Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS

Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS
Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS

Despite strengthening underlying demand from the perspective of people wanting to occupy apartments in the Inner Brisbane Apartment (IBA) area, record levels of new apartment completions have tipped the market into oversupply. This has placed downwards pressure on rents and prices. This paper profiles indicators relating to demand, supply, rents and prices.

Development in Inner Brisbane occurs mainly in large scale and high rise projects in the following locations:

  • CBD/Spring Hill

  • Inner East

  • Inner North

  • West End

  • Toowong

  • Woolloongabba

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Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS 

APARTMENT PROFILE

According to recently released 2016 Census data, private rental apartments accounted for 56% of the total apartment stock in the IBA area. This was considerably higher than the 33% share in the Greater Brisbane region. This highlights a strong preference for investors to purchase apartments in the IBA. The share of private rental stock has also increased from the 54% recorded in the 2011 Census. Owner occupied dwellings formed 27% of IBA area stock, with a slightly greater share of these having a mortgage (being purchased).

Conversely, a significantly higher 59% of Greater Brisbane dwellings were owner occupied. Unoccupied dwellings—properties that are second homes or kept empty as a speculative investment—comprised 17% of total apartment stock across the IBA area, compared to 8% across Greater Brisbane. The increased number of unoccupied dwellings is reflective of the rising level of overseas demand, with many of these properties not entering the private rental market.

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Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS

DEMAND PROFILE

The age profile of IBA apartment residents indicate that people first rent when moving into the IBA area, with 60% of rental households at the 2016 Census consisting of occupants aged 20 to 34 years old. If people remain in, or move into, the IBA area beyond 34 years of age, there is a far higher propensity to purchase an apartment.

Households with a mortgage were mostly younger, with 52% of these apartment occupants aged 30 to 54 years old. Whilst within fully owned apartments in the IBA area, the demographic was much older, with 68% of occupants in these apartments aged 50 years old and over.

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Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS

SUPPLY PIPELINE

Sustained demand for apartment stock within the IBA area, with moderate growth from 2013 onwards can be attributed to attractive yields, low or volatile returns for other investments and low interest rates. The rise in off–the–plan sales allowed a greater number of projects to reach sufficient pre–commitment levels to obtain finance and begin construction. As a result, the IBA area has experienced a surge in apartment completions, with a record number of completions occurring each year in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. Last year 5,700 apartments were completed, while in 2017/18 we estimate that approximately 8,300 apartments will be completed; a new record annual level of apartment completions. As a result, vacancy rates in Inner Brisbane have been rising and were 4% in December quarter 2017. 

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Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS

Falling rents and price growth has led to a softening in investor demand. Coupled with restrictions on interest only loans (a mainstay of investors) and the Queensland government introducing a stamp duty surcharge for overseas investors, we expect to see significantly fewer projects being able to achieve the pre-sales requirements for projects to commence. Sharply rising construction costs have also meant that developer’s margins have been eroded, impacting the next round of projects, particularly if there is a slump in prices making planned projects no longer viable.

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Demand, oversupply, rents and prices of inner Brisbane apartments: BIS

 

A marked trend through 2017/18 has been for developers to abandon or defer projects still in the planning stage. Across the IBA area, 52 projects amounting to well over 10,000 apartments were abandoned or deferred. Some investor demand for IBA apartment stock may be supported by its relative affordability in comparison to equivalent apartment stock in Melbourne and Sydney, although this is unlikely to absorb substantial new apartments stock while the market is in oversupply.

IBA area completions are expected to fall slightly in 2018/19 and are then expected to revert closer to the longer term average of around the 2,000 completions per annum. Of all IBA precincts, the West End, CBD and the Inner North will see the highest number of apartments come to market. This will be followed by Toowong and Woolloongabba, with a relatively small number of apartments to come online in the Inner East and Hamilton precincts. 

 

 

 

Tags: 
Oversupply Brisbane

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