Brisbane's sales market

What’s the real estate market really doing in Brisbane?

Yesterday’s Courier Mail ran the headline “Brisbane unit sales strongest in a decade”. The story focused on new, inner-city apartment projects being sold off-plan (i.e. before or during construction).

RP Data reports Brisbane’s dwelling prices dropped 1.3% in April. That meant a 0.6% drop for the quarter (after positive results previous months). They say our homes are now down 12% on the peak of the market we had in late 2010.

Matusik Insights say there’s good news for sellers with the number of properties on the market declining (South East Queensland down 10% compared to April 2011) and smaller discounts needed from asking price to get a final sale.

Confused yet?

RP Data is one of the nation’s largest property data and research outfits but their calculations ultimately need turnover of property to allow them to tell if it’s going up or down. But for resales of Brisbane residential property this is one of the quietest markets in more than a decade. Less sales means price change data is less reliable. Inner-Brisbane may be slightly insulated compared to the burbs and new apartment projects are being sold with strong investment-based campaigns.

On the ground we are getting stronger buyer enquiry than during 2011 and overall confidence seems better. But buyers are still cautious and price sensitive. Our own stats show our average time on market year to date are 41 days, compared with 67 same time last year. We’re just one inner-city agency but it’s at least some hard data about our sales for you.

The chatter from accountants is that last week’s budget, and its removal of some superannuation incentives, will attract investors back to residential property. Especially when they do their June 30th taxes. Investors have been scouring the market for some time without making a move in any great number. And our new state government has confirmed July 1st as the change to stamp duty – that is, many home buyers will be $7000 better off, or more, if they buy after July 1st than today.

There’s a sense that July might be a telling month for selling and buyers, especially investors, could do well to beat the crowd.

Please tell us what you think. How do you see the market in Brisbane’s inner-city right now?