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Brisbane’s post-COVID-19 pandemic property market could fast become a tale of two cities, with more supply in the CBD than demand, while a stone’s throw from the centre buyers battle it out over the few homes for sale.
While the recent ease of restrictions sparked a boost in market confidence that precipitated a slight rise in owners listing their properties, reports from the middle and outer rings are of an ongoing listings squeeze with potential vendors still fearful to sell as financial uncertainty lingers.
The inner ring apartment market had been a dramatic exception to the tight stock trend elsewhere in Brisbane, with listing levels high over the past few months, Dean Yesberg from Ray White Brisbane CBD said.
He tipped the number of CBD apartments for sale to soar in months to come with investors particularly looking to offload their units amid skyrocketing rental vacancies.
“The one-bedroom apartment is the toughest market [right now]. There’s just been an oversupply for some time … and now a lot of inner-city investors are looking to sell and when that rent gap widens we will see more apartment stock come on the market – particularly after September,” Mr Yesberg said.
“But the market does have different segments … for houses [in the inner ring], there is a shortage of stock. We had an auction in East Brisbane over the weekend and there were 14 registered bidders and it sold for $60,000 over reserve.
“For houses – we’ve effectively got six on the market right now … but we’ve got 54 apartments.”
Listings have jumped in the inner city as the lockdown eases, with 40 per cent more homes for sale over the four weeks to June 14, compared to the previous four weeks, Domain data shows.
By contrast, Robin McIlwain from Belle Property Toowong said stock levels would remain tight in the city’s middle ring for some time with the COVID-19 financial hangover yet to strike.
In Brisbane’s west, which includes Toowong, listings rose only 14 per cent over the past four weeks, compared to the prior four weeks, on Domain figures.
“There are a lot of people who would love to sell but they are too exposed financially … they are probably not in a position to reborrow on the same terms or are struggling to get through the rental checks. People are laying low financially,” Ms McIlwain said.
But while vendors were hunkering down, she said buyer activity had soared to reach pre-COVID-19 levels, with first-home buyers followed by families leading the charge.
“We have major market drivers in our area – we have the Wesley Hospital and we have IT and engineering industries,” she said.
While Ms McIlwain said the top schools in the Toowong and Indooroopilly area were a major lure for family buyers, stock levels in particular hotspots such as Chapel Hill and Kenmore had been reduced to 20 per cent of the normal numbers, while about half the normal listings were available in Toowong – creating heightened demand and strong competition.
“I had one home that I listed for sale over 12 months ago in Indooroopilly for offers above $795,000. We got a lot of offers for around $750,000 but the owners said no,” Ms McIlwain said.
“They went on the market again for the same price [a few weeks ago] and we sold it for $820,000.”
In Brisbane’s outer ring, incredibly picky first-home buyers had been dominating the home hunting game, Vanessa King, of Ray White Logan City, said.
Across Logan, listings have jumped 40 per cent, on Domain data.
But Ms King felt in some pockets, the amount of stock for sale had fallen by as much as a quarter.
“They are just buying those $300,000 three-bedroom properties … but they have been around for a while and that’s nothing I’ve seen differently,” Ms King said.
While she’s hoping the HomeBuilder grant would boost sales in the city’s outer ring, she expected listing levels to remain tight due to ongoing economic uncertainty.