Off-the-plan apartment ‘boom’ in inner Brisbane

By Staff Reporter

Queensland’s capital has recently recorded its biggest ever quarter in terms of off-the-plan apartment sales, a new report has revealed.

The December 2014 Unit Report, released by Brisbane’s Place Advisory, showed 1,621 unconditional sales took place over the quarter – smashing all previous records.

The results equate to over 135 off-the-plan sales per week in the inner-Brisbane market, which outstrips the records set during the previous cycle where sales volumes peaked in the June 2002 quarter with 1,463 unconditional transactions, Place Advisory said. The final numbers for 2014 show 44 per cent growth in total sales for the year when compared to the 2013 calendar year.

Apartments sold during this quarter had a weighted sale price of $551,558 – an increase from $545,778 during the three-month period to September 2014, the report said.

Place Advisory said an “apartment boom” was evident with a total of 12 new projects released during the December 2014 quarter, spanning a colossal 2,760 new apartments – more apartments in a single quarter than during the entire 2014 calendar year.

Skytower was Brisbane’s top-performing project for the quarter with 415 apartment transactions in total. At 90 storeys, the structure is set to become Brisbane’s tallest building upon completion.

The report said a number of prominent higher-density, large-scale buildings released during the period was the crucial factor driving sales momentum during the quarter.

Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker said the scale of these buildings and the affordable prices were the two key elements driving sales momentum.

Looking to the year ahead, Mr Walker said the market dynamics were set to shift, but investors could still do well in the region.

“One key trend is that new project activity is increasingly focused around the Newstead and Teneriffe precincts, which has influenced these results," he said.

“These record-high results are the culmination of a three-year building cycle; most importantly, we’ve seen that buildings in this cycle are inherently bigger compared to the last. However, we don’t believe these sales rates are sustainable over the longer term.

“Our market is becoming saturated with investment-quality stock; design and target markets will inevitably change. Looking forward, we’re going to see higher-quality, more expensive stock developed, which will see sales rates decline and selling prices naturally increase throughout Brisbane – this is very positive news for our city.”

Mr Walker said there “is and always will be” a place for inner-city investment product in inner Brisbane, but highlighted that the current growth cycle meant a greater variety of product was set to hit the market over the next two years.

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