Saturday, May 30, 2009

RP Data - Rismark Index

"The falls in Brisbane property values witnessed during 2008 appear to be a thing of the past. On an annual basis dwelling values in Brisbane are still down by -3 per cent during the year with house values falling -2.9 per cent and unit values declining by -3.4 per cent. Over the first four months of 2009 Brisbane has begun to once again show positive growth. During the first four months of the year house values climbed 1.9 per cent whilst unit values fell by -0.2 per cent despite the fact Brisbane is home to mainland Australia's most affordable unit market. Rental returns for houses have softened slightly and currently sit at 4.6 per cent whilst unit rental yields continue to improve and are now recorded at 5.4 per cent."

Home values continue to recover, recording a healthy 2.8% increase over the first four months of 2009

The RP Data/Rismark Australian Home Value Index out today confirmed that housing values around Australia rose by a healthy 2.8 per cent over the first four months to April 09—virtually wiping out the price falls seen in 2008 according to RP Data National Research Director Tim Lawless.*

Unlike the Australian Bureau of Statistics House Price Index, which excludes terraces, semi-detached homes, and apartments, the RP Data/Rismark International hedonic methodology, which is reported by the Reserve Bank of Australia, includes all dwellings. In addition, RP Data benefits from the largest sample of early property sales and property attributes (such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms and land area) of any index provider in Australia.

Over the first four months to April 09, every mainland capital city apart from Perth recorded an increase in home values with the most significant gains in Darwin (+5.3 per cent), Melbourne (+4.4 per cent), and Sydney (+3.9 per cent).

According to Rismark International Managing Director Christopher Joye, “Our analysis demonstrates that home values are rising in around 80 per cent of all suburbs with only the top 20 per cent of suburbs ranked by price suffering material falls.”

The return to capital growth comes as weekly rental rates start to level. Mr Lawless said, “Rental rates across Australia have powered ahead over the last three years, providing the best gross rental yields investors have seen for a long time. We are now seeing growth rates for weekly rents start to level due to decreasing rental affordability which is causing many renters to consider buying a home instead of renting. Gross rental yields are likely to peak over the coming months suggesting that now is probably the best time for investors to roll up their sleeves and become active,” he said. In terms of housing stock, units are continuing to outperform houses where over the first four months of 2009 values increased by 3.3 per cent while house values increased by 2.7 per cent. In closing Mr Lawless said “The stronger performance of the unit market is due to a number of factors. Comparing median house and unit values nationally, the price gap between is just over $90,000, so the value proposition of a unit is very compelling. Additionally, units are generally located closer to the city and along transport spines which is very appealing to many Gen Y and Gen X buyers,” he said.

and Tables

Market Commentary for Brisbane

"Property prices in the sub-$520,000 market are continuing to attract high levels of interest from first homebuyers keen to secure their expanded First Home Owner Grant, according to Meighan Hetherington from Property Pursuit.

She says any slowdown in activity in this price range as the First Home Owner Boost phases out should be replaced by the return of investors.

“Rental vacancy rates remain under 1.7 per cent in many metropolitan suburbs and gross rental yields on recent purchases have lifted to 4.5 per cent in some locations for freehold houses and above 5 per cent for units and townhouses,” Hetherington says.

“Good buying opportunities also still exist in the $1 million plus price range as purchasers are still hanging back and waiting for others to lead the way.”

See API Magazine

Riparian Plaza For Sale

There are four apartments for sale on the one floor in Riparian -- for about $15 million total. Thus, you can buy the whole floor, and have 12 bedrooms and 14 carparks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brisbane Rates

Admiralty Quays - 1 bedroom apartment

There is a one bedroom direct river front apartment for sale in Admiralty Quays, listed at $625,000. This is one of the best buildings in Brisbane City, but that is a steep price. There are about 14 apartments in this building currently available for rent, including six furnished one bedrooms at $600 per week. (For about the same price, you can rent a two bedroom apartment with river views in Arbour on Grey at South Bank.)

Residex Prediction

"Residex is now confident that the property market will not crash as it did in the USA and UK. In fact, some areas are about to experience good future capital growth..."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Muddled Market

"The Australian Bureau of Statistic's latest report was of a 6.7 per cent national fall in the prices of detached residential dwellings for the year, and a 2.2 per cent fall since the December 2008 quarter.

That contrasts with figures from Australian Property Monitors and RP Data/Rismark International, both of which recently reported slight increases in national housing prices between the December 2008 and March 2009 quarters. Part of the reason is that ABS statistics are only for detached housing, while the other two include units, terraces and semi-detached dwellings.

But the difference really only highlights that statistics shouldn't be taken in isolation when making decisions about buying. Buyers advocate Curtis Associates says the APM and RP data figures are probably closer to what's really happening."

Source: The Australian

Friday, May 22, 2009

Letter from Vision

Light Rail for Brisbane

Brisbane's inner-city rail study has got the green light in the federal budget with a $20 million investment to work out an underground route and a preferred way of funding the ambitious $14.2 billion project.


Colliers March 09 Apartment Report

"Currently, the new apartment market is not healthy. A lack of appropriate product, has led to a lack of demand. Only 87 new apartments were sold the Inner City during the three month period to March 2009 producing a weighted average sale price of $650,063. From a historical perspective, this is the lowest weighted average price Brisbane has recorded since the March quarter in 2007 and displays the mind set of the current consumer who is seeking a price driven product. A total of 688 new apartments remain for sale within the Inner Brisbane ring. The bulk of this Inner City product exists as two and three bedroom apartments totalling 41% and 37% of new stock respectively. Based on recent demand through the past three months, the 688 available apartments allow an apartment supply of almost two years, a subjective figure but an eye opening one nonetheless."

Source: Colliers International Brisbane Apartment Report March Qtr 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Too Many Small Apartments?

"One of the other more interesting aspects that is starting to emerge in the market is the trend to smaller lot sizes and smaller houses, tiny apartments and an obsession with price points. In the short term this is a natural market reaction to tighter credit conditions, rising unemployment and a realisation that it is no longer a matter of “build it and they will come”. However, the net result of this market reaction and redesigning of projects not yet ready for the market is that in three years time, there will be a chronic shortage of good quality, larger apartments. This will apply to some extent to land subdivisions, however there is considerably more flexibility in being able to redesign land. The same cannot be said for apartments. So from this perspective, in late 2010 or early 2011 when Australia should be gathering momentum in the world again, there will be a shortage of premium, well located apartment product that is available to the market."

"Property values will fall in certain circumstances, but they only fall if you have to sell. Property is also not really a readily tradable commodity like shares, particularly when credit has become moredifficult to source. However the expectation surrounding residential property was that it continued to be easily bought and sold and as a result was highly liquid...wrong."

Source: NPR May 09 Newsletter

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dark Vision

Austcorp, the developers of Vision in Brisbane, has called in the administrators.

"The group said a "key cause" of its appointment of a voluntary administrator was the withdrawal of one of three banks in the syndicate to finance to Vision project.

It said it was "optimistic" the tower would go ahead and it would continue to "talk with interested parties who share their recognition that Vision is a very significant Queensland and Australian project that must succeed"."

Brisbane Times

See also The Australian

Monday, May 4, 2009

Real Estate Investment Books

List of real estate investing books (that can be shipped to Australia)Visit the Real Estate Book Store

Mirvac's Tennyson Reach

Mirvac's Tennyson Reach (Stage One - the first two apartment buildings) is complete, and residents will be moving in this month.

I visited the display apartment at Mirvac's Tennyson Reach apartment complex. The apartment was on the 6th floor of the Softstone building -- it is a 3 bedroom apartment -- a "floor through" apartment with the main bedroom and a balcony at the front and two bedrooms at the rear. The view from the main bedroom, with floor to ceiling glass, was absolutely fantastic. A great view up river towards Indooroopilly, and you can see the city in the other direction. The Indooroopilly Gold Course is across the river.

The quality of the apartment was A1 plus. Plenty of room. The lighting was particularly clever. I loved the apartment and the view to the river. The view out the back was so-so. If the apartment was not so expensive (about $1.7M for the display apartment) and the location was not so remote, then I would definitely buy!

There seem to be more than 30 apartments listed for re-sale on Some examples:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Brisbane Vacancy Rate

Vacancy rate for all Brisbane properties (houses and apartments, anywhere in Brisbane) is a low 1.9%

SQM has a good website to look at rental vacancy rates:
Brisbane City (4000 postcode) - 1.7%
South Brisbane area (4101) - 1.6%
Toowong (4066) - 1.4%
St Lucia (4067) - 1.5%
Indooroopilly (4068) - 1.9%
Sherwood area (4075) - 2.6%
Hamilton (4007) - 4.4%
Noosa (4567) - 2.2%
Mooloolaba (4557) - 1.3%

See also story in Courier Mail

"INNER Brisbane rents are increasing at more than 10 per cent a year, with a downturn in new apartments expected to keep vacancies tight.

DTZ Research has shown the biggest growth has been in one-bedroom units in the inner south and inner west suburbs of South Brisbane, West End and Indooroopilly, where rents have risen by up to 20 per cent.

The median rent of a one-bedroom unit in the inner south is now $420 a week, only $10 less than the CBD median price. DTZ director of project marketing Paul Barratt said the strongest growth in the next two years would be in near-city units and middle-ring suburbs with good transport."

APH Liquidation Sale

"THE last apartments in the Drift development at Casuarina will be up for grabs via a liquidation sale, after developer APH Properties announced a major sell-off of its final holdings in the project."

"On completion in 2010, the Casuarina community is expected to include 600 beach homes and 1500 apartments and villas, along with commercial and recreational facilities."

Source: GC

Prices still seem high. They are listed at $685,000 to $900,000 for a three bedroom apartment.

I will avoid this development and location!

APH is the developer who is trying to get Trilogy Towers off the ground - so maybe they need cash to proceed with Trilogy? The sales agent said that APH had finance, and would start work in February this year, but clearly that was not the case.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Vigour in Property

Matusik comment

HTW Month in Review

Month in Review

HTW says that, in relation to sales of Brisbane apartments, the market is at the bottom.

Prices Bounce Back

See RP Data Index and Full Report

The slowdown during 2008 hit Brisbane harder than many other capital cities, which is largely due to prices perhaps overshooting the mark in ’07. Brisbane had a stellar run in 2007 with dwelling values increasing by 25 per cent over the calendar year – the highest annual rate of growth of any capital city during that period. Over the last 12 months Brisbane residential values have fallen 3.4 per cent across both the houses and units market. Modest growth has returned to the Brisbane market during 2009 with the first three months of year seeing house values up 1.4 per cent and unit values up 0.4 per cent. Rental returns are approximately on par with the national average with houses providing a gross yield of 4.7 per cent and units 5.4 per cent.


Miami Beach Luxury Apartments Doing OK

Even in the USA, where there is a property bust, certain properties are not doing so badly. What does this say for places like Noosa?

"... Brokers are quick to point out that all the gloomy headlines about Miami’s condominium glut and Florida’s foreclosure crisis describe the situation on the other side of the causeway, not in the city of Miami Beach, especially the fashionable enclave of South Beach. While South Beach has certainly cooled — inventory is up, prices are down, and agents say they’re working harder than ever to put together deals — anyone expecting to snap up a vacation getaway with views of the Atlantic for a song better search in a much less desirable part of the state."

See NY Times.