Brisbane property investors are proving more loyal than a third-generation Lions supporter.
Since 2010, Brisbane has been your favourite pub band — full of potential, not lacking enthusiasm, but frustratingly unable to catch a break and launch into the big league.
The 2011 floods certainly put a dampener (pun intended) on the capital’s real estate, and price recovery was gradual, but most agents and valuers would say it’s impact has, for the most part, now mitigated.
While both Sydney and Melbourne have fired ferociously since 2012, everyone is asking what will it take for Brisbane to have its time in the sun.
The number to watch
Brisbane has historically linked strong property price growth cycles to its Net Interstate Migration (NIM) number.
The correlation between NIM and price growth is a historic fact.
From 2002 to 2004, Queensland’s NIM was tracking between 32,000 and 38,000 people per year.
This just happened to correlate with annual property price gains at 20+ per cent — some markets even saw 30 per cent value hikes in 2003!
Since 2007 (the last decent capital growth year), NIM has been below 20,000 with the figure bottoming at 5,600 in 2014.
The good news? It’s on the way up again with 2016 recording an NIM of 14,650, and the 2017 result expected to be even higher.
Hold your horses because there’s a fly in the ointment.
Employment opportunities are hard to come by in Brisbane, and Queensland more generally.
The state recently recorded an unemployment rate of six per cent which is one of the worst results across the nation.
So why are these new NIM residents heading to Queensland, if not for jobs?
At present, southern state residents that have sold up their properties for a tidy profit and are seeking lifestyle, not jobs.
Queensland has high quality housing at a relatively affordable price, so a Sydneysider who’s had enough of the big city rat race is able to realise their equity, move north, buy a new home outright and investing the balance.
This bears out in the numbers too.
CoreLogic says Queensland’s Gold and Sunshine Coasts both boasted value gains of around seven per cent last year while Brisbane’s was closer to two per cent.
What’s the solution for Brisbane?
It’s simply jobs.
When jobs come to town, Brisbane draws in the national population like a bathtub whirlpool.
Part of the equation must also be a State Government contribution, and this should be two-fold.
Firstly, stimulating economic growth through incentivising industry to set up shop in Brisbane and, secondly, implementing major infrastructure projects that provide opportunities for workers and show the city is preparing for a population boom.
Until we see that unemployment rate begin to drop, Brisbane can expect steady, somewhat uninspiring growth in property values to continue.
But why wait?
Regardless of the city’s current underperformance, it has continued to enjoy steady long-term gains and great yields.
If you haven’t already thought about getting a piece of Brisbane, now might be the best time to buy counter-cyclical and take advantage of the inevitable upswing.
Among the important steps is getting the right financial advice for refinancing.
Assessing whether your current bank is the best fit for your financial hopes and dreams is one of the keys to financial success.
Lenders don’t have to hold all the cards, but you must be prepared to be proactive.
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