Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brothel in your building

There is an interesting article in Domain regarding a Sydney apartment building that became home to a brothel.  In Brisbane, a number of inner city apartment buildings are used by travelling escorts on a regular basis to see their customers.  Some of the escorts are Eastern European, posing as tourists.  Many are from Australia or NZ.  An example list of visiting tourists is here.

Based on the informal surveys I have done, the preferred Brisbane apartment buildings for travelling escorts are [X ]and [Y].  M on Mary is also popular.

If you reside in one of these buildings, you may find that your neighbour for a week is a busy busty blonde from Prague with many male friends.

For reference,  an old Commissioner's decision on this topic is here.

Update on May 8, 2014:

The blog received a letter of demand from a management rights owner, threatening a lawsuit.  As a result, the names of two buildings have been deleted from this post at the present time.  Before buying or renting in an inner-city apartment building, it is recommended to conduct appropriate investigations.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vacancy Rate and Rents Fall in Brisbane

Recent Press Release from REIQ:

The majority of Queensland’s rental markets have returned to tighter conditions, according to the REIQ’s latest Residential Rental Survey.

REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said the survey, carried out in March across all REIQ accredited agencies, found that the majority of the state recorded lower vacancy rates compared to three months ago.

“Queensland is seeing a return to a tighter rental market,” he said. “Stronger tenant demand and a decrease in the availability of stock are the common themes across the State.”

In Brisbane, the overall vacancy rate for the metropolitan area was back down to 2.3 per cent, as seen at the end of September last year.  Excluding the spike recorded in December, the Brisbane vacancy rate has been around the 2 to 2.3 per cent mark for over 12 months now.  As expected, the Brisbane inner city rental market returned to a healthier vacancy rate following a spike in December.  This is reportedly the result of easing asking rents to ensure vacancies are refilled quickly and also to compete with the new stock on the market. ...

Despite increased investor activity across Queensland in recent months, local agents report an increased number of sales of former investment properties to owner-occupiers, reducing the overall rental pool in some areas.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Brisbane Apartment Prices Going Backwards

Don't let real estate agents or the News Corporation press (including realestate.com.au) hoodwink you.  The Brisbane apartment market is not booming.  In fact, it is going backwards.  Compared with inflation, not great capital gains.  If you bought at the peak, you are still 5% below, not taking into account stamp duty and real estate agent fees for selling.  So ignore the headlines and look at the detailed actual results (that is, Brisbane apartment prices, and not Australian housing in general or Brisbane house prices).

From RP Data:

"After a flat February result, the RP Data – Rismark Home Value Index finished the March quarter in a strong fashion with dwelling values rising 2.3 per cent over the month to post a 3.5 per cent capital gain over the first quarter of the year. Apart from Perth, every capital city recorded a rise in dwelling values over the past three months. Melbourne posted the highest level of growth at 5.4 per cent over the quarter with Sydney and Hobart also recording a strong result in the March quarter with values up 4.4 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

According to RP Data research director Tim Lawless, half of all Australia’s capital cities are now posting record high dwelling values, with Sydney’s housing market showing the most substantial increase beyond its previous market high."

Brisbane apartment prices (to 31 March 2014):
March 2014 - down 0.7%
Quarter - up 0.3%
Year on Year - up 1.7%
Year to Date - up 0.3%
Median price based on settled sales of Brisbane apartments over the quarter - $368,000.

Brisbane Shows Promise?

From HTW's Month in Review:

Brisbane’s revival continues and the ongoing confidence in property will be one key economic driver as this year progresses. As a capital, we have fed off the regional mining boom. Anyone with major mineral digs out in the nether reaches on the state invariably had a head office based in the big smoke. As this sector of the economy finds itself weakening, there are quite a few property participants touting construction as the saviour.

At a recent presentation in Brisbane, demographer, Bernard Salt, was pushing some big population growth for major cities around the nation in 2014, and Brisbane was firmly amongst his favourites. If we see this goodwill translate into actual gains, then the rest of the year should firm up nicely for those in property.