Brisbane property on the rebound, analysts say
Some analysts believe Brisbane's property market is in the early stages of a rebound.
It’s the year of the snake according to the Chinese calendar, but property analysts say 2013 may also be the year of the investor.
Brisbane’s property market is finally starting to pick up, with the latest figures revealing values rebounded in January.
You’ve missed the bottom of the market, but you’re not far off it. Look for something about now
Brisbane’s median value rose by 2 per cent, second only to Hobart which experienced a 4.5 per cent jump.
Prospective buyers are now turning up to open houses in droves, with a line forming outside one Mount Gravatt home last Saturday.
On the hard-hit Gold Coast, the annual Ray White Surfers Paradise auction known as "The Event" delivered 72 home and apartment sales late last month. With a clearance rate of 70 per cent, the result was the best in six years.
The Reserve Bank’s decision this week to keep interest rates on hold was also encouraging.
Property activity has historically dwindled ahead of elections, so the announcement of a September federal election has created an eight-month hinderance for the Brisbane market.
Property analyst Michael Matusik has warned any recovery would therefore be a slow proces, because buyers remained worried about debt, concerned about their employment and wary of short-term trends.
The now five-year-old global financial crisis has made current conditions "the new normal", Mr Matusik said.
‘‘There is no magic improvement, no quick upside, but we have been hoarding money like the end is nigh,’’ he said.
‘‘If Queenslanders can get out of their current funk, then the ingredients are here for a recovery in 2013.
‘‘It could be a strong one if more full-time jobs are created.’’
Mr Matusik said he expected astute investors to lead the charge back into property, while owner-occupiers would wait for the recovery to be well and truly under way before they bought and sold.
‘‘And that probably isn’t on the cards for 2013, even if confidence returns ... and the Aussie dollar falls and stays down,’’ he said.
‘‘So it is up to the investor to bear down and show some grunt, and I think they will.
‘‘Their money is wasting away in cash, the share market is all over the shop and residential property returns are starting to look good, often positive.’’
Anton Kardash, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, warned the market's change in fortunes would not lead to another boom.
‘‘What we’re hoping for, and what I think will happen, is a slow, sustainable recovery,’’ he said.
‘‘Admittedly, all the anecdotal evidence suggests that this January and February we’ve had a significant increase in sales activity.
‘‘But that’s just the normal, yearly fluctuation in sales. Confidence typically rises after the Christmas period.’’
Mr Kardash said this year’s floods would also hamper the recovery rate.
‘‘If the mining boom really took off again, and was more widespread, that would be potentially an impetus to a boom,’’ he said.
‘‘If there was a 1 per cent rate decrease, that would be real impetus ... but that’s unlikely.’’
His advice to house hunters: ‘‘You’ve missed the bottom of the market, but you’re not far off it. Look for something about now.’’