Brisbane landlords, Brisbane's rental market, Brisbane's sales market

4 real estate lessons from 2011

Like a kid who can’t wait to grow up, inner-Brisbane’s property owners are wishing the days away to the start of a fresh year. The market soothsayers are surprisingly quiet about the prospects for 2012 – and probably because 2011 caught so many of them out. Here’s a quick recap:

1. Home prices in inner-Brisbane can drop when the experts least expect. After a mini-recovery in 2010 median prices  dipped further this year (“officially” around 6-7% but with plenty of variation between suburbs and price brackets).

2. Home owners will choose to stay put. During 2011 sales volumes in most inner-Brisbane suburbs dropped to their lowest in over a decade, with many not willing to sell for less. Just 12 months ago it seemed likely we’d have a busier market, with good job security giving buyers confidence to upgrade and move. Few predicted the economic uncertainties of 2011 (or the daily in-your-face negativity of that bloke on the Today Show amongst others).

3. A tight supply of rental homes has not led to strong rises in rents (yet). Rents grew 4% in the June quarter but have otherwise been fairly flat in Brisbane’s inner-suburbs this year. Remember the post-floods hysteria with predictions of rent blow-outs? This subdued market hasn’t surprised us – most landlords are not wealthy and become very cautious with rent increases and potential vacancies when there’s economic uncertainty.

4. We can use our money wisely. Many of us are taking advantage of interest rate cuts to pay down debt, building equity without price growth.

So bring it on 2012, we’re ready for you. Inner-Brisbane’s home-owners have had a tough year but we’re in good shape for anything you can throw at us!