Qld gives investors reasons for hope, caution

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Forecasts have the Brisbane median property price growing substantially over the next few years, but the state remains marred with investor challenges


As 2013 marches on, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) remains hopeful that improving market conditions that came about in the second half of 2012 will continue. 

“In most areas across the state, sales numbers were up substantially during the latter parts of last year. There have been more people through open homes and more buyers willing to buy,” says REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett. 

Bennett adds that the Queensland market appears on the road to recovery “helped in no small part by the RBA’s lowering of interest rates to help stimulate our economy… and the return of the Principal Place of Residence (PPR) concession on stamp duty,” she says. 

While these developments are a “hugely welcome” policy turnaround, according to Bennett, the return of owner-occupier stamp duty concessions will do little to encourage investors. 

Bennett also believes the axing of the $7,000 first home owners grant (FHOG), which was succeeded by the $15,000 first home owner construction grant (FHOCG), has discouraged activity at the bottom end of the market. 

REIQ research analyst Ryan Connors agrees. ““The next six months is going to be a real test of the overall effectiveness of this policy change,” he says. 

Meanwhile, some forecasts have the Brisbane median property price growing substantially over the next few years. 

“Brisbane dwellings are expected to increase by around 6% per annum over the next three years,” says Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights. 

The catch, says ANZ Head of Property Research Paul Braddick, is that there will be a lot of regional variation in economic growth and, hence, property price growth across the state. 

“The outlook for the Queensland property market and economy appears vulnerable, with softness in labour intensive sectors of the state economy driving sharp increases in the Queensland unemployment rate in the second half of 2012,” Braddick says. 

Queensland’s unemployment rate is the second-highest in Australia at 6.2%, behind Tasmania at 7.3%.

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