Queensland first-home buyer loan approvals have soared by nearly 20 percent in the last 12 months, jumping 5 percent in the last month alone, new data shows.
The Sunshine State boasts the highest number of first-home buyers in Australia, thanks to low-interest rates, a $20,000 state government grant and one of the country’s most affordable housing markets.
The latest data from Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Queensland first-home buyer activity has increased by 16 percent during 2017 – and it’s likely to intensify, with developers ramping up the incentives for first-time buyers as the last few months of the $20,000 First Home Owners’ Grant close in.
The grant, which was scheduled to drop back to $15,000 on June 30, was extended until December 31 by the Queensland government.
Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said the grant had been extremely successful in bringing forward demand stimulating the first-home buyer market.
“We had a rush of first-home buyers in June when people thought the grant was going to end but since then the numbers have continued to keep growing,” he said.
While Sydney continues to battle a housing affordability crisis, Queensland first-home buyers have 92 suburbs in Greater Brisbane alone with a median below the average purchasing power ($392,000) to choose from.
Acacia Ridge, Boondall, Tingalpa, Deagon and Riverhills all have a median house price of $500,000 or less.
With the $20,000 grant scheduled to drop back to $15,000 at the end of the year, developers are now making a renewed push to get first-time buyers to take advantage of the extra cash before it expires.
One of Australia’s biggest residential land developers, Peet Limited, is leading the push, recently releasing 40 new house and land packages under $400,000, with some packages starting as low as $295,000 with the First Home Owners’ Grant.
The packages are available in communities near Ipswich, Caboolture and Logan – some of south-east Queensland’s biggest growth corridors – and include front landscaping and fencing.
Peet Limited CEO and managing director Brendan Gore said the company wanted to show homebuyers that there was still a big choice in quality, affordable homes available.
“People are hearing a lot about escalating property prices and are really worried about being priced out of the market.
“We want to reassure them that it isn’t too late. It is still very possible to buy an attractive family home, close to amenities, in an area with good investment potential, for under the magic $400,000.”
Mr Gore said although the grant had been extended a number of times, home sales tended to peak whenever buyers could see the grant coming to a close.
“The First Home Owners’ Grant is a big help for people who are struggling to get into the property,” he said. “The deadline is definitely on the radar for those buyers who are eligible.”
Peet’s 40 under $400,000 packages will be available until November 3, 2017, or until sold out.
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.
Sydney, you’re pretty, but let’s take your prices down a notch, eh? Picture: Destination NSW
IT’S no surprise to most Australians that the cost of living varies greatly from one city, state or territory to another.
But exactly which places are the most affordable when it comes to everyday expenses including rent, fuel, groceries, transport, utilities and education? And which ones will burn a hole in your pocket faster than the others?
The latest report from Numbeo, a cost of living website which collates prices of goods and services from hundreds of cities around the world, shows that almost everything is cheaper in Hobart compared to other major cities nationwide.
It also confirmed what Sydneysiders already knew: it’s the most expensive place to live in the country. Melbourne, Darwin and Perth trail closely behind.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government’s priorities – including the Australian mining sector – were out of whack. “I wish they’d just start talking about everyday Aussies in terms of cost of living,” he said on Wednesday.
While Sydney ranked 32 in the list of the world’s most expensive cities, it was the 16th most expensive city in terms of rent, according to Numbeo.
Sydney has this year risen to number 32 in this year’s Cost of Living Index, up from 41 last year, according to Numbeo.
Melbourne rose to 64, up from 77, while Adelaide, Cairns, Hobart and Canberra also moved up the list to 58, 69, 82 and 103 respectively.
Only Perth (56), Darwin (68) and Brisbane (93) have become more affordable, according to the site, which ranks the results based on information provided by thousands of residents.
RENT, CHILDCARE AND RESTAURANTS
A one-bedroom, city centre apartment costs an average of $2681.48 per month in Sydney.
That’s compared with Melbourne ($1767.60), Canberra ($1733.26), Brisbane ($1726.13), Adelaide ($1705.67), Gold Coast ($1568.92), Darwin ($1524.35), Perth ($1523.41) and Hobart ($1208.33). Those with kids can more than double their outgoing expenses if they live in Sydney with the cost of sending one child to childcare full-time for a month about $2038.27. Child care is even more expensive on the Gold Coast ($2250) but significantly cheaper in Adelaide ($1600), Melbourne ($1478), Brisbane ($1243), Perth ($1214), Darwin ($1,200), Canberra ($1168) and Hobart ($683.33), according to the site.
The data also showed that costs including groceries, rent and restaurant prices were most expensive in Sydney and Darwin, while cities like Hobart, Cairns and the Gold Coast had some of the cheapest.
COFFEE, PETROL, UTILITIES
But not all is lost for Sydney – while residents might be down thousands of dollars in rent, they’re up an entire buck or two when it comes to coffee. Sydney is home to country’s cheapest hot drinks with a regular cappuccino costing about $3.90, compared with the highest median price for the same item in Darwin, at $4.75.
The Northern Territory capital might be small in size – with a total population of about 250,000 people – but it’s also home to some of the highest prices for fuel and utilities nationwide.
The national average for unleaded petrol is 138.9c per litre. But in the NT, prices soar above the rest, with a median price of 183.9c per litre in the troubled town of Tennant Creek, 176.9c per litre in Alice Springs and 150.2c per litre in the capital of Darwin, according to 2018 NT government figures. The median price for monthly utilities – including power and water – in Darwin is $332.80. That’s compared with the cheapest average of $181.20 per month in Perth. Even a meal at McDonalds will cost about an extra $2 than in other states.
MILK, BREAD AND BEER
The Gold Coast is also where you can find the country’s cheapest bread, at $2.12 a loaf. Brisbane follows closely behind ($2.14), with Sydney selling the staple food at the highest average rate of $2.80. And if you’re up for a good time at the lowest price possible, the Gold Coast is also where it’s at, with the nation’s cheapest in-restaurant domestic beer ($5.75). That’s compared to the most expensive average of $8 in both Melbourne and Darwin.
For the more straight-laced, Hobart could be a better option, boasting the cheapest milk at $1.11 for one litre. In Perth, the same product costs consumers about $1.59 – the highest average in Australia.
But the most isolated city in the world makes up in electricity prices what it lacks in cartons of milk, offering the cheapest average price for utilities in the nation. The average monthly cost of a power and water bill in a 85m2 apartment in Perth is $181.2. That’s compared to
Darwin ($332.80), Adelaide ($297.95), Melbourne (214.82), Sydney ($176.69), Brisbane ($212.60), Hobart ($236.99), Canberra ($184.73) and the Gold Coast ($184.41).
Hobart is the most southern of Australia’s capital cities, its harbour is the second-deepest natural port in the world, making it a popular destination for boaties. It’s also one of the cheapest capital cities in the country although wages are also below the national average. Hobart is also known for its arts and culture, its majestic scenery such as Mt Wellington, picturesque waterways including the Derwent River and rich cafe and restaurant scene. With a median house price of $402,000, strong capital growth and good long- term projections, the area presents a solid market.
Even suburbs that are located within less than 2km from the CBD, including North Hobart and South Hobart, with median houses prices of $582,000 and $631,000, respectively, are relatively affordable compared to cities like Sydney, where the median house price is upwards of $1 million and Melbourne where it has pushed past $840,000.
In Victoria, households are shelling out almost $75,000 a year on general living expenses, a major study of spending habits reveals.
The 2017 Household Expenditure Survey found that in 2015-16 essentials cost $843 of the average $1430 Victorians spent on goods and services each week.
Housing costs – on rent, mortgages, rates and home-and-contents insurance – were the biggest drain ($257), the Herald Sun reported.
Food, including meals out and non-alcoholic drinks, cost $244, and transport – driving, taxi fares, and train, tram and bus fares – cost $218.
A buoyant Canberra housing market is leading to healthy long-term investment options for savvy homebuyers, according to RiskWise Property Research.
While the Sydney market goes flat, many Sydney-based investors and buyers’ agents are looking to Canberra – which has a median house price of about $750,000 – as a solid long-term property market that delivers both capital growth and solid rental return.
Less than 300km southwest of Sydney, Canberra has enjoyed solid capital growth of 23 per cent over the past five years and 10 per cent in the past 12 months.
RiskWise Property Research CEO Doron Peleg said it was a trend set to continue.
“This will be driven by ongoing population growth due to the strength of the local labour market and its growing status as a city of choice for a growing number of Australians,” Mr Peleg said.
“Canberra is a rapidly expanding city with a stable property market that offers relatively affordable housing (in house-to-income terms). In addition, ongoing infrastructure projects, such as the Canberra Light Rail Network, will bring significant benefits to the area.”
An hour’s drive from the state capital Brisbane, the Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia and is forecast to have 1.2 million residents living there by 2050, according to demographer Bernard Salt. The region has a stable property market that offers relatively affordable beachside suburbs, such as Miami which has a median house price of $749,000, according to industry experts.
CoreLogic’s regional market update to December 2017 places the median house price at $634,423, while the median unit price is $411,229.
RiskWise CEO Doron Peleg said that despite gaining infamy for violent incidences and drunken behaviour in Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast was one of the most popular destinations for both owner-occupiers and investors in southeast Queensland.
“It has beautiful beachside and waterside suburbs, an unrivalled lifestyle, good infrastructure, a large number of well-off residents and locals who describe the Gold Coast as ‘heaven for children’,” Mr Peleg said.
“The Gold Coast has a stable property market that offers both affordability and excellent access to superb beach and coastal areas, and that is very appealing to buyers.”
But there are fears about what will become of the glitter strip’s property market once the Commonwealth Games, set to start this month, are done and dusted.
Collier’s Gold Coast International director Darrell Irwin said property market indicators showed the region had a “healthy sector” that would survive the exodus when the curtain closes on the Games.
“The Games has brought forward infrastructure investment in projects such as the light rail construction, and upgrades to the aquatic centre and Carrara Stadium, which have helped fuel demand across the board in the residential, commercial office, retail, and industrial sectors,” he said.
“We’ve seen commercial office vacancy rates continue to fall over the last three years to the current level of 10.3 per cent as reported in the most recent Property Council of Australia figures.
“With no new office buildings under construction, we expect to see that vacancy rate fall further.
“Similarly in the industrial market, there’s been strong demand, a falling vacancy rate and limited land supply.”