The Brisbane apartment market fared worse than the house market in the last six months of 2011 and faces an oversupply of this type of property. REIQ figures for the December quarter 2011 show that rental vacancies in inner Brisbane – where most of the stock is apartments – increased from 1.4% in the September 2011 quarter to 1.9% in the December 2011 quarter while the overall city vacancy rate remained unchanged at 2.3%
In addition, valuation firm LandMark White is warning that a combination of too many projects and historically low demand could result in an oversupply of new apartments in inner-city Brisbane suburbs like Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills.
The firm’s property valuers believe affordable “entry-level” apartments within five kilometres of the CBD will continue to appreciate in value but expect values in prestige units in new complexes to continue to fall.
“We have seen demand for prestige units decline again, with extended marketing periods or heavy price reductions,” says WBP.
On the other hand, “entry-level units are being purchased by single professionals who require affordable housing and access to the Brisbane CBD. We have recently seen volumes of sub-$400,000 unit sales increase.”
Michael Yardney is very bearish about Brisbane units, placing the market in the relatively early stages of a property downturn at three o’clock.
“There are a large number of off-the-plan apartments available in the Brisbane CBD and surrounding suburbs. Many of these remain unsold, and this oversupply of properties will put downward pressure on prices and rentals,” he says. “Many of the apartments that have been sold off the plan are coming on stream in the next few years and have been purchased by investors. Some will have difficulty getting finance and settling their purchase. Others will be disappointed to see the end value of their properties is less than their purchase price,” Yardney says.
“There will be an oversupply of inner-CBD and near-CBD apartments in Brisbane for a few years, causing prices to fall slightly.”
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As the house price growth figures from RP Data show, Brisbane’s housing market continues to fall.
House prices were flat over the final quarter of 2011, according to figures compiled the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, which says that one year on from the floods, the housing market is showing signs of stabilising.
Michael Yardney, Louis Christopher and Charles Tarbey all believe Brisbane has some way to go before it bottoms out.
“House prices in Brisbane have dropped for the last two years. Brisbane buyers are lacking confidence to re-enter the market and are sitting on the sidelines waiting for signs that the market has bottomed before they make a purchase,” says Yardney. “This may occur later this year as Brisbane prices stabilise. Prices are unlikely to start rising until the second half of this year or 2013.”
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