RANKING THE BANK Brisbane River land is still luring buyers despite a 2015 dip in luxury home prices
Vacant land fronting the serpentine Brisbane River was the big seller in 2015, but there was some carnage in the upper end of the luxury residential market, with the total value of all riverfront house sales dropping 13 per cent to $128 million from 2014 levels. The average price of a Brisbane riverfront house in 2015 also declined 13 per cent from 2014 to $2.972m, returning to 2007 levels, according to the 2016 River Report prepared by Johnston Dixon Quality Property and obtained exclusively by The Weekend Australian.
The highest riverfront price last year was $11.8m for Balaam, a 1034sq m eight-bedroom and nine-bathroom property designed by Shaun Lockyer Architects on 1600sq m in Harbour Road, Hamilton.
The residential record for the Brisbane River still stands at $14m, paid for Aaron Avenue, Hawthorne in 2014 by mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Hawthorne was Brisbane’s best performing river suburb last year with four sales totalling $18.67m — down 56 per cent on 2014 when $43m was reaped from seven sales.
“In second place this year with its one landmark $11.8m sale was Hamilton, and third with five sales totalling $11.325m was Chelmer,” says the River Report.
Last year there were 29 riverfront house sales of more than $2m, the same as in 2014 but five short of the record 34 that changed hands in 2010, according to report author Josephine Johnston-Rowell, riverfront director at Johnston Dixon Quality Property.
Before 2007, the river had only two house sales over $6m and in the decade since we have had 24, including three over $10m, Johnston-Rowell says.
But the fact remains that the record $84.7m in sales from Bulimba to the East Brisbane reach of the river was down 54 per cent to $38.77m in 2015 compared with 2014.
The highest riverfront land sale last year was the $5.79m paid for 1635sq m at 5 McConnell Street, Bulim- ba and the cheapest was $550,000 for 4ha at Priors Pocket Road, Moggill about 19km west of the CBD.
Five absolute riverfront site sales were recorded in 2015, totalling $33m with all available sites selling in Oxlade Drive, New Farm, one of Brisbane’s trendiest inner-city suburbs.
However, riverside land sales soared 375 per cent in 2015 to 19 sales, compared with just four in 2014. The release of two riverside subdivisions in Corina and Sherwood meant the combined sale value of riverside land jumped from $2.55m in 2014 to $17.346m in 2015.
“The highest price paid for a riverside allotment this year was $2m for nearly 800sq m of land on Kingsford Smith Drive, Hamilton, and the lowest was $525,000 for 1175sq m of land off Kenmore Road in Fig Tree Pocket,” Johnston-Rowell says.
“The average riverside land price also posted a significant rise, up 46 per cent from $625,125 to $912,974. The total combined value of all riverside houses and land sales for 2015 was $69.837m from 43 sales. This compares to 2014’s total of $68.399m from 40 sales.”
On the apartment front, there were 34 riverfront sales valued at more than $2m each in 2015, a 21.4 per cent rise on 2014’s figure of 28. Total sales grew 29 per cent to $103.14m.
The top two prices for riverfront apartments were $5.275m and $4.65m in Moray Street, New Farm, while in prestigious Kangaroo Point an apartment in Scott Street sold for $4.6m.
Newstead again dominated the premium apartment market, logging 12 sales totalling $37.38m at an average of $3.115m. The Pier One project accounted for 80 per cent of Newstead apartment sales. New Farm had nine apartment sales totalling $29.19m at an average sale price of $3.244m in 2015. Kangaroo Point remained popular with luxury apartment buyers.
Hawthorne was Brisbane’s best performing river suburb last year, with four sales totalling $18.67m
Agent Josephine Johnston-Rowell at a riverside mansion in Tennyson, Brisbane