SOARING electricity prices have changed the way property seekers look at homes.
New research showed properties with sustainable features such as solar panels, battery packs and rainwater tanks have been selling faster and at higher prices than homes without the eco-friendly features.
The typical difference in sales price was 10 per cent higher, while the sustainable homes also took about 13 days quicker to sell, according to the study by property group PRDnationwide.
PRD nationwide national research manager Diaswati Mardiasmo said sustainable buildings were outperforming more traditional housing in a number of categories.
“When people are aware of the savings sustainable homes have, it is easier for them to decide if they want a house, particularly when they know the benefits they bring or not having to worry about the cost of installing them later,” Dr Mardiasmo said.
Part of the appeal of a home with sustainable features was the potential utility bill savings and the promise of lower maintenance costs over time, Dr Mardiasmo added.
“Things like solar panels add value to a home,” she said.
“People realise that they can save money on energy bills or electricity, which is alluring when bills keep going up, so people think ‘if I have to pay more now I will come out on top in the long run’.”
Additional research from comparison site Finder.com.au reported that 33 per cent of buyers would pay more for a property with solar panels.
Solar panels were the fourth most sought after feature, according to the research, with only airconditioning, a garage and a backyard more desired.
Development company Metricon has also reported an uptake in customers trying to beat the rising costs of running a home.
Metricon Homes NSW general manager Luke Fryer said the majority of buyers who were building their homes wanted to install sustainable features that would help them manage their living costs down the line.
“Since October last year over 70 per cent of our Designer and Signature by Metricon customers have chosen to build smart technology into their homes,” Mr Fryer said.
Metricon has partnered with a number of smart energy suppliers.
Products it has introduced into new builds have included the Bradford ChargePack, which comes with solar panels. The Tesla Powerwall has also proved popular with its clients as it allows homeowners to store power for later use.
Bradford Energy business manager Ashleigh O’Brien said part of the increased uptake in sustainable technologies was due to the costs going down. Solar panels and batteries, in particular, were now more affordable than they were the past, she said.
“It used to take eight or nine years before you would see any return on your investment. Nowadays it is only three to four years,” Ms O’Brien said.
By combining solar panels and a battery such as the Tesla Powerwall, Ms O’Brien said bills became almost non-existent.
“We find that people have (more) peace of mind with a battery and solar panels, particularly as 80 to 90 per cent of their energy bills are offset by the sun, meaning they pay very little on power,” she said.
Ms O’Brien said the technologies were allowing families to be eco savvy while not worrying about their quarterly power bill.
“Families can look at their smart app and it shows them how much energy they’re using and how much they have left on their battery,” Ms O’Brien said. “This allows them to use the airconditioner or dryer without bill shock or worrying about the cost down the track.”
With the cost of batteries coming down, Ms O’Brien said it made sense for families to have them installed alongside solar panels.
“When families aren’t at home during the day, the battery allows them to store (energy) and use it when they (return),” she said.
Over the last 10 years, Brisbane has suffered the GFC and floods. As a result, prices are now extremely affordable for a capital city. The Brisbane market has some of the best growth prospects nationwide, so let’s explore why this market is set to take the gold medal for capital growth.
Since the GFC, net migration levels have been very poor for Queensland. However, net interstate migration to Queensland has tripled over the last three years. Interstate migration to Queensland fell to a low of 5,753 in 2014, increasing to 11,581 in 2016 and 15,716 in 2017.
The majority of these people are moving from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. This increase in migration levels is due to housing affordability compared to other states, improving employment markets and the lifestyle factors that come with those two factors.
There is a surge of major development and infrastructure projects currently underway in Brisbane, to the sum of $12 billion.
Examples of these major projects are:
Queens Wharf ($3 billion) – Comprising of 1,000 hotel rooms across five hotels, a residential precinct of 2,000 units, a 100-metre sky deck, 50 bars and restaurants and a pedestrian bridge connection to Southbank. This will completely reshape the Brisbane’s river CBD precinct.
Cross River Rail ($5.4 billion) – The project will deliver a 10.2-kilometre rail link from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, with 5.9 kilometres of tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD, connecting to both northern and southern rail networks in and out of the CBD.
Brisbane Quarter ($1 billion) – This project is a mixed-use precinct incorporating office, retail, hotel and residential uses.
Brisbane Live ($2 billion) – A new entertainment precinct located on top of the Roma Street rail interchange hub. Facilities include a $450 million, 17,000-seat arena along with multiplex cinemas, an amphitheatre and proposed commercial, residential and hotel towers.
Last year was one of the strongest years for job growth in Brisbane’s history. In the last 12 months, Brisbane’s jobs growth has increased by 7.6 per cent. As a result, unemployment has fallen across the board to 5.5 per cent.
Recent jobs growth has been driven by Queensland’s service industries. While the resources sector has cut 22,000 jobs over the past two years, four other industries each created more jobs than were lost in the resource sector over that period: health, education, professional services and accommodation and food services (which is closely related to tourism).
The median dwelling across Brisbane cost 6.3 times higher than the median household income. As a comparison, Sydneywas ranked the second worst most unaffordable market in the world. House prices are a whopping 13 times higher than the median household income.
These factors are significant for Brisbane’s capital growth prospects over the coming years. Well-located houses (not units) are expected to be some of the best preforming sub-markets in Australian real estate.
The state government’s planned property tax increases risk wiping the state off the global investment map, warns Chris Mountford,
executive director of Property Council Queensland.Kevin Farmer
THE state government’s planned property tax increases, due to come into effect on July 1, risk wiping the state off the global investment map.
As the government begins work on the State Budget, the Property Council is ramping up efforts to highlight the hidden effects of the tax hikes.
These tax hikes will increase the cost of doing business, damage Queensland’s economic competitiveness and impact on every Queenslander.
With Queensland preparing to leverage the Commonwealth Games to attract new investment opportunities, these tax increases couldn’t come at a worse time.
Election campaign costings, released in the days prior to the November 2017 state election, revealed the government’s intention to introduce new land tax thresholds for aggregated land holdings with an unimproved value above $10 million.
Individuals, companies and trusts who are within this new threshold will be subjected to a 25% increase in the rate of land tax from July 1.
The government has also committed to increasing the stamp duty surcharge on foreign buyers of residential property from 3% to 7%.
The end result of this decision will be higher business rents, higher costs for new homes and damage to Queensland’s reputation as an investment destination.
Businesses who lease premises from larger landlords can expect additional rental and occupancy costs.
New homebuyers can expect an additional $800-$1000 added to the cost of purchasing a new home.
We once were able to lure investment from interstate and overseas with attractive tax rates, but we now find ourselves uncompetitive with our southern neighbours.
The Property Council is calling for the government to abandon the tax increases and commit to review and modernise Queensland’s property tax framework.
Our current land tax thresholds haven’t been changed in a decade, leading to significant bracket creep as property values have increased dramatically.
We need a simpler, fairer and more attractive property tax system to unlock investment and create jobs.
An all-encompassing review of Queensland’s outdated thresholds and property tax rates needs to be undertaken to put Queensland back on the investment map.
Chris Mountford is executive director of Property Council Queensland.
Interstate migration to the Sunshine Coast is tipped to help drive up property prices. Picture: Lachie Millard
INTERSTATE migration is once again driving up demand for Sunshine Coast property.
New analysis of the market by RiskWise Property Research predicts solid capital growth for the region as a result.
RiskWise CEO Doron Peleg said the area had experienced “consistently strong population growth’’ in the past five years and predictions were that this would continue.
The Sunshine Coast market has been widely tipped by real estate analysts to experience a lift in prices, after a series of lean years.
The high-end Noosa market in particular has fired up again with a series of record breaking beachfront sales, but it was also the affordability of many of the Sunshine Coast suburbs that Mr Peleg said was helping attract new residents.
“The area’s affordability has been a major drawcard behind this migration, especially for large numbers of interstate purchasers who can’t afford to buy such great lifestyle properties in places like Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.
Also helping drive demand and future capital growth, according to Mr Peleg was the low number of building approvals in the region.
21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach was listed for a massive $22 Million. Picture: Paul Smith
He said there were only 3323 house building approvals in the pipeline across the entire region and that would be quickly absorbed.
There are also approvals for 2581 new units to be added in the two years.
Mr Peleg said there had already been 7.1 per cent median house price growth for houses on the Sunshine Coast and 5.4 per cent median unit price growth in the past 12 months.