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Inner-Brisbane property: 10 trends to watch

Our agency recently notched up 10 years of service to inner-Brisbane property owners, and we’ve been producing this newsletter since the start. After a decade of up-close and personal observations on this market our blog now has a whopping 979 posts. So today we’ve taken a dive back through the archives to give you some thought-starters on trends that will impact Brisbane’s inner-city property landscape over the next 10 years.

1. Brisbanites want to be close to their “Third Places”. Easy access to work (our 2nd place) is important but more than ever we see home buyers and tenants seeking homes (their 1st place) that are close to bars, cafes, parks – those 3rd places where we want to spend our time. Places where we relax or meet friends for food, drinks, conversation and, with the spike in mobile devices, a greater blurring of work. We’d argue more and more of us want to be able to walk to our 3rd places, to make these “villages” a very regular part of our routine and identity.

2. Fresh is best. Whether you’re renting or selling your property its presentation has always been important.  But we now have the greatest ever percentage of inner-Brisbane housing stock that’s new or near new, so your brown 80’s carpet and peeling wallpaper ain’t gonna cut it anymore. No matter how cheap your rent might be.inner-Brisbane property

3. Everyone is insatiable for property data. It might take the official stats 3 months to confirm sales prices but home buyers and sellers want it now, even if it has to be some online algorithm-driven “guesstimate”. When your social group can readily check your latest purchase details (no, nothing about property ownership is private anymore) and judge you on your financial smarts, you can’t afford to be uninformed when you buy.

4. Brisbane home buyers are short term thinkers. I’ve been selling real estate for 25 years and have noticed this trend growing every year. The idea that “you make your money when you buy” has taken a firm hold on our thinking and we regularly see people skip over homes and investments that are perfect for them because they get caught up over a handful of dollars. The price or even body corp fees were a bit higher than they wanted maybe.  Real estate is a long term asset and we’re often re-selling for clients who got a ‘bargain’ that wasn’t really what they wanted. My suggestion: “you make more money when you buy right“.

5. Our car spots are precious. Yes we want to walk lots of places, but we’re not ready to give up our carparks. Even in the smallest of apartments, tenants and buyers rate this very highly.

6. In the immortal words of George Michael, “Let’s go outside”! Outdoor living spaces continue to rank as one of the most sought-after features in our city’s homes. Whether it’s a secondary living space or an entertainment zone, decks, balconies and courtyards are hot property.

7. It’s now around 15 years since that first sizeable wave of new apartment construction rolled through inner-Brisbane and as these buildings age there’s a growing gap in their presentation. Some are still polished and shiny, while others are known for common areas with dead plants, gloomy hallways (lights turned off to save $3.50 in power) and rusty gym equipment. Rents and re-sale prices are being impacted so watch for more pressure on onsite managers and more owners paying attention to their body corp’s performance.

8. Pets and kids. There’s more of them in our inner suburbs than we’ve had in a number of generations. Perhaps ever. And they’re fast growing in number despite their noise and smells… Apartment living is no longer the domain of DINKS and empty nesters.

9. Empty nesters are still watching from the sidelines. We know the population’s aging and we’ve been to countless seminars over the years that told us these suburbanites would soon be flocking to city apartments. But for the most part they’re still waiting. Unsure what to do with all their ‘stuff’. Tempted but not convinced.

10. Renovation is still like baking or dieting. It might sound good and the TV shows make its seem easy, but who are we kidding?! We’re watching The Block and Grand Designs and telling ourselves we want to buy a renovator, but most of us still go ahead and buy low maintenance homes we can just move into.

We’d love to hear your comments!