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THE average Brisbane backyard is nearly 30 per cent smaller than it was a decade ago, with blocks of land shrinking faster than any other capital city.
The latest HIA-CoreLogic Residential Land Report reveals the median lot size in the Queensland capital has reduced by 27.8 per cent to 434 sqm in the past 10 years.
In December 2007, 601 sqm was considered average for a block of land in the city.
But while the size of land has been falling, prices have continued to rise.
An average block of land in Brisbane now costs $232,500 — up from $196,000 a decade ago, although the price actually fell 0.2 per cent in the December quarter of 2017.
In per square metre terms, the cost of residential land in Brisbane increased by 2.8 per cent to $559/sqm at the end of 2017.
The price of land in Sydney fell 6.3 per cent to $450,000 during the December quarter — the first decline in two years.
But it still remains the most expensive land market in the country.
Queensland is also now home to three of the most expensive regional markets in the country, with the report finding some of the largest land price increases have occurred in less expensive markets.
The Sunshine Coast, at $280,000 per block of land, is Australia’s third most expensive regional market, followed by the Gold Coast ($235,900).
The report notes both markets are unusual in that they are consistently more expensive than Brisbane — the only state where that is the case.
In releasing the report, the HIA warned Australia’s long-term housing needs were being hamstrung by poor state government reporting on the supply of new residential land.
HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said reporting needed to improve to highlight the inefficiencies in each jurisdiction and ultimately improve the supply of shovel-ready land.
“State governments need to publish more detailed figures about the volume of residential land in the supply pipeline so that Australia’s future housing needs have a better chance of being met,” he said.
CoreLogic commercial research analyst Eliza Owen said the decline in Sydney land prices during the December quarter reflected a culmination of several policies aimed at stemming demand for new residential development.
Ms Owen said the sentiment among developers was that foreign investment in Australian residential dwellings was dwindling because of tighter lending restrictions.
“Policies that have slowed domestic investor demand have been just as significant, she said.
“The recommendation handed down by APRA in 2017, whereby interest only loans would comprise no more than 30 per cent of mortgage originations, appears to have aided the downturn in Sydney.