Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Old State Library to Become 400 Room Hotel

The Old State library building will become a 400 room high rise hotel. This will impact the river views from some apartments in Casino Towers. See Brisbane Times.

Supply Glut Growing in Brisbane

"Brisbane buyer are spoilt for choice as a record number of new apartments hit the market, with more on the way. There are more than 2500 new apartments for sale in the city, a rise of 15% in the three months to March..."

Colliers says "market imbalance" would get worse as more inner-city projects were scheduled for release int he second half of 2011.

Source: AFR, page 52 (31 May 2011).

Heavy Discounting on the Gold Coast

"Heavy discounting has helped the previously stalled Gold Coast apartment market move up a gear with several projects finally selling out of stock after languishing on the market. ... the lower prices were giving buyers who knew the market confidence to purchase with the belief that value would return at some stage."

Source: AFR, "Gold Coast units sell, but at a price", page 52 (31 May 2011).

REIQ Says Bottom of the Market for Queensland Real Estate

The REIQ, which is trade association for real estate agents, says that now is the time to buy because it is the bottom of the market.

"The majority of Queensland’s property markets are currently at, or near, the bottom of their real estate cycles due to the continued economic conservatism amongst the population as the national economy appears to not be out of the woods just yet – a situation further compounded by the natural disasters earlier this year.
According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), with property prices and buyer demand subdued, the current market is providing opportunities not experienced for more than a decade.
“There is no denying that a correction in property prices has taken place over the past 18 months to two years in many areas as the delayed impacts of the Global Financial Crisis unfortunately coincided with Queensland’s summer of natural disasters,” REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said.
“In the majority of cases, sellers currently have to be very realistic about what price they can achieve for their property, which is putting Queensland buyers in the box-seat for the first time in many years. While it is sometimes a natural reaction to hesitate when market conditions are not strong, any buyer wanting to invest over the long-term would be hard-pressed to encounter better opportunities than the ones that are presently available.”

Rp Data - Rismark April Report

The near-double interest rate hike in November last year has bitten, with seasonally-adjusted Australian capital city dwelling values down 1.2% in the three months to end April, although in raw terms home values are mostly unchanged (-0.2%). Expensive suburbs have been the poorest performers in line with the share market.

According to Tim Lawless, RP Data’s research director, expensive suburbs have helped drag the overall market down. RP Data and Rismark divide their capital city index into three sub-indices: the bottom 20 per cent of suburbs ranked by price, the middle 60 per cent, and the top 20 per cent.

Over the year to end April, dwellings in the most expensive capital city suburbs recorded a -5.4 per cent loss (see second chart). In contrast, home values in the middle 60 per cent of suburbs were down by only -0.9 per cent. Dwellings located in the cheapest 20 per cent of suburbs were the best performers, hardly moving (-0.5 per cent).

RP Data’s Tim Lawless commented, “The solid performance of cheap suburbs runs against the grain of popular claims that default rates are rocketing up amongst first time buyers, which the RBA recently rejected.”

“The luxury end of the housing market is also showing its volatility. During the growth phase of the cycle the most expensive homes realised the highest capital gains. Yet as the market cools premium home values seem to be losing steam the fastest,” he said.

According to Mr Lawless, the weak conditions seen in the Perth and Brisbane markets combined with the comparatively high capital gains recorded in Melbourne and Sydney has driven a widening housing cost gap.

“Brisbane’s median house price is now 24 per cent lower than Sydney’s and 14 per cent lower than Melbourne’s. Pre-GFC the gap between Brisbane and Sydney dwelling prices was as narrow as 6.4 per cent. Perth dwelling prices are now 18 per cent lower than Sydney’s and 8 per cent lower than Melbourne’s. At its narrowest, the gap between Perth and Sydney prices was just 2.3 per cent. The improved buying proposition in these cities should help support buyer sentiment, which has been very weak since the financial crisis,” Mr Lawless said.

Christopher Joye added, “Notwithstanding that low vacancy rates will help rental growth outperform core inflation, the capital growth environment is as we forecast last year: missing in action. If the RBA raises rates another 1-2 times this year, we project that house prices will remain soft and likely register some modest losses. While home values in Australia have not risen for a year, wages and disposable household incomes are growing rapidly. This is improving the valuation dynamics every day. When the RBA eventually cuts interest rates, the housing market will benefit from a tremendous affordability dividend.”

See RP Data Release

Monday, May 30, 2011

Markup Update

There are a huge number of properties listed for sale at present, well more than average or for this time of year.

At the Ray White auction on the past Friday, about 10 inner city apartments went to auction. Only a studio apartment sold.

Saville SouthBank

One of my favourite apartment buildings in Brisbane is the Saville SouthBank, above the Mantra. It is rare for good apartments to be listed for sale in this building. A 3 bedroom penthouse recently sold in a few weeks for over $1.7M after strong interest. A large 2 bedroom has recently been listed for sale.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Too Many Apartments

"According to Place research analyst Lachlan Walker, there were 2015 apartments available for sale off the plan at the end of the March quarter, the equivalent of about two years' supply given current sale rates.

There also are another 2000 off-the-plan apartments that could potentially be put on the market by the end of the year.

Mr Walker said the first three months of the year had been challenging for all types of residential property."

See Courier Mail: Unit Supply Hits New Heights

Monday, May 23, 2011

Most Popular Posts

One of the most popular posts in recent times has been a short note about Alex Perry Residential. The post is here. I suspect that the developers would be thrilled about the interest this development is generating.

The three most popular posts of all time are (1) a post from May 2008 about the then proposed Soleil Tower from Meriton, and (2) a short post from May 2010 about flood maps, and (3) a post from January 2011 about the Brisbane floods.

This month, this blog passes 200,000 all time page views. Thank you readers for your support and comments.

US Banks Own Nearly A Million Homes

"Over all, economists project that it would take about three years for lenders to sell their backlog of foreclosed homes. As a result, home values nationally could fall 5 percent by the end of 2011, according to Moody’s, and rise only modestly over the following year. Regions that were hardest hit by the housing collapse and recession could take even longer to recover — dealing yet another blow to a still-struggling economy."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Apartments in Brisbane

In February 2011, I prepared a detailed post regarding new apartment projects in Brisbane. Below is an updated list. There are more details about some of the developments in the February post. It is starting to look like an oversupply situation in Brisbane?

"Banking and property analysts are warning of a price correction in some housing markets due to an oversupply of new apartments in areas such as south-east Queensland, Melbourne’s Docklands and Canberra." See Fairfax

Completed projects with unsold developer apartments:
  • Macrossan Apartments (upper Adelaide St)
  • Evolution (North Quay)
  • Mirvac's Tennyson Reach
  • Mirvac's Newstead Riverpark
  • Pradella's Waters Edge (West End)
  • Scott Street (Kangaroo Point)
  • Riverpoint (West End)
Developments currently under construction:
  • Meriton's Soliel (upper Adelaide St)
  • Meriton's Infinity (near Roma Street)
  • Mirvac's Park (New Farm)
  • The Midtown (Charlotte St)
  • Mosaic (The Valley)
  • McLachlan & Ann (The Valley)
  • Pradella's Urban Edge (Kelvin Grove)
  • Edenview (Kelvin Grove)
  • Binary (Kelvin Grove)
  • Devine's Hamilton Harbour (3 residential towers)
  • Multiplex's Portside (Hamilton)
  • Rive (Albion/Kingsford Smith Drive)
  • Yungaba (Kangaroo Point)
Developments currently being marketed prior to construction:
  • Alex Perry Residential (The Valley)
  • The Chelsea (Bowen Hills)
  • Madison on Mayne (Bowen Hills)
  • FKP's The Milton
  • Australand's Hamilton Reach
  • Mirvac's Foreshore (Hamilton)
  • The Capitol (South Brisbane)
  • The Apple (downtown)
  • Belise (Spring Hill / The Valley)
  • El Dorado (Indooroopilly)
  • Pulse (near Suncorp Stadium)
Developments announced by not yet being sold or constructed:
  • Sunland's Carrington project on Alice Street
  • Devine's Camelot project on Albert Street
  • Southpoint (South Bank)
  • 111+222 (Margaret St)
  • FKP's The Gasworks (New Farm)
  • Chalk Hotel (The Gabba)
  • Citimark's Rivana (Hamilton)
  • Two towers at 435 St Pauls Terrace
  • Waterloo Junction (Ann St at Commercial Road)
  • 100 McLachlan St (The Valley)
  • 324 Vulture St (The Gabba)
  • Parkside Boulevard (Newstead)
  • Metro's Valley Cafe Set development
  • Station 16 (South Brisbane)
  • Buranda Village
  • Gabba One

Keeping a Dog is Not Unreasonable

"Two extreme examples can be given to show what clearly falls outside the purpose of the by-law making power:

  • Firstly, it could not be intended that the body corporate be empowered to make a by-law saying that residents cannot play chess on their property. This is a completely private activity that could in no way affect other residents. A by-law prohibiting playing chess could not be described as being for the purpose of the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the lots and common property.
  • Secondly, it could not be intended that the body corporate be empowered to make a by-law saying that residents cannot conduct private conversations on their property. In some cases private conversations could be conducted so loudly that other residents will be disturbed. A by-law requiring residents to shut all doors and windows when entertaining guests after 11pm might be justified as being for the management of noise. However, a blanket prohibition on conducting private conversations that will normally not adversely affect other people could not be for the purpose of the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the lots and common property.

The present situation in which a by-law prohibits the normal residential activity of keeping a cat or dog is not as extreme as either of the above examples. However, it is of concern that the body corporate has adopted a blanket prohibition on dogs and cats when the keeping of such pets is a normal residential activity in Queensland and these pets can commonly be kept without interfering with the enjoyment of neighbouring residences. Of course, some pets will interfere with the enjoyment of neighbouring residences. However, adopting a blanket prohibition against every single cat and dog is unreasonable, disproportionate to the potential problem, and outside the scope of a by-law for the purpose of the control, management, administration, use or enjoyment of the lots and common property."

See Villa Casablanca decision

When the Resources Boom is Over

"But the minerals boom won't last forever. The second phase of investment is now committed, ensuring strong investment over five years. The boom may last long enough to underwrite a third phase of strong investment in the second half of the decade, or even a fourth phase into next decade. I don't know how long it will last. I do know we need to secure Australia's future when it's over. It may be beyond the horizon of the current government, but our children will have to live with the consequences."

Source: BIS in The Australian

Saturday, May 21, 2011

House Sales Down

An REIQ report says that house sales are down. This report is for houses (not apartments). See Courier Mail. From the REIQ press release:

The natural disasters earlier this year, coupled with the higher interest rate environment, resulted in a weaker March quarter for residential property, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). The impact of the Queensland floods was keenly felt in affected Brisbane suburbs over the period with many suburbs not recording enough preliminary sales for a reliable median house price to be calculated.

The REIQ’s March quarter median house price report found that out of about 50 Brisbane suburbs reportedly flood-affected, only 17 recorded a minimum of 10 preliminary sales to allow a median house price to be calculated. The biggest drops in preliminary sales occurred in Moorooka, Graceville and Kenmore when compared to the December quarter last year.

“Many would-be sellers in these areas have wisely either taken their homes off the market – even if they were not flooded – or decided they will ride out any market reaction to properties in flood-affected areas,” REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said. “While some affected Brisbane suburbs did record a drop in preliminary sales, a number of others that were partially flooded continued to record steady sales over the quarter, which is a testament to the continued desirability of living in locations such as New Farm and West End. About 75 per cent of Brisbane was not affected by the floods and these areas are continuing to record steady sales and results.”

Over the March quarter, the Queensland property market remained soft with sales numbers down about 14 per cent compared to the December quarter last year.

The Brisbane median house price decreased 1.9 per cent to $515,000 over the quarter. Preliminary sales numbers were down about 15 per cent on the previous quarter.

The Gold Coast’s median house price remained steady at $490,000 over the quarter and was also one of the few areas across the state to record a stable number of preliminary sales.

“The majority of Queensland is still very much a buyer’s market,” Ms Bennett said.

A New Vision 111+222

A new development application has been lodged for the Vision site (where the Vision building was planned, with many apartments over $1M being sold off-the-plan in 2006 to 2009).

The new development consists of two buildings, and is called 111+222. It is located on 111 Mary St and 222 Margaret St. Registrations are already being taken for off-the-plan sales.

222 Margaret St Tower:

•The taller tower is currently known as 222 Margaret Street and is 90 levels (297m) in height.
•A 5 star 380 room hotel is proposed for this tower, however the hotel operator is not yet known.
◦The hotel will have a ballroom.
•The tower will mostly comprise of 790 one, two and three bedroom residential apartments over the 90 floors.
•Restaurants & bars will be situated throughout the project with a key cross block link from Mary to Margaret Street to be established in stage 1.
•Depending on if the tower's 297m height is AGL (above ground level), 222 Margaret St will share the title of Australia's tallest tower with Eureka Tower - currently the tallest in Australia.
•It is not yet known if there will be an observation deck at the top - similar to what it's predecessor, Vision had.

111 Mary St Tower:
•111 Margaret St tower is the smallest of the two, rising 34 levels.
•This tower will be completely office.
•AMP Capital is funding this part of the development
•980 car spaces will be built across eight underground levels.
The development has been designed by Bates Smart Architects and boasts a glass cylinder like design for the taller building. Billbergia will lodge the development application this week after releasing the plans to the media.

The development is receiving significant interest.

It will have an impact on a number of apartment buildings, especially 212 Margaret next door, and will block views from Charlotte Towers to the park.

Updated Post: Click Here.

Infinity Tower

A significant height increase for Meriton's Infinity tower (which is currently under construction) has been proposed. The tower's height which was planned to be 75 levels will now be increased to 81 - a 6 level increase.

New Flood Maps

The Brisbane City Council has released new interim flood level maps. In some places, they are not completely accurate (and so list non-flooded properties as flooding).

See Maps

It looks like banks may make it hard to get loans for properties shown as flooded on the map. See story here.

Watch Out For Illegal Conduct of Developers!

A legal case from last year again shows that developers and real estate agents of off-the-plan projects lie to trick people into purchasing. One common trick is to misrepresent the number of apartments sold and the number remaining for sale. (See this prior post.) Another trick, as this case demonstrates, is to have contracts signed at a high price but have an under-the-table rebate -- so that subsequent purchasers don't know the true pricing. Another tactic is for the agent to say that the developer has "stuffed up the pricing" so get in quick today before the developer realises and increases the price.

The case is Stumer Investments Pty Ltd v. Azzura Holdings Pty Ltd [2010] QSC 352 (20 September 2010), involving the off-the-plan purchase of a Gold Coast apartment.

"... Ms Greenwood and Mr Gaffney contracted to purchase an apartment, lot 80, by a contract with the defendant dated 27 December 2006. Their contract specified a price of $508,400. However, on a separate page it contained a special condition, handwritten by Ms Greenwood, which was as follows:

"The settlement to be on forty-five (45) days, but if settlement occurs within thirty (30) days, there will be a rebate of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)."

Their evidence is that Mr Kemm asked them to contract in these terms, the mutual intention being that the price would be $408,400, because he thought it desirable that it be represented that this apartment had sold for $508,000, which Ms Greenwood said had become the list price by the time of their contract.

Whilst Mr Stumer knew that Ms Greenwood and Mr Gaffney were themselves buying an apartment, he was unaware of the price and of its significant discount upon the listed price. There is no specific complaint that the non-disclosure of her contract price was misleading and deceptive. However, that non-disclosure, in the circumstances of the long friendship between these individuals, does not enhance her credibility. More importantly, the fact that Ms Greenwood and Mr Gaffney were prepared to facilitate a misrepresentation of their contract price to other potential buyers is relevant to their credibility."

In this case, the real estate agent made misleading statements about the likely future value of the apartment. The contract was cancelled by the court.

Also, have a look at this prior post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mirvac's Hamilton Apartment Project

Mirvac is the next developer to announce an apartment project at Hamilton, called ForeShore Hamilton. Coming soon, a release of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.

"With a total of 582 apartments throughout three buildings, Foreshore is going to be a major component of Northshore Hamilton which will be the epicentre of cosmopolitan Brisbane living over coming decades"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Casino Towers - Recent Sales

The following are all reported sales from December 2010 to now in Casino Tower. (If you ignore the last two digits, the remaining digits in the apartment number give you the floor level.)

Casino Towers - 151 George St, Brisbane

Apt 2206, 1 bed, $362,500
Apt 1602, 2 bed, 2 bath, river views, $640,000 (and 1902 sold in early 2010 for $660,000)
Apt 1107, 2 bed, 2 bath $478,000
Apt 2203, 2 bed, 2 bath, river views, $580,000

Example apartments for sale
Apt 2307, 2 bed, 2 bath, $610,000, or here for $585,000
Apt 3504, 2 bed, 1 bath, $455,000

Recent Sales - Felix

The following are all reported sales from October 2010 to now in Felix. (If you ignore the last digit, the remaining digits in the apartment number give you the floor level.)

Felix - 26 Felix St (or 185 Mary St) Brisbane

Apt 307, 2 bed, 2 bath, corner apartment, 77 sqm internal: $495,000
Apt 136, 2 bed, 2 bath, 82 sqm internal: $487,500
Apt 254, 2 bed, 1 bath, 77 sqm internal: $455,000

Example apartments on the market:
Apt 147, 2 bed, 2 bath: auction
05 floor plan, 2 bed, 1 bath: $460,000
04 floor plan, 2 bed, 1 bath: $459,000
06 floor plan, 2 bed, 2 bath: $499,000

Aurora Towers - Recent Sales

The following are all reported sales from December 2010 to now in Aurora. (If you ignore the last digit, the remaining digits in the apartment number give you the floor level.)

Aurora Towers, 420 Queen St, Brisbane

Apt 93, $495,000
Apt 266, 2 bed, 2 bath, $525,000
Apt 169, $410,000
Apt 149, 2 bed, 2 bath, $490,000
Apt 569, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car, $857,500

Example apartments currently for sale include:
Apt 222, 2 bed, 1 bath, listed at $530,000
2 bed, 1 bath, no list price
Apt 311, 2 bed, 2 bath, $650,000

Car Space

I would never buy an apartment without a car space. The value of a car space is between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on the building and location. An agent's email newsletter had the following information.

"Looking at going rates for Brisbane CBD short-term parking, it’s no wonder that parkers must think their car spaces are made of gold!

Brisbane CBD parkers now have the dubious honour of paying the third highest short-term parking rates in the Asian Pacific region – behind Tokyo and Sydney. Averaging $21.70 an hour, the price is enough to make people really think twice about shopping in the city or enjoying a relaxing Riverfront dining experience. Even Melbourne CBD parking is ‘cheap’ in comparison, costing only $15.98 per hour on average.

Budget on spending big if you plan using the Riverside Centre’s car park, situated in the heart of the financial, business and Riverside fine-dining precinct – at $21 for up to 30 minutes, it’s the most expensive place to park short-term in Brisbane’s CBD.

As public transport fares also continue to skyrocket, leasing a CBD car park weekly - from $80 upwards per week - is now seen as a financially viable alternative for some who often visit the CBD, whether for work, shopping and/or dining and entertainment."

PRD Report on Brisbane

“Contracting sales below the $500,000 price point can be attributed to the exacerbated impact increasing interest rates and the rising cost of living have had within this price sensitive market”

Brisbane unit product sold within the December 2010 half year has recorded an annual increase of 3.8% ($15,000), to register $415,000. Similarly to the house market, sales activity within all price brackets has contracted, although unit sales within the lower price points have absorbed the brunt of falling demand. This has resulted in median price displaying growth, whereas values have most likely softened as vendors are forced to discount prices in order to sell.

“The CBD Precinct consistently achieves less capital growth than fringe areas due to its location as the primary hub of Brisbane, however this region does yield higher rental returns”

Over the December 2010 half year period, the Brisbane CBD unit market has established a median price of $467,000 through an annual growth of 4.4% ($19,500). This represented the second highest growth across Brisbane throughout the December 2010 six months.

In order to establish the realised returns by vendors who sold their unit during the December 2010 period, PRDnationwide Research conducted a resale analysis. The Brisbane CBD Precinct consistently achieves less capital growth than fringe areas, due to its location as the primary hub of Brisbane in terms of amenity, employment and entertainment. The resale analysis has supported this, recording an average annual capital growth of 3.9% per annum. This product was held for an average period of just under five years.

The number of general apartment sales in the CBD Precinct has tightened significantly by 46% (167 sales) over the December 2010 half year period to register 197 sales. This reflects the second strongest drop in sales volumes for all precincts within the Brisbane LGA over the December 2010 period.

Full Report Available Here

Ray White's Representations

"We're on a roll here at Ray White Toowong on the back of both our biggest sales AND listing month so far this year! Local sellers are capitalizing on the growth their properties have enjoyed over past years and buyers are swooping on good quality properties as the press continues to claim it a "buyer's market." Well that may be the case but investors are loving it."

So it is both a good time to sell and a good time to buy?

Hamilton Harbour

Update from Devine:

"Construction at Hamilton Harbour is progressing on schedule; the rise of Brisbane’s newest lifestyle Mecca will be completed by Christmas 2011. With the first tower, Harbour One, already beyond level 20 and internal fit out is occurring from level 1 to 17; and Harbour Two now at level 11 with the internal fit out occurring from level 1 to level 8, excitement is definitely building as the project becomes a reality."

"With construction well under way, the first two residential apartment towers of Hamilton Harbour are on schedule to be completed prior to Christmas 2011.

Riverside Hamilton, the third and final residential stage in prestigious Hamilton, is selling fast and due to commence construction later this year with completion in 2013."

Hamilton Harbour is located on the busy Kingsford Smith Drive, and is not riverfront, but one block back from the river.

A tiny 61 sqm internal two bedroom apartment with views to the airport and not the river is available from $533,000 on level 15, or $485,000 on level 2.

Reminds me of the article about the shrinking apartment size. Clearly, this building is aimed at investors and not residents.

Brisbane City Rents

According to RP Data, Brisbane City rents have risen by 1.3% over the last 12 months. Have a look at these to charts: Weakest and Strongest.

RP Data concludes: "... we anticipate that rental growth should be quite strong during 2011. Over the last two years, capital city rents have increased by a total of just 3.2% which is well below the average annual rental growth level of 7.0% during the last five years.
It is anticipated that rental growth this year will be more in line with five year average levels than with recent growth levels, recorded at a time when property values were typically increasing."

Number of Listings

RP Data reports:

"The number of new properties advertised for sale has recorded a large fall over the week, down -9.6%. Despite the fall, new listings remain at above average levels and are 13.4% higher than they were at the same time last year. New listings have been trending lower across the combined capital cities since mid March and fell by-3.7% last week to their lowest level since early February of this year."

The statistics don't look good for sellers in Queensland, but buyers should be very happy.

Unit News

Building Units News Letter.

Alex Perry Residential

A new development in the Valley is now in pre-sales, Alex Perry Residential. It has 131 apartments, a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. The website says apartments are priced from $375,000 to $3 million. It is located at 959 Ann Street, on the corner of Chester St.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sales in Charlotte Towers and Festival Towers

The following are all reported sales from December 2010 to now in Charlotte Towers and Festival Towers.

Charlotte Towers, 128 Charlotte St, Brisbane

Apt 3607, 2 bed, 1 bath, high floor, western side, $430,000
Apt 2407, 2 bed $520,000
Apt 803, 2 bed, 1 bath, low floor, overlooking Wintergarden $429,000
Apt 2805, 1 bed, 1 bath, 1 car, overlooking Wintergarden $350,000
Apt 1404, 1 bed, 1 bath, no car, overlooking Wintergarden $350,000

There are one bedrooms without car parking available in Charlotte Towers for sale for less than $300,000. For example, this apartment is listed at $299,000. Or $320,000. Or $325,000.

Festival Towers, 108 Albert St, Brisbane

Apt 202, 2 bed, 2 bath, 2 level, can be used for commercial premises $550,000
Apt 4108, $649,000
Apt 1511, 1 bedroom, $350,000
Apt 2209, 2 bed, 2 bath, $473,000

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Losses out West

An interesting blog on how to loose money out West in property.

McLachlan & Ann Update

I received a mailing from a real estate spruiker today regarding McLachlan & Ann in the Valley.
1 bedrooms were $429,000 to $465,000
2 bedrooms were $520,000 to $699,750.

This advertisement lists one bedrooms from $295,000 to $480,000.

In July last year, 1 bedrooms were from $345,000 and 2 bedrooms from $485,000.

An Extraordinary Turnaround

"Over the past week we have witnessed quite an extraordinary turnaround in market activity, perhaps best evidenced in the mass 28% spike in internet enquiry from last week to this (up from 1558 individual visits to 1990).

Broadly all indicators are up on recent weeks with inspection numbers much improved; likewise the number of new listings, the number of offers on properties for sale and for lease, and the number of executed contracts.

Just what has triggered this positive abberation in the market is unclear. It may have been a bit of catch up after what has been several weeks of unseasonal quiet in the market, but could also be the fact that interest rates are stable in a broader economic environment here and abroad that is clearly entering an inflationary phase, usually the precursor to better times for hard assets such as property. "

From Johnson Dixon newsletter today

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eden in Albion

Arden Property from Brookfield is developing Eden at Albion. Prices start at $325,000. Arden also developed Ciana Indooroopilly, which is a good looking low rise development.

The Mood In Brisbane

I have spoken to a number of agents and bankers lately in Brisbane. It seems that the mood in changing, and properties are starting to sell, especially in the $400,000 to $550,000 price range. Buyers, including investors, are buying where the price is right (typically 5% to 10% below the peak), and sellers are accepting offers. Bankers are back in sales mode and appear to be willing to lend. Vacancy rates are low and rents are good.

For example, at the Ray White auction today, a relatively new two bedroom apartment at Indooroopilly (113 sqm in total) sold for $400,000 under the hammer, where the rent is $500 per week. Another 2 bed apartment of similar size in a different complex with river views also in Indooroopilly recently sold after only a few weeks on the market for $485,000.

Good quality two bedroom apartments in the downtown area are renting for $650 per week unfurnished.

But this more confident mood is not the same everywhere. The top end apartment market is very dead. For some apartments over a million, no buyers are calling at all. On the Gold Coast, things are very slow. Juniper's Soul development has been slowed down, with the first batch of settlements being delayed until the second half of this year and there are less construction workers on site. I wonder why?

In short, the mood is picking up in Brisbane for well priced investor apartments.


The Oaks Group manages a number of Brisbane apartments, including Charlotte Towers, Aurora, Festival Towers and Felix.

The Australian reports:

"Auditors had also warned of "inherent uncertainty" regarding Oaks's ability to continue as a going concern, with the company owing more than $70m to ANZ and NAB banks."

"The directors of Oaks yesterday proved they had not given up, issuing a brief statement to say that the company had been presented with a counter takeover offer believed to be pitched at 60 cents which it was examining."


One market source estimated that there was currently one buyer for every 50 properties available in Noosa, saying property values had "fallen off a cliff".

"It was a special market and went up every year for 18 years or so, this is the first dramatic downturn," the source said.

Noosa had withstood every other downturn since 1983, but the market was now worse than the Gold Coast, he said.


Another story about property in Noosa, available here.

No Buyer's Strike

Online activist group GetUp! decided not to pursue a strike of home purchases to protest at the lack of affordability in the housing market because its own members did not like the idea.

"While the issue of housing affordability is clearly an issue that resonates with plenty of people, GetUp! members don't support a boycott campaign," wrote Kelsey Cooke, online community co-ordinator for GetUp! late last week.

"Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we surveyed a random segment of our membership to gauge support - only 10 per cent strongly support the campaign, and more than half the surveyed members opposed this campaign altogether."

Brisbane Times

Brisbane, Australia - Cheapest Place to Buy Property

See International Business Times

"Property hunters looking for real estate down under may be interested to learn that Brisbane is the cheapest place in the country to purchase a home, it has been revealed."

Number of Advertised Properties For Sale

"The number of newly advertised properties for sale has fallen by -5.2% over the past week, with new listings falling from their historic high levels. In the capital cities the drop was even greater with new listings down -6.5%.

The total number of properties advertised for sale across the country has fallen by -0.7% over the last week. Again the decline in total capital city listings has been greater than the fall across the country with capital city total listings falling by -1.4%.

Despite the falls in new and total listings, across the country they remain well above levels from 12 months ago. New listings are currently 34.9% higher than at the same time last year and total listings are 31.5% higher than last year."

Source: RP Data

Monday, May 2, 2011

Brisbane Skyline Photo

A good photo of Brisbane city skyline from Kangaroo Point, taken recently. Look here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011