Brisbane apartment market to see increase in both supply and demand

Brisbane apartment market to see increase in both supply and demand
Brisbane apartment market to see increase in both supply and demand


Supply and demand for Brisbane apartments are on the up. Property investors would do well to consider both the short-term and long-term supply and demand outlook for apartments.

For a few years after the GFC, Brisbane did have an oversupply of property in general. It's one reason why Propertyology elected to do very little investing in Brisbane for some time. Tighter credit policies post-GFC then made it very difficult for developers to acquire project funding which enabled Brisbane's surplus of property stock to be soaked up.

During the middle of last year, Propertyology observed an increase in buyer activity and Brisbane's market recovery got under way. While we don’t believe that Brisbane is the number one location to invest in right now we do like the city's outlook and are investing there again.

Over the last year, several new, multi-storey apartment complexes have settled around Brisbane; inner-city vacancy rates have increased to a more normal level of around 3% as a result.

Yes, there is a significant level of new inner-city apartments in Brisbane's pipeline. In our view, suburbs such as South Brisbane, West End, Fortitude Valley, and Bowen Hills should be avoided by investors. ‘Property consultants' with vested interests will undoubtedly tell you differently.

Generally speaking, there is a growing trend for increased demand for apartment living across most capital cities and in some regional locations. Over the two year period to March 2014, 43% of new residential dwelling approvals in Australia were for attached dwellings. Yes, almost half. This compares to 30% of total approvals for the two years ending March 2007. Quite an increase!

Brisbane apartment market to see increase in both supply and demand

New South Wales (refer Sydney) had an even bigger percentage of attached dwelling approvals over the last two years -56% - while the ACT (Canberra) and Northern Territory (Darwin) are even higher at a whopping 63% and 60%, respectively. Victoria (refer Melbourne Docklands) and Brisbane also have high percentages of apartment approvals, 45% and 43% respectively.

The millions of Baby Boomer Australians seeking to exit the workforce over the next decade simply don't have anywhere near enough money squirreled away to retain their current digs and have a healthy income stream. More and more Baby Boomers will be attracted to selling the suburban house, downsizing in to apartment living, and releasing a few hundred thousand dollars to supplement their income.

Market analyst, Michael Matusik, recently said: "Brisbane City has an aging demographic profile.  Increasingly, much of the housing market across the Brisbane City area will be looking to downsize and/or retire.  This will fuel the need for more attached homes; often smaller in size than traditional detached housing.  The catch-cry is “place for space”, meaning that buyers will be looking to live in quality projects, in established urban areas. The Brisbane downsize/retirement market will experience its greatest growth over the next ten years.  Interestingly, the first home buyer segment and even the upgrader market is unlikely to grow as much in size as those downsizing, suggesting that resale supply of baby boomer-first generation homes may exceed demand (first time buyers and those upgrading)."

There are plenty of people who don't want to spend their weekends maintaining gardens. Many Gen Y, for example, see a lot of merit in apartment living. There is a growing number of Gen Y’s who either can't afford the mortgage payments on a suburban house and / or prefer the conveniences of inner-city lifestyles.

While there will be an increase in apartment supply in Brisbane, there will also be increased demand.

Simon Pressley is managing director of Propertyology, a full-time property market analyst, accredited property investment adviser, and REIA / REIQ Buyer’s Agent of the Year (2012,2013,2014).

Photo courtesy of Andrew Sutherland/Flickr/Creative Commons.

Brisbane Simon Pressley

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