Brisbane real estate: Resilient but ‘signficant’ price growth ahead


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Adam and Tarsha Nicolo and their two daughters, Liliana, 4, and Francesca, 2. Picture: Annette Dew.

BRISBANE has beaten its two biggest rivals to record house price growth at a time when the nation’s housing market was in the doldrums.

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland Market Monitor, released today, shows the annual median house price for the Brisbane local government area rose 0.7% in the 12 months to June to hold on to a record high of $680,000.

And the median house price in the Greater Brisbane area performed even better — climbing 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to June to reach $530,000.

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Brisbane’s housing market has proved resilient in the face of challenging conditions. Image: AAP/Darren England.

Since June 2014, Greater Brisbane’s annual median house price has grown 15.2 per cent, reflecting a region that continues to benefit from steady capital gains.

At the same time, Sydney and Melbourne house prices went backwards in terms of their capital city annual price growth, with house prices declining 6.6 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively over the past year, according to the REIQ data.

The top suburb for house price growth in Brisbane’s local government area was Norman Park, where the median house price jumped a whopping 38 per cent in the June quarter.

Paddington and Morningside also recorded double-digit house price growth in the three month period.

Top suburbs for house price growth in Brisbane LGA – June 2019. Source: REIQ.

In Greater Brisbane, the top suburb for house price growth was Brassall in Ipswich, with a 12 per cent rise in its median house price during the June quarter.

It was followed closely by Tamborine Mountain and Yamanto.

Median annual house prices across almost all LGAs increased in the 12 months to June, with Redland and Logan the only two exceptions.

Redland has the most expensive housing with a median of $530,000, while Ipswich is the most affordable, with an annual median of $347,000.

Top suburbs for house price growth in Greater Brisbane – June 2019. Source: REIQ.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said Brisbane had proven its resilience in the face of challenging market conditions, particularly when compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

“We’ve not seen that level of accelerated growth that Sydney and Melbourne have experienced,” Ms Mercorella said.

“We have started to see a slowing of our market, but that’s understandable.

“Our economy is not as strong as we’d like it to be in Queensland … and the federal election had a big impact on confidence so that put things in a holding pattern, and it would be naive to think the banking commission hadn’t had an impact.”

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But Ms Mercorella said she was not concerned about the slowdown in the market in the June quarter because the outlook for Brisbane’s housing market was so optimistic.

“We have all the right ingredients for really significant capital growth in this city,” she said.

“What we need is a confidence boost — that seems to be what’s holding us back.”

And there are plenty of reasons to be confident, according to Ms Mercorella.

“For some years now we’ve been saying Brisbane is the city to watch,” she said.

“This is a city that’s on the move, that’s experiencing a level of transformation that’s not really been seen in this city before and you can sense that there’s change in the air.”

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella. Photo: Claudia Baxter.

The top 10 infrastructure projects in Brisbane have a forecast investment of $17 billion, which will be injected within the next six years.

“There are lots of incredibly exciting projects on the horizon,” Ms Mercorella said.

“Add to that the fact our affordability and liveability is so much better than what you will find in Sydney or Melbourne and it’s not surprising Brisbane has become the number one destination for internal migration.

“Living in Brisbane is so much easier — your money goes so much further.”

This house at 63 Real Ave, Norman Park, is for sale.

Older-style character homes like this one at 63 Real Ave, Norman Park, are proving popular.

Brisbane couple Tarsha and Adam Nicolo have just bought a home in Norman Park and are not surprised the inner-east suburb has seen such strong house price growth.

Mrs Nicolo said they had bought a house on a large, 810 sqm block, on which they planned to build their forever home.

“My husband is a builder so we’ve been looking for a block of land to build on for a long time,” Mrs Nicolo said.

“It’s really great because we can build a storage shed and a pool house and still have enough land to make it feel open and airy.”

Mrs Nicolo said they were happy to invest in Norman Park because of its central location, its quiet streets and the fact lots of young families like themselves lived there.

“When we bought the house, all the neighbours came out and were like ‘welcome to the street!’ — it’s just a really beautiful feeling,” she said.

“It’s just nice that there are not as many units in the area and the houses are on bigger blocks because there’s not as much subdivision.”

Ben Cannon of McGrath Bulimba – Balmoral said Norman Park was starting to feel the flow-on effect from surrounding suburbs like Bulimba and Balmoral.

“Norman Park has probably sat quietly while other markets around it have outperformed, but I think its time to shine is now,” Mr Cannon said.

He said properties in elevated streets in the suburb had seen some big transactions in recent months and buyers were attracted to the older-style homes on large blocks in the area.

This house at 93 Grosvenor St, Morningside, is going to auction.

The backyard of the house at 93 Grosvenor St, Morningside.

In neighbouring Morningside, where the median house price jumped nearly 11 per cent in the three months to the end of June, Holly and Sam Round are hoping to reap the benefits of the rapid capital growth.

The couple is selling their two-bedroom house at 93 Grosvenor Street and plan to buy a bigger home in the same suburb.

“We were going to renovate it, but decided we didn’t want the hassle, so we thought; ‘let’s just buy a bigger property instead’,” Mrs Round said.

“We have family visiting from the UK a lot and want to be able to have enough space for them to come and stay with us.”

Holly and Sam Round and their 21-month-old son, Henry, at the house they are selling in Morningside. Picture: Peter Wallis.

Mrs Round said she could understand the appeal of Morningside because the suburb had so much to offer — including good daycare centres for their 21-month-old son, Henry.

“What we personally like is it’s so close to Hawthorne and Bulimba and Balmoral, which we couldn’t afford to get into, but Morningside is close enough to all the fabulous things we love about the area,” she said.

Marketing agent Glenn Bool of Place – Bulimba said Morningside said the property was at the junction of Hawthorne and Balmoral, with a very high “walk score”.

Mr Bool said Morningside had been in the shadows of those two neighbouring suburbs for some time, but that was changing.

“We’re just feeling that in the last couple of years, people are starting to realise what (Morningside) has to offer,” Mr Bool said.

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