Sunday, December 28, 2008

Predictions for 2009

At the beginning of 2008, I made a number of predictions in this post.

The predictions were mostly wrong!

The Brisbane apartment market did not grow significantly in 2008, and took a minor step backwards. At present, there are fewer buyers and more sellers. For some off-the-plan developments, no sales have been made for months. Second tier buildings and buildings with more than 200 apartments have not done well.

So I will be careful with my predictions for 2009:

I still believe that quality inner city apartments in Brisbane will do well in 2009. Provided there is no significant unemployment and provided that foreign students continue to come to Brisbane, vacancy rates will remain low.

In 2008, only four new inner city apartment buildings completed and settled. These were Evolution (over priced), M on Mary (which has mostly 1 bedroom apartments, and the developer is now in liquidation), Flow at West End and Iceworks at Paddington. In 2009, no new large inner city apartments will settle. Groundwork has started on Mertion's Soleil and the Trilogy Tower project, but these will no complete until 2012. Mirvac's Tennyson Reach project will settle two buildings in 2009, and FKP's SL8 at West End will also probably complete in 2009. So not much new stock.

So here are some predictions for 2009:

• The price of a good quality 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in Brisbane, with views, will range from $780,000 to $850,000.
• The price of an average quality 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in Brisbane will struggle to pass $550,000.
• Average rent for an unfurnished 2 bedroom apartment will rise to $600 per week.
• Investors will return to the market, as interest rates are falling and rents are rising.
• There will be more action in the inner suburbs than in the city. Prices for quality apartments in areas such as Indooroopilly and Toowong (where there is a train station and regional shopping, close to education facilities) will boom. By the end on 2008, it will be hard to find a good quality 2 bedroom apartment in these areas for less than $600,000.

• The Gold Coast apartment market will tank even more. The Sunshine Coast apartment market will remain steady.

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