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Hammer time: Brisbane falls for auctions in $17 million weekend


Brisbane new-found romance with auctions is fast becoming a serious love affair after a record-setting median sale price was clocked across the city on Saturday.

From the reported 39 properties sold under the hammer, according to the latest Domain data, almost $17 million in real estate was transacted with the average home selling for $1,247,500 – which is the highest recorded median price in the past six months of weekend auctions.

It’s a staggering figure that property punters say has cemented the widespread shift from private treaties, in line with Melbourne and Sydney.

“Across Australia, we had 5.1 registered bidders on Saturday and across Brisbane we had an average of 8.1 registered bidders at every auction,” Ray White Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom said.

“We also had an 87 per cent clearance rate, which is double what we were seeing just before COVID,” said Mr Peereboom.


74 Gordon Street, Gordon Park. 

It paid off to go to auction, with Ray White recording prices achieved at auction were 11.7 per cent above the highest offer made during the sales campaign.

“The sale prices were extraordinary and competition between buyers is really driving those prices up. People see great results and that gives them confidence and auctions create more auctions,” Mr Peereboom said.

Across Ray White offices on Saturday one of the most exciting sales clocked was in the city’s smallest suburb of Gordon Park, where 16 registered bidders battled it out for a quaint five-bedroom Queenslander at 74 Gordon Street.

74 Gordon Street, Gordon Park QLD 4031

74 Gordon Street, Gordon Park QLD 4031 

In the end, a young family forked out $1.41 million for the winning bid, a whopping $200,000 above the reserve.

“The market is moving and changing every week and, whilst we have a shortage of stock, we are starting to see more sellers come onto the market. The results speak for themselves,” said selling agent Douglas May, of Ray White Sherwood.

In Cannon Hill Meagan Muir, of Place Estate Agents Bulimba, sold a stunning premium family home at 89 Erica Street for a reserve-busting $1.325 million after a Sydney buyer beat seven other registered bidders.

89 Erica Street Cannon Hill QLD 4170

89 Erica Street Cannon Hill QLD 4170

“It ended up coming down to $1000 dollar bids and it took just seven minutes,” Ms Muir said.

“The buyers were so excited and they said they couldn’t wait to call Queensland home. It was an all-round fantastic auction.

“In fact, this weekend really cemented Brisbane as an auction-friendly place. Buyers are finding great transparency and they can openly see what people are prepared to pay.”

Ray White Ascot principal Dwight Ferguson put away one of the highest recorded transactions for the day after selling 34 Isedale Street, Wooloowin, for $1.9 million.


34 Isedale Street, Wooloowin. 

While nine registered buyers came out to bat, he said the bidding war ended up between a Sydney home hunter and a local, with the southern buyer walking away with the grand property prize.

“In the suburbs there were strong really prices on average and I suppose sellers see auctions as a benefit,” Mr Ferguson said.


34 Isedale Street, Wooloowin QLD 4030 

In Murarrie, Tammy Dale, of Place Estate Agents Bulimba, sold the charming and almost century old cottage at 51 Woodanga Street for $930,000 in an auction she said wasn’t just emotional, but a happy-ever-after story for both the buyer and the seller.

“The buyer missed out on this home the last time it went up for auction [about a year ago] so you could tell she really wanted it. She ended up bidding higher than she originally talked about and, in the end, it was such a great outcome,” Ms Dale said.


51 Woodanga Street Murarrie QLD 4172 

“The sellers bought this house for $750,000 a year ago and while they spent a bit of money it was a great result.”

In Grange, Ray White Wilston principal Alistair Macmillan sold 78 Carberry Street  for a record-smashing $1.5 million after a battle between 12 registered bidders with a local family securing the prize.

“The highest sale price for an original Queenslander on a block over 800 square metres in Grange was $1.35 million, so we are absolutely delighted to have smashed that record,” Mr Macmillan said.

“The buzz around this auction was fantastic. There were close to 200 people in the backyard watching.”


78 Carberry Street Grange QLD 4051 

Other top results included a spectacular five-bedroom home at 20 Seventh Avenue, Windsor, which sold under the hammer for $1.74 million through Garry Jones Homes, and a sophisticated unit at 95/2 Goodwin Street, Kangaroo Point, which clocked $1.52 million through Hugo Alexander Property Group.


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Brisbane’s Office Market Greenlit for Business

Brisbane’s Office Market

Brisbane’s office market continues to shake off the pandemic doldrums with two new commercial towers approved in the CBD and fringe suburbs.

Property owner PGIM and development partner Indema’s plan for a bold adaptive reuse of a 1970s commercial building at 444 Queen Street has won approval.

The bronze 22-storey tower opposite Customs House will be stripped back to its core structure and completely remodelled with a new podium, curtain wall facade and an additional two-storey sculptural canopy.

Indema director Michael Bruderlin said they would be targeting a net zero certification for the building upon completion in the first quarter of 2024.

Bruderlin said Hutchies had been engaged in an early contractor design and construct contract to help de-risk the project and better understand the technical requirements.

The Fender Katsalidis-designed tower follows in the footsteps of another of its commercial adaptive reuse projects in Brisbane, Ashe Morgan’s Midtown, now the headquarters for Rio Tinto.

Bruderlin said retaining and repurposing the existing building is 400 per cent more environmentally friendly. Retaining the existing concrete structure provides a 70 per cent saving in embodied carbon.

The project will rejuvenate a 48-year-old building at the end of life into an A-grade commercial office asset and increase the net leasable area 40 per cent.

Bruderlin said the project would have a quicker turnaround than a normal demolish and build project and it would use clever design initiatives to increase floor plates and create a better value proposition for the asset.

PGIM purchased 444 Queen Street for $54.4 million from the Public Trustee of Queensland and Abacus Property Group in October last year.

Cornerstone has also won approval for a commercial development in the city fringe suburb of Fortitude Valley.

The Bureau Proberts-designed tower will capture the heritage brick character of the Fortitude Valley centre “borrowing from the intent of these buildings but with a stridently different and contemporary expression”, planning documents said.

“This approach is a deliberate counterpoint to the strong and solid brick structures of the immediately adjacent 47 Warner Street and McWhirters buildings.

“Brickwork or masonry is not used as a material in deference to these neighbouring buildings allowing them to become more evident and make a clear statement about the era of their inception.”

The 28-storey commercial tower at 251 Wickham Street features a stepped slanting facade fronting Warner Street, with a four-storey lobby, and an inverted podium.

There will also be a rooftop terrace, 20m pool and open-plan gym in the commercial tower, with retail offerings at the base of the building.

Brisbane’s metropolitan office market vacancy was at 16.3 per cent at the end of March and there were few transactions across the quarter, according to Colliers research.

But yields remained steady, and well above other capital cities, while incentives remained stagnant at 40 per cent.



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Developer Pitches for $130m Shop-Top Housing on Bayside

$130m Shop-Top Housing on Bayside

Brisbane’s bayside could be going up in the world with plans for $130-million highrise shop-top housing in the heart of the seaside suburb of Wynnum.

Brisbane-based developer Hambros has lodged plans for a 21-storey apartment tower on the vacant lot neighbouring the Wynnum Central Shopping Centre, after winning approval for an small extension to the retail centre late last year.

The development comprises a 6-storey retail and commercial podium, with a 275-apartment tower above, backing on to Wynnum Central Park.

Hambros has reportedly spent about $14 million on revamping the Wynnum Central Shopping Centre on Bay Terrace, as part of a $74-million plan to rejuvenate Wynnum, including cinemas.

According to planning documents lodged with the Brisbane City Council, the tower will be made up of 54 one-bedroom apartments, 148 two-bedroom apartments, and 67 three-bedroom apartments, with six penthouses, which will have private rooftop space and their own pools.

The building height is well in excess of the allowable five to eight storeys in the Wynnum Manly Neighbourhood Plan, but town planners Gateway Survey and Planning argued the plan was “outdated” and should be overhauled.

The six-storey podium would contain two levels of parking, a retail tenancy at ground level, a floor of retail, with two storeys of commercial space for office, healthcare and events space on levels 5 and 6.

Developer Pitches for Shop-Top Housing on Bayside Brisbane

▲ Shayher Group won approval for its redevelopment of Wynnum Plaza last year, which included 184 apartments across eight residential buildings.

In a statement to the council Hambros director Justin Ham said the Wynnum CBD had been left behind “with no development occurring in the last 20 years”.

“Our project is designed to put Wynnum CBD on the ‘open for business’ map,” Ham said.

“This landmark development, with a construction cost estimated at $130 million will have a huge financial and community positive impact on the Wynnum CBD and surrounding areas.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifestime opportunity to create a beautiful space overlooking the best bay in the world.”

Ham said the development would bring much-needed foot traffic to the heart of the Wynnum CBD and help bolster businesses and landowners he said were struggling to remain profitable.

Taiwanese developer Shayher Group won approval for a masterplanned retail precinct at Wynnum Plaza with plans for 184 apartments across eight residential buildings as well as boutique cinemas and increased retail space, reportedly worth more than $100 million.

Work on the Wynnum Plaza redevelopment was due to commence later this year with a completion date hedged for 2024.



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More room in the Brisbane property price bubble but get ready for a reckoning, says bank

Brisbane property price bubble but get ready for a reckoning

Brisbane’s house prices would continue to outpace the nation this year but a significant slump was near, according to the ANZ.

The bank’s economics team has revised its outlook for house prices and now tips a fall of about 3 per cent nationally this year followed by an 8 per cent fall next year. It had previously tipped a rise of 8 per cent this year and a fall of 6 per cent next year.

In Brisbane, the monthly growth rate has slipped down to about 2.5 per cent and ANZ expects a yearly rate this year of about 6 per cent with a fall of about 9 per cent next year.

The higher end of the market in Brisbane was also continuing to outpace the middle and lower price bracket in growth rates.

The downturn was being caused by higher interest rates and affordability issues and ANZ said the “wealth effect” would come into play which would spread the housing downturn to other areas of the economy.

“Falling house prices will weigh on consumer spending through the wealth effect, but high savings will provide a solid buffer,” ANZ said.

It expects the RBA cash rate to get to 2.35 per cent by mid-2023 while the market is tipping a 3.25 per cent. A cash rate of 2.35 per cent meant a variable rate mortgage of 4.75 per cent and a 3.25 per cent rate would increase variable loans to 5.65 per cent.

It said some people may struggle but forced selling because of higher interest rates was a low risk.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic said the Coalition’s plan to allow first home buyers to access their superannuation accounts to help pay for a house had some merit but there were downsides, including the possibility that it would only stimulate demand for housing and increase the cost “eroding some of the benefit of dipping into their super”.
CoreLogic worked out that under the scheme the median amount that could be accessed would be about $10,000, the equivalent of state-based first home buyer grants.
“CoreLogic data shows the current median dwelling value in Australia is $748,635, meaning the scheme could help increase the size of a standard deposit by around 1 per cent,” the company said.
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