Counter-cycling Brisbane apartments a good buy: Don O'Rorke

Counter-cycling Brisbane apartments a good buy: Don O'Rorke
Counter-cycling Brisbane apartments a good buy: Don O'Rorke

Purchasers should be ready to take advantage of counter-cyclical opportunities, says property developer Don O'Rorke, citing the Brisbane apartment market as a good opportunity to buy.

"There are multiple indicators that Brisbane's apartment market is at the bottom of its cycle and the good news is that there are already signs of the market moving upwards," he said.

"I encourage buyers to think counter-cyclically and act now before they miss the bottom of the market. Those who wait  for news that the recovery is in full swing will find that it is  too late as prices are expected to rebound.

"We are already seeing a surge in enquiry from local owner-occupiers for our Spire Residences, as the focus is changing from price-led enquiry to a stronger focus on quality and lifestyle from buyers who are taking a longer-term view."

The executive chairman of Consolidated Properties Group was speaking after a recent report from JLL highlighted Brisbane was edging towards an upswing, at the same time other markets are still cooling.  

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Counter-cycling Brisbane apartments a good buy: Don O'Rorke

The JLL Apartment Market report places the Brisbane apartment market as around a trough, meaning apartment values and rents are expected to start moving back into positive territory over the coming years.

Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth have been charted in a mature growth or downturn phase with continued downward pressure on pricing expected.

Leigh Warner, JLL national director of residential research, says values in the Greater Brisbane apartment market only decreased by 1.8 per cent in the 12 months to December 2017, which is the slowest rate of decline in some years and the market has shown further signs of stabilisation in early-2018. 

By comparison, prices in Melbourne and Sydney continued to grow through 2017, but have slowed sharply in 2018 to date.

"Brisbane has had a relatively soft landing. While sale rates have declined, pricing never grew to the same extent as it did in Sydney and Melbourne over recent years, which has limited the downside in Brisbane," he said. 

“So now as the larger southern markets face an inevitable slowing, Brisbane is already much closer to coming out the other side.

"The stabilisation of the market reflects both demand and supply factors. 

A recovery in local economic and population growth, along with strong infrastructure spending, have all boosted the demand side. On the supply side, tighter lending conditions have meant that new project starts have fallen sharply and the number of apartments completed will fall sharply this year and next.”

Testament to this reduction in supply, apartment approvals fell by 30.8 per cent in the 12 months to January 2018.

"Our view is that while market fundamentals may remain challenging in Brisbane in the short term, the medium-term outlook over a two-three year horizon is now quite good,” said Mr Warner.

"While rental yields in Brisbane are hovering around 4.8 per cent, and remain favourable for investors compared to Sydney (3.8 per cent) and Melbourne (4 per cent), we see this recovery being led predominantly by owner-occupiers who are willing to pay a premium for superior location and finishes."


Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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