March 24, 2017
by Platform Research

Brisbane renters flock to new developments – Urbis

inner brisbane building developments

Vacancy rates for new Inner Brisbane apartments remained tight at 2.3 per cent over the December quarter 2016, according to new research released today by leading property consultants, Urbis.

The Urbis Inner Brisbane Apartment Rental Review found that new developments are out-performing older, established projects with lower levels of amenity.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) reported a higher vacancy rate of 3.6 per cent for the total Inner Brisbane rental market over the same period.

Urbis Associate Director of Property Economics and Research Paul Riga says that the indicative vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent for new apartments is a slight increase on the September quarter 2016, which recorded 2.2 per cent.

“Given that 2016 has seen the highest number of new apartments to ever settle within Inner Brisbane, this is a positive result,” said Mr Riga.

Increased choice, competitive rents and desirable locations are driving renters’ movements.

The report, which surveys 23 projects containing over 4,000 apartments, found that close to 50 per cent of renters in the new projects had moved from Middle and Outer precincts of Brisbane.

The Middle Ring (5-20km) and Brisbane Local Government Authority recorded vacancy rates of 3.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively (REIQ).

Mr Riga commented: “These vacancy rates are expected to rise as the trend for new apartments attracting residents from the outer areas into Inner Brisbane continues.”

While vacancy has remained tight, the competitive nature of the Inner Brisbane apartment market has driven softening rents over the December quarter, resulting in a decrease in average rental yields.

Building managers have also reported that new buildings are taking longer to reach full occupancy.

However, well-located, high-quality buildings with strong amenity are largely unaffected, recording little rental price decreases and have seen minimal ‘renter churn’ – with renters happy to stay on despite new projects available around them.

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March 24, 2017
by Platform Research

Brisbane’s property market is growing hotter by the minute – Your Investment Property


While Brisbane is sometimes derided for being the less glamorous sister of the more cosmopolitan southeastern capitals, its weather is sunnier and its property market is growing hotter by the minute.

Brisbane’s high-end residential market saw a positive shift toward the end of last year, according to real estate agency Ray White, which brokered the 2014 sale of an Aaron Avenue home to Gina Rinehart, the wealthiest person in Australia, for $14m.

Last week, Brisbane set a record in residential property with the sale of a Kangaroo Point mansion for a jaw-dropping $18.48m. Overall, the city registered a record number of transactions in homes above the million-dollar threshold last year.

Demand for Brisbane property is particularly strong among Chinese buyers. The city is now the third most searched state capital in Australia on the international Chinese-language property portal Aside from China, demand for Brisbane homes stems from investors from the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

“We see the gap between Sydney and Melbourne closing in the next couple of years,” said Patrick Hunt, manager at Indigo Building Group. Hunt noted that interstate investors from the southern states had begun their “northern migration,” drawn in part by Brisbane’s more affordable median house price and stronger yields.

“People can’t afford the yield that they’re looking for in other cities; their returns aren’t there,” said Mitch Koper, media manager at CoreLogic. “In Brisbane, you can buy a house for [$600,000] and get a return of 7 or 8 percent in some cases. It’s a very reasonably priced market.”

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March 24, 2017
by Platform Research

Why 2017 is the ‘the year to watch’ for the Brisbane apartment market – Domain

brisbane apartment development

Real estate professionals say 2017 will be a crucial year for Brisbane’s apartment market – and that it’s too early to tell if it will be able to cope with the record number of rental stock expected to be released in the next 12 months.

It comes a week after the Reserve Bank flagged potential tighter lending standards because of the “looming oversupply of apartments in Brisbane, in particular”.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said recent data showed the market was in the early stages of returning to normal. Average rents for units rose and the vacancy rate had fallen decreased from this time last year, he said.

“Certainly it’s a turnaround from the recent high levels of supply and low levels of demand in the Brisbane rental market,” Dr Wilson said. “This is a small snapshot, before we get too excited about a revival in the rental market.”

Domain Group data showed in February that the median rent for an apartment in Brisbane grew 1.3 per cent to $390 each week and the vacancy rate grew to 3.3 per cent, up 0.1 per cent year on year.

Urbis associate director Paul Riga said he had made a similar discovery in his organisation’s latest report.

“Our key finding there is the inner city vacancy rates for new apartments has seen a very slight increase over the December quarter,” he said.

The rate increased from 2.2 per cent to 2.3 per cent, although Mr Riga said the increase was less than he expected.

“In a period where we’ve seen the highest amount of settlements come through, the expectation for many people was the vacancy rate was going to be a lot higher, but it’s still at 2.3 per cent.”

The newest developments were the least affected by the oversupply, Mr Riga said, because they often managed to fill up, while others perceived to be lower quality struggled.

Inner city property management company Song Properties’ Hamish Lindsay said his company had managed to fill the majority of its apartments in a relatively short time.

“At the end of last year we put maybe two hundred apartments on the market between two buildings which settled by November,” he said. “We had 95 per cent filled in about a six week turn around.”

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March 17, 2017
by Platform Research

The Reserve Bank’s next interest rate increases will have triple the force of 90s hikes – Domain

RBA stock photo

The sheer scale of Australia’s household debt means lifting interest rates is going to be a far more sensitive operation than previous tightening cycles.

At present, just two economists think the Reserve Bank of Australia will hike rates this year as it frets about hefty mortgages and financial stability. Goldman Sachs and TD Securities both expect a single quarter-percentage-point increase in the fourth quarter, while traders are pricing in a 30 per cent chance of a December hike.

But consider a hypothetical scenario where the Federal Reserve turns aggressive in lifting rates, the Australian dollar tumbles, and the RBA seeks to tame a subsequent boost in inflation with monetary policy: too much household debt would pose a risk of the central bank crushing the economy with the hit from rate rises.

James McIntyre, head of economic research at Macquarie Bank, has run the ruler over previous tightening cycles in the mid 1990s and turn of the century, the first of which involved 11 quarter-point hikes. He found that the subsequent surge in households’ debt servicing ratio – interest costs as a portion of disposable income – would be achieved with less than a third of those hikes today, thanks to record high private debt levels.

“The RBA’s reticence about further increases in household debt-to-income ratios is clear when you begin to consider how potent interest-rate rises might be from a debt-servicing perspective,” McIntyre said.

“At the current level of debt-to-income, we estimate that three to four 25 basis-point rate hikes would deliver a bigger increase in debt-servicing costs for households than 10 to 11 rate hikes did in the mid-1990s.”

Macquarie estimates that given households’ debt levels – currently at a record 187 per cent of income – a one per centage point increase in the RBA’s cash rate would, in the absence of further increases in lenders’ borrowing rates, push the household debt servicing ratio beyond 10 per cent.

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March 17, 2017
by Platform Research

How much land is worth in your suburb – The Queensland Times

Augustine Heights

Land in Augustine Heights is the most valuable in Ipswich, according to new valuations.

The State Government yesterday released suburb lists for each local government area following valuations across 28 council areas.

It shows land values in Augustine Heights have increased by a whopping $40,000, on average, since 2015.

But Camira was the standout with the average land value increasing by $45,000 to $227,500, up from $182,500, based on the valuation of 2307 properties.

The average sale price of a house in Camira is $445,000, according to RP Data.

Queensland Valuer-General Neil Bray said the growth in some areas, including Camira and Springfield, came down to property trends with buyers gravitating toward suburbs where they could achieve “value for money”.

“Residential median values have risen in most locations,” Mr Bray said.

“Some localities, such as Camira and Springfield in the city’s east reflected moderate increases in median values due to strong demand for value for money locations with the median value of residential land in Camira increasing from $182,500 to $227,500.”

While Redbank Plains, the most populated Ipswich suburb, didn’t make the list of most valuable areas it has experienced significant growth.

In 2015 the average land value in Redbank Plains was $132,000. Now that’s up to $152,500; an increase of 15.5%.

Across Ipswich land values, including commercial and industrial land, have increased by 12.6% compared to an 11.5% increase in residential land values.

Top five most valuable suburbs [West of Brisbane]:

  1. Augustine Heights $240,000 Up from $200,000

  2. Camira $227,500 Up from $182,500

  3. Pine Mountain $220,000 No change

  4. Springfield $215,000 Up from $172,500

  5. Springfield Lakes $207,500 Up from $172,500

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March 17, 2017
by Platform Research

Gold Coast new apartment market shoots sky high in 2016 – Urbis

Surfers Paradise,Gold Coast,Queensland Australia

The Gold Coast new apartment market ended 2016 with an annual sales level of 1,555 sales, according to the latest research by property consultants Urbis. This is the strongest performance recorded since 2007.

With 325 new apartment sales in the December 2016 quarter, and despite a slight downturn from the previous quarter – the Gold Coast apartment market finished the year positively, with increased activity in the sector. This positive activity is expected to continue into 2017.

Along with the healthy sales rate, only 1,372 apartments remained available for sale at the end of December 2016, which equates to less than one year’s worth of supply.

Urbis Senior Consultant Lynda Campbell says the Gold Coast apartment market is hitting its stride. “We are seeing confidence in the apartment market, and the level of supply and demand are remaining within reach of each other.”

“The growing down-sizer market is seeing this sector strengthen, and this trend is now beginning to emerge in the Brisbane new apartment market.”

Along with a strong sales rate, the weighted average sale price increased by $57,774 in the December 2016 quarter, registering $653,923 – an increase that was felt across every precinct.

“The Southern Beaches precinct recorded the highest increase at $246,358,” Ms Campbell said.

“Premium product influenced this, with the average price of surveyed apartment projects in the precinct ranging from $880,000 to $1.75 million.”

With only 46 apartments remaining for sale in the Southern Beaches precinct at the end of the quarter, Ms Campbell sees a potential under-supply in this market.

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March 10, 2017
by Platform Research

The Queensland regions where land values are going up – The Queensland Times

House under construction

Land values increased in less than half of Queensland’s local government areas in the past year with regional areas feeling the pinch.

New land valuations to be released on Wednesday March 8, will reveal increases in only ten of the 28 local government areas assessed.

Those that did increase experienced rises of between 1.8 per cent and a whopping 57.5 per cent.

That big performer was the Carpentaria local government area the median value was now still a very affordable $31,500.

According to the Valuer-General’s 2017 Property market movement report Southeast Queensland suburbs fared well.

Queensland Valuer-General Neil Bray said land valuations in Logan Council area were up by 18.9 per cent, Ipswich by 11.5 per cent and Brisbane 10.3 per cent.

“An increase in urban land values has generally occurred in Brisbane and its environs, the Gold Coast and Gympie,” he said.

In all 87 Brisbane suburbs recorded minor increases of up to $50,000 in median value including Zillmere, Mt Gravatt, Lutwyche, Kenmore, Annerley, Windsor, Aspley, Ascot and Bulimba.

A further 32 suburbs had increased land values between $50,000 and $75,000 including Camp Hill, Mansfield, Salisbury, Auchenflower, Bowen Hills and Chermside.

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March 10, 2017
by Platform Research

Brisbane City Council Completely Reshapes Brisbane Metro Plan – Brisbane

Artist's impression of bi-articulated glider style bus vehicle

The Brisbane City Council has fine-tuned its plans for the Brisbane Metro Subway System in order to overcome some critical operational issues that it had experienced with the previous design.

The newly unveiled system is a complete departure from a metro style track-based rubber tyre system.

Under the new plan, 60 bi-articulated glider-style buses will run along two lines linking Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street busway stations and Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital to University of Queensland Lakes busway stations.

The vehicles will use 21 kilometres of the existing busway infrastructure with frequencies of one vehicle every three minutes in peak times and 90 seconds between Roma Street and the Gabba precinct with an aim to slash travel times by up to 50 per cent.

There will be two interchange stations connecting with the new Cross River Rail at Boggo Road and Roma Street Busway stations.

In the process of overhauling the proposal, the project’s forecasted cost has been reduced by around $500 million with the final cost expected to be less than $1 billion.

Cr Quirk said the expanded project was developed in response to extensive consultation with a focus on better integration of the Metro with the State Government’s Cross River Rail.

“Metro services will be expanded to the suburbs and will help address Brisbane’s existing congestion and capacity issues with a fast and reliable public transport service to keep Brisbane heading in the right direction,” he said.

“People’s journeys from the suburbs to the city and home again will be faster with journeys between Buranda and King George Square 50 per cent faster in the afternoon peak and 30 per cent faster in the morning peak.

“Right now, buses carry two out of every three public transport trips in Brisbane. Our existing bus infrastructure is already at capacity in a number of areas and cannot cope with the continued forecast growth of our city.

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March 10, 2017
by Platform Research

100,000 lots across 17 new suburbs to be rezoned by Victorian Government within two years – Urbanalyst

Melbourne's suburbs to be rezoned in the next two years

The Victorian Government last week said it is taking action to boost land supply and cut delays in approvals to make housing more affordable for Victorians, with 100,000 lots to be rezoned within two years in Melbourne’s key growth corridors.

Precinct structure plans will include details of services, infrastructure and amenities for the new suburbs, which include Pakenham East, Minta Farm and McPherson in Melbourne’s south east, Wollert, Donnybrook and Beveridge Central in Melbourne’s north, and Plumpton, Kororoit, Mt Atkinson and Tarneit Plains in Melbourne’s west.

The Streamlining for Growth program is also being extended another three years, which helps councils streamline subdivision processes, unlock sites and speed up applications for residential and employment land.

In a joint statement, Treasurer Tim Pallas and Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the program will ensure planning projects can progress without hold ups.

“Some 37 projects have already begun tackling the red tape that once delayed subdivision approvals from councils and utilities –saving time and money for both developers and buyers,” they said.

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March 3, 2017
by Platform Research

$6.3 billion project to drive Ipswich population boom – The Queensland Times

Springfield development to drive population boom

The ten thousand apartments to be built at Springfield Central are set to transform Ipswich and contribute up to a stunning 10% of the city’s predicted population growth in the next two decades.

Who knows, just like exists in similar suburban centres in Vancouver, Ipswich may well boast driverless trains going back and forth from Springfield Central to service commuters working in Brisbane and in other parts of Ipswich.

As reported earlier this month by the QT, the $6.3 billion development over 15 years has been made possible through Chinese investment and a deal struck between Springfield Land Corporation (SLC) and China’s Etone Australia Developments and R&F Properties.

SLC chairman Maha Sinnathamby told The Weekend Australian at the signing ceremony between the parties that the development would “be transformational for the Ipswich region”.

Deputy mayor Paul Tully has been an Ipswich councillor for 38 years and said Ipswich had not seen anything like the scale of development planned and that it would drive the projected exponential growth of the city.

Factoring in a conservative figure of two people per apartment, the development could house up to 20,000 people by completion.

“Now that we have just hit 200,000 our prediction is that we will double our population in the next 20 years,” Cr Tully said.

“This apartment development alone means that we are well on track to do that and will strengthen our position as the fastest growing city in Queensland.”

Cr Tully said that in the town centre area of Springfield, with the commercial development coming and the apartments being constructed just five minutes from the railway station and next to Orion Shopping Centre, it would mean “a complete transition from what Ipswich has ever seen”.

“There will be upmarket stores, coffee shops and restaurants all serving the people who live in the 10,000 apartments,” he said.

Cr Tully said he had visited a similar suburban satellite centre of Vancouver and the potential for the use of new technologies afforded by the apartment development was exciting.

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