Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast set to break property records

THE AUSTRALIAN

Analysts are tipping southeast Queensland’s property market will follow the lead of the hot southern capitals and record price and volume gains this year.

Off-the-plan apartments sales have reached unprecedented numbers and records are expected to be smashed this year. Construction is ramping up across inner city and suburban Brisbane. The Gold and Sunshine Coasts and Toowoomba are also finishing off multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects tipped to boost livability and property prices.

During 2014 median prices in the capital rose from $530,000 to $575,000.

Many are tipping that same average house will cost more than $600,000 by the end of the year.

RP Data research chief Tim Lawless says Brisbane property price growth will strengthen to 7 per cent.

“With the rate of capital gain holding relatively firm over the second half of 2014, fewer affordability pressures and better rental yields than Sydney or Melbourne, we are expecting growth in Brisbane dwelling values to outperform the capital city average over the coming year,” he says.

Compared to Sydney homes, Brisbane’s offerings are a bargain. The city’s average house is 41 per cent cheaper than one in Sydney, 25 per cent cheaper than Melbourne, and 18 per cent less than Perth.

The last time this happened Peter Beattie was premier and the government was opening up the inland southeastern corridor to house the 1500 southerners arriving every week.

Analyst firm Herron Todd White’s chairman Gavin Hulcombe says the price disparity between the major capitals hasn’t been seen since the early 2000s. But he cautions this time that the interstate migration just isn’t coming.

“Traditionally there is a strong correlation between interstate migration and sales volumes,” he says. “Interstate migration is quite low by historical standards.”

However, he says, inner-city prices, as well as beachfront coastal areas, have overtaken their 2007 peaks and volumes are up to the 20-year average.

Analyst firm Propertyology’s managing director Simon Pressley says confidence will determine the market, and that is an uncertain path.

“Brisbane will be one of the best performing capital cities for the next three to five years,” he says. “But I don’t agree it will be the next Sydney.”

Infrastructure development is also playing its part, kicking along growth around transport corridors of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the new hospital precinct at the Sunshine Coast and inland Toowoomba.

One area to watch, both analysts say, will be the increased density in the inner city, especially with the thousands of new apartments set to wash on to the market.

And the prestige market is becoming more eye-watering, noting the $10 million-plus sale of an Ascot home last year and Gina Rinehart’s purchase of two adjacent waterfront holdings in Hawthorne for a combined $18m.

Back at Bowen Hills, Curran says the market has to be right to sell their top-end, award-winning home on Cintra Road, which he is likely to list by mid February though agent Partick Dixon for about $1.5m.

They spent more than a year building the four-bedroom, three-bathroom residence, known as the “Grandstand house” for its elevated position overlooking the Perry Park football grounds. It went on to win a Queensland Institute of Architects award.

“Everything was done well and with extremely good quality finishes,” he says. “If you like an urban lifestyle it is definitely a plus of living there. You’re in the heart of everything without having to deal with the density.”

Veteran real estate agent Patrick Dixon says the lower end of the market has been very strong and that is flowing through the levels.

“If you have a property at $400,000 or $500,000 you will get multiple offers every weekend,” he says.

“When those people sell they are upgrading. Next year will be the best year since 2008.”

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