Floods don’t dampen buyer confidence in Brisbane’s riverside real estate

They might be a distant memory for most of us around the country now but for Queenslanders, recollections of the floods that left most of the state underwater at the beginning of the year are still as painful and poignant as though they happened yesterday.

Much of the world joined the rest of Australia as we watched the tenacious spirit of Queenslanders emerge when extensive rebuilding started as soon as the floodwaters subsided. And just as the floods failed to dampen the true Aussie spirit of determination and mateship, they did little to negatively impact Brisbane’s riverside property market.

As the January 2011 waters subsided to reveal millions of dollars worth of damage along Brisbane city’s ever-popular riverside setting, commentators started estimating the cost to local real estate markets.

However rather than being scared off by the confronting pictures of devastation we all saw on our TV screens, buyers continue to pay top prices for Brisbane’s exclusive riverside mansions nestled right on the waterfront.

A recent article in the Courier Mail reports that, despite the overall sluggishness of Queensland’s property market, four riverfront homes sold during the month of October for more than $2 million each, making a total of 13 million dollar listings sold since the January floods.

Among these was a luxury five bedroom residence in Kenmore that ended up partially submerged by the floodwaters which crept into the garage and rumpus room. Undeterred, the eager buyer paid a cool $3.1 million for the property, which represents the third-highest riverside price since the floods.

Not to be outdone, another purchaser paid $2.85 million for a three bedroom house further down the Brisbane River in Hawthorne, while a massive five bed palatial home in Indooroopilly fetched $2.4 million despite also suffering minor flood damage.

And if you think it’s simply a case of time healing all wounds, consider the fact that just two weeks after the floods, a Chelmer mansion was sold for the highest post-flood price to date of $5.5 million.

Adcock Prestige principal Jason Adcock said rather than buyers being deterred by the floods, they had simply become a bit smarter.

“The floods have just affected the price, it hasn’t affected interest,” he said.

“What it has done, though, is make people very wary about where it was flooded and they will discount the property depending on how badly affected it was.

“What they also want to know is if you can get insurance on the property and how much it will cost. It doesn’t matter how flood-affected it was, if they can get insurance then they have no problem buying it.”

REIQ chief executive Dan Molloy said locals who work in the industry were confident the floods wouldn’t dampen interest in riverside property too much, regardless of any uncertainty at the time.

“Our view was while the general market place was subdued, the impact of the floods in terms of people’s interest in riverside property would not be diminished all that much,” he said.

“The river is still very important and people aspire to live on the river.”

This just goes to show how important location is when it comes to high end real estate and properties close to or right on the water’s edge with a desirable inner city postcode – even with all the inherent risks that might bring – will always be a winner with buyers.


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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