- Property experts expect the Queensland market will intensify once borders open, before growth steadies
- Pandemic has driven increased demand for lifestyle regions, with farming areas in Gympie expected to shine in 2022
- Auctions clearance rates consistently above 70% in 2021, fueled by low listings and high demand
Leading property experts have predicted an excellent year ahead for the Queensland market, with Brisbane leading the nation’s growth.
Experts forecast that border reopenings in 2022 will drive intense market activity before growth slows, with lifestyle regions experiencing strong interest.
Border reopenings will intensify market before rebalancing
Image Property Director of Sales, Adam Empringham, said activity in the Queensland market is likely to increase, particularly as borders open and those who were unwilling to commit to virtual purchases enter the physical market.
Mr Empringham said he believes the market will soften slightly however, and the growth driven by border reopenings will not be as significant as that seen in 2021.
“Coming into the first quarter and the balance of the year, I think Brisbane will still have growth, but it won’t be as dramatic as it’s been.
“I do still feel that we will continue to see that dramatic growth on the Sunshine Coast, though. It’s still got a lot of legs in that market due to a number of contributing factors,” he said.
Streamline Property Buyers Managing Director, Melinda Jennison, echoed Mr Empringham’s sentiments that relaxed borders will heighten demand for both buy and rent markets.
Low stock levels could pose an issue, as Ms Jennison suggests renters may find it highly competitive in the tight rental market.
“At some stage we do expect that the rate of growth in Brisbane will start to slow, and this is likely to occur at some stage throughout 2022, perhaps once house prices increase to a level where affordability constraints become an issue.”
Melinda Jennison, Streamline Property Buyers
“Additionally, further tightening of credit policies and increases in fixed interest rates could slow some of the housing activity or even an increase in listings, which is a trend already observed in Sydney and Melbourne,” she said.
While Ms Jennison agrees that growth is likely to slow, she said there are currently no signs of this with Brisbane continuing to lead the nation.
Covid transforming buyer desires
The pandemic has driven changes to buyer desires, impacting both where buyers are looking and what buyers are looking for in their new home.
Century 21 Principal Billy Mitchell said flexible work arrangements are allowing buyers to seek homes in lifestyle areas that were previously out of reach.
“The Sunshine Coast property market has been one of the strongest in the nation over
the past year and I believe it will continue to post excellent results next year as more and more people chase lifestyle locations now that they can work from home,” said Mr Mitchell.
In addition to shifting demand towards lifestyle-oriented areas, the pandemic has also shaped which home features buyers value most.
“The surprising factor is that the value that Australians now put in the space that they call home, they’re putting so much more value in the type of property it is, the size of the property it is, because they’ve become accustomed now to spending more time there.
“I think it is still going to continue to be a factor.”
Adam Empringham, Image Property
“That’s where we might see more renovations happening and we’ll see probably some different styles of property come to market with a lot more emphasis on studies and home offices,” said Mr Empringham.
According to Mr Mitchell, demand for lifestyle markets is projected to continue into 2022 with particular interest in the Caloundra to Gympie region.
“If I was going to pinpoint one sector that might outperform all the other strong performers, then I’d suggest that the farming and lifestyle sectors in the Gympie region, which have been firing on all cylinders and have plenty more gas in the tank, too,” he concluded.
Strong auction results projected to continue into 2022
As for the Queensland auction market, Apollo Auctions Director Justin Nickerson said 2021’s auction market has been one of the strongest in recent times.
“The things that have fueled that have been a lack of listings to the market and then really strong buyer demand from all buyer groups – from interstate investors, to Aussie expats coming home, to people making lifestyle decisions, to interest rates being affordable and rental squeezes being on,” said Mr Nickerson.
Mr Nickerson added that clearance rates have been above 70% all year, and anticipates the auction market to continue on a strong trajectory into 2022.
Mr Nickerson said among the most surprising changes to the auction market in 2021 were shifts towards in-room auctions.
“There has been a massive increase in the volume of auctions taking place in-room because it is a more controlled environment, but also because more people are bidding via phone or online than ever before.
“There has also been a change around Saturday being “the auction day”. Auctions are now a seven day a week exercise, and there has been no change to results based upon what day of the week the auction has been held,” he said.
As for what the new year will hold, Mr Nickerson foresees a strong auction market with in-room auctions continuing to rise in popularity.