Brisbane property makes strong start to 2024
Brisbane property prices have made a strong start to 2024, with units and affordable suburbs performing particularly well.
In the first month of 2024, Brisbane’s residential property prices have reached yet another peak.
House and unit values have exhibited price increases throughout the early weeks of the year. Brisbane’s growth rate consistently surpasses the national average on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, underscoring the sustained strength in the local real estate market.
Brisbane stands alongside two other capital cities, Perth and Adelaide, experiencing a continual monthly growth rate exceeding 1 per cent.
In contrast, cities like Melbourne, Hobart, and Canberra have noted slight declines in property values over the same period.
Brisbane’s real estate market exhibits distinct differences to the national market.
According to CoreLogic, since the onset of the upswing, capital city house values have risen by 11 per cent, while unit values have seen a 6.9 per cent increase nationwide.
In contrast, Brisbane has experienced a 15 per cent increase in house values and a 13.6 per cent growth in unit values. The performance in both segments of the Brisbane market has outpaced the national capital city growth rate, with the biggest distinction being the substantial surge in unit values in Brisbane over the last 12 months.
In the housing market, Brisbane has exceeded the national capital city average growth rate by 36 per cent, but the standout achievement lies in the unit market, where Brisbane has surpassed the national average unit price growth by an impressive 97 per cent over the past 12 months.
This significant performance difference sets Brisbane apart from other locations across Australia.
Perhaps surprising to some, Brisbane’s property market has continued to thrive despite persistent challenges, such as rising living costs, a heightened interest rate environment, decreasing affordability and low consumer confidence.
Homes selling even quicker
The reality is that homes are still in demand and selling rapidly.
According to CoreLogic, the median time it takes to sell a home is on a downward trend, with the median days on the market decreasing from 27 days in December 2022 to 21 days in December 2023.
Numerous high-quality, sought-after properties are securing buyers after the very first weekend of open houses, underscoring the imperative for prospective buyers to be prepared to act swiftly or risk missing out.
In January, it is typical for the property market to gain momentum, particularly towards the end of the month.
The auction data for this period is influenced by lower volumes of activity until the month’s conclusion.
According to Apollo Auctions, Brisbane recorded an average auction clearance rate of 71.4 per cent, with an average of 2.9 registered bidders and an impressive bid ratio of 70.5 per cent.
This indicates that nearly three out of every four registered bidders actively participated in the bidding, marking a significant increase from the previous month’s average of 65.4 per cent.
This heightened engagement may be attributed, in part, to the fear of missing out, as property prices continue to rise, and the challenge of finding available properties persists.
Although new listings in Brisbane decreased by 4.8 per cent in January compared to December, total listings showed a more substantial decline of 7.2 per cent month-on-month. Furthermore, when compared to the same period last year, total listings in Brisbane were down by 17.3 per cent throughout January, as reported by SQM Research.
The competitive landscape, characterised by a large number of buyers vying for a diminishing supply of properties, explains the continued upward trajectory of property prices.
Brisbane’s affordable suburbs thriving
In January, the values of dwellings in Brisbane saw another 1 per cent increase. The quarterly change stands at 3.2 per cent, showing a slight decrease from the previous month’s 3.7 per cent. Although the growth rate is slowing, it remains robust on a month-to-month basis.
The median value of a dwelling in Greater Brisbane is presently $796,818, marking an increase of $9,601 from the previous month and $26,243 compared to three months ago.
The median value of dwellings in Brisbane continues to surpass the reported median dwelling value in Melbourne.
However, the disparity in the composition of units and houses between the two cities explains why both median house and median unit values in Brisbane continue to be lower than those in Melbourne, despite the observed change in median dwelling value.
This serves as an illustration of how the composition of housing can influence the data, potentially leading to misrepresentation.
The breakdown of dwelling value growth in Brisbane indicates that properties within the lowest 25 per cent of dwelling values have demonstrated stronger performance compared to both the middle 50 per cent and the top 25 per cent of properties.
With a growth rate of 4.2 per cent in the lowest priced properties during this period, as opposed to 3.5 per cent in the highest priced properties, it is evident that more affordable properties have experienced a quicker rate of growth.
It’s important to note that the lower-priced properties predominantly include units, introducing a potential bias in the data. Therefore, it cannot be automatically assumed that lower-priced houses are growing faster than higher-priced houses. Unfortunately, specific data for each property type is not available.
Brisbane unit rents soar
Rental market conditions have shown minimal fluctuations in recent months.
According to SQM Research, vacancy rates remain low, standing at 1.2 per cent.
Over the past 12 months, house rents in Brisbane have risen by 6.8 per cent, while unit rents have experienced an increase of 12.6 per cent during the same period.
Currently, gross yields are at 3.7 per cent for houses and 5.1 per cent for units in Brisbane.
Property price hikes set to continue
Brisbane’s real estate market strength is evident in consistently low listings, reflecting sellers’ hesitancy to offload properties, coupled with strong buyer demand.
This scenario suggests a continued upward trajectory in prices in the coming months, barring any significant shifts in listing volumes or a decline in buyer numbers, which currently appears unlikely.
The sharp decline in inflation at the end of January offers a more promising outlook for interest rates.
Lower inflation not only has the potential to bring down the cash rate but also contributes to more robust consumer confidence as some cost-of-living pressures subside. Any improvement in borrowing capacity, resulting from potential changes in credit policy or a reduction in interest rates, could also foster an environment of increased confidence.
While the future remains uncertain, the current fundamentals in Brisbane indicate ongoing price escalation.
While it is not anticipated that prices in 2024 will surge as aggressively as they did in 2023, moderate growth is expected in both the housing and unit markets in the months ahead.