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Experts upbeat about Brisbane / January in the CBD

2014 is now one month old but we still have another 11 months left to see if the predictions of seasonal property experts will hold true.

Brisbane's CBD in January

The year got off to a bang with strong buyer enquiry during the first week of the new year. This dropped off slightly mid-month but with Australia Day and school holiday end looming, it again picked up. Traditionally most Aussies spend Australia Day at the beach or with friends celebrating, so I was surprised to see 'Summer Sale'-type interest in our Open House inspections on the Saturday of the long weekend. Overall, investors - from overseas and interstate - have been particularly active.

Action has replaced 'research and wait', with buyer interest translating into actual sales - a few new listings were snapped up within days, and some other long-term listings found new owners too.

Sellers did not want to be outdone with various new listings and re-listings of properties that had been withdrawn from the market previously, streaming in.

Prices appear to be gradually moving up with buyers realising they have to be prepared to pay more for good properties in good locations.

It's been a dynamic start to the CBD in 2014 by both sellers and buyers ... let's see how the rest of the year shapes up, and if the experts are right ...

Experts upbeat about Brisbane

Early January some of the industry's national property experts gave their forecasts for 2014, and here are a few interesting excerpts*:


Terry Ryder, a prolific property commentator, is never afraid to speak his mind - loud and clear. He expects "a little bit more sanity" in the 2014 property market compared to last year.

"Sydney and Melbourne are experiencing an auction frenzy, which occurs every three or four years, but things will settle down a bit," he said. "Next year there will be 5%-10% growth in those cities but it will be more evenly spread across the middle and outer-ring suburbs."

According to Ryder, the big improver in the property market is set to be Brisbane "which is only just starting to gather momentum".

"Brisbane is behind Sydney and Melbourne after being adversely affected by the devastating floods of 2011 and the job losses experienced by 1,500 public servants after the election of the Newman government in March 2012.

"Brisbane is only just now starting to take off and I see much stronger growth there – perhaps over 10%."


Buyer's agent, Catherine Cashmore, advises to caution with the star performer in 2013 property price growth, Sydney.

"Investors tend to be sensitive to interest rate changes, however, in Sydney, a number of factors have combined to make 'the perfect storm' leading into 2014: strong interest from overseas buyers, SMSFs feeding into a limited pool of residential real estate, buyers looking for a better return on their savings, coupled with a severe shortage of supply.

"It is projected we'll see interest rates rise through the course of next year and, although not immediately, this will take some heat out the market. This will be more the case in Melbourne before we see the effects in Sydney.

"Brisbane is still playing catch up and, with lower price options, it will likely continue its upward trajectory."


Peter Wargent, best-selling author and property buyer, is far more conservative about the national property market and recommends waiting to see how unemployment, mining resource industry and interest rates play out in 2014.

Nevertheless he has some positive words about Sydney (as opposed to above) and Brisbane in the 2014 national property scenario :

"Sydney is the clear standout. There are likely challenges ahead for Canberra, but Brisbane could be the star."


Who's right?

January was a great start but there are still another 11 months to go - so I'll tell you who was right ... after Xmas ...


(Source: Property Observer magazine; Louise Moeller - HS Brisbane Property marketing)

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