jump in the city.
This compared to even steeper jumps in Holland Park, Clontarf and Bardon, with rises of 12.1, 6.9 and 5.6 per cent respectively.
Source: Domain Rental Report, December quarter 2018
Those in the industry say the South Brisbane market has made a remarkable turnaround in the past year.
“We may have escaped that ridiculous glut we had,” Space Property principal Nick Penklis said.
Renters were haggling on price less frequently and landlords were becoming less likely to hand out incentives, he said.
“Sometimes those incentives were there for apartments not quite at the market level,” Mr Penklis said. “Some would be there to keep a rental guarantee, so it’s an inflated market.
“Perhaps we’re on a more even keel.”
Aria Living’s general manager Zeyad Iman said the developments he managed were not immune to the consequences of over-development, but their premium offering insulated Aria from issues facing low-end properties.
“We’re a bit more expensive but people can justify those costs,” he said.
South Brisbane’s relative amenity was the suburb’s big drawcard, and was why the suburb was outperforming neighbours like Highgate Hill, Mr Iman said. “You’ve only got the view and the location, there’s none of the amenity there.”
Highgate Hill’s rental prices fell the fifth-fastest in the city for both houses and units, down 5.7 and 6.7 per cent in the past 12 months respectively.
But other inner-city neighbourhoods continue to see prices drop.
Brisbane CBD, separated from South Brisbane by the river, was the 10th-worst performing suburb for units, with a fall of 4 per cent to $480 over the past year.
“There’s a stark contrast in the five-year performance in these areas,” Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said. “What we have seen is a much greater level of development in the Brisbane CBD than we have in South Brisbane.”
Dr Powell said this could indicate the two side-by-side suburbs could be settling to similar levels, although conditions appeared tougher in the CBD.
“There’s been a lot more rental stock come onto the market relative to the demand in the CBD.”
The detached housing market has not seen the same wave of new supply, with sought-after suburbs recording double-digit rental growth.
Manly, Ascot and South Brisbane had the highest rental rises for detached houses, recording 14.5 per cent, 14.2 per cent and 13.7 per cent rises respectively.
“There would be that desirability factor,” Dr Powell said. “There is an increase of interstate migration from NSW and we can assume that is Sydney.”
All three are established locations with access to good schools, she said.
“So it could be families looking to rent to test the waters in certain suburbs.”
Apartment values to jump up to 11 per cent in some Brisbane suburbs
Brisbane’s recovering apartment market is set to lead the nation over the next two years, with values forecast to grow more than in any other major capital city. The region’s house prices are also looking good – with some areas performing better than others. SEE WHERE
A rise in unit values of more than seven per cent is expected in the inner city, Logan and northern Moreton Bay regions in 2019.
Double digit growth is expected in northern Moreton Bay in 2020, with apartment values set to jump 11 per cent.
Moody’s Analytics forecasts a gain in house values across Brisbane of 1.2 per cent over the next 12 months, with strength in the western and inner city suburbs offsetting declines in South Brisbane.
House values are tipped to grow the most in Brisbane’s western suburbs this year (4.5 per cent).
“This is a reversal of trend from the past few years,” the report’s authors said.
“Home values had risen more than 30 per cent since mid-2012, while apartment values had risen only around 5 per cent.”
It’s not good news for the nation’s two biggest housing markets.
Moody’s Analytics is forecasting a further six per cent correction in house values in Melbourne this year on the back of a 0.1 per cent decline in 2018.
And Sydney house values are expected to fall a further 3.3 per cent in 2019 following a 5.2 per cent drop last year.
“Australia’s housing market has continued its entrenched cooling trend in the final months of 2018,” the report’s authors said.
“The decline has been sharper in home values than for apartment values: Home values have fallen more than 4.5 per cent from their peak late last year, while apartment values are down 3.3 per cent.”
Originally published as Where Brisbane home values keep rising
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