Positive signs for the market
The latest figures from the REIQ show yet another rise in house sales across the state, with the apartment and townhouse market starting to follow suit
THE REIQ released its March quarter 2014 report last weekend, with the latest figures for Queensland’s house and unit property markets.
Sales activity across both sectors of the residential property market continues to improve for most of southeast Queensland, while the majority of regional Queensland continues to experience softer market conditions.
Brisbane City LGA was the exception, with an easing in activity, however, all other council areas in SEQ saw continued buoyant market conditions.
Total house sales numbers for the state, however, recorded their fourth consecutive quarterly increase, up 8.3 per cent across the March quarter 2014.
The apartment and townhouse market has now finally followed suit, with significant increases in activity across the state.
Total preliminary sales numbers across Queensland were up 15 per cent across the March quarter. Sales activity was up 13 per cent in Brisbane, 18 per cent for Greater Brisbane, 19 per cent on the Gold Coast and 11 per cent on the Sunshine Coast.
The strongest segment of the apartment market was the $350,000 to $500,000 price range, which was up 23 per cent compared with the December quarter.
This was followed closely by the $500,000 to $1 million price range, up 21 per cent.
With multiple new apartment developments coming on to the market, it was no surprise to see the Brisbane local government area record the highest number of sales in the $500,000 to $1 million price range, with 371 settled unit sales recorded, 58 per cent of which were within inner Brisbane suburbs.
Across Queensland the apartment and townhouse market has been lagging behind the house market in terms of sales activity.
Typically more affordable than houses, apartments and townhouses are an attractive option for both investors and first-home buyers.
On the Gold and Sunshine coasts, where the residential property market continues to gather momentum, affordable houses for sale are becoming fewer and far between.
Across the March quarter, both regions recorded drop-offs in the number of house sales in the sub-$350,000 bracket, a telling sign bargain buying is evidently on the way out.
Investor activity in Queensland continues to trend upwards, with the apartment market likely to become increasingly on the receiving end of this trend.
After taking a dip in activity in January, the number of dwellings financed across all buyer types was up for both February and March.
First-home buyer numbers have hovered around the 1000 mark since June last year, but are steadily trending upwards, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.