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Millions going into Brisbane homes with Asia boom 2.0 well underway


MILLIONS of dollars worth of savings of Chinese buyers have begun flooding into Queensland property, with Brisbane the key destination.

Chinese market specialist, the Ausin Group – which set up an office in Brisbane because of rising demand for property here – has been sealing at least one residential deal a day, averaging between $550,000 and $600,000 each.

The vast bulk of transactions were from individual investors, said Ausin Group managing director Joseph Zaja, with homes bought for students making up around 10 per cent of sales.
“We’re getting between 30 to 60 sales a month ($16.5M-$36M) out of mainland China and seeing that trend increasing. The signs are extremely positive, we’re looking at Brisbane growing further and gaining a larger share of sales.”

“We’ve got lots of enquiries from lots of people who have pulled out of Chinese stock and are looking at stable options offshore. It’s still volatile over there whereas property here is extremely safe and stable.”

The biggest chunk of buyers, he said, were sophisticated investors who had bought property previously in southern states, but there was also a big number for whom Brisbane would be their first ever Australian purchase.

“They’re looking at other options to diversity their holdings and Brisbane has popped up really quite recently as an option. Brisbane yields are higher than Sydney and Melbourne so from an investment point of view it seems to stack up.”

Real estate agent Tom Zhang of Yong Real Estate said some of the amounts Asian buyers were prepared to pay to get the right property was staggering.

A 10 Monteith Strett property in Robertson, which sold for $1.17M in 2013, was relisted last month when the owner returned to China and sold for $1.5M. Two years ago the bank valuation on the property was $950,000.

While that sort of capital gain was rare, Mr Zhang said Brisbane property prices were considered affordable by Chinese buyers and places like Sunnybank, Eight Miles Plains and suburbs close by could expect to see massive property rises.

Phillip Cheung and Mandy Ma have just put down $900,000 for their MacGregor home, preferring to put an offer in before auction than take a chance on missing out.

The previous buyer had paid $530,000 for the Nevern Street property but then put the home through a renovation program before resale.

“We got married last year so we planned to get a new house,” Ms Ma said, with the couple deciding to move as soon as possible after seeing how high prices elsewhere were.

“We think is Brisbane is a good start, especially compared to Sydney and Melbourne. In Brisbane you can get a start into property now.”

Ms Ma, who was from mainland China, said she met her Australian husband after completing her studies here, and the couple decided to settle here

She was impressed with the news of a massive mixed use casino development in Brisbane city which augured well for growth here.

“We feel the house prices will keep increasing. We wanted to get a property here while the prices are good.”

Mr Zaja said his firm was seeing inner city and surrounding suburbs land the most deals “because of infrastructure, amenities and accessibility”.

The biggest chunk of buyers, he said, were sophisticated investors who had bought property previously in southern states, but there were also many buyers who were making their first-ever Australian purchase.

“They’re looking at other options to diversity their holdings and Brisbane has popped up really quite recently as an option. Brisbane yields are higher than Sydney and Melbourne so from an investment point of view it seems to stack up.”

Originally published as Millions going into Brisbane homes

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$130 million Wynnum CBD apartment development proposed

Wynnum CBD apartment development, Ora tower

The Brisbane-based property developer, HamBros, led by local developer Justin Ham, has lodged plans for a 27-level mixed-use development in the heart of Wynnum.

Ora, which will spread across a 7,278 sqm site at 74 Charlotte Street and 89 Bay Terrace, will be built behind the existing Wynnum Shopping Centre.

Ora, meaning ‘edge’ in Latin, has been designed by Ivory Collective and will comprise 275 apartments, with the amalgamation also planned to be home to retail space, as well as two-levels of commercial space.

“Ora is a development that intertwines the beautiful bayside environment of Wynnum with the ease and luxury of unit living,” architecture firm Ivory Collective noted in their design statement in the development application.

There will be 275 apartments in the development, made up of 54 one-bedroom, 148 two-bedroom and 67 three-bedroom apartments, along with six three-bed plus multi-purpose-room penthouses.

Ora’s floor plate is designed to orientate and capture as much of the East as possible, allowing for maximum exposure to the easterly breezes and bay views.

Wynnum CBD apartment development, Ora tower proposed

A full recreation level is planned for level five, with a 528 sqm restaurant and bar, set around an expansive pool terrace as well as a wet deck, space, sauna and steam rooms, private cabanas, a cinema, barbecues, meeting rooms, wine rooms and function spaces.

“The recreational level on Level 5 creates a space for both the public and residents alike to enjoy the beautiful bay views and surroundings,” the statement added.

Drawing inspiration from the Wynnum foreshore in both its material and palette and building form, Ora is made up of clean off-white concrete and bronzed feature cladding and batten, reflecting the warmth and clarity of the Wynnum/Manly beach front, Ivory Collective noted.

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Barwon secures Princess Alexandra Hospital car park

Barwon secures Princess Alexandra Hospital car park

Barwon Investment Partners has snapped up a multi-level car park and medical centre on a site with significant development upside opposite Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The Woolloongabba asset at 250 Ipswich Road is setting the healthcare focused fund manager back around $95 million, reflecting a circa four per cent net passing yield.

The property contains an eight level, 773-bay garage attached to a two floor wellness centre with 21 tenancies, anchored to Gabba Dermatology, Brisbane Cardiology and Allied Health; the Weighted Average Lease Expiry is nearly seven years.

A pedestrian overpass connects the building to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, also a major teaching campus, employing 6810.

The 5106 sqm block has significant upside – up to 15 storeys based on its zoning, according to JLL’s Seb Turnbull, Elliott O’Shea and Simon Quinn, who marketed the asset with a Blight Rayner scheme.

BIP invests again

Established in 2006, BIP holds a property portfolio worth $2.3 billion.

Its medical related product, much held in a Healthcare Property fund, is priced at about $1.4b as at March, 2022.

Seven months ago, for the trust, the manager paid Forza Capital $34.7m for a South Brisbane medical centre – not far from 250 Ipswich Rd – and two Canberra assets including Belconnen’s Ginninderra Medical & Dental Centre on nearly a hectare.

Also late last year BIP spent $75m for a 12 level St Kilda Rd office majority leased to Alfred Health.

More to come.



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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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