Apartment sales showing signs of recovery: URBIS

Apartment sales showing signs of recovery: URBIS
Apartment sales showing signs of recovery: URBIS

Sales results from 195 projects representing a sample of 23% of active apartments surveyed across Perth, Brisbane, The Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne study areas. 

2,300 projects monitored across all stages of potential new supply.

Data in the second quarter of 2020 (April to June) represents the first full quarter of COVID-19 trading in Australia following measures introduced in March to contain the virus.

Impact on off the plan sales can be seen with the clearance of available stock dropping to 10% as a national average. Whilst this represents a 5 percentage point drop on the previous quarter (which registered 15%), the speed of sale for the quarter remains comparable to the average over the last 18 months (10%).

Prior to COVID19 the apartment market was showing signs of momentum on the back of wider housing market growth. The first signs of impact from COVID-19 are visible in the second quarter, although demand levels have remained at similar levels seen this time last year in Q2 2019 data. 

New Apartment Rents

Data from the Urbis Rental Tracker shows well located new apartments continue to attract a premium over the wider market rent but have also been impacted in the short term by restricted people movement and economic challenges.

New product rents peaked in February in most markets nationally.  Rapid drops in rent were seen in March (6%) and April (3%) as inner-city markets were hit by a halt to in-migration and a spike in listings (average listing volume is 14% up on this time last year).  However, this quickly stabilised in June and July indicating the rental market has been able to adjust to supply and demand conditions rapidly. 

New Apartment Supply

New Project Launches have continued to decline, enabling existing stock to be absorbed. Only 23 new projects launched nationally in Quarter 2 2020 – compared to 60 projects a year ago in Quarter 2 2019.

Data for the first half of 2020 follows a continued downward trend. If the current rate of launches were to continue for the remainder of 2020 this would bring the annual total to around half the volume of projects launched in 2019, which was already half the average of the previous four years.

With the volume launching, in marketing and under construction all diminishing, market attention switches to absorbing newly completed stock. This offers buyers the advantage of viewing the finished product and suits those residents seeking a move in the short term. Owner occupiers were the most active purchaser group in each state surveyed in the quarter.

Across all projects there is an overall reduction in volume selling of 8% compared to this time last year with further reductions in volume to come given the declining launch rate.

Change in volume of apartments selling nationally by project status

While the apartment market adjusts to changing conditions, any associated reduction in housing delivery impacts upon economic activity in the short term and housing supply and affordability in the longer term.  Therefore, we expect stimulus and innovation to be in focus in the year ahead as industry and government seek to sustain housing production throughout the cycle.

This presents opportunities to stimulate build to rent housing supply and more diverse tenure options that help meet the absorption of current stock and affordability needs of customers.

The Melbourne market

Like the national results, speed of sale dropped in Melbourne from 11% of available stock clearing in Q1 2020 to 9% in Q2 2020 as prices held firm.

The apparent resilience of the market, much like the people of Melbourne will continue to be tested throughout the lockdown periods of 2020.

The supply story in Melbourne was mixed for the quarter. The volume of new project sales launches continued to trend down, with only 6 new projects launched in the quarter, compared to a quarterly average of 19 throughout 2019. However, approvals increased in the quarter to levels last seen in Q4 2018.

This bucking of the trend on approvals reflects the proactive response from government in fast-tracking shovel ready projects and the confidence of the development industry in Melbourne’s future.  This is encouraging for supporting future supply as the market recovers ground from the pause on demand placed by border and movement restrictions.

We expect further engagement will benefit housing delivery in this part of the cycle to drive economic activity in the short-term and speed up Melbourne’s response to future changes in demand.

National Build to Rent Insights

There has been an inverse between the build to sell apartment pipeline and that for Build to Rent, with build to sell supply declining and build to rent gaining momentum. 

We have seen decreasing rates of sale of available stock (exacerbated by COVID 19), leading to the increasing supply in apartments. 

Developers are shifting to Build to Rent, as an option to diversify their portfolio and reduce financial risk, while also moving sights quicker while there is minimal traction in the build to sell market.

APARTMENT SALES DOWN IN Q2 BUT SHOWING SIGNS OF RECOVERY
New Apartment SalesSales results from 195 projects representing a sample of 23% of active apartments surveyed across Perth, Brisbane, The Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne study areas. 2,300 projects monitored across all stages of potential new supply.Data in the second quarter of 2020 (April to June) represents the first full quarter of COVID-19 trading in Australia following measures introduced in March to contain the virus.Impact on off the plan sales can be seen with the clearance of available stock dropping to 10% as a national average. Whilst this represents a 5 percentage point drop on the previous quarter (which registered 15%), the speed of sale for the quarter remains comparable to the average over the last 18 months (10%).Prior to COVID19 the apartment market was showing signs of momentum on the back of wider housing market growth. The first signs of impact from COVID-19 are visible in the second quarter, although demand levels have remained at similar levels seen this time last year in Q2 2019 data. New Apartment RentsData from the Urbis Rental Tracker shows well located new apartments continue to attract a premium over the wider market rent but have also been impacted in the short term by restricted people movement and economic challenges.New product rents peaked in February in most markets nationally.  Rapid drops in rent were seen in March (6%) and April (3%) as inner-city markets were hit by a halt to in-migration and a spike in listings (average listing volume is 14% up on this time last year).  However, this quickly stabilised in June and July indicating the rental market has been able to adjust to supply and demand conditions rapidly. New Apartment SupplyNew Project Launches have continued to decline, enabling existing stock to be absorbed. Only 23 new projects launched nationally in Quarter 2 2020 – compared to 60 projects a year ago in Quarter 2 2019.Data for the first half of 2020 follows a continued downward trend. If the current rate of launches were to continue for the remainder of 2020 this would bring the annual total to around half the volume of projects launched in 2019, which was already half the average of the previous four years.With the volume launching, in marketing and under construction all diminishing, market attention switches to absorbing newly completed stock. This offers buyers the advantage of viewing the finished product and suits those residents seeking a move in the short term. Owner occupiers were the most active purchaser group in each state surveyed in the quarter.Across all projects there is an overall reduction in volume selling of 8% compared to this time last year with further reductions in volume to come given the declining launch rate.Change in volume of apartments selling nationally by project statusWhile the apartment market adjusts to changing conditions, any associated reduction in housing delivery impacts upon economic activity in the short term and housing supply and affordability in the longer term.  Therefore, we expect stimulus and innovation to be in focus in the year ahead as industry and government seek to sustain housing production throughout the cycle.This presents opportunities to stimulate build to rent housing supply and more diverse tenure options that help meet the absorption of current stock and affordability needs of customers.The Melbourne marketLike the national results, speed of sale dropped in Melbourne from 11% of available stock clearing in Q1 2020 to 9% in Q2 2020 as prices held firm.The apparent resilience of the market, much like the people of Melbourne will continue to be tested throughout the lockdown periods of 2020.The supply story in Melbourne was mixed for the quarter. The volume of new project sales launches continued to trend down, with only 6 new projects launched in the quarter, compared to a quarterly average of 19 throughout 2019. However, approvals increased in the quarter to levels last seen in Q4 2018.This bucking of the trend on approvals reflects the proactive response from government in fast-tracking shovel ready projects and the confidence of the development industry in Melbourne’s future.  This is encouraging for supporting future supply as the market recovers ground from the pause on demand placed by border and movement restrictions.We expect further engagement will benefit housing delivery in this part of the cycle to drive economic activity in the short-term and speed up Melbourne’s response to future changes in demand. National Build to Rent Insights There has been an inverse between the build to sell apartment pipeline and that for Build to Rent, with build to sell supply declining and build to rent gaining momentum. We have seen decreasing rates of sale of available stock (exacerbated by COVID 19), leading to the increasing supply in apartments. Developers are shifting to Build to Rent, as an option to diversify their portfolio and reduce financial risk, while also moving sights quicker while there is minimal traction in the build to sell market. 

 

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Recovery Urbis

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