Is Brisbane catching up?

We’ve all heard about the boom year Sydney had in 2013, and how prices are continuing to rise, albeit at a slower pace.

Until now, Brisbane has mostly been ignored – but is it now starting to catch up to some of the other cities?

It shows Brisbane and the Gold Coast property prices have now increased by 6.57 per cent year-on-year. It’s by no means anywhere near the price growth Sydney has experienced (15 per cent plus!) but it’s still an indication that growth is increasing and heading towards double-digit territory.

Quarterly growth isn’t bad either. Brisbane’s growth in the past quarter was 0.65 per cent, relatively half of that of Sydney, which was 1.23 per cent. That quarterly figure was much stronger than Melbourne (down 4.01 per cent) and also Adelaide (down 0.66 per cent).growth

Sales have also increased by about 50 per cent, according to Coronis Realty. It’s not hard to see why this might be the case – an absolute dump in the Sydney city ring would sell for around $1 million. Buyers can find a gorgeous house for this price in Brisbane.

Alternatively, units are still much, much cheaper in Brisbane and that makes the rental yield more attractive too. It’s a case of being priced out of the fiercely competitive Sydney and looking for a more affordable option, with prospects of capital growth.

Some experts predicted Brisbane would in fact be ‘the city’ to invest in 2014. That hasn’t happened yet, but it could well be that Brisbane growth improves later this year and into 2015.

From covering stories at API, we often look for the hotspots and next best places to invest in. The problem is, the areas getting all the attention are usually already booming and by the time you look to purchase there, it’s already too late.

I’m not a property agent but it does seem to be the case that those who do well in property almost always buy before a market booms and gets a lot of noise. I can still remember a good friend of mine was trying to sell her Sydney property in late 2012 in the inner city suburb of Erskineville.[sam id=43 codes=’true’]

They couldn’t get anyone to go through the open home, because the market was simply dead. They then took the property to auction but it passed in before they reached their desired price of $700,000.

Just weeks ago, this same property sold pre-auction for $835,000 to a cash buyer. In other words, they could have taken the property to auction and potentially achieved a higher price, but decided to go with a quick and easy sale to someone who didn’t need bank finance or a building and pest inspection.

They made an easy $135,000 in the space of 18 months by doing absolutely nothing. And many buyers in Sydney are now being told they need ‘clean contracts’ with no finance or building and pest clauses, if they want to seal the deal. Crazy, isn’t it?

Chances are, if you’re still looking to buy in the Sydney market, you’re paying $100,000 more than what you would have one year ago. (Yep, it hurts that one…) Is it just me, or does this make it a really bad time to buy in Sydney?

On the other hand, prices in Brisbane haven’t yet experienced this incredible boom and with less competition than a Sydney market, chances are you’re paying a realistic price, rather than a ‘fear of missing out’ price.

Don’t buy in the softer markets like Brisbane or even Adelaide once you start reading about the booming market – get in now before the panic starts, as we’re witnessing in Sydney.


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Lauren Day


Lauren Day is the former deputy editor of Australian Property Investor Magazine and an avid property investor.

'Is Brisbane catching up?' have 1 comment


    July 24, 2014 Jenny Perkins

    Yes I believe Brisbane property prices is gathering momentum. A month ago, I went to Bris to help my daughter buy an investment unit and chose a 2 bedder in Caulfield in a small complex (6-8 units with a garage each). Compared to Melbourne, prices in Bris is still cheap + we have come across a couple of agents who has no stock left in suburbs that is appealing to investors ie capital growth and easy to get tenants. In my research, Brisbane prices hasn’t moved that much but now sales seem to be rapid and prices are just beginning to climb. Get in now!


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