A lack of supply, not a lack of interest, is responsible for a downturn in Brisbane’s prestige property market, agents say.
Data from the Domain Group shows sales over $2 million have dropped by 50 per cent in some suburbs when compared to last year’s figures.
In the four months leading up to April 2015, there were 10 sales over $2 million in Hamilton and six in Bulimba.
In the same period this year, there were only five sales over $2 million in Hamilton and three in Bulimba.
In Teneriffe, where there were eight sales over $2 million last year between January and April, there has only been one single sale over $2 million during the same time this year.
Prestige sales were also down in other suburbs like New Farm, Indooroopilly and Clayfield.
37 Macquarie Street, Teneriffe, has had plenty of interest from prospective buyers. Photo: Supplied
Only Ascot has improved on $2 million-plus sales this year, recording five as opposed to last year’s three.
But the sales figures were not a true representation of interest in Brisbane’s prestige market, according to sales professionals.
Simon Caulfield of Place East Brisbane said prestige housing in Brisbane had been chronically under-supplied for the past couple of years.
“The level of stock hasn’t increased over the past couple of years but the number of buyers over $2 million has,” he said.
Mr Caulfield said he had recently sold eight out of the 14 apartments in a new luxury development at Scott Street, Kangaroo Point, in less than two weeks. The average sale price was $4 million.
Property on Brisbane’s riverfront is tightly held and demand is strong.Photo: Supplied
Judy Goodger has been selling prestige real estate in Brisbane for 35 years and currently works in and around New Farm, Teneriffe and Newstead. She said demand was extremely strong but supply was low.
“Particularly on the riverfront, there is never enough stock to fill the demand we get from buyers,” she said.
Ms Goodger just listed 37 Macquarie Street and was inundated with calls from prospective buyers within days.
“They’re so tightly held in that area, it could be years before another one comes onto the market,” she said.
Sherrie Storor of McGrath New Farm said the difficulty in measuring prestige sales figures was the unique nature of the properties themselves.
“I find that properties at this sort of price point are one-offs,” she said.
“People buy them not because of how the market is performing but because they are in love with it. It’s a lifestyle thing, so it’s not really affected by movements in the market but more by what’s available at the time.”
iews over the Brisbane river are a drawcard for Hamilton house buyers.Photo: Supplied
Gail Havig has been selling prestige real estate in Brisbane for 40 years. Widely regarded as the veteran of multi-million-dollar sales in Hamilton and Ascot, she agreed this year had started off slowly.
“I think what’s really slowed things down at the high end is we simply haven’t had enough to sell at that price point,” she said.
Ms Havig said the Brisbane city council election, followed by an early Easter and then two long weekends, had taken its toll on listing.
“Vendors have waited to list their properties because who wants to sell in the middle of elections and holidays?” she said.
She said prestige suburbs like Ascot, which Domain data showed had dropped its median price by about 10 per cent in the past six months, existed in its own bubble.
“Yes there might be a 10 per cent price drop on paper but that’s because last year there were two $10 million-plus sales in the area. Naturally, if there’s not another two $10 million sales in the following six months, the median price will seemingly drop,” she said.
“That doesn’t mean prices in the suburb have dropped. The median will fluctuate depending on the properties that have been sold at the time. That’s the nature of working in an area with such expensive housing.”
Damon Warat from Ray White Ascot said properties over the $2 million mark were “very active” at the moment.
“Last week I sold one off the market for $1.96 million … that was just from approaching people I knew,” he said.
“Four from five have sold at auction and the tender I had sold by the closing date. That’s all within the past few weeks and all over that $2 million mark.
“We’re finding there’s not many ‘tyre-kickers’ around right now; they’re all quality buyers who are purchasing.”