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Brisbane apartment market continues to thrive

By Staff Reporter
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New apartment sales in Brisbane have reached an 11-year high, according to new research.

Place Advisory’s Market Report Inner Brisbane Apartments December Quarter 2013 found there was a total of 2,862 new apartment sales during the 2013 calendar year totalling $1.6 billion, which was almost double the 1,513 sales recovered over the course of 2012.

A total of 1,011 new apartments were sold in the December quarter of 2013, which was the largest total number of unconditional sales since June 2002 – when 1,018 sales were recorded – and a 50 per cent increase on the 681 sales recorded in the previous quarter.

Lachlan Walker, director of Place Advisory and author of the report, said the numbers recorded over the December quarter were an extremely positive sign for the market.

“The Brisbane off-the-plan apartment market has been strengthening over the past couple of quarters, and the growing strength in the sales numbers being achieved, particularly for this last quarter, gives weight to recent predictions that Brisbane is the market to watch in 2014 and the years to come,” he said.

“Considering the Brisbane residential property market is only just entering its next upward cycle, the past 12 months of improvement sets the scene for record-breaking sales results in the coming quarters.”

Mr Walker said all the signs indicate new apartments in Brisbane are set to take off.

“Enquiry levels are strengthening, cranes are beginning to activate the Brisbane skyline and overall there is a marked improvement in consumer sentiment, with Queensland now having the highest ‘Time to Buy’ index of all states, according to Westpac’s Melbourne Institute,” he said.

“We expect to see steady but tight price growth in 2014 as Brisbane apartment prices begin to catch up to its Sydney and Melbourne counterparts. The price spread between Brisbane and these cities is currently at its largest since 2003.”

The Place Advisory research found that the high sales rate recorded over the December quarter saw the supply of new apartments fall to a 10-year low of 1,428, translating into a supply of only 4.2 months, despite the addition of seven new projects with a total of 772 apartments.

While the inner south recorded the highest number of new apartment sales (527) during the December 2013 quarter, Mr Walker said the inner north has been a standout performer, consistently recording an increasing number of transactions and a steady weighted average price.

“There were a total of 425 unconditional sales recorded in the inner north, which made up 42 per cent of the total sales during the December quarter, and wasn’t far behind the inner south,” he said.

“But going forward, there is likely to be an increase in new projects being marketed in the inner south, with Woolloongabba and West End being the areas to watch in terms of new supply.”

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