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‘Biggest January in 20 years’: Brisbane property booms

‘Biggest January in 20 years’: Brisbane property booms

2 February, 2022

Queensland’s decision to delay the start of the school year has given family home-seekers an extra two weeks’ grace and is likely to further buoy a market that has already started the year strongly.

The announcement earlier this month to push back the first term’s start to February 7 from January 24 would further buoy a market for homes that has enjoyed a boost from interstate and expatriate buyers after border controls lifted on December 18, agent Jason Adcock said.

“It’s fantastic for us as agents,” said Mr Adcock, the principal of Adcock Prestige.

“It’s given people another two weeks up their sleeve before their kids start school. When they announced that, I said to my team ‘Watch the inquiries jump up a couple of notches’ and it did.”

Brisbane and Adelaide are already leading the country’s property market into a strong new year that has prompted agents to open their doors earlier than normal and is securing new price records, CoreLogic said on Monday.

Since January 1, the data provider’s daily index of dwelling values has risen 1.1 per cent in Brisbane, closely followed by Adelaide, at 1 per cent.

Sydney and Perth are up 0.5 per cent, month to date, with Melbourne lagging at 0.2 per cent, the index shows.

In the Queensland capital, the opening of state borders last month boosted the market for family homes as it let in a new cohort of potential buyers who wanted to see properties before buying – unlike investors who have been happy to buy sight-unseen – Mr Adcock said.

We have an incredibly tight rental market. There’s no doubt that is being fuelled by interstate demand.

— Antonia Mercorella, REIQ

“It’s been the biggest January I’ve had in 20 years,” he said.

“I usually don’t go back to the office until the third week of January. This year, I came back on the third of January. We had our first open houses on January 5. We’ve had 10 open houses. Fifty per cent of the buyers coming through our open were either from Sydney or Melbourne, or expats coming back from overseas.”

On Saturday, a four-bedroom riverfront home in Brisbane’s south-western suburb of Jindalee sold under the hammer for $2.55 million.

The home at 59 Kooringal Drive, expected to sell for between $2.3 million and $2.5 million, broke the suburb’s 17-year record, Mr Adcock said.

“The ridiculous thing is they’re going to knock it down and spend $4 million on [building] a [new] house,” he said.

Because they were locked out of the state until mid-December, many interstate migrants wanting to establish themselves ahead of the start of the school year had rented a property and once they were on the ground would now start to look for a home, said Antonia Mercorella, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

Figures from Domain Group, majority owned by Nine Entertainment, the publisher of The Australian Financial Review, last week showed Brisbane house asking rents rose 4.3 per cent in the December quarter – a 12.9 per cent increase year on year – to $480 a week.

“We have an incredibly tight rental market in Queensland,” Ms Mercorella said. “There’s no doubt that is being fuelled by interstate demand.”

In Adelaide, meantime, Klemich Real Estate agent Andrew Kuhlmann sold a house on Friday – ahead of an auction scheduled for this coming Saturday – for a vendor in the leafy eastern suburb of Highgate who wanted to capitalise on the market that ended 2021 strongly.

He wanted to hit the ground running, based on the fact there was no supply over the Christmas break.

— Andrew Kuhlmann, Klemich Real Estate

“He wanted to hit the ground running, based on the fact there was no supply over the Christmas break,” Mr Kuhlmann said on Monday.

“We were getting calls left, right and centre from people wanting to nail down property.”

He opened the three-bedroom, semi-detached home at 11a Euston Avenue on January 8-9, and 50 groups came through. Appraised at a price of between $930,000 and $950,000, it went to a buyer who offered $980,000.

“We ended up with three offers, and we sold it on Friday,” Mr Kuhlmann said.

Also on Monday, a CoreLogic report showed the proportion of profitable homes sales rose to their highest level in more than a decade in October-December, as record-low, borrowing costs combined with low stock – principally because of lockdown restrictions in Melbourne – pushed prices higher.

The proportion of profit-making resales nationally rose to 92.4 per cent, the highest level in more than a decade, in the September 2021 quarter, up 50 basis points from June, CoreLogic said.

The figures were based on an analysis of 99,000 dwelling resale transactions during the period, down from 106,000 in the June quarter.

“The increase in the rate of profit-making sales is a reflection of strong capital growth across Australian dwelling markets despite COVID-induced disruptions to transaction activity,” said Eliza Owen, CoreLogic’s head of research.

“The three months to September was the fifth consecutive quarter in which the rate of profit-making sales across Australia increased.”

In Melbourne, the market has not started as strongly, but that didn’t prevent 40 groups attending the first weekend of open inspections of a five-bedroom family home in inner-south-eastern Sandringham with a $2.2 million-$2.4 million price guide.

“The buyers that maybe missed out are rested and refreshed and ready to go,” said buyers’ agent Matt Cleverdon.

Nakita Tate, a Marshall White sales agent for the 5 Wentworth Avenue home, said the first open inspections of the year were always busy – in part due to low stock numbers – and that as more stock came on market the equation between vendors and buyers would even up.

“Give it about two weeks and then there will be more stock,” Ms Tate said on Monday.

“Buyers will get pickier, and it’s not a seller’s market any more. It’s definitely shifting.”

But the Wentworth Avenue home was the sort of family home that would attract buyers, she said.

“When we had properties like this prior to Christmas, they were selling prior to auction. We had crazy pre-auction offers,” Ms Tate said.

The auction for this home is scheduled for February 5 and the owner was unlikely to accept prior offers, she said.

“The owner said they’re more inclined to go to auction,” Ms Tate said.