Brisbane’s unit market surging

Brisbane’s residential apartment market continues to shine with surging sales activity and an increasing number of new projects.

Place Advisory’s June quarterly market update showed inner Brisbane with the highest ever levels of unconditional sales in a single quarter, with 1083 sales in 57 projects.

The $175 million Icon Milton by GH Properties
The $175 million Icon Milton by GH Properties

Its update on the September quarter will be released this week and has a similar narrative.

At Media Hunt, we have unveiled four new $100 million-plus projects in Brisbane just in the last month.

They include:

  • The Kaias family’s $100 million Opera residential apartments in South Brisbane.
  • Brisbane identity Kevin Miller’s (Property Solutions) $120 million Toowong tower joint venture with China-based Chiwayland.
  • Honeycombes’ $232 million re-development of the Old Myer site at Coorparoo Junction.
  • Icon Milton, a $175 million residential project being undertaken by Hong Kong-based GH Properties.

There is more in the pipeline, and we will be unveiling a number of new projects in coming months, including on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

According to the Brisbane City Council, as many as 50 new high rise buildings are expected to be built in the CBD over the next 20 years. To put this in context, 25 have been built in the last seven years (note, that’s just the CBD).

Various consultants in the development industry tell us that the Council is struggling to cope with the high volume of Development Applications being submitted.

The $100 million Opera development in South Brisbane
The $100 million Opera development in South Brisbane

While there have been the predictable murmurings of a potential oversupply, one encouraging aspect is the return of local investors and owner-occupiers in some projects.

Andrew Scriven, head of residential projects for Colliers International’s Brisbane office, has witnessed the return of the owner-occupier market as one of the most distinct changes in the market over the past six months.

He said massive pre-launch interest in the $100 million luxury Opera apartment project at South Brisbane had underscored the revival of owner-occupier interest in the market.

“A significant portion of the inquiries we have received since unveiling this project has been from the end user market,” he says.

The $232 million re-development of Cooparoo Junction by developed by Honeycombes
The $232 million re-development of Cooparoo Junction  by Honeycombes Property Group

Place Projects says there were 14 new projects launched in the June quarter spanning almost 1400 apartments, but any speculation of an oversupply in the market can be hosed down by the current take-up rates.

“As quickly as these properties are released to the market, they are being absorbed,” says Place research analyst Lachlan Walker.

In short, Brisbane is in the throes of a very exciting period.

The $120 million Property Solutions Toowong development
The $120 million Property Solutions Toowong development

As a company tied to the ebbs and flows of the property industry, we haven’t seen such a strong volume of new opportunities since 2008.

That’s great news for the property and construction sector, which is the largest private sector contributor to Queensland’s economy injecting $30 billion – or 12 per cent of GDP – annually.

With the GFC ghosts behind us, the industry can now look forward to a robust 2015 and beyond right throughout Southeast Queensland.