Suburb spotlight: Growth phase tipped for Redcliffe, Queensland

Trent Cattanack, of Harcourts Redcliffe, is bemoaning the lack of stock for sale in this picturesque suburb north of Brisbane, with listings down 35% since May.

On the plus side he says there’s an improved time-on-the-market figure which is down from 100 days to 30/40 days as vendors ‘’come to the party’’ with more realistic price expectations.

Originally named Red Cliff Point by explorer John Oxley, the suburb became the state’s first colony in 1824. Although later abandoned for Brisbane it became a popular holiday resort from the 1880s because of its proximity to the capital and natural attributes.

An ideal climate, sandy beaches and appealing scenery provides an ideal living environment for families, yet decent houses can still be bought for less than $300,000, Cattanack says.

With generally older housing stock and a stable population – ‘’many residents have been here 40-plus years’’ – he says gentrification is coming with one developer having five projects and hundreds of apartments in the pipeline.

High rise is not a feature of the suburb so far with building heights of around eight storeys at Redcliffe Towers, at 89 Marine Parade, and Warwick Tower, at 51 Marine Parade, both built in the mid-1970s. Currently, Redcliffe has a height restriction of 12 storeys along Redcliffe Parade in the CBD area.

A catalyst for development is that Redcliffe is well located about 45 minutes drive from Brisbane across the Hornibrook bridge, erected in 1935, and a 25 minute drive from the airport.

The suburb has a musical claim to fame, too: in 1958, the Gibb family with children Barry, Robin and Maurice, emigrated from Manchester, England to live there for a time before becoming the world renowned The Bee Gees singing group.

Andrew Wilson, of Australian Property Monitors, believes Redcliffe is at the start of a growth phase. In the six months to September this year he points out that median house prices rose 2.9% to $339,500 but, over the full year to September, they fell 2.2%.

The Redcliffe median is 14% down on its 2009-2010 high, as are a number of northern suburbs, such as Moreton Bay, which is down 8%.

‘’It’s a middle suburb and most Brisbane middle suburbs lost ground over the past three years,’’ he said.   ’We are in catch-up mode and at least 12 months from another peak. There is not a lot of buyer interest in inner Brisbane, but it is improving and Redcliffe will benefit from the peripheral interest being shown there.’’

The growth forecast is well founded. A combination of improved levels of affordability, lower interest rates, a state election next year, and a lower Australian dollar are all tipped to improve the performance of the Brisbane property market next year. Redcliffe will follow.

‘’There are some signs of improvement off a low base,’’ Wilson said. ‘’The market will flow out to the north of Brisbane but I am looking at a 12 month horizon. It’s a holiday area – a boutique market on the Redcliffe Peninsula – and it’s nominally a working class suburb despite its holiday appeal.’’

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Above: An example of a current listing, 33 John Street, Redcliffe, Queensland

Andrew Campbell, of Ray White Redcliffe, said properties were experiencing a shorter time-on-market recently, which was acting as a catalyst for quicker sales. ‘’Potential buyers ring up and the first thing they ask is: ‘Is it still available’?

‘’The shorter time frame window is prompting them to put in an offer and, hence, properties are selling more quickly.’’

The region’s average is 74 days on market and the agency’s average is 45 days.

Campbell, who’s been with the office since it opened in May last year, admits to some surprises, saying ‘’anything that’s priced right could be sold within seven to 10 days of listing’’.

Stock ranges in price from the high $200,000s to $1.5 million, with the average property listing for around $400,000. ‘’There have been no huge price increases lately but, with the less time-on-market factor, we have noticed that buyers are willing to pay a bit more.’’

Commercial sales and leasing are not a big part of the business, and with the economy picking up, people are becoming more financially stable, Campbell said. This is reflected in the few commercial leases becoming available.

You can check ou the latest RP Data stats for Recliffe here.

staylor@propertyobserver.com.au

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