Friday, August 9, 2013

Buyers Retuning to the Market?

Real estate agents are reporting that buyers are coming back to the market in Brisbane, and that prices achieved are increasing.  For example, two bedroom apartments in higher quality city apartments that, at the height of the boom achieved above $800,000, and then dropped to the mid $600,000 range, are now selling in the $700,000 plus range, and sometimes more.  This includes a two bedroom apartment in Quay West, sold for about $700,000; a two bedroom in Admiralty Towers Two sold above $750,000 and a two bedroom in Saville at Southbank for more than $800,000.  In fact, another two bedroom at Saville is now listed for sale in the $900,000 range.

Investors appear to be returning to the market, due to lower interest rates.  Owner-occuppiers are looking for larger apartments, and there are not many high quality larger apartments available for sale (partly because developers have been focusing on building very small apartments that have been sold to foreign investors).  With interest rates low, many investors who currently own property are not selling, because these properties are now becoming positively geared -- why sell, unless the price offered is high?  There is a shortage of apartments for sale for owner-occuppiers; and a shortage of existing apartments (compared with off-the-plan apartments) for investors.

Towers like Infinity, aimed at Chinese investors, do not provide what local Brisbane buyers want in my view.

Photo of Infinity, under construction on the right.  Evolution Apartments is the smaller building in the middle of the photo.  The Supreme Court building is on the right in the foreground; the Magistrates Court building on the left in the foreground.  400 George St is the taller building on the left.

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