Brisbane's sales market

Buy? Sell? Hold?! The OLDEST stats and insights on Brisbane’s real estate market

Don’t you think it’s odd how we all chase the very latest data? The fresh numbers on which way home prices have moved in the past month. The forming trends in population and demand. New stats on construction. If you want to buy a home right now you’ve got a lot of web trawling ahead of you, scouring for the latest on Brisbane’s real estate market. The pressure to reach expert status can be overwhelming!

So here’s a look at some of the oldest info we could find. Some stats and a cool graph on Brisbane home prices over 40 years, along with insights into the minds of some of our long term clients who hold their property for decades. It is a deliberately different pace to much of what you’ll see today (read it slowly!)

Firstly a question: Does any of it really matter?

You’d like to buy now – for that family home in your chosen school catchment; or that riverfront apartment to retire to in a few years. But you’re concerned Brisbane’s real estate market is losing steam, prices about to dip a few per cent. Should you wait? If you’ll own that property for 5 years or more, will the saving be important in the wash up? More important than getting on with securing your own home? Or investing toward your retirement?

The answer might well be “yes” and plenty of ‘experts’ like bank managers and cousins at family barbecues might tell you to sit on your Brisbane home priceshands. But until when? I’ve been a property investor for over 30 years and have definitely never picked the bottom of any market. And I’ve never had a client who could either. None of us spot the bottom with any certainty until the market is well and truly past it and on the uptrend.

One of the wonderful things about our jobs is we get to sit at the feet of many long term property owners. Wise and infinitely patient women and men who focus on far more distant horizons than most of us. Older people who have a calm, untroubled manner and a steady gaze. They seem only to concern themselves with keeping good tenants happy and managing their cost of holding a property (around 1% of its value is a common number we’re told – after rent, expenses and deductions) while they wait for time to pass and values to rise. And they rarely read our posts about new market data – they just don’t care what home prices did in July!

One man who does watch the data on Brisbane’s real estate market like a hawk is Tim Lawless, Head of Research for CoreLogic Asia Pacific. Tim’s analysis of the numbers informs our nation’s top decision-makers from the RBA down. So we asked him for his data on Brisbane’s last 40 years.

“Over a longer period of time, Brisbane has recorded several phases where the pace of capital gain has recorded a remarkable over performance relative to the larger capitals.  This was the case in the early 1980’s when Brisbane dwelling values rose 37% in the space of a year, 2003 when home values surged 32% and 2007 when Brisbane dwelling values were up 23% in a year.”

Source: CoreLogic

Finally, here is an early lesson I had from one of those especially wise, calm and patient clients: “Go ask your parents what they paid for their first home. Then ask them if, looking back, they’d have been happy to have had to pay another 5%?”

I want to be a Brisbane property owner if we get another one of those 37% years!