Image – Canva.
  • Brisbane property market yet to reach its peak
  • Listings remain subdued with days on market also falling
  • Leading capital city for dwelling value growth

I clearly remember when I bought my first property in Brisbane in early 2007.

It was a townhouse in a middle-ring suburb and, at $350,000, it was all I could afford at the time, given I was earning a modest wage and interest rates were 7.5 per cent.

Not only was it all I could afford, my younger brother and I went tenants in common, so we both could finally have a home to call our own without sacrificing our youthful desires too much.

We lived there for a few years together and when life happens, as it does, I bought out his share and turned it into an investment property.

I held onto that property for 14 years, and only sold it to recycle the profit into a Sunshine Coast holding at the start of last year, which has worked out rather well indeed I must say.

The thing is, that property didn’t double in value over that period of time as many pundits say property should, but its equity grew enough for me to purchase two more properties from it.

Over the years, I regularly reported on the booming markets in Sydney, Melbourne, and even Hobart, while Brisbane’s market did not much at all.

Well-chosen properties in investment-grade locations recorded steadily increasing prices over the years like mine, but there was nothing like the value uplifts that were recorded down south, which was quite frustrating I must admit.

Pre-pandemic market movement

brisbane cbd
Image – Canva.

The triple whammy of the GFC, natural disasters, and the declining resources sector meant the Queensland economy was underwhelming for years – along with its property markets.

However, the tide started to turn before the pandemic, courtesy of billions of dollars of game-changing major infrastructure projects and a resurgent mining industry.

Plus, after the booming market conditions in Sydney and Melbourne plateaued, the property price disparity with the Sunshine State started to entice more interstate migrants north, as is often the way.

Of course, savvy investors had been buying in Brisbane and the southeast corner for some time by then, given the affordable buy-in prices as well as strong yields on offer.

It was no surprise to me that Brisbane’s market started to strengthen earlier than many others during the first year of the pandemic, because it had already shown signs of life beforehand.

The long run of lockdowns in other parts of the country were not replicated there, even though the hard border between Queensland and New South Wales was in equal parts ridiculed or rejoiced, depending on who you asked at the time.

In the years to come, smarter people than me will work out what the hell happened to property markets around the nation last year.

All I know is that the extraordinary price growth recorded was much more than just a reaction to low interest rates, because they were already at record lows beforehand.

However, there is no question that the flight to lifestyle locations coupled with the ability to work from home – plus the 2032 Olympics doesn’t hurt either – have supercharged property markets in the Sunshine State.

In fact, it’s quite mind boggling to realise that dwelling values increased in Brisbane more last year (circa 30 per cent) than they had in the previous five!

Market peak still to come

Here’s the thing: while many other markets started to moderate at the end of last year, the same can’t be said for the River City.

Indeed, according to CoreLogic, Brisbane has not even reached its market peak yet.

The latest stats also reinforce its continued strong market conditions with Brisbane’s dwelling value posting the highest capital city growth over the year ending 9 January at 28 per cent. Plus, dwelling values have soared 2.3 per cent over the past month alone.

Likewise, total listings in Brisbane remain down 28.6 per cent compared to a year ago, and new listings have also fallen by 17.9 per cent annually, according to CoreLogic data.

Another market barometer to consider is days on market with the median time on market metric for Brisbane now 30 days for houses and 41 for units. In February last year, it was taking about 58 days to sell a house in Brisbane and 74 days to sell a unit.

I still own real estate assets in Brisbane, so all of these indicators are very good news to me indeed, especially after watching and waiting all those years – that said, successful property investment is as much about patience as it is about anything else.

But with a median price that is still half that of Sydney – plus more affordable locations around the state, too – I believe there still remains ample opportunities for male and female homebuyers and investors to secure their own slice of the Sunshine State this year, preferably using qualified property investment advisers to assist them.

In my opinion, this time next year, those would-be buyers who chose to “wait for prices to fall” will regret trying to time a market that is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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