QLD - Excerpt from the April 2010 Market Report


Big-spending state government and resurgent mining sector to help lift Queensland property markets

Since the end of last year, property experts have been predicting Brisbane’s rise – and if the latest figures are a sign of things to come, the city may be about the have its moment in the limelight.

Over the November quarter, Brisbane median house values rose by a paltry 0.87%. However, in the three months ending December, median values jumped by a solid 4.19% to $471,500 - outperforming every capital city bar Darwin. While the median house price still falls below Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Darwin and Perth, it is slowly creeping up on them.

This nascent recovery is further confirmed by the latest data from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water showing the average (mean) house price in Brisbane rose to $560,000 - 10% higher than the average of $511,223 recorded in the June 2009 half year. This gain takes the average house prices to its pre-GFC level according to Midwood Report author and analyst, Bill Morris.

“The new data follows a fall of 10%, which occurred from the pre-GFC peak in December 2007 to the trough ending in June 2009. The fall in average house prices have now been matched by the recovery of similar magnitude. However, sales volumes have not improved in the latest six month period and are still at their lowest levels since 1980.This reflects the ‘credit squeeze’ for residential housing finance, despite the effects of the first home buyers grants,” says Morris.

According to the State Government’s South-East Queensland’s Regional Plan, 575,000 new homes will be built in the next 20 years to house the rising population. However, those on the ground say little is being built as financing remains scarce. This shortfall is

“Dwelling approvals are still very low and it’s hard for developers to bring anything on – the banks aren’t lending for new developments,” says Cameron Kusher of RP Data. “Brisbane has seen below-average growth but it’s positive and still growing.I don’t think it will be like the 15% growth like in Melbourne but it will be in the upper end of the single digits.”

Gold Coast springs back to life
Like Brisbane, the long-awaited recovery in the Gold Coast property market appears to be finally on its way. Figures from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water Data for 2,029 sales in the Gold Coast over the six months to December 2009 showed the average house price rose by 7.6% to $575,739 compared to $534,924 recorded in the June 2009 half year, which was lowest point in the GFC cycle.

Morris says the latest data is a positive sign that average Gold Coast house prices have recovered from the fall experienced during 2008 and into early 2009.

“The previous high of $580,670 was recorded in the December 2007 half year and with the average now at $575,739, average prices have all but returned to their previous levels experienced in 2007. But this is not so with sales volumes, which continue to wallow around the record low volumes experienced in the 1982-83 recession. Low sales volumes reflect a general difficulty in purchasers being able to obtain finance, even with the Federal government’s first home buyer’s subsidy,” he says.


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