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Brisbane house prices buck national trend and keep rising, new data shows



Brisbane’s median house price has increased to $668,000, showing positive property growth amid a declining national market, new figures show.

As house prices in Australia’s two biggest cities fall deeper into a downturn, the Brisbane local government area is bucking the trend, having recorded 1.2 per cent house price growth over the past 12 months.

Nationally, house prices are down nearly 3 per cent, while in Sydney and Melbourne houses are down 6.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively, the latest Domain House Price Report shows.

The figures for Greater Brisbane showed the annual median house price was up 2.2 per cent across the five LGAs, which include Brisbane, Ipswich, Redland, Moreton Bay and Logan, although it recorded a 0.4 per cent drop over the quarter.

Brisbane LGA$668,0001.2%$435,000-3.3%
Greater Brisbane$567,3762.2%$376,972 -6.8%
Ipswich$386,250 5.8% $308,500 -3.6%
Logan $432,500 4.2% $282,500 -8.0%
Moreton Bay $470,000 3.3% $335,000 -6.9%
Redland $550,000 3.2% $440,000 -0.5%

“Nationally, [the] downturn has been aided by the tightening of credit by the banks following regulatory intervention and a bruising royal commission,” she said.

“Rising mortgage rates, tighter credit conditions and reduced borrowing power have impacted all capital cities to a varied degree.

Capital city median house prices – September quarter

“Comparatively, Brisbane is performing well,” she said. “Interstate migration has hit a decade high, helping to propel Brisbane to one of Australia’s fastest growing cities. This will support demand for housing.”

McGrath Paddington agent Reuben Packer-Hill said while tighter lending criteria had affected some buyers, Brisbane’s western suburbs had performed exceptionally well in the past 12 months.

brisbanein Chapel Hill, like this stunning Queenslander at 16 Tamarix Street, have risen by 8.9 per cent in the past year. Photo: Dixon Family Estate Agents

“Chapel Hill has shown 8.9 per cent growth year on year. As a micro market, we are bucking the trend and that’s because there’s a shortage of stock and a lot of competition,” he said.

“But I think it’s important to understand that in the outer fringe, in suburbs like Kenmore, Chapel Hill and into the Centenary suburbs, they’re probably not as exposed to the ups and downs and changes in the market because it’s such a strong family demographic. Families still need houses to live.”

Mr Packer-Hill recently sold 32 Burdekin Drive, Sinnamon Park, in only three weeks for $2.5 million, setting a residential record price for the suburb. He said it was indicative of the demand for property, particularly at the prestige level, in the area.

“Tightened lending criteria is certainly affecting some buyers and I’m seeing an extension of finance clauses but the fundamentals are that quality stock is always in demand — and in this part of Brisbane, there’s not enough supply,” he said.

32 Burdekin Drive, Sinnamon Park, broke a suburb record when it sold for $2.5 million. Photo: McGrath Paddington

“The wonderful thing about the Brisbane market is because we don’t go through the huge growth, we’re not exposed to the same downturns. That’s why people take confidence investing here.”

However, economists said it was important to recognise Brisbane’s growth for what it was — positive, but minimal — and not the beginnings of a boom.

“There was a case to be made for Brisbane when Sydney was booming — that we would see Brisbane house prices also move up — but the time for it seems to have dated,” said AMP chief economist Shane Oliver.

“The main reason I’ve become less optimistic is the credit. The problem of the tightening in credit standards will impact buyers in Queensland as much as NSW and Victoria.

Brisbane’s property market has strengths but will be held back by tight lending conditions, economists say. Photo: iStock

“On the one hand you could say Brisbane’s strengthening population is a positive and affordability is always a positive, but the main dampener is the credit cycle. It has got us less optimistic. I would see the one per cent growth continuing.”

NAB group chief economist Alan Oster said while Brisbane was performing well relative to Sydney and Melbourne, the bank’s forecast for Brisbane was very conservative.

“Our forecast for Brisbane is pretty much flat,” he said. “Next year, our forecast for Brisbane is 0.0 per cent.

“Performance can vary [from] postcode to postcode … but broadly Brisbane is going sideways.”

Space Property agent Judi O’Dea said lending conditions had had a small impact in Brisbane’s inner city suburbs but not enough to take the shine off the city’s prospects.

“There is so much going for Brisbane at the moment, so much new infrastructure and so much happening, it would take more than that for Brisbane to falter,” she said.

“Brisbane has a stability to it…it just kicks over beautifully. The banks have caused a bit of angst but nothing drastic.

Inner city suburbs like Paddington will continue to flourish, says Judi O’Dea. Photo: Tammy Law

“Our auction clearance rates are steady and I see that continuing. The banks and their lending restrictions will likely ease as they don’t want to cut off their nose to spite their face.

“I’m very confident in the continued stability of our inner city marketplace…there’s a lot of excitement around Brisbane at the moment.”

Brisbane’s unit market remained a concern for economists. The latest Domain figures showed units in the Brisbane LGA fell 3.3 per cent over the September quarter, while in Greater Brisbane they fell by 3.2 per cent over the quarter and 6.2 per cent over the past 12 months.

“I don’t think it’s time for Brisbane units to shine,” said Mr Oster.

“We think they are incredibly overbuilt in the CBD. [Prices] are only slightly down but we don’t think the falls are finished.

“You might like buying there but you wouldn’t be expecting any capital gain anytime soon.”

Luxury owner occupier units, like 801/8 Kyabra Street, Newstead, are outperforming investor stock in Brisbane. Photo: Ray White New Farm

Dr Powell said while units in Greater Brisbane had dropped in median price significantly, anecdotal evidence suggested that well-built, owner-occupier apartments had fared much better.

“Those type of units will certainly be holding firmer than those solely targeted at the investor,” she said.

“That’s a broad thing that will happen anywhere; it’s always those investor-led markets that are more exposed.”


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Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak



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.”


Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak1

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.”

Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak2


Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak3

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.”

Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak4


Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak5

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.”

Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak5


Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak5

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.”

Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak8


Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak8

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.”

Slowing Housing Market Sees Capital City Values Fall Below Their Peak10




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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.




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Council says ‘imposing’ Nudgee property needs heritage protection



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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