The Queensland real estate market continued its steady pace throughout 2015, with a new record median house price in Brisbane of $610,000 ending the year with a flourish.
The market has recorded a steady sustainable growth rate of about two per cent over the past eight quarters and this has led the southeast corner into firmer territory following the post GFC slump of 2011/2012.
Compared with the southern states, the Queensland real estate market has been relatively stable and has resisted the volatility shown in those markets.
As Sydney and Melbourne’s markets have strengthened considerably over the year, investors have been attracted to Brisbane and the Gold Coast where affordability and ROI factors have remained steady.
The apartment market in Brisbane’s inner city has remained in healthy territory, despite concerns that an oversupply was imminent. Vacancy rates have remained steady with data revealing vacancies in the inner city were around 2.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent.
Outside of the southeast corner, the state’s regional centres struggled to gain meaningful ground, although small gains were seen in some towns.
Tourist cities performed strongly. The Gold and Sunshine coasts recorded buoyant market conditions with investor activity picking up in both regions.
Cairns and Fraser Coast also continue to show promising signs of firming market conditions, with average days on market and vendor discounting improving on a year ago for their respective unit markets which had struggled following the GFC.
Regional centres still continue to be impacted by the resources downturn, but many now look to have reached the bottom of the market.
Local agents in Gladstone, Mackay and Townsville say the softer market conditions has started to entice more local buyers, with market confidence slowly but surely improving.
First home buyers are taking advantage of the low interest rate environment and in regional centres are gaining confidence with increased housing affordability.
House sales activity in the strengthening markets of southeast Queensland continued to improve over the June quarter.
Back in the capital city, increased prestige sales and strong buyer demand in the $500,000-plus price contributed to the lifting median house price in Brisbane.
Brisbane surrounds also showed improving buyer demand, with Ipswich and Logan recording double digit growth in sales activity over the quarter and over the year to June.
Toowoomba’s house market appears to have taken the foot off the accelerator with sales volumes tapering off for a second consecutive quarter. Given the various projects in the pipeline, such as the going ahead of the second range crossing, local agents anticipate the region will continue to record consistent growth in its real estate market.
The year ahead
In the regional centres, sales activity is mixed, however the general feel on the ground is that the bottom of the market has been met.
I believe the sales activity is encouraging. With any market recovery there is always a concern that things will take a backward step from time to time, however, that is not the case in Queensland as this consistently steady improvement across the state shows.
Our regional centres, where the impact of the GFC and mining downturn continue to be felt years later, are defiantly consistent and this is fantastic news for our state. Queensland property is an encouraging story of economic resilience and even though some of our regional centres are struggling, we are seeing signs of a return to equilibrium.
The southeast corner remains the powerhouse of the state’s real estate market, with Brisbane LGA recording a new high median house price of $610,000.
The market in the southeast corner is performing well and this will eventually be felt throughout the rest of the state.
About the author: Antonia Mercorella is the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland – the first woman in its almost 100-year history and the youngest person to take on the role. Read more here.