Brisbane Apartment Development In Full Swing

Urbis, a professional consulting firm that works within Australia dealing with property and communities has reported that for the first time, construction and purchases of pending projects on the southern side of Brisbane beat those on the northern side.

Based on an Apartment Insights Report by Urbis, there are an estimated 18 projects and 4,277 apartments, out of the overall 50 projects and 12,603 apartments being implemented in the city, launching in southern Brisbane between December 2014 and June 2015. This is the most growth the company has ever seen – over double what was seen in September 2014, which had 23 projects and 3,063 apartments built.

“The number of precincts and number of developments within them will offer a lot of choice,” states Paul Riga, the Associate Director of Urbis. He knows that the southern side of the city has become popular because of the amount of availability and the high demand for new locations by buyers.

“From a buyer’s point of view, they are going to have a plethora a different products presented to them.” It all began with the rise of popularity of Woolloongabba. Shortly after, other nearby areas saw their popularity rise.

New projects have found their ways to areas such as Newstead, Story Bridge and Queens Wharf where apartments were being built wherever space could be found. In the beginning, before the southern side of Brisbane caught on with consumers, the prices of apartments had the advantage of being affordable.

Now, housing prices are only set to rise with Urbis predicting that the median house price within Brisbane will increase past $600,000. “From 2013, we’ve seen consistent escalation quarter on quarter across all apartment products.

We’re backing that to continue,: Mr Riga said. “In line with that, apartments will leverage off the price of housing.” Based on Urbis reports, Brisbane apartments increased in half of the city’s zones in September. “We’re seeing increased numbers of cranes in the sky, particularly this year” It has been the most dramatic stage of construction in Brisbane’s history.

Mel Pikos and fiance Summer Lin are first time buyers in the southern Brisbane area. They have had many friends and family members choose to live in an apartment over a typical house. Size doesn’t seem to be an issue, but being close to Brisbane is a major concern.

“People in the 20’s and early 30’s would prefer to live closer to the city than have a big block out in the ‘burbs’,” Mr. Pikos stated. This choice in living seems to be the norm for young adults looking for their first living space.“We chose our property for lifestyle reasons. It is about a kilometre and a half from my office, a short walk to Boundary St and West End, and very handy if you want to go out for dinner or catch a movie.”

For those who depend on public transportation, there is no better choice than a home already close to all the action.

“It’s the CBD that is seeing a lot of expenditure in key amenities but residential development is moving out into the Brisbane ring and that is where Brisbane is heading,” says Mr. Riga. The Central Business District, also known as the CBD, was up $728,241, the largest recorded jump in history.

The increase of sales could most likely be attributed to having a larger apartment market. Central Business District buyers prefer three bedrooms and two bathrooms compared to the rest of Brisbane, where two bedrooms and bathrooms is the most popular choice. 44% of Brisbane apartment sales were for a three bedroom two bathroom home.

Even though more room is required to produce this type of living space, with the addition of numerous projects, combined with expanding space meant that more apartments could be produced. The inner west zone was the only other area to deviate, with their sales being primarily on one bedroom and bathroom apartments.

Two and three bedroom apartments were becoming one of the most purchased types of apartments not only in Brisbane, but with Sydney investors as well. The only difference is the price. “It is 40% cheaper in Brisbane for apartments than it is in Sydney'” says Paul Barratt, managing director of the CBRE Residential Projects Brisbane.

Even though there is some distance between the two cities, the price of living is enough to have many choosing to make the move.“They can buy a nice big apartment on the top level in Brisbane for the same price as a small apartment in Surry Hills.” For those looking to find an affordable place to live that is also close to many different activities, there aren’t too many choices.

Newstead has also been a popular spot for expansion, even though it is in the north. In September the highest number of sales were made in Brisbane, almost half of those were in Newstead. Peter Hobbs, Metro General Manager of Sales and Marketing, and his company are launching Newstead Central.

Even though there has been increased development in the area, Hobbs doubts that there will ever be an oversupply in Brisbane. “There was a very limited number of inner city Brisbane projects completed in the five years after the GFC,” says Hobbs. The Global Financial Crisis dealt a critical hit to Brisbane and is still fighting to fully recover.

“There is a lot of catching up to do in terms of meeting that pent-up demand before we start worrying about over supply”. Mr. Hobbs believes that the rental market is finally making a rebound and is becoming stronger in areas such as Fortitude Valley, Newstead, and South Brisbane. Metro has received over 8,000 applications for only 549 apartments in the three buildings they settled in the last six months.