By Paul Riga | 27 Nov 2018

It’s the story we always want to tell, sales are picking up, confidence is improving, and points are remaining solid. But it didn’t come easy.

In the 2018 September quarter, Brisbane’s new apartment market saw 420 sales, the highest level of sales recorded since December 2016 by city shapers Urbis, in the comprehensive national survey, the Apartment Essentials.

The Inner South impressed during the quarter with a total of 363 sales, accounting for 82% of Brisbane sales in Q3, on the back of two major projects launching within the precinct.

South Brisbane took out the most sales in a single development this quarter, and a handful of other projects recorded impressive results, but there’s hard work behind those figures.

Paul Riga, Director at Urbis, explains, “The process to engage buyers is a long, tough process.

“Despite the higher transactions in this quarter, sales are certainly not easy and for all developments recording strong results in this quarter it has been on the back of extremely hard work, and for some developers, many years of building trust with buyers.”

The weighted average sale price recorded for the September quarter was $733,000, with three quarters of sales made in projects positioned toward the middle to high end of the market. The Inner East registered as the most affordable precinct with a weighted average sale price of $519,000 while Brisbane CBD again registered the highest weighted average, just topping $1.1 million.

“The scale, location and targeting of the projects launched has led to an increase in the proportion of investor purchasers over the quarter.” Mr Riga said.

Interstate investors spiked to 54% while owner occupiers dropped to 15%, with local investors making up a further 14%.

“The increasing number and proportion of investor purchasers across a variety of projects is an indication that longer-term confidence still exists for the inner Brisbane apartment market. Recent investments, stable prices, tightening vacancy rates and relatively strong yields are core drivers for these investors.” Mr Riga said.

The owner-occupier market cannot be forgotten however, as despite the lower proportion, the number of owner-occupier sales increased over the quarter.

“The continued growth in the owner-occupier market highlights a maturing inner Brisbane apartment market, with purchasers increasingly seeking the benefits of the apartment lifestyle.”

Whilst we have seen a strong sales result for the quarter, it is unlikely that we will see a significant change to potential supply. Approvals took a dive in the quarter with a total of 403 apartments approved across Inner Brisbane, down from 1,674 the previous quarter. Immediate new supply is even more scarce, with four projects expected to launch in the next 6 months, bringing circa 950 new apartments to market.

“We are not expecting continued quarters of sales at this level due to limited levels of new supply, however overall this quarter has highlighted that there is still demand in the inner Brisbane apartment market and the right drivers are present. Green shoots are certainly there for all to see.” Mr Riga concluded.  

  • Number sales recorded in the quarter: 420
  • Weighted average sale price recorded: $736,065
  • 403 apartments approved in the quarter