Spring swing underway in Brisbane

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Christal and Chris Fysentzou who have made a living out of flipping properties via their Zou Build company have snapped up a house in Mansfield which had been sitting on the market for about two months. Picture: Annette Dew.

There are signs of a swing in the Brisbane real estate market as older listings find their mark and new properties fly off the books faster than they can be set up for sale.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said it was “early days”, but there were signs of a lift.

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“We did record 1.2 per cent rise in asking prices for houses and 0.3 per cent rise in unit prices, which shows a little bit more confidence by vendors. But it’s still early days. I don’t think we’re at that almost frenzied point that Sydney and Melbourne are getting to.”

He said the last time Brisbane had a housing boom was 2004 to 2008.

“There hasn’t been a boom effectively for 11 years now. Brisbane has since then had a pick-up in economy, the rental market has tightened, a number of the issues that were keeping the market down have eased off.

50 Archer Street, Toowong, sold before it could go to auction, and came with permission to move the existing house on the 1,222sq m riverfront land.

Overall SQM found the number of Brisbane properties listed for sale fell by 4.8 per cent in September over August, down 4.6 per cent year-on-year — pushed down by older stock selling, he said.

“In terms of new listings it was actually a very stable month compared to August. New listings pretty much stayed the same,” he said. “Stock that was over 180 days fell away fairly significantly … Stock 90 to 100 days that was biggest fall of all, 6737 to 5696. That’s quite a fall.”

25 Hanover Drive, Alexandra Hills, sold for $892,000 before auction in the leadup to Spring.

CoreLogic figures show the 12-month change in new listings was down 17 per cent in Brisbane, while total listings shrank -2.7 per cent to 19,602 in the River City.

“Both new and total listings are tracking lower year on year across both Brisbane and Queensland state.”

Mr Christopher said the apartment stock oversupply 2014 to 2017 had “put brakes on the housing market and on top of that we had this period from 2010 to 2017 when the Brisbane economy was patchy as a result of the mining downturn”.

150 Beelarong Street, Morningside, sold for $1.025m before it could go to auction and came with a large landholding.

“All these things have eased, the economy is picking up, more and more people are moving to Brisbane as well based on occupancy data. We’ve become increasingly optimistic about the market. It should start seeing vendors a little more confident, the signs are all there.”

Certain types of property including homes with big blocks and those where approvals had already been sought for development or which were ripe for renovation were doing well.

Among those sold before auction was 150 Beelarong Street, Morningside, a three bedder that sold for $1.025m this year — almost double what the owner paid in 2003.

Even vacant blocks of land were doing well, including 50 Archer St, Toowong, a riverfront property that had been set to go to auction but which agents John and Josephine Johnston now have under contract.

“This property is a vacant piece of land with very clear development potential,” Mr Johnston said. “The aspect, the fact that it’s in a quiet street, looks out at two reaches of the river, it’s private, all those things combined, and the owner having succeeded in removing the existing house made it very desirable.”

He said new listings were tight at the start of Spring but now seeing “a very welcome resurgence in number”.

“On the high end of the market there’s been a marked resurgence of quality listings that have come on,” he said.

The swing is good news for Brisbane couple Christal and Chris Fysentzou of Zou Build who have made a living out of flipping properties after renovation.

They’ve just bought a Mansfield house that was on the market for about two months.

“For us, it’s not about trying to buy in areas that are already developed, we want to get into areas that are less established and have more room for improvement. It’s an upcoming suburb that is experiencing a lot of growth and house prices are on the rise,” Mrs Fysentzou said.

“The intention is to renovate in 14 to 16 weeks… and put it on the market in the new year when everyone’s back from holidays.”

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