Saturday, September 28, 2013

Australand’s Watermarque

From an email from a PR consultant for a developer:

I thought you might be interested in this sales update for Australand’s Watermarque precinct within its $500 million Hamilton Reach development.

More than $120 million in sales have been achieved to date and only three two bedroom apartments remain for sale in the boutique precinct.  The apartments have proven popular with downsizers looking to sell their existing homes and relocate to an inner city, riverside luxury address.  The trend has been backed by Place Advisory’s Market Report on Inner Brisbane Apartments, which reported downsizers were beginning to influence the off-the-plan market for the first time since the GFC, demanding larger and higher quality stock.

The report showed two bedroom apartments accounted for the highest amount of inner Brisbane apartment sales in the June 2013 Quarter, with 48 per cent of unconditional sales registered.  Place Advisory’s Lachlan Walker said the highest number of sales was recorded in the Inner North, which includes the suburbs of Hamilton, Fortitude Valley, Kelvin Grove, Bowen Hills, Newstead, Albion, Milton, Toowong, Bowen Hills, Tenerife and New Farm, which was a positive indication local confidence is returning to the Brisbane off-the-plan market.

“The Inner North, which includes the suburb of Hamilton has again performed well in the latest quarter,” Mr Walker said.  “It’s a popular choice for inner Brisbane locals who are looking to downsize their homes but not compromise on a connected, inner-city lifestyle.  The sales results reflect there are a lot of good buying opportunities in the area but smart buyers know this stock is limited and are taking advantage.”

Watermarque will feature 78 apartments across two medium-rise five-storey buildings. The three remaining apartments are priced from $635,000 - $710,000.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Abian Apartments on Alice Street

Sunland has cleared their site on the corner of Alice Street and Albert Street.  The old apartment building there has been demolished.  Sunland is now building a fancy display suite, for Abian Apartments.  Rumours are that there will be few apartments in this building, with no one bedroom apartments.  Most apartments will be aimed at owner occupiers, and will be large.  The building is in a great location.  It will impact the two bedroom apartments in Quay West which overlook this site.

Photo from demolition

Recent photo of display suite being constructed, from same position.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Off the Plan Valuations Not Holding Up

An article about Sydney off-the-plan apartments valuations coming in at settlement at 85% of the contract price.

See Property Observer

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oracle Gold Coast Losses

Virtually every purchaser off-the-plan at The Oracle development (now branded Peppers) on the Gold Coast has lost money when reselling.  See article here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Apartments as smart choice

RP Data has published a report comparing apartment prices to house prices in certain suburbs.  In my view, it is not particularly helpful.  For example, it compares houses in Chelmer (which are generally high quality houses on large blocks) with units in Chelmer (which are all 6 pack developments, mostly on a main road -- in fact, there are hardly any units in Chelmer).  Not a like for like comparison in my view, even in respect of location.

Prices Up, Rents Down?

Some real estate agents are telling me that sale prices for Brisbane apartments are increasing, with apartments selling faster, particularly those that suit owner/occupiers.  On the other hand, agents are having trouble renting apartments -- rents are decreasing and days vacant are increasing.  Thus, for investors, rental yields are getting worse, not better.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Casino Towers Large Apartment

Apartment 3501 in Casino Towers is for sale.  It looks like two apartments were combined, as this apartment has two kitchens.  This apartment is somewhat unique.

Monday, September 16, 2013

RP Data Weekly Report

RP Data has a weekly property report, that can be interesting reading.  Note that some of the information for Brisbane includes the Gold Coast.  This weeks report is here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Impact of election

At least one person is saying that the change of government will trigger a housing boom.  I am not sure if I agree that Queensland will feel any positive signs, at least for a year.

I just don't understand

It seems to me that newer apartments are overpriced.  One example.
You can buy a year old apartment in Meriton's Soleil as follows:
  • 93 sqm internal
  • No balconey
  • Air conditioning not ducted
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • Facing West, so hot in the summer
  • General views of an ugly part of Brisbane
  • Large, impersonal building, used as a hotel
  • Your neighbour may be an Eastern European hooker or a football team on tour
  • Price = $629,000 (apartment 4403) - $6,763 a sqm
Or you could buy an apartment in River Place:
  • 113 sqm total
  • Massive balconey
  • Riverfront
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • Outdoor pool overlooking the river
  • Price - $659,000 (apartment 54) - $5,831 a sqm
Or you could buy an apartment in Quay West:
  • 130 sqm total
  • Two balconies
  • Ducted air-conditioning
  • About 130 apartments in building
  • Views of botanical gardens
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • Price - about $600,000 - $4,615 a sqm
It will be interesting to see what this apartment sells for in Admiralty One:
  • 130 sqm in total
  • Balconey
  • Direct riverfront
  • Ducted air-conditioning
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, separate laundry room
  • North Eastern view
  • About 120 apartments in the building
  • Auction -- there has not been a similar apartment sold in this building for years.
Why would you buy in Soleil?  Or in some of the currently marketed off-the-plan developments, when some of the "older" apartments are cheaper on the price per sqm basis, and in better locations?

Shop Amazon Gift Cards - Try Amazon Birthday Gift

Kelvin Grove Apartments

Another new apartment development in the Kelvin Grove Urban Village area.  It is Victoria Park Residences.  Currently in pre-sales.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

RP Data sales report

Over the 2012/13 financial year, RP Data estimates that there were 328,903 houses and 122,282 units sold across the country. Based on these figures, sales volumes over the year were 13.1% higher for houses and 6.4% higher for units. The data indicates that at a national level the vast majority of transactions were for detached houses, at 72.9% of all sales.

Brisbane – house sales rose 20.9% over the year with Brisbane recording 14.8% of all capital city house sales. The lift in unit sales was more moderate at just 7.4% and unit sales across the city accounted for 13.5% of all capital city sales.

Full Report Here

Friday, September 6, 2013

REIQ Unit Report - June quarter 2013

The lobby group for Queensland Real Estate agents, the REIQ, issued the following press report and data today:

The sales of units and townhouses across Queensland have risen dramatically compared to last year, according to the latest data.  The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) June quarter median unit and townhouse price report, released today, found the preliminary volume of sales increased nearly 40 per cent between the June quarter this year and the same period last year.  Sales of units and townhouses across the State have also grown by 15 per cent compared to the March quarter this year.

REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said the Queensland unit market was mirroring the burgeoning strength of the housing market.  “Both the unit and house markets are gathering steam with sales volumes much improved on the same periods in 2012,” he said.  “What is also interesting to note is that the preliminary numbers of unit sales this quarter were only marginally lower than during the strong spring selling season last year. That is, there were only 66 fewer sales this quarter than in the September quarter last year.  In fact, the June quarter is usually the weakest of the four quarters throughout the year. Over the last 12-month period, however, this quarter was actually the second strongest and very nearly wore the crown as the stand-out three-month period of unit sales activity.”

In Brisbane, the numbers of unit and townhouse sales increased 26 per cent compared to the June quarter last year and were up 21 per cent compared to the March quarter this year.  In Brisbane, the median price dipped by 1.3 per cent to $395,000, which is a result that can be classed as steady. Over the year ending June, its median price was down by 0.8 per cent.  Top Brisbane performers which posted median price growth over the quarter and the year included Kangaroo Point, Nundah and West End.

On the Sunshine Coast, there was a significant shift in demand for lower priced properties over the quarter which resulted in the region’s median unit price decreasing. The numbers of unit sales, however, increased significantly compared to the same period last year." 

[click chart to make bigger]

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hilton Gold Coast Capital Losses

"According to RP Data, since January last year 66 apartments have sold in the Boulevard Tower, with resales making up a small proportion of the total.  

Unit 10504 was bought off the plan for $850,000 in February 2008 and sold on May 30 this year for just $505,000, a 40.5 per cent drop in value.  In July this year, unit 10607 sold for $435,000, a 32 per cent dip in price from January 2011 when a buyer paid $647,000.  A unit on the 21st floor was purchased for $910,000 in January 2008 and sold in November last year for just $525,000."

An agent is quoted as saying losses of 30% on the Gold Coast are not unusual.  Take care when buying!

Zero Rental Growth in Brisbane

According to RP Data, Brisbane rents have remained flat for the past 12 months, and have fallen slightly in the past quarter.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Brisbane doing poorly

Despite what the newspapers may report, and what real estate agents may tell you, overall the Brisbane property market is doing poorly.  Have a look at these charts published this week by RP Data.  Brisbane is second-last on both charts.  If you purchased at the last peak, like many people did, and sold today, you will have lost about 10% (not including stamp duty and real estate agent selling fees).

Brisbane improves in August?

Brisbane median sales prices increased in August, but are still down looking back one year.

From RP Data:

According to Mr Lawless, the most significant turnaround in market conditions can be found in Brisbane where the monthly rate of growth jumped to 1.5 per cent.

“Brisbane’s housing market has been underperforming since the onset of the GFC with home values still almost 10 per cent lower than their previous peak which was back in November 2009. The strong result for August was evident across both the detached housing and the unit markets and may potentially mark a positive turning point for Brisbane’s housing market.”

Brisbane apartment prices (to 31 August 2013):
August 2013 - up 1.2%
Quarter - down 0.6%
Year on Year - down 1.2%
Year to Date - up 0.5%
Median price based on settled sales of Brisbane apartments over the quarter - $369,250.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Finally, an Apple Store for downtown Brisbane?

There have been a number of reports that Apple will open an Apple store in MacArthur Chambers (corner of Queen St and Edward St) in Brisbane City.  About time!  Rumours that Apple will have a store in the Valley appear to be incorrect.