Brisbane's sales market

“And that’s why I’m selling now…”

The Brisbane property market is cooling. There’s debate over whether prices are still growing slightly (houses flat and apartments up 0.8% in June), or if they’re already on the way down – as the RBA would probably prefer. What’s not in dispute is we have had a stellar run in the past 18 months and prices are up across the board.

So is it time to cash in? Sell up and take advantage of this (still) strong market? Beyond the data it’s a personal choice many Brisbane property owners are wrestling with right now. So here’s some insight from a number of our current clients who’ve made their decision.

The Johnsons are selling their two South Bank apartments after owning them as overseas-based investors for 26 years. The peak in the market is just too tempting for them: ”Data of 2021 show extremely strong property market demand and increase in value.” They say Brisbane’s post-Covid leap in population created the perfect selling environment with “strong demand & low supply situation”.

David also sold his Woolloongabba house because he doesn’t see prices growing further. “My house was badly in need of renovation but not something I could successfully manage from overseas so I wanted to find some new owners that could give it the love it deserved. Romantic reasons aside, with the current economic outlook the capital growth prospects are not great for the next couple of years so time to cash in.”

For others, the age of their apartment building has been the final coffin nail in their previous ‘hold and forget’ investment plan. David and Marilyn sold in Yeronga because in their 28 years as an owner they felt they’d “…done enough for the Body Corporate and building improvements. Also, the timing for the sale was luckily on our side. We required some extra capital to reinvest and also cover our current house renovations.”

Frustration with bodies corp and aging property is a common concern. Many see the strong market as an opportunity to upgrade their investment. Luis is selling in South Brisbane: “It feels in my case that it is the end of the property life cycle, so it is time for me to invest into the next property.”

Renovations are not just expensive right now (and getting more expensive) they’re also hard to organise. We’re hearing of 5 month wait times or more for a simple paint job! Anne said this about selling at East Brisbane: “The apartment needed about $80,000 worth of work to improve the home which I didn’t have, so selling was my best option. And my 3 daughters live in Melbourne, living in Brisbane didn’t make sense any more as I was nearing 70!!”

For other Brisbane property owners the life of a landlord is no longer one they want. The upcoming changes to our tenancy laws are having a definite impact and it’s no surprise many are choosing to take advantage of higher prices to sell.

Stef just sold her Toowong property: “I move around a lot because of my job, so I’ve had to rent it out and I’ve found being a landlord to be quite stressful. I’m also looking forward to having a home with my partner, and as my apartment is too small for the both of us to live in, it was the perfect time to decide to sell.”

So what about me? I’m a long term investor but I’ve just sold one apartment that was 22 years old, had ongoing maintenance issues inside and within the building, and my expenses this past 2 years had well and truly outweighed my income. Yes – even with low interest rates! I knew before I got my end of financial year statement (hint – give yours a good look-over before you forward to your accountant) the recent strong rise in price was a loud and clear signal to me to get out.

But despite the price rises I’m continuing to hold good property that’s well-located and low maintenance and enjoying rising rents. I didn’t become a property investor with a short term horizon and I like where this city is going to be in 10 years’ time. While it continues to suit my personal circumstances, and the cashflow is sound, I’ll hold.

I’ll stay informed, review my expenses closely, keep an eye on both my current value and market rents, and be ready to do as I’ve done just now. Sell when the time is right for me.

Please share your thoughts in the comments. Do you think it’s the right time to sell Brisbane property? Why or why not?!

PS: Our team would love to help with an update on your current market price or the current rent for your property!