Saturday, March 29, 2008


"Vision has captured the imagination of Brisbane and has proved enormously popular with sales now at $250 million, with 70% of apartments already sold," Mr Chappell said.

"The pre-sales of apartments and the recent commercial sale shows the strength of the Brisbane market and confirms an enthusiastic acceptance of the project among future residents and investors."


New Apartment Prices in Brisbane

1. Trilogy Hotel Rooms (studios & two bedrooms)
  • levels 36 to 47
  • 16 apartments per floor
  • sold fully furnished with 2 year rent guarantee
  • hotel managed by Mirvac
  • sizes range from 53 sqm to 89 sqm
  • no balcony
  • 3 elevators
  • about half will have river views
  • most do not have car parking
  • completion about 2012

Average price per apartment on level 36: $639,000
Average price per square metre on level 36: $9,785

Average price per apartment on level 47: $695,000
Average price per square metre on level 47: $10,630

2. Empire Square (two and three bedrooms)

  • levels 47 to 60
  • 7 apartments per floor
  • sold unfurnished
  • hotel managed by Westin
  • sizes range from 117 sqm to 150 sqm
  • no balcony
  • 5 elevators plus service elevator
  • about half will have river views
  • 1 or 2 car parks per apartment
  • completion about 2012

Average price per apartment on level 47: $1,502,857
Average price per square metre on level 47: $11,336

3. Aurora Skyhome

  • levels 64 to 65
  • 5 apartments per floor
  • sold unfurnished
  • managed by Oaks
  • 2 and 3 bed apartments
  • four with river views
  • 2 car parks per apartment
  • completed in 2006
  • Last year, apartment 643 on level 64 was listed at $1,095,000. 2 bed, 2 bath, 2 cars, 102 sqm internal, 125 sqm total, $8,760 per sqm metre

4. Pinnacle Parklands

  • levels 4 to 12
  • 5 apartments per floor
  • range of sizes
  • No river views - views of Roma Street Parklands
  • completed 2007
  • Last year, a 3 bed/2 bath/media room/3 car park display apartment about level 5 was being sold furnished at $1,675,000. 184 sqm internal, 257 sqm total, $6,517 per sqm.

5. Tennyson Reach

  • five buildings, each around 10 floors
  • some floors have 8 apartments, some 2 apartments
  • range of sizes
  • almost all have river views
  • to be completed in about 2010
  • about 1 elevator per 3 apartments per floor


  • 2 bed, 2 bath, 111 sqm internal, 141 sqm total, 5th floor, $910,000 ($6,453 per sqm)
  • 3 bed, 2 bath, 192 sqm internal, 227 sqm total, 4th floor, $1,320,000 ($5,814 per sqm)
  • 3 bed, 2 bath, 189 sqm internal, 235 sqm total, 5th floor, $1,475,000 ($6,276 per sqm)

Water's Edge at West End

For a photo of the proposed development, see this Vox site.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

104 Apartments for Bardon

First, there was Roma Street Parklands. Then Sherwood Parklands. My guess is that next, the Pradella Construction Group will launch Bardon Parklands. Pradella owns the Bardon Conference Centre.

"Brisbane City Council is assessing an application by the Pradella Group to rezone the 3.4ha site from a community purpose and conservation area for redevelopment. The proposal, lodged with the council in September 2006, features four three-storey buildings to house 104 apartments and 20 attached units, with 248 car parks."


Would you live in Charlotte Towers?

I visited Charlotte Towers recently. It was built and sold by Devine as an apartment building, and sold as "residential apartments". However, it is now an Oaks Hotel. There are still some people living here on a full time basis. But it is not nice. Four things that I saw on my visit:

  • room service plates and trays left in the hall
  • cleaners with trolleys blocking halls and elevators
  • a hotel guest who was very frustrated, who had a bad check in experience, and could not find her way to her "room" - she took her frustrations out on me
  • the driveway to the car park blocked with people trying to check in -- there were four cars trying to get in and two cars trying to get out -- but it was blocked by a car of guests checking in.

An agent said that it was better now, as the facilities got less use -- before Oaks, there were many students in the building, often illegally overcrowding apartments. Oaks, he said, is now focusing on short stays for executives. The agent said that Oaks had over 90% occupancy during the week.

Online, I could reserve a one bedroom apartment for $150 a night.

RP Data Report

RP Data reports that Brisbane Apartment prices increased about 28% last year. Growth, however, is slowing.


This valuer's report is also interesting.

Brisbane Westin

The Empire Square development is now in pre-sales. It is called The Residences at the Brisbane Westin Empire Square.

"The building area will be approximately 85,000m2. It is designed to be 250 metres high with 68 storeys and 62 habitable floor levels. Currently there are only 2 other buildings in the Brisbane CBD of comparable height.

The building architects Cottee Parker Architects Pty Ltd have designed an iconic structure which will be a signature building in Brisbane, with an ultra-modern tower and timeless qualities adding to the elegance of the city skyline.

Internally, the design aims to create a pleasing and peaceful ambiance in keeping with the elegance of the structure, whilst providing modern and practical solutions.

The development will be located on a land area of almost 2,000m2 at the upper end and southwest side of Elizabeth Street Brisbane.

The building will also feature 23 floors of "A grade" office space from levels 5 to 27. The office section will have a separate foyer and dedicated lift bank.

The building will also incorporate 104 strata titled residential apartments over 16 floors from floor 47 to 62. The current proposal is to integrate the apartments within the ´5 Star Hotel´. Through the integration concept, the apartments will be complementary to the Hotel and benefit from a wide range of premium facilities offered by the Hotel including; swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, steam bath, relaxation lounge, food and beverage, house-keeping and laundry services.

The development will provide a range of accommodation choices from two bedroom apartments (some with study) to three bedroom sky homes and double storey penthouses. Prices start at $1,300,000.

The Hotel will occupy 20 levels of hotel rooms and facilities, which will incorporate 306 luxury hotel rooms and suites, including a presidential suite overlooking South Bank.

Level 30 will feature the hotel´s recreational facilities including pool, his & hers gyms, beauty centre and day spa. Meeting rooms and a business centre will also be available to guests.

Bar and dining facilities will be available on the mezzanine levels."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Trilogy Tower

French Quarter in Alice Street

From the Devine website, which shows that three towers are planned:

"Devine Limited has recently obtained control of a 7,252sqm parcel of land in the Brisbane CBD directly opposite the Botanic Gardens."

"A circa 54 storey high-rise development incorporating a 120 - 150 room 6 star boutique hotel approximately with circa 70 first class residential units ranging in size from 250 - 800sqm gross and valued at between $3 million to $15 million each. The development is located on the corner of Alice and Albert Streets opposite the Brisbane Botanical Gardens.

Projects Status:
The building is currently in the initial schematic design and we have run an international design competition which we believe will produce a visionary landmark design. Submissions have already been received from some of Europes finest architects. We have also run an international tender seeking expressions of interest from leading hotel operator-managers and have 12 responses from national and internationally renowned organisations in the field.
Some of those include:
The Park Hyatt
The Regent
Conrad Hilton
A development application will be lodged over the site once the new Brisbane City Neighbourhood plan has been adopted in 2008."


Promotional Video: Click to see Devine's proposal.

Hamilton Harbour - Over 200 Apartments Planned

From Devine's website:

Mixed-use development comprising approximately 250 apartments, 30,000m2 commercial office space and 1500m2 retail space.

A preliminary development application was lodged over the site in January 2007, which is currently being processed by Brisbane City Council and is anticipated to be approved in early 2008.

$400 million

FY 2011 (stage development)

Last quarter 2008


REIQ Apartment Price Report for Brisbane

REIQ Unit Report - see

Brisbane City - medium price is $469,000 for December 2007 quarter, which is a 8.7% change of the quarter. A number of suburbs have a higher medium price.

From the Brisbane Times this week:

The median sale price of units and townhouses in the inner-city suburb of Milton almost doubled last year, beating growth seen in Hamilton and New Farm.

A suburb known for its student population, proximity to a brewery and a miniature Eiffel Tower, Milton left other city hotspots for dead in 2007. ...

A scarcity of potential development sites in the inner-city area had seen Milton placed "in the firing line" of developers because of its location, he said.

As a result, industrial and commercial lots in the suburb could soon be replaced with new apartment projects, he said.

Units in Milton represent almost 39 per cent of all dwellings, with a higher proportion of older properties built between the 1960s and 1990s.

"The median unit price since 2004 has experienced significant fluctuations, particularly when new apartment stock dominates the total number of transactions," Mr Rivera said.

Prices in the area had performed "exceptionally well" lately thanks to the introduction of high-rise apartments, which achieved a much higher price than mature unit stock, he said.

Planned developments in the area confirmed Milton as a "strategic location" for residents and businesses, as it was likely to bring new infrastructure and improve liveability.

One such project is FKP's Union Milton development situated above the train station, and is proposed to include a 30-storey residential building of 214 apartments.

Along with the residential component, the developer plans to include a hotel and 10-storey office space.

While there was a drop in sales in the December quarter, Mr McGrath said investors would likely return to the market as yields improved over the course of 2008.

Brisbane Auction Results for early March 2008

Evolution Discounted

Received in the email today:

... the developer is offering a limited offer to all purchasers of 2bed, 2bath, 1car and 2bed, 1bath, 1car apartments in Evolution as a part of our Grand Opening.

A type Apartments 2bed, 2bath, 1car apartments
  • 1 year, 5% rental guarantee
  • $50,000 rebate to purchaser at settlement
C type Apartments 2bed, 1bath, 1car apartments
  • 1 year, 6% rental guarantee
  • $30,000 rebate to purchaser at settlement
This offer valid for sales where the SAF is received by 31 March and the contract is unconditional on or before 14 April, 2008."

I guess this means that Evolution was overpriced or is not selling well or the developer is worried about a market downturn.

St George Bank's Prediction regarding housing price growth

Despite the healthy state of the Australian economy, with positive terms of trade helping to boost incomes and household spending power, uncertain financial conditions may limit any benefits for property growth.

St George says that, on balance, it's unlikely that the residential housing market will remain unharmed.

"For this reason, despite fundamentals such as lower vacancy rates and higher population growth rates, we have downgraded our forecasts for average house prices," chief economist Steven Milch says in the latest property market update.

Australian house price growth is now expected to be between 5 and 10 per cent over the next year, with Perth the only possible exception - possibly below the 5 per cent mark.

"It should be noted, however, that a cooling in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide (where prices increased by a minimum of 18 per cent over the past 12 months) might actually assist in avoiding a boom-bust cycle," Mr Milch says.

The bank says history shows the last five housing cycles lasted for an average of five years from base to peak.

"The trough of the current cycle was end-2004 so the possible timing of the next peak is end-2009," Mr Milch says.


Bardon Parklands - 104 apartments planned

First, there was Roma Street Parklands. Then Sherwood Parklands. My guess is that next, the Pradella Construction Group will launch Bardon Parklands. Pradella owns the Bardon Conference Centre.

"Brisbane City Council is assessing an application by the Pradella Group to rezone the 3.4ha site from a community purpose and conservation area for redevelopment. The proposal, lodged with the council in September 2006, features four three-storey buildings to house 104 apartments and 20 attached units, with 248 car parks."


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Brisbane Apartment Market is Hot

Extract from SMH (Full article) March 4, 2008

According to BIS Shrapnel forecasts, Brisbane is projected to show the best growth over the next three years and by 2010 will have the leading long-term growth average of Australia's capital cities.

While preferring not to elect individual suburbs as growth hot spots, BIS Shrapnel senior economist Jason Anderson says the imbalance between supply and demand in Brisbane is set to affect apartment prices. Anderson believes the capital will soon face a dire shortage of apartments, especially for renters.

"[The imbalance is] going to get even worse in the inner-ring suburbs ... so in that sense there's a leaning towards that end of the market - particularly if you're looking at the volume of demand, which will rise substantially as new office developments are completed in 2009 and 2010."


Most people buying an apartment within Brisbane aspire to purchase within the inner city or areas near the city, Lawless says. He believes these areas provide the highest level of amenity, such as shopping, restaurants, nightclubs and cafes.

Both Lawless and McNamara believe the city will offer good returns in the medium term. "Essentially, it's important to be close to the CBD - and where apartments overlook the river and are close to the city you'll probably have good capital growth," McNamara says.

"Brisbane is starting to become expensive and many Gen Ys are going to be looking to rent in quality apartments in the city where the action is, as opposed to buying, because property prices where they want to live are somewhat out of their reach."



McNamara says Noosa Heads is "the signature place - the place to be on the Sunshine Coast" and believes that of all the areas in the region, this is the one where strong demand will continue.

Noosa's median apartment price rose from $500,000 in 2006 to $549,000 last year. McNamara also likes Mooloolaba, which has a thriving local economy and attracts many holiday-makers. Median prices rose from $355,000 in 2006 to $375,000 last year.

Skyline - How much is unsold?

From Ariadne's report to the ASX dated 27 February 2008:

The 192 unit Skyline project was completed in October 2007. As at 31 December 2007, the project was 65% settled. Currently, 24 units remain to be sold.

Ariadne expects a degree of volatility in the SEQ property market over the next 12 months.

(On 13 November 2007, Ariadne reported that the Skyline project was 80% sold and that settlement was expected on the week starting 26 November 2007.)

Why, if it was 80% sold as at November, was it only 65% settled as at the end of December? Did 15% of the sales fail to settle? Or are these insider sales with delayed settlement?

Waterfront Newstead

Mirvac's first mailout for their Waterfront project at Newstead has taken place.

Construction of the sales centre on Evelyn Street is underway.

Mirvac plans to release two buildings with the Pier area in the first half of this year.

The website at states one building will be 5 storeys and the other will be 8 storeys, and will comprise premium 3 and 4 bedroom apartments.

There will be a lake, a 6 hectare park, and a total of 650 apartments across all buildings when complete in 2015 -2017.

Demand for Brisbane Apartments Set to Rise

Extracts from the SMH. (Full article) March 4, 2008

"The coast may be fashionable but Brisbane remains the most popular location for interstate migrants, attracting the largest proportion of Sydneysiders ready to call Queensland home.

The growth in employment has affected housing supplies, says senior BIS Shrapnel economist Jason Anderson.

"There has been a huge amount of employment growth in south-east Queensland, particularly in office markets," Anderson says. "Vacancy rates in Brisbane are negligible and there has been a lot of office construction. Sites once mooted for residential use are snapped up for offices."

As a result, Anderson says, there is little new apartment construction happening and supply is very constrained.

"Office construction is going to draw a lot of people into the CBD for work, and demand for accommodation in inner-ring suburbs is going to increase sharply over the next two years," he says. "There are not going to be enough new apartments for them to occupy."

He says this situation means the outlook for inner-Brisbane apartments is positive. He also predicts a perception shift in the value of apartments in the middle and outer suburbs.

"We'll see more construction and acceptance of the value of having new apartments in middle and outer-ring suburbs close to transport infrastructure," he says. "There's not going to be enough rental housing in the inner ring, so demand will spill into the middle ring. This will change people's expectations of returns over the next two to three years."


"The recent stockmarket jitters might see more investors returning to the 'tried and true' property market," Timchur says. "With so many new unit projects about to launch in the Brisbane market, developers will need to keep their fingers on the pulse and make sure they are providing what the market wants.

"Things are going to get competitive this year."


The average price of a new unit within five kilometres of the Brisbane CBD rose from $597,000 in June last year to $725,417 in December, an increase of 21.5 per cent.

The figures were released by Colliers International Brisbane research analyst, Alison Timchur, who reports there are at least 10 big projects due to hit the Brisbane market this year.

These 10 developments account for more than 2400 units, with a building cost of $2.8 billion. More than 50 per cent are expected to be two-bed units, with a further 35 per cent one-bedders.

Timchur says this highlights how developers have been guided by market activity last year to determine current and emerging living trends, and are planning new developments to cater for the expanding single and couple inner-city market, which has dominated the Brisbane marketplace during the past year.

"One thing we may expect to see in 2008 is the continued escalation of new unit prices, driven by factors such as increased demand, larger living spaces and the increasing popularity of inner-city apartments for owner-occupiers and investors alike," she says.


· A PRDnationwide Brisbane unit report shows 2007 was a turnaround year for Brisbane's new apartment market.

· After the slowest year in more than a decade, there was an upswing of activity in new unit sales last year.

· During the year, $732 million of new apartments were bought and sold in inner Brisbane (a total of 1065 units).

· The average price of a new unit in inner Brisbane during last year was $687,000.

Not A Good Week for Auctions in Brisbane