"Subdivision market strongest in 15 years": Five minutes with Tony Williams, Ray White Queensland special projects

"Subdivision market strongest in 15 years": Five minutes with Tony Williams, Ray White Queensland special projects
Jonathan ChancellorNovember 29, 2021

The booming subdivision market is at its strongest point in 15 years, according to Ray White's Tony Williams.

We recently caught up with Williams, who for the past 15 years has been in Ray White's Special Projects Division concentrating on the residential development site market, specialising in the sale of residential land estates, subdivision sites, broad acre land holdings, englobo land and medium and high density residential unit sites.

JC: How did you view the performance of the new subdivision housing estate market and new apartment project activity in 2021, and what are the strongest positive and negative factors that will influence outcomes in 2022 and 2023?

TW: The activity in the subdivision market over the past 12 months has been the strongest we have experienced in the past 15 years. Market demand for new house and land product has outstripped developers' supply leading to increased prices and pressure on builders to keep up with demand.

A range of factors will influence forward demand in the subdivision / new housing market include;
- Interest rates and inflation at the consumer end. Should these remain stable or restricted to moderate increases then the market should enjoy continued growth. 
- Construction costs have increased significantly over the past 12 months from both a material and labour perspective, should this not stabilise the costs of building will continue to climb. 
- Population growth largely fueled by interstate migration which we expect to strengthen post Covid border restriction relaxation
- Land supply across SEQld is under pressure, a lack of future development land releases particularly land with some forward planning undertaken to provide solutions for access to services (sewer water road networks etc)

JC: What trend (short term or long term) has prompted your greatest enthusiasm for the market, and what is the issue of most concern to you and or your industry clients?

TW: A repositioning of the Qld housing market which is now experiencing growth seen in NSW and Victoria for the past 20 years. The impact on pricing and affordability for new entrants into the market i.e first home buyers

 JC: Has urbanisation stalled amid the rush to regions and what will happen over the decade ahead?

TW: Urbanisation is still alive and well - certainly the market growth in most recent times has been the emerging / outer areas in SEQld however we would expect the inner city markets to activate more positively over the next couple of years. Construction costs have been a dampener on inner city high density projects however the market is still moving forward with maturing and exciting developments

JC: How important do you view the push for sustainability practices in the housing market, and what initiative has seized your interest or focus?

TW: The housing market has taken strong steps to adopt better sustainability practices in the past 5 - 10 years although it still has a long way to go. To implement additional initiatives to achieve sustainability hurdles has not transferred into any corresponding price uplift in the end product. Perhaps Govt initiatives on rebates or discounted statutory charges may be a catalyst to drive further initiatives.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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