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South-East Queensland Poised for Property Upturn

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South-East Queensland Poised for Property Upturn

The Queensland economy is now well into recovery stage after an inevitable slump following the mining boom.

In the third quarter of 2017, state final demand rose a significant 2.7 per cent year-on-year, which was the first time in three years this measure returned a positive result – the culmination of five consecutive quarters of positive growth.

Access Economics have also forecast the Queensland state final demand will average 3.8 per cent annual growth over the next four years, easily outstripping the average annual growth of 0.2 per cent in state final demand over the last five years.

Infrastructure boom set to takeover apartment construction

According to JLL, Queensland employment surged 4.1 per cent year-on-year to August 2017, easily surpassing Victoria and New South Wales (3.7% and 2.3% respectively) and the national figure of 2.8 per cent.

This is in spite of a clear slowdown in the construction of apartments in Brisbane that has been well underway for the better part of 18 months.

Building approvals for units in the greater Brisbane area were down 59.9 per cent for the year to August 2017 as it became harder for both developers and investors to obtain finance.

Interestingly, the pressure from APRA for banks to limit investor finance has actually benefited the Brisbane apartment market. It has inadvertently forced developers to create more appealing and better quality products – which is contributing to a change in buyer profile to more owner-occupiers and less investors and reducing the amount of “cookie cutter” apartments in the market.

Over the coming quarters, it is anticipated approval numbers will remain subdued. However, any negative employment effects felt from a reduction in construction will be offset by the burgeoning pipeline of infrastructure programs currently underway or soon to commence in Queensland.

Major Infrastructure Projects

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Cross River Rail

With the recent re-election of the Palaszczuk government, Brisbane’s $5.4 billion Cross River Rail will commence construction next year.

It will involve the construction of four new underground stations, significant upgrades to existing stations and Brisbane’s first southern CBD rail station at Albert Street.

Forecast to create 1,500 jobs annually, the Cross River Rail project is due for completion in 2024.

 

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Queens Wharf Redevelopment

The redevelopment of the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf precinct is one of the largest developments ever undertaken in Queensland. It covers 27.3 hectares, roughly one fifth of the CBD area.

At peak construction, Queens Wharf is projected to created 2,000 jobs with 8,000 jobs ongoing upon completion in 2024.

Queens Wharf will house over 50 restaurants, bars and cafes upon completion, with an additional 1,000 hotel beds and 2,000 apartments in the residential precinct.

Once fully operational, Queen’s Wharf is expected to bring an additional 1.39 million visitors and an increased tourism spend of $1.69 billion annually.

 

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Brisbane Showground regeneration

The redevelopment of the 22-hectare site is the largest brownfield development of its kind in Australia.

Due for completion in 2026, the $2.9 billion redevelopment of the Brisbane showgrounds will generate more than 2,000 jobs over the course of the development and add over $300 million annually to Queensland’s economy.

 

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Brisbane International Airport second runway

This is the largest aviation project currently underway in Australia, and one of the largest currently being undertaken globally.

Due for completion in 2020, the $1.35 billion second runway will create 2,700 construction jobs over seven years.

By 2035, Brisbane airport will handle 50 million passengers a year.

 

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Herston Quarter redevelopment

A world-class health and wellbeing precinct will become a new landmark in Brisbane’s northeast.

The $1.1 billion precinct is due for completion in 2027, creating 700 jobs in the construction phase.

Brisbane Metro

Due to commence in 2019, the $944 million Brisbane Metro project will feature two new high-capacity, high frequency metro lines connecting Brisbane’s southern suburbs and inner northern suburbs with the CBD.

Due for completion in 2022, Brisbane metro will create 7,000 construction jobs.

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Brisbane’s Property Outlook

Cyclical lows for inner city residential developments

As the cranes come down and the lights go on, we’ve officially hit the settlement stage of the inner-Brisbane apartment market.

The number of apartments being approved is now at cyclical lows and has been edging that way for quite some time.

Urbis reported the third quarter of 2017 saw only 672 apartments reach development approval status – a significantly lower number than those in the peak of the cycle which reached over 5,000 apartments per quarter in 2014 and 2015.

We’re also seeing cyclical lows for the number of pre-sales achieved each quarter, with the last four quarters averaging 348 in sales volumes.

These figures are a result of the stage of the cycle the market is in, reflecting the natural slowdown in completed stock that will likely carry through until 2020. And while small pockets of Brisbane have seen an oversupply in the last 18 months, prices have not been materially affected.

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Significant growth for house prices

This chart from JLL’s third quarter Brisbane Apartment Market report shows Brisbane apartment prices were down only 0.2 per cent as at August 2017 year-on-year, while houses returned a robust 4.2 per cent positive growth story. Given this period spans the peak supply periods of the Brisbane apartment market (2016 and 2017) this is a reasonably solid result for apartments.

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On a citywide level for apartment price growth, even the so called “hotspots” have remained relatively buoyant, despite the “oversupply” story.

The table below shows the five strongest and weakest performing suburbs for median price growth for Brisbane houses and units for the 12 months to August 2017.

Supposed “problem suburbs” such as Newstead and Brisbane City have only seen a median price drop of 2 per cent each for the year and other challenging areas such as West End have achieved small positive returns in the 12 months to August 2017 (again, approximately 2%).

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Brisbane housing values remain steady against soaring Sydney

The Brisbane housing market has not seen the same run up in prices as our east coast sister cities, Sydney and Melbourne. As a result, Brisbane should be insulated from any major price correction some economists are forecasting for these cities.

In fact, Brisbane’s housing is now valued at only 43 per cent of Sydney’s – which is at both historical and cyclical lows for the last two decades. The chart below shows the relationship between dwelling values in Brisbane as a percentage of Sydney’s and net interstate migration.

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So what does this chart tell us?

  • Over the last two decades, Queensland’s net interstate migration peaked at just under 40,000 people (2002). This coincided with Brisbane’s housing being at its lowest value in relation to Sydney’s (43%).
  • In 2017, the ratio was at the same level as it was in 2002, as a result of Sydney’s recent bull market run up in prices.
  • Queensland’s net interstate migration has been steadily increasing since 2014 and history suggests that the dwelling price difference to Sydney (and Melbourne) should lead to a surge in interstate migration in the coming years and a subsequent surge in dwelling values in Brisbane.

Indeed, according to the Macquarie Bank equity strategy team we can expect “another great wave of interstate migration into Queensland.”

Based on past patterns, approximately 130,000 people could be expected to make the migration north into Queensland over the next three years.

The average number of migrants over a three-year period is greater than the peak year in the above chart.

Migration on this scale would more than likely soak up any additional supply in the Brisbane apartment market, and could also drive up real estate prices.

Over the medium-term, the Brisbane property market is looking steady due to:

  • Lower apartment supply and surging interstate migration.
  • Political stability and a burgeoning pipeline of major infrastructure project.

JLL’s outlook for the Brisbane property market for the 12 months out from December 2017 can be seen below. While there is still some supply to work through the system, the outlook for unit prices in the next 12 months is steady, and they expect price appreciation in the housing market.

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Gold Coast to see improving state employment and net migration

The Gold Coast property market boasts similar features to Brisbane – and is likely to see the same benefits as a result.

  • Wide price differential compared with Sydney and Melbourne
  • Improving state employment picture
  • Increasingly stable state government
  • Expected increase in net state migration.

Where the Gold Coast market differs is on the supply side of the equation – particularly since the global financial crisis.

Lenders exposed to the Gold Coast apartment market experienced losses at this time, and as a result lending on large developments all but dried up in the ensuing years.

Under normal circumstances, a chronic lack of supply would lead to a sharp upturn in prices – but in the case of the Gold Coast, there was an equal lack of confidence from buyers, particularly from interstate investors.

So, for the Gold Coast, prices are only really now getting back to pre-GFC levels for off-the-plan apartments in desirable beachside locations.

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Source: McGrath Projects

What can we see from this chart?

  • The median apartment price for Gold Coast has practically flat-lined since around 2008.
  • Historically, the median apartment price of Gold Coast and Sydney have converged after Sydney has had a run up in prices. This should give confidence to buyers of Gold Coast apartments in the short to medium term, given the gap is at the widest it has been in the last 20 years.

Looking ahead

South-east Queensland’s property market seems to have weathered the worst of the economic storm and the oversupply of apartments in and around the Brisbane CBD.

The economic and demographic signs are now positive for both Brisbane and the Gold Coast:

  • Strong employment growth
  • Extremely strong outlook for the state economy (projections for State Final Demand)
  • Huge pipeline of infrastructure yet to be complete
  • Net interstate migration story.

If the latter plays out as expected, this should provide an enormous transfer of wealth from the southern states – and would have far reaching positive outcomes for the economy and property prices as a whole.

If the market can navigate 2018 safely, the ensuing years could potentially experience some of the strongest years of price growth for south-east Queensland property since the early 2000s.

Originally Published: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Opinion

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches?

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How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches

Winter is coming, the property market is cooling and hot summer days spent at the beach are becoming a distant memory.

But dreams of a sea change could still keep you warm for months to come and looking to one of Australia’s coastal markets now could have you sitting beachside by summer.

The location of that home and beach will depend on your budget. Here’s what it now costs to buy in some of Australia’s top beach locations.

$2 million+

If you’ve got serious cash to splash, then real estate by Sydney’s Bondi Beach — arguably Australia’s most famous strip of coast — could be within your reach.

With a median house price of $2.675 million and a median unit price of $1.2 million, buying into the beachside suburb does not come cheaply, but it’s more affordable than Sydney’s other top beach contender – Manly.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 1

While house prices in the northern beaches gem dropped 11.5 per cent in the year to March, according to Domain data, the median house price still sits at $2.955 million. Meanwhile, the median unit price dropped 3.7 per cent to $1.315 million.

If Sydney’s not your cup of tea, you can cast your gaze west, far west to the other side of the country, where you’ll find the turquoise water and white sand of Perth’s Cottesloe Beach.

Despite  Perth’s market downturn – house prices are down 14 per cent and units down 16.6 per cent from the 2014 peak – Cotto will still set you back a pretty penny, with a $2,147,500 median house price. Units are more affordable with a median of $780,000.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 2

$1 million+

Northern NSW and south-east Queensland offer up the top rated beaches in Australia for those looking to spend about $1.5 million or less.

Byron Bay, Noosa and Surfers Paradise have long been favoured spots for holidaymakers and are increasingly attracting people looking to make their favourite vacation spot their hometown.

While about half the out-of-towners snapping up real estate in popular Byron Bay were once only looking for a holiday home, that’s no longer the case,  said Ian Daniels of McGrath Byron Bay

“Half the houses were holiday houses before, now you can see how many more people are living here,” Mr Daniels said.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 3

Byron Bay has the highest median house price of the three at $1,562,500. It’s followed by Surfers Paradise and Noosa Heads, with respective medians of $1.55 million and $1.145 million. Meanwhile, the median unit price is $850,000 in Byron Bay, $890,000 in Noosa Heads and $380,000 in Surfers Paradise.

Mr Daniels said there had been “no let up” during cooler winter months in recent years, but noted buyer demand could be a little weaker this year due to the broader property market downturn.

While there tended to be less stock in winter, Mr Daniels said, it could be a great time for both vendors and buyers to be on the market because there was less competition.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 4

$750,000+

The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are again the best beachside bet for buyers in this price range, with Burleigh Heads and Mooloolaba offering house prices of $865,000 and $837,500. Unit medians sit at $535,000 and $424,750.

While investor activity has dropped off, Josh Willatt of Ray White Robina said, there is still good demand from locals and buyers looking to make a sea change.

“We’re still seeing buyers come up here in droves from Sydney and Melbourne … and we also see good inquiry from Brisbane, ” Mr Willatt said, adding they were drawn to the area for its great beaches, strong village atmosphere, restaurants and cafes.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 5

Mr Willatt said the Gold Coast and south-east Queensland was still extremely affordable for what it offered. He noted buyers had more choice in late winter and spring as more stock hit the market, but that there was still a steady stream of buyers over the cooler months as the market was less seasonal than others.

$500,000 or less

Buyers who want to purchase near a well-known beach for less than $500,000 should cast the net wide, looking to Broome,  Darwin and Victoria’s Phillip Island. However, swimming year round won’t be an option, due to cold temperatures in some cases and box jellyfish in others.

For $494,500 you can buy a house by Cable Beach in Broome, or an apartment for a little under $300,000.

Apartments near the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets in Darwin have a median of about $380,000 as do units in the suburb of Cowes, near Kitty Miller Bay on Phillip Island.

How much does it cost to buy property at Australia’s best beaches 6

Michael McLeod of First National Phillip Island said those looking to buy on the island might be best doing so in winter.

“[Island living] is not all glamour, there is rain,” Mr McLeod said. “We’re still quite consistent in winter, [but] there’s fewer people around and [buyers] have the time to make decisions.”

“The time a property is on the market [varies greatly] … when it’s extremely busy places can be snapped up … or we have things that can take two years or a year to sell,” Mr McLeod said.

While retirees cashing out of Melbourne still make up a bulk of the population, Mr McLeod said, a growing number of younger families were moving to the area and commuting to Melbourne or working remotely.

Source: goldcoastinvestor.com.au

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Opinion

How good an investment is south-east Queensland

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How good an investment is south-east Queensland

Why do we believe we’ll see increasing investor interest in this market? Strong population growth, a diversified and growing economy, and substantial investment in infrastructure should combine to boost demand.

We expect that these factors will swell the number of white-collar jobs – increasing demand for office space, which in turn will push down vacancy rates and raise rental incomes. This should be good news for office property investors – especially those like Centuria Metropolitan REIT (CMA) that are already well-positioned in the market.

A significant and growing population

South East Queensland (SEQ) stretches from the Gold Coast up to the Sunshine Coast and across to Toowoomba in the west. As Australia’s third-largest population zone, the region has been growing significantly, particularly Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Interstate migration figures show a pattern of steady net migration, with Queensland the only Australian state with consistent net inflows of people from other states. In the five years prior to the 2016 Census, over 220,000 people moved to the Sunshine State – mainly to SEQ where nearly 90% of population growth occurred. This is important for property investors because of its implications for demand, but the trend is interconnected with other favourable factors.

A diversified economy poised for growth

Queensland’s economy is diversified across a range of industries including agriculture, resources, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and services. Over the past two decades, its economic growth has consistently exceeded the national average – and in our view this is likely to continue.

The resources sector is gaining momentum, and a significant pipeline of major infrastructure and development projects is helping propel economic and jobs growth, in turn increasing interstate migration and driving demand for both residential and commercial property.

Investment in infrastructure

A strong infrastructure program delivers more than business and consumer amenity – it generates jobs, drives investment, and facilitates population growth. The pipeline of infrastructure and development projects announced in the past few years is likely to have a material impact on the region – substantially improving its accessibility and amenity – most notably, Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf precinct and the Cross River Rail.

Queen’s Wharf, touted as a “world-class entertainment precinct”, is an integrated resort development costing $3.6 billion and covering over 26 hectares with retail, dining, hotel and entertainment spaces. As Queensland’s biggest ever tourism project it will be a game-changer for Brisbane, attracting overseas as well as local visitors.  Estimated to contribute $1.69 billion annually to the economy, it will employ more than 2,000 people during construction and an estimated 10,000 once operational.

The Queensland Government’s number one infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, comprises a new 10.2km rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, which includes a 5.9km tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. It’s the first major rail infrastructure investment in the inner city since 1986 and is set to generate urban renewal, economic development and the revitalisation of inner-city precincts.

Outlook for commercial office property investment

These factors indicate a region poised for growth – and for growing commercial property demand. CMA’s portfolio has a significant exposure to the area in general (six SEQ assets with a combined book value of over $480 million), with many of the individual assets located in those parts of Brisbane set to benefit most from these developments.

Our view is that Brisbane office markets, where five of CMA’s assets sit, are continuing to improve, with vacancies hitting a five-year low – indicating increasing tenant demand – and continued yield compression, demonstrating strong investment demand. Office sales hit the highest level in a decade during 2018 (at $2.35 billion), increasing 60% from 2017.

With the strong outlook for SEQ, we expect the region will continue to attract tenants and investors alike.

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Opinion

Queensland’s 100,000-property public housing shortfall revealed

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Queensland's 100,000-property public housing shortfall revealed

Queensland has a severe shortage of social and affordable housing, an issue that is projected to get worse by 2036 according to new research.

More than 102,000 additional social houses are currently needed across the state, and 54,700 affordable houses are also needed with nearly 13 per cent of Queenslanders spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.

By 2036, Queensland is projected to need 254,300 more social and affordable houses – the second-highest unmet need behind NSW, the report found.

The new figures come from a UNSW City Futures Research Centre report on social housing shortfall across Australia.

Regional social housing shortfalls are higher than in Brisbane, the data shows, but Brisbane residents are slightly more likely to be spending more of their income on rent.

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said housing affordability was a “big issue” for Queensland.

“Through the Palaszczuk government’s $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy, Labor is driving key reforms and targeted investment across the housing continuum,” he said.

“The Strategy commits us to build more than 1000 affordable homes for Queenslanders, as well as a further 4522 new social homes to help ensure everyone has a safe, secure and stable place to live.”

Lead researcher Laurence Troy said 22.5 per cent of Australia’s entire housing growth must go to social housing to meet demand into the future.

“Our analysis shows that the sheer number of households in rental stress across the country means that if we’re going to meet the need, at least 12 per cent of all our housing by 2036 will need to be social and affordable housing – which is a very reasonable ambition in global terms,” Mr Troy said.

“To cover the backlog of unmet need and future need in Australia two in 10 new homes will need to be for social housing over the next 20 years, and a further one in ten for below-market affordable rental housing.”

Mr Troy said the research’s financial modelling found the “best and cheapest way” for governments to meet the need for social housing was to fund it through upfront grants and low-interest government financing.

“Delivering below market rental housing through the not-for-profit sector, as opposed to the private equity model, will save $3 billion a year by removing developer mark-ups and shareholder returns,” he said.

The financial modelling was commissioned by the NSW community housing sector.

Mr de Brenni said the state government was “listening” through its recent public consultation on rental reform and was committed to investing in affordable housing in partnership with community housing, to provide more subsidied homes for low income earners.

“We heard Queenslanders are struggling to afford rental properties in the suburbs close to where they work,” he said.

“Through our Build-to-Rent pilot project, we are seeking to work with the private sector to increase the number of long-term, affordable rental properties for low to moderate income earners, including key workers in health, early childhood and hospitality.

“Internationally, the Build-to-Rent model is delivering fantastic outcomes and facilities for tenants and we’re looking to see what the market is open to delivering here.

“The pilot, if it proceeds, will see $70 million invested towards delivery of hundreds of affordable rental properties for key workers in inner-city areas where affordability has been identified.”

Mr de Brenni said the registrations of interest for that pilot had seen strong market interest, and the department was considering the responses before calling for expressions of interest.

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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