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Brisbane rental property: is now the time to invest?

Queensland rental property has largely weathered the economic storm, with investors still flocking to the state even when other parts of the country have struggled.

As 2013 draws to a close, many people will no doubt be weighing up whether now is the right time to invest in the capital and if so, what opportunities are available to them.

The property market is strengthening, the latest data suggests, which is sure to bring good news to those who have already made their property investment and anyone who is considering doing so in the near future.

Sales grow across the state

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has released its September quarter median house report, showing that house sales throughout the state increased nine per cent over the period in question.

Standout areas proved to be in the south-east and far north of the state, indicating that such regions could emerge as property hot spots as we enter 2014.

Another factor that might encourage a property investment in Queensland is the relative stability of price growth – REIQ chief executive officer Anton Kardash explained that few parts of the country can lay claim to this.

Large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne have witnessed relatively unsustainable price growth, he emphasised, whereas Queensland as a whole is demonstrating a more measured approach.

Vendor discounts fall

There is further evidence that the Queensland property market should be one to watch at the moment – average vendor discounts have fallen over the past year.

This gives an indication that the asking prices for property are much more on target, while the amount of time real estate is spending on the market has also dropped.

In Brisbane, for example, the REIQ revealed that the average vendor discount has declined from 7.9 per cent to 6.5 per cent over the past 12 months, while the number of days properties spend on the market has fallen from 90 to 78.

House prices rise

The September quarter also saw a rise in investor activity, with the REIQ noting that sales of properties valued at under $350,000 experienced a particular increase.

As a result, median house prices in Brisbane increased 0.6 per cent to reach $530,000 over the quarter, making the Queensland capital one of the more affordable cities in which to purchase rental property.

Buyers are recognising the potential of purchasing investment property in the city, with overall house sales increasing 13 per cent over the quarter and 18 per cent during the past 12 months.

If this current rate of growth continues, investors could find that their properties reap stronger rewards than they had previously envisaged.