BRISBANE has emerged from the shadows of its southern counterparts, with new figures revealing the tough times are over for the city’s property market as expats and bargain hunters drive a surge in demand.
The Queensland capital recorded the biggest increase in offshore property buyers over the past year — far higher than any other capital city — and many local agents say expats are behind the turnaround.
Realestate.com.au’s Property Outlook report, released today, shows demand for houses in Brisbane rose 6.7 per cent in the past 12 months, while unit demand increased 4.5 per cent as buyers hunted for bargains despite oversupply concerns.
The blue chip suburbs of East Brisbane, Indooroopilly and Paddington were most popular when it came to houses, while the Gold Coast was the most in demand among apartment buyers, with Tugun and Currumbin the highest demand suburbs in the state.
RESIDENTIAL TOWER FIRST IN 30 YEARS
“It looks like Brisbane’s really turning around,” REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said.
“If you have a look at the inner city and the east where demand is up more than 10 per cent, it shows there’s lots of people having a look, and when we see that, we generally start to see a pick-up in pricing.
“All the talk has been about the housing boom being over, but if you look at Brisbane, it’s just warming up again.”
Overall, home prices in Brisbane are up 1 per cent on year, with houses seeing a slight increase and apartments seeing a decline, according to the report.
The city’s median house price increased 2.7 per cent to $525,000 in the past 12 months, while the median apartment price fell 4.1 per cent to $382,500.
HOME FIT FOR HARRY AND MEGHAN
The report noted that Brisbane home prices never increased to the same levels as Sydney and Melbourne and it remained far more affordable.
“With so much spending on infrastructure, the city is now well prepared for population growth which appears to be occurring as jobs growth continues to recover,” the report said.
Offshore interest in Brisbane property has increased dramatically, according to the report.
Demand from property seekers from China for the Brisbane market jumped some 35 per cent in the 12 months to May 2018.
Adcock Prestige principal Jason Adcock recently sold a prestige home to a Brisbane expat living in Hong Kong sight unseen.
Mr Adcock said the buyer wasn’t planning to come back to Brisbane for another 12 months, but did not want to miss out.
“We’re starting to see a lot of that at the moment,” he said.
Mr Adcock said high income earning expats from Hong Kong, the UK and the US were showing increasing interest in buying property in Brisbane and returning home.
“They’re coming back to Brisbane and want to reward themselves with a trophy property,” he said.
Property Pursuit director and buyer’s agent Meighan Hetherington said she had noticed a strong increase in inquiries from expats in the past 18 months.
Ms Hetherington said her expat clients were either looking to create their future home base in Brisbane, or ready to repatriate.
She said changes in the lending landscape had put some pressure on expats to secure property in Brisbane in case standards tightened further.
“Anyone earning a foreign income is pulled into the same lending criteria that is used for foreign buyers, which has meant a lot of pressure on the ability (for expats) to borrow to purchase,” Ms Hetherington said.
“Some clients have taken six or seven months to get finance approval.”
Ms Hetherington said the price differential between Brisbane and southern states was so great that Brisbane had become much more attractive from a value proposition.
She said 80 per cent of her clients bought properties without seeing them in person, relying instead on research and detailed videos provided to them by buyers agents.
Diana Edwards lived as an expat in Hong Kong with her husband and three sons for 17 years before deciding to return home to Brisbane.
Ms Edwards said schooling and lifestyle lured her back to the Queensland capital.
And she’s not alone. She now works with expats as a buyers agent and has a client who wants to move to Brisbane, even though he is originally from Sydney.
“Generally the expat families who request our help to find a home in Brisbane are originally from here or have some connection to Brisbane, but we do receive requests from other clients who are originally from Sydney and Melbourne but are choosing to move to Brisbane due to affordability of property and lifestyle factors,” Ms Edwards said.
“Once you compare property prices in these cities, Brisbane is absolutely the frontrunner in terms of the space it can afford for young families within proximity to the city.”
Universal Buyers Agents director Darren Piper said he too had noticed an increase in overseas expats wanting to move back to Brisbane.
“This is due to a number of reasons including schooling, interest rates and most importantly the Brisbane property market as they don’t want to “miss out”,” Mr Piper said.
“Brisbane is set to soar in the coming years due to the large amount of infrastructure being built.
“Expat buyers are savvy and know that now is the time to buy.”
Mr Piper said expats in high income roles were earning an average annual wage of $175,000, which positioned them well to secure a “significant property” in Brisbane.
He said it was also a matter of timing.
“Certain expats have ‘done their time’ and are simply ready to have their feet back on home turf,” Mr Piper said.
“This on top of the current market conditions is certainly influencing the decision to move back.”
TOP SUBURBS FOR HOUSES IN BRISBANE
1 East Brisbane
4 Holland Park
TOP SUBURBS FOR APARTMENTS IN BRISBANE
4 Camp Hill
5 Red Hill
7 Holland Park
9 New Farm
DEMAND FOR HOUSES AND UNITS NATIONALLY
Property views per listing (last 3 months) Year on year change
National 1165 5.2%
Canberra 766 16.2%
Sydney 1631 -22.5%
Darwin 491 4.7%
Brisbane 1121 5.9%
Adelaide 1723 2.7%
Hobart 4399 38.6%
Melbourne 2185 -6.1%
Perth 678 6.4%
DEMAND FOR HOUSES AND UNITS IN BRISBANE
Property views per listing (last 3 months) Year on year change
Brisbane – East 1127 16.7%
Brisbane – North 1579 6%
Brisbane – South 1637 -2.1%
Brisbane – West 1912 0.1%
Brisbane Inner City 1352 13.7%
Will the new Brisbane State High School catchment affect property prices?
Changes made to Brisbane State High School’s catchment zone are already affecting properties for sale in the area, according to local real estate agents.
The state government released new catchment maps last week which revealed Brisbane State High School’s catchment zone could be cut by 25 per cent to manage pressure on its rising enrolments.
The school’s current catchment stretches through West End and out to Dutton Park but, under the new draft catchment, students from more than 500 households in Dutton Park, Woolloongabba and Highgate Hill would no longer be eligible for direct entry to State High once the neighbouring high-rise school in Dutton Park opens in 2021.
It’s been a devastating revelation for homeowners who bought in the area specifically to be in the catchment of Queensland’s top performing state high school, said Sam Peterffy, of Harcourts Homeside.
Not only are they upset at being kicked out of the catchment, they’re worried the value of their property will fall because if it, she said.
“Of course the people who are already living here are worried — many of them bought here for the school,” she said.
“I feel sorry for these people. They might have young children, aged five and under, and bought here planning for their children’s future. Now that’s up in the air. It’s not a great situation for them.”
Ms Peterffy said the local property market had already been affected.
“From a buyer perspective, I have people who were looking in these areas and have straight up said they’re no longer looking at Dutton Park or anywhere that’s out of the catchment,” she said.
Brisbane State High School is a 3200-student strong, selective GPS school, sought-after for its top academic results and extensive extra curricular program.
Demand for places is so high, the school employed an investigator this year to uncover families rorting the catchment system.
Ben Salm of Place Estate Agents is selling a beautiful six-bedroom family home at Grantham Street, Dutton Park, that is currently in the State High catchment, but would be bumped out under the new plan.
He said it had already affected the property’s desirability for some buyers.
“It’s something we’ve seen a fair bit of with feedback from the buyers coming through,” he said.
“They’re unsure about the new school because it’s all so unknown at this stage; that creates a hesitancy and then you get less competition, which potentially means lower prices.
“Because this house is now looking like it’ll be out of the State High catchment, the feedback we’re getting suggests the price could be $50,000 less than what it might have been worth three to six months ago.
“There is a grace period though, so you never know what will happen.”
It’s important to note the effect on current and future families will not be immediate. Brisbane State High School students living in the proposed catchment zone for the new school will be allowed to remain enrolled at State High for the duration of their studies, while their siblings will still be able to enrol under transitional arrangements.
The government also said that families with primary school children living in a street which appears on both catchment maps can choose to enrol their child at either school.
But the changes are causing a lot of uncertainty. Ms Peterffy recently sold a house at Gloucester Street, Highgate Hill, a street where some houses will still fall in the catchment and others won’t.
This particular house will still be in the catchment, so the competition to secure it was strong, with four offers in one weekend, Ms Peterffy said.
“I had a couple who argued about it. The husband was saying that the new school was likely to be great but the wife was really worried about it,” she said.
“She just kept saying, ‘But it’s not going to be Brisbane State High, it won’t be the same’. So for them, the fact this house would still be in the catchment in a few years’ time was very important to them.
“That said, there will always be people who will want to buy in Dutton Park anyway. It’s the best suburb in Brisbane in my view.”
And Ms Peterffy said the silver lining would be in the new school, Inner City South State Secondary College, which had the potential to bring new buyers to the area long term.
“Some buyers who may not previously had Dutton Park and surrounding areas on their radar may come here because there is going to be a shiny new school with the best of everything and a connection to the University of Queensland,” she said.
“I know everyone wants to be in the State High catchment right now but my prediction is this new school will be in the top 10 state high schools in Queensland very quickly.”
Mr Salm said the property market could pick up again in these areas once the plans for the school are finalised and released to the public.
“It could actually create quite a bit of excitment in the area once there’s a lot more detail released and prices could go up again,” he said.
“I think in the long term this school will be competition for State High but at the moment it’s making buyers unsure about being in the area, and will only make competition for property staying in the State High catchment even tougher.”
The maps and the enrolment management plan are out for public consultation until September 30.
Medium Density Development Round-Up: Brisbane
The Urban Developer recently published our first medium-density development round-up, covering five low-rise development proposals in Sydney.
This week we turn to sunny Queensland to seek out the latest in low- to medium-rise development in Brisbane – uncovering nearly $200 million worth of proposals that have recently entered planning assessment.
1. 79 Swann Road, Taringa
Its proximity to the University of Queensland and public transport makes Swann Road a popular destination for developers.
Sanchi Development has proposed a 6-storey Cottee Parker-designed project that will include 3-levels of basement parking.
The proposal is located nearby the Indooroopilly shopping centre and south-east bikeway with the Taringa Train Station and bus stops within 400 metres of the site.
The building will host a communal roof top terrace with views of Mt Coot-tha which will include a gym and BBQ facilities.
2. 69-71 Swann Road, Taringa
Local developer Mosaic Property has proposed a low-rise, five-storey development at 69-71 Swann Road in Taringa.
The 1,256sq m site was purchased for $3.1 million and will be developed to deliver 16 dwellings.
Subject to approvals, construction will start early next year and is expected to cost $19.2 million.
3. 8-10 Amersham Street, West End
Developer Amersham Street Pty Ltd has lodged a proposal for a 5-storey residential development in Brisbane’s hip suburb of West End.
The $20 million project will create 23 units as well as 39 car parks with an estimated $9 million construction cost.
Each apartment has its own balcony or private terraces with the building topped by a rooftop garden with a fireplace and BBQ for tenants to take advantage of city views.
The project will launch to market early-2019.
Editor’s note: Adam Di Marco, founder of the Urban Developer, is a director of Amersham Street Pty Ltd.
4. 77 Walkers Way, Nundah
Dennis Family Corporation has lodged plans for 32 triple-storey townhouses along 77 Walkers Way in Nundah.
The $21 million development, designed by Ellivo Architects, is spread across 7,069sq m of rural zoning.
The project will include of 4,902sq m of communal space and 1,556sq m of private open space.
The site is located in within a 1 km of Toombul Shopping Centre and 3.5 km of Brisbane Airport.
The Dennis Family told The Urban Developer construction was expected to start late-2019 following pre-sales.
The property group is also going to tender to select a construction partner for the project.
5. Parkside, Springfield (Stage 2).
Springfield City Group’s second stage development in the heart of Springfield Central will create 74 apartments as well as 196sq m of ground floor commercial and retail space.
The $39 million development, designed by Plus Architecture, will overlook Robelle Domain Parklands and will be walking distance from Orion Town Centre and Springfield Central Train Station.
Construction commencement will be dependent on pre-sales, however, Springfield City Group told The Urban Developer the target commencement date was forecasted for the second or third quarter of 2019.
A builder has not yet been appointed to the project.
Brisbane House Price hits all-time high
Brisbane house price has hit an all-time high.
The median brisbane house price is peaking at $673 000, which Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) says is a very good sign.
“It tells us that this market has well and truly recovered from the post GFC slump” CEO, Antonia Mercorella, said.
The latest Market Monitor report by REIQ revealed Brisbane’s median house price has increased 2.5% in the past year and 30% over five years.
The top growth suburbs across the city’s south include Holland Park West, Manly West and Carindale.
Brisbane’s median house price has hit an all-time high. The median house price is peaking at $673 000, which Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) says is a very good sign. (9News)
In the city’s North, it’s Mitchelton, Stafford Heights and McDowall.
“Those suburbs are really popular with families in particular. And what they demonstrate is that there is good affordability.” Ms Mercorella said.
David Conboy is currently selling a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home at Mitchellton, asking $675,000.
He is not surprised the suburb is booming.
Antonia Mercorella, said the post-GFC slump is over in the Brisbane property market. (9News)
“In this area we have a fantastic access to infrastructure to local schools, shops and public transport as well,” the Harcourts Property Sales and Marketing Consultant said.
A bit further out, the best performer in Greater Brisbane has been Caboolture South.
It has seen an increase of 30.4% to a median house price of $327 000.
Brisbane’s median house price has hit an all-time high. (9News)
“With the Bruce Highway improvements, we should continue to see those suburbs performing strongly, into the future” Ms Mercorella said.
Across Queensland, the coastal markets have seen the most growth.
Noosa on the Sunshine Coast taking out the top spot, up 6.9% to a median house price of $695,000.
It takes the title from the Gold Coast, where the median house price sits at $622,000.
“They offer just such a good lifestyle. You’re close to the water, close to nature” Ms Mercorella said.
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