Sunday, January 31, 2010
This is supposed to be selling season. APM reports that only 8 properties in Brisbane sold at auction this Saturday. No units were reported as being sold at auction. Although auctions are not as common in Brisbane as in Melbourne, and many agents don't report to APM, this is not a promising sign.
It seems that W4 Apartments by Donovan Hill at Newstead have problems. From a communication from a lawyer in Brisbane: "Our recommendation is that for the time being you do not issue your own proceedings and support the QBSA. It would be unwise to effect full repairs to the building which are likely to be in excess of $1.6M as it will render the QBSA proceedings useless." Temporary repairs were recommended to prevent the situation from getting worse.
This is an example of the risk of buying off the plan.
From Apartment Reviews:
Saturday, January 30, 2010
A good letter from yesterday's AFR:
"The latest APM report clearly shows that house prices are rising mainly because of resurgent interest in high-end properties; but many people will sadly delude themselves that this is a sure sign of capital growth in their own, low to mid-end houses or investment properties. They should understand that the property markets do not all move in the same way at the same time.
By selling and trading up to a more prestigious area now, there is the real risk of "buying into the rise" and paying a premium to do so. Time in the market , or timing the market? The time to buy into high-end property was when no one could service the debt or sell it - during the middle of the financial crisis. It is very difficult to do well in an asset class when everyone else is interested in it."
Chris Embery, South Australia.
FKP has received development approval from the Council for its Milton Railway Station development. This development was once called Union, and is now called "The Milton".
The Milton will be a 31-storey, 303 residential apartment building on Railway Terrace. It will also have a number of retail lots.
Friday, January 29, 2010
According to Mr Lawless, “The higher gains in the unit market are a deviation from normal performances. Historically houses have tended to outperform units. The recent reversal in fortunes has occurred due to more buyers leaning towards units because they have a more affordable price tag and are often located in more strategic locations in relation to transport and amenity than many detached housing options. Other factors may also include changing housing preferences, particularly amongst baby boomers, and more highly targeted unit developments being delivered to the market.”
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
See http://montaguebrisbane.com.au/. I think this was once called "The Wave". The development has a large number of very small apartments. Pricing starting from $290,000. Developed by Mirae Queensland Pty Ltd.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Factors suggesting price increases for Brisbane apartments include:
Factors suggesting no price increases (or possible price decreases) for Brisbane apartments include:
Risks for the investor in Brisbane include:
The building is Quattro. All the apartments are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, about 84sqm internal. There are 4 apartments per floor, over 13 floors. There are 52 apartments in total. They have ducted air-conditioning.
The pricing starts at $450,000 and goes to $600,000, depending on floor and view. Expressions of interest have been submitted for all apartments below $500,000.
I suspect that some of the apartments will get a lot of noise from Turbot Street.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Urbanest is operating a student dormitory accommodation building at South Bank, near the TAFE. It has a total of 713 rooms and studios, which are furnished and air-conditioned. The rooms are small and tight -- for example, 5 bedrooms will share a kitchen. And the pricing is amazing -- for example, a studio for one person is listed on the website as being $435 a week, or a bedroom in a 4 bedroom hallway is $336 per week.
For $650 a week, you could rent a large two bed furnished apartment in the Arbour on Grey, or for $750 a luxury two bed furnished apartment in Saville South Bank. So two students sharing a two bedroom apartment would do much better than renting in Urbanest.
Meriton's Infinity Apartments has a webpage. It dwarfs nearby buildings, including Evolution.
Coming soon to Brisbane's CBD, Meriton's latest and most impressive apartment development to date - Infinity: 236 metres / 77 levels / views - unmatched. Welcome to where your new life starts but the horizon never ends. Soar across 360 degree views from sunrise to sunset, high above the Brisbane River and enjoy the best of Brisbane City living, day and night.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The Courier Mail has recently published two stories relating to David Devine, founder and major shareholder of Devine Ltd. One story showed Mr Devine living in a penthouse in Kangaroo Point (not built by Devine). The story in today's paper was not flattering.
Two days ago, there was a story titled "Devine sues former employee over espionage claims" which started "Devine Industries Pty Ltd is suing the former personal assistant of founding..." Links on other websites include the summary: "TWO of Queensland's biggest construction firms are in a legal battle involving claims of commercial espionage, fraud and embezzlement of more than $500,000."
The Courier Mail has removed this story from its website and did not include today's story on its website. I wonder why?
The link to the story that has been taken down is:http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26553326-952,00.html
Here is a link to the Court file.
Interestingly, both David Devine (currently listed as managing director of Devine) and Ken Woodley, marketing director and also a major shareholder, do not live in Devine built buildings. According to RP Data, Mr Devine lives in a penthouse apartment in a building at 55 Darragh Street, Kangaroo Point that is over 1000 sqm in floor area, has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 car parks - that he paid $2.5M in 1998. Mr Woodley lives in a subpenthouse in a Mirvac building, Quay West on Alice Street in Brisbane.
(Photo of Ken Woodley, on the right.)
A few years ago, both Mr Devine and Mr Woodley started legal actions to change the body corporate fees that they paid for their homes. They were successful in having their body corporate fees decreased. As a result, the body corporate fees for the owners of smaller, less expensive apartments in these buildings increased.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Google Insights allows you to examine what people search for on Google. In the real estate category, Google shows that searches are down for 2009, particularly in December 2009. (Google shows that the peak month for searches for real estate in Queensland and Australia are January followed by September). December 2009 was worst on record.
Following on from the post listing Charlotte Towers apartments that sold in 2009, I noticed that there are a huge number of 1 bedroom apartments currently listed for sale in this building. Most do not have a car park. In my view, a one bed in Charlotte Towers without a car park is worth about $305,000 to $325,000, depending on floor and view. There are a number of other buildings in the city area where there are no apartments for sale at all.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
"Alderley Square will provide a village-style, mixed use community that is set to revitalize and reinvigorate the heart of one of Brisbane's most established suburbs. It will combine the finest of residential apartment living, a thriving retail centre and bustling commercial precinct, all centred around a fully integrated transport network. Its restaurants, cafes and public gathering spaces will be evocative of those found in European capitals. And it's all just 15 minutes from the CBD."
In 2009, the Brisbane apartment market went backwards in the first half of the year, and regained some of the lost ground in the second half of the year.
In the new apartment market, there were more cancellations of projects then new projects starting. Most developers struggled to achieve off-the-plan sales. The new luxury apartment market died. Most of the pre-sales were achieved for budget priced developments, of small apartments. A number of people who purchased off the plan in the boom times were unable to settle in 2009 -- often because the bank valuations came in much lower than the contract price. Developers dropped prices and cancelled projects.
Prices dropped in the resale apartment market. Rents did not rise, and in some instances, took a minor step backwards. For a number of sales, the vendor lost money on the resale.
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast markets were harder hit than Brisbane.