The Queensland property market has had both its ups and downs the last five years. Many smaller towns have seen extreme increases in both prices and rents due to the resource boom. But in most of those places, oversupply seems now to be a problem. Central Brisbane, Goldcoast and Sunshine Coast on the other hand have suffered from oversupply for several years.
The Australian property market has been very strong. But there has been a few exceptions, the Goldcoast is the most well known example of oversupply causing prices to fall drastically. Especially buyers of off-the-plan apartments in high-rise buildings have lost a lot of money. Lately, Australian property prices have started to increase again. Foreigners and property investors have become very active while first time buyers are being squeezed out of the market due to the high prices. The low interest rates has not helped first time buyers while investors have become very active despite that in many places yields are only around four percent.
The Brisbane property market has been very slow the last couple of years but many experts believe that prices will start to increase again in Brisbane. But remember that the vacancy rate in central Brisbane, known as postcode 4000, is still very high, about 6%. Property investors are advised to look outside the Brisbane CBD. At the moment, prices in many northern suburbs have started to increase. Like in most other places in Australia, off-the-plan units should be avoided at all cost. They are almost always sold at a premium to foreign investors, who are only allowed to buy off-the-plan properties. And it looks like the premiums are only getting bigger, probably due to increased interest from China.
The Goldcoast is best avoided, oversupply is still a problem and more high-rise buildings are on their way. Houses are not necessarily a bad investment on the Goldcoast but you must know the market inside out. Sunshine Coast has also had problems with oversupply but not as bad as the Goldcoast. Things may start to improve so it may be right time to look for bargains. But keep in mind that developers can quickly flood the market with apartments. It is best to stick to houses or high quality apartments with good views or something else that makes them stand out.
Mining towns are best avoided, the boom seems to be over for now. Many mining towns are suffering from oversupply, and in several places, more properties are on their way. In many towns the spectacular price rises have been replaced with almost as spectacular price drops. But that still don’t make them sound investments.
The Cairns property market has been slow the last couple of years but has lately shown signs of recovery. Many experts believe that the recovery will continue thanks to the tourism industry and strong Asian interest. Quite clearly, Cairns looks like a much better choice for property investments than most other tows in Queensland.
It looks like interest rates will stay low in Australia and population growth is strong. It looks good for property in other words. But it is important to remember that many developers love high-rise projects. They can quickly flood a market with apartments and the oversupply can take very long time to get rid of. Unless you really know what you are doing, avoid off-plan apartments. They are aimed at foreigners and are almost always sold at prices far above market price. Even worse, to keep the prices on new apartments down, they are often ridiculously small.