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Property market update: Brisbane, November 2019

Property market update Brisbane, November 2019

While some markets faced challenges, Brisbane remained steady throughout the year, ultimately offering long-term success to investors playing the long-term game. How will the Queensland capital fare in the coming new year?

Demand for Brisbane properties continues to bloom, with the latest data showing an increase in the number of people enquiring about properties and attending open homes.

According to Coronis managing director Andrew Coronis, the past month saw a large increase in property enquiries to 8,907 from October last year, largely brought about by major developments coming to Brisbane and more people moving from other states and overseas.

The 10 per cent year-on-year increase in open home attendees was the best result that the agency has gotten since 2016, he said.

“It’s a testament to everything that Brisbane has to offer for people looking for their ultimate Australian dream.”

“Brisbane is a growing hub of some fantastic developments, expanding job opportunities, cultural activities, entertainment and sunny weather all year long… It’s got something for everyone, and I think being within close proximity to some of the world’s best beaches is an added bonus,” Mr Coronis highlighted.

Due to the decreased number of listings and the growing demand for properties, Mr Coronis strongly encouraged investors to put their property in the market right now to ultimately set it up for success.

“With softening interest rates, lending restrictions, and first home buyer schemes, SEQ is a land of opportunities for everyone wanting to get into the property market… This only adds to the buyer confidence, and I think we’ll be seeing more people realising their property dreams in the Sunshine State,” he said.

Herron Todd White’s Month in Review report for November 2019 also found that Brisbane, along with Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, is experiencing a “balanced market” when it comes to rental vacancy.

With the affordability and reasonable yields in the Queensland capital, as well as increased infrastructure spending, strengthening employment prospects and rising net interstate migration, Right Property Group’s Steve Waters said that the “Brisbane boom” has been a long time coming.

“This is not really the city for super quick growth, but continues to be an excellent long-term bet if you buy the right asset in the right location,” Mr Waters highlighted.

Moving forward, CoreLogic believes that Brisbane, which didn’t experience as harsh a correction as other capital cities, is due to see meaningful recovery within four months if values continue to grow at the same pace as the last quarter.

Brisbane’s economy is currently being supported by major projects such as Queen’s Wharf, HS Wharf, TradeCoast, Cross River Rail, the second airport runway and the Adani coal mine.

Property values

CoreLogic’s November Home Value Index revealed that that the value of properties sold across Australia grew by 1.7 per cent, which takes the new median value of homes to $537,506. This has been the fifth consecutive increase in the national index, the largest monthly gain since 2003 and the first positive annual growth since April 2018.

According to CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless, while the five months’ worth of unexpected rapid recovery brings good news to investors, moving forward, it will be a matter of sustaining the high pace of capital gains.

“Annualising the growth rate over the past three months implies the national index is already tracking well above double-digit annual growth (15.3 per cent),” he said.

“Considering wages and household income growth remains low, economic conditions are losing momentum and housing affordability is once again worsening from an already high base in the largest cities, there are likely to be some headwinds in maintaining such a fast recovery.”

Compared to other capital cities, Brisbane has seen a much more shallow property downturn, with values falling by only 1.6 per cent below its peak in April 2018.

There has also been a mild growth cycle wherein values grew by an average of 0.8 per cent over the past five years.

This month, the Queensland capital has posted its fourth consecutive month of subtle gains, with house prices rising by 0.9 per cent and unit prices rising by 0.8 per cent. The average asking price across the capital city is now sitting at $631,800.

Supply and demand

The combined capital cities saw more than 2,500 homes go under the hammer during the second week of November, up from 2,412 over the previous week, according to CoreLogic’s Market Activity Update.

Preliminary results show a clearance rate of 74.1 per cent, slightly higher than the previous week’s 70.6 per cent.

One year ago, 2,745 auctions were held across the combined capitals, with only 42.0 per cent returning a successful result.

In Brisbane, there were 13.3 per cent fewer properties sold in the last 12 months compared to the previous year.

The capital city also saw an average selling time of 59 days, higher than last year’s 38 days.

Vendor discounting is at an average of 4.6 per cent, also higher than last year’s 4.5 per cent.

Still, with migration rates lifting, supply under control and healthy levels of housing affordability, the fundamentals of the Brisbane property market look significantly healthier than most of the other capital cities.

The underlying strong demand from both home buyers and investors at a time when yields are high and housing affordability is healthy also puts a floor under property prices.

Rental market

Meanwhile, Brisbane’s rental market has been relatively “soft” over the month due to an underwhelming economy, excess housing stock and low volumes of investment in residential real estate, according to Propertyology’s Simon Pressley.

In fact, Mr Pressley believes that the Queensland capital is back to “equilibrium status”.

“More recently, Brisbane’s reduction in residential construction, combined with an increase in internal migration, which is a by-product of housing affordability pressures in Sydney and Melbourne, has returned Brisbane’s rental market back to equilibrium status,” he said.

“Brisbane’s property supply levels are now supportive of a long-overdue property growth cycle.

“However, significant price growth will not occur without meaningful, private sector job creation first being produced.”


Despite challenges, Brisbane has been tipped as Australia’s newest investor hotspot, with properties within the 10-kilometre radius of the CBD predicted to boom as oversupply issues are expected to disappear soon, according to CoreLogic.

Mr Lawless said that properties just outside the Brisbane capital, in particular, offer excellent growth potential to investors.

“My first option would be buying a detached house within Brisbane, an established home within 10 kilometers of the CBD, at least 607 square meters of land, that’s your classic 24 perch block there,” according to him.

“And you’re going to be renting it out for 650 to 750 bucks a week, so classic 5.5 per cent yield. Really good value there. Values haven’t really moved too much in that bracket, and you got inherent scarcity there as well.”

Brisbane’s apartment construction may have peaked four years ago, but Mr Lawless said that some areas still stand to offer better buys than others.

Suburbs in the inner city such as West End, South Brisbane, New Farm, Teneriffe, Newstead are among the best options for investors, he said.

Pure Property’s Paul Glossop offered a similar sentiment, highlighting the potential of significant value growth in the freestanding established housing market.

“If I was in Brisbane, I’d be wanting to live in Brisbane or looking to downsize or buy my first home, I’d like it as that option. Still probably question whether four to 500 grand in that particular property in that market is the best place for my money at the stage,” he said.

While Brisbane’s growth has been subtle over the years, Mr Lawless said that investors would do well to take advantage of the affordability and the strengthening economy in the capital city.

“Look at the last 10 years, values have risen less than incomes. They drop like 1.5, 2 per cent per annum, mixed with some subtle rises, some subtle falls. So it’s a very affordable market, Australia’s third-largest city, very strong population growth,” Mr Lawless concluded.




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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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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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