Brisbane is a city built along the banks of the Brisbane River. It is known as the “River City” for a reason. But being a River City, it is also a city that is exposed to flood risk, and this is what this article is going to focus on to ensure you can assess the flood impacts in Brisbane before you buy a home or an investment property.
Brisbane has experienced many significant flood events over the past two centuries. Back in February 1893, the first big river flooding event occurred where water levels were recorded at 8.35 meters above the low tide level in the Brisbane CBD, the second highest flood event ever recorded at the City gauge. This event was termed the Great Flood and that month was then referred to as Black February. The flooding was caused by a huge rain event associated with a tropical cyclone. This caused the Brisbane River banks to burst and the water flooded into the surrounding areas. This flood resulted in 11 deaths and about 190 people were hospitalised.
Fast forward to January 1974 and our city experienced the largest flood to affect Brisbane in the twentieth century. Once again, this was caused by a cyclone where 642 millimeters of rain fell within the space of 36 hours and the river system simply could not cope.
At that time the water levels peaked at 6.6 meters at the City gauge, but because development was a lot more advanced than it was back in 1893, 8,500 homes were completely inundated with floodwaters on this occasion. Brisbane was an inland sea during this flood event and 14 people lost their lives as a result, mostly in the inner city suburbs.
Off the back of these flood events, the Wivenhoe Dam was constructed to provide flood mitigation control for the City. This is located about 80km by road from the Brisbane CBD. Residents in Brisbane became more optimistic that Brisbane would never flood again and development was fast tracked throughout the city. No one thought that a river flooding event would impact our lives, or our homes again.
Then in 2011, the flood that was never meant to happen happened. After days of rain, the Wivenhoe Dam was over its capacity and the flood gates had to be opened to release some of the water. Brisbane was in for a shock.
On 11 January 2011, the Brisbane River broke its banks and by 13 January 2011, the river was raging. This time 20,000 residential homes were affected by flood waters across 94 suburbs throughout the city. It was the flood that was never meant to happen, but it highlighted the fact that our River City may never be immune from future flood events.
Understanding how to assess the flood risk associated with a property is therefore important when you are looking to buy a property in Brisbane. So here are some steps you can follow that will help you to assess this risk.
Downloading a FloodWise Report to assess the flood impacts in Brisbane
The Brisbane City Council provides predictions for the potential for flood risk for most properties around the City. A FloodWise Property Report can be completed HERE. You will be required to enter the property address, click Search and then select the way you would like to view the report before downloading.
This search will provide one of four types of reports, depending on the site.
The first type of Report is issued when there is NO known FLOOD Impact across a site. You will see this note on Page 1 of the FloodWise Report if this applies to your property search:
Obviously, this is the best possible outcome as it means the property is not going to be impacted at all by any type of flooding event.
The second type of report provides a warning that the property has Flood and Planning Development Flags, but there will be no visible graphs. The alert on Page 1 of the FloodWise Report will look like this:
This usually means that the property is impacted by overland flow flooding. Brisbane City Council does not have publicly available information on the overland flow modeling. Whilst we can get an understanding of the overland flow pathways, we don’t have details and the onus is on a buyer to engage a hydraulics engineer to complete an assessment to ascertain what that impact actually is. For development, this becomes much more important compared with just buying a residential site.
The third type of report that might be produced happens when there is a known flood impact on a site, but the information is not complete enough to determine what the minimum habitable floor level must be for flood immunity. There will be a graph on the first page of the report that will look something like this:
This usually happens when a block of land is too large for the council to have complete clarity of what the flood impact is likely to be at every point on the site and therefore the minimum habitable floor level is not noted on the report. In this instance, the onus is again on the property buyer to confirm what the minimum habitable floor levels might need to be to achieve flood immunity across the site.
The fourth and final type of report is produced when there is a known flood impact on the site AND there is sufficient information in council’s database to also determine what the minimum habitable floor level must be for a dwelling property to achieve flood immunity on that site. The graph on this report looks something like this:
You can see in this example, there is a dotted line that shows the minimum habitable floor level. This is the most comprehensive report out of all of the possible options.
Now let’s look at how to interpret the rest of the information in these reports.
The Green line on the right-hand side of the graph represents the contours on the property, or the ground levels of the site, based on the Australian Height Datum in meters m(AHD). A level of 0.0 AHD is considered sea level.
The highest and lowest point on the site are noted on this report through the lowest and highest points on the Green line. Obviously, suburbs closer to the bay in Brisbane will be closer to zero, whereas more elevated suburbs will be much higher.
On the left-hand side of the report, you will see some bars on the chart. These bars represent the annual probability of a flood event occurring for that particular property. These bars also show the magnitude of the associated risk for any flood event. This is measured using the Annual Expedient Probability (AEP), in other words, the chances that a property will flood in any year.
Usually, the higher the probability (ie: the higher the AEP expressed as a percentage), the lower the flood level will be. The same holds true in that the lower the AEP, the higher the flood level will be.
Some reports, but not all, will also include a flood level as recorded during the Floods of January 2011. And finally, some reports, but not all, will include a Defined Flood Level (DFL) as well which is a measure used for Brisbane river flooding whereby the flood level of 3.7M AHD at the Brisbane City Gauge and a river flow of 6,800m3/s is the flow. This gets a bit complex, but for those who understand hydraulics, it may be useful.
If the bars on the left-hand side of the chart are higher than the points in the Green line on the right-hand side of the chart, then you can expect that during a flood event, water is likely to cover part or all of that land. You can then calculate the DIFFERENCE between those two levels to get an indication of the likely flood LEVEL for that property at its highest and lowest point.
When it comes to new approvals for dwellings, or renovations on properties, council are focused on the 1% AEP levels. For any non-habitable spaces within a home (eg: garages & laundries) council requires those floor levels to be 300mm ABOVE the 1% AEP level for a site.
For any Habitable spaces (eg bedrooms, living rooms dining rooms) these need to be at least 500mm ABOVE the 1% AEP level for a site.
For any existing dwellings that may not already achieve flood immunity, a calculation between the ground levels and the ACTUAL floor level can often determine what level of flood inundation could be expected in the event of a significant flood event on that site.
If a property ALSO falls within a Creek/Waterway Flooding overlay Category 1, 2 or 3 OR in a mapped overland flow path, you may also need to account for an undercroft area in the event you are looking to complete any future renovation works. This can get quite complex, and we recommend if this applies to seek help from professionals such as architects, certifiers, and town planners.
On Page 2 of the Property FloodWise Report a Technical summary will be provided. This information is predominately for builders and architects who are completing renovation or building works on a property. Basically, if you understand how to read the graphs on page 1, you will not need to understand this more detailed technical information.
Checking the FloodWise Report for a property is an important part of the due diligence process that should be completed prior to a property purchase so that you understand the flood impacts in Brisbane and how they may impact on a specific property. Understanding how to interpret the reports is also essential. Finally, applying the information from the report to the specific property, and understanding what it means in relation to the existing property on a site is invaluable. This ensures any future compliance requirements in relation to renovations or improvement works are understood upfront.
When is the property market frenzy in Brisbane going to stop? The residential market in Brisbane has been in a rapid period of growth for months. Prices are escalating every week and with buyers who have been missing out, we are seeing that they are becoming even more eager to secure a property with every week that passes by. Buyers are even taking big risks just so that their offers are competitive. We are seeing buyers dropping out the finance clause and even eliminating the condition that allows them the security of a post-purchase building and pest inspection. This leads to the question … how long is this property market frenzy in Brisbane likely to continue and when might it start to slow down?
In a strong seller’s market, like Brisbane is right now, there are more buyers than sellers and this has the effect of pushing prices up. It comes down to supply (properties) and demand (buyers) and the depth of the imbalance is what has the greatest impact on the rate of price growth.
Supply is tight right in Brisbane right now because sales volumes have increased 38.5% over the twelve months to May 2021 according to Corelogic data, whilst total listing volumes are -23.8%lowerin Brisbane compared to the equivalent period of 2020. This means there are FEWER properties available to buy through the major real estate portals of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. The number of properties for sale is a LOT LESS so supply is LOW.
But what about DEMAND in the Property Market Frenzy in Brisbane?
Well, the demand for property can be measured in a number of different ways. We can look at how many people are physically inspecting properties on a weekend. This is a sign of “real-time” demand that helps us to understand how many people might be interested in a particular property when it is listed for sale and open for inspection.
We can then also get a good understanding of demand based on how many offers are put forward for a single property that is available for sale. This helps us to understand the buyer depth in a particular location.
Then we can review the number of people registering to bid at auctions across Brisbane. Obviously, everyone who registers to bid is a serious buyer, subject to the price point of course. The property market frenzy is causing stress when people are missing out at auctions and beginning their search again.
Brisbane Auction crowd – Property Market Frenzy
Auction clearance rates can also be an indicator that helps us to understand the market demand. When the auction clearance rate is high, we know that there have been a lot more cases where the seller’s expectations have been met because there have been enough buyers to push the price up to allow the property to reach the reserve price.
Demand can also be demonstrated through other information such as lending data. The number of finance commitments throughout Australia hit record highs in April 2021.
Lending data also tells us where the demand might be coming from in terms of who is driving the demand in certain locations. For example, we know that first home buyers have started to pull back from loan commitments, an indication that there are fewer first home buyers actively looking to buy compared to 3 months ago. But we have now started to see an uptick in the number of investors who are seeking funds for a property purchase so this indicates that the demand is being driven by a change in the composition of buyers. Owner Occupiers are still the group driving the majority of the demand in Brisbane, based on lending data from ABS and APRA and our own observations.
Things that contribute to the demand for Brisbane Property include both macro and micro level indicators.
At a macro level, all markets across Australia are being fueled by low interest rates. The RBA has clearly stated that interest rates will remain low until inflation reaches a target band of between 2-3% and minutes from a number of their monthly meetings suggest that rates are unlikely to see any change until 2024 at the earliest. This makes money cheap and makes property purchases more affordable for many buyers across Australia.
Also, the National Economy has recovered at a much faster rate than anyone expected following the worst of COVID-19. We have seen unemployment tighten and consumer confidence rebound to very high levels. These factors contribute towards people having the confidence to make big purchasing decisions such as the purchase of a home or an investment property.
At a micro level, Brisbane is a little different to other national capital cities around Australia. We have a unique set of circumstances that make our demand metrics EVEN higher than other locations around the country.
First, the South-East Queensland region has seen record levels of interstate migration off the back of COVID-19. Whilst other large cities are declining in their population, Brisbane is GROWING and this is contributing to the additional DEMAND for Brisbane Property.
Brisbane Property Market Frenzy
A growing population puts pressure on the availability of rental properties as well. After hitting a peak in 2016, the pipeline for new dwellings in inner Brisbane has been declining and we now have a situation where the new supply pipeline is years away. In the meantime, new residents to Brisbane have to find somewhere to live and this is putting pressure on the rental market.
Vacancy rates at a city wide level are at 1.3% in Brisbane Property. At a suburb level, we are seeing vacancy rates as low at 0.4% – sometimes even less. When there are very few properties available to rent, we see rental price growth happen very rapidly as well. Supply and demand works in the rental market just as much as it does in the sales market.
More people moving to Brisbane means more buyers also competing for the same limited amount of stock. Population growth is increasing the demand for properties in Brisbane, and this is unique to our city right now.
To understand WHEN this property market frenzy in Brisbane might slow down we need to understand WHY this is happening.
First, we can’t see the population shift slowing down any time soon. People are recognizing that Brisbane provides a more affordable option than other major east-coast cities of Australia and also provides a more relaxed lifestyle. Our Covid-19 response has also been superior to other cities overall, so many are seeing Brisbane as a safe haven for their families in this ever-changing environment.
Second, whilst interest rates are low buyers will continue to take advantage of cheap finance to upgrade their home or invest into a market that shows good prospects for both capital growth and yield requirements.
Also with an improving economy buyers will continue to have the confidence to invest in large assets such as Brisbane property, finding it a safe place to put their money.
Unless we see a large volume of sellers come to the market all at once, which is extremely unlikely, the high demand will continue to outstrip the available supply and prices will continue to rise into the foreseeable future. We do expect this frenzy to continue for some time yet. For how long? No one can accurately predict this. But when we start to see a slow down on the ground, when we start to see fewer offers on properties available for sale, or when we start to see fewer registered bidders at auction, we might change our opinion on the strength of the market growth. But for now, hold on and make the most of the ride. Brisbane has been waiting for this to happen for many years. Now is definitely the time for Brisbane to shine on the national property growth charts!
Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you understand Brisbane Property.
Buying a property can be daunting especially in a competitive market like Brisbane is right now, and with the rising popularity of the Multiple Offer Process. When a property market is so hot that there are more buyers than sellers, we often find that more than one person wants to buy the property. When two or more property buyers put forward an offer to purchase a property, the purchase becomes a Multiple Offer Process.
Buying with the multiple offers process can be stressful. It is a highly competitive environment, but there are certain things that can be done to improve your prospects for success. Of course, understanding the process is the most important first step, so let’s take a look at how this works in Brisbane.
There are certain obligations that a real estate agent should comply with in this situation and there are also best practice guidelines set out by the REIQ.
Section 22 of the Property Occupations Regulation 2014 (Qld) states that an agent must act in accordance with their seller client’s instructions unless it is contrary to the conduct provisions of the Property Occupations Regulation or otherwise unlawful to do so.
Of course, the Australian Consumer Law prohibits conduct, in trade or commerce, which is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. Agents must, therefore, exercise a degree of caution to ensure that any representations which they make in the course of marketing a property, are accurate and not likely to mislead or deceive.
Under a multiple offer process, Agents have an obligation to:
Immediately inform their seller clients of all offers made,
Act in accordance with instructions from their seller clients, and
To obtain the maximum sale price for the property.
However, in obtaining the maximum sale price for the property, agents must treat all buyers honestly and fairly and not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct and/or unconscionable conduct.
Conduct that may be considered misleading or deceptive and/or unconscionable can include, but is not limited to:
An agent playing potential buyers off against each other in an attempt to draw out further offers and drive up the sale price; and
An agent advising a buyer of the existence of a higher offer in circumstances where a higher offer does not exist has lapsed or has previously been rejected by the seller.
Agents also have obligations to the buyers in this situation to:
To advise every buyer that they have received more than one offer on the property
To give each buyer the opportunity to revise their offer, if they wish to do so
To let all buyers know that once their offer has been submitted, that they may not have the opportunity to negotiate further – their offer must be their “Best and Final.”
Real Estate Agents in Brisbane who adhere to ethical and professional standards outlined by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), would distribute an “Acknowledgement of Multiple Offers” form to all buyers when there is more than one offer on the table at one time. This is signed by the buyer and returned to the Agent with the offer.
All offers are meant to be private and not able to be disclosed to competing parties. It is effectively a “silent auction” process – but with one chance only to secure the property. The process is often confusing and stressful for a buyer who may not understand what they need to do to make their offer stand out.
In many instances, a Seller is looking for the best price. This is the objective of most sales campaigns when a vendor is selling their property. But in some cases, the terms that accompany an offer can make a big difference also.
Here are some things a buyer can do to make an offer stand out under a Multiple Offer situation in Brisbane:
Increase the size of the deposit – this gives the seller and their agent the confidence that the finance will be approved.
Align the settlement date with the Seller’s ideal timeframe – understanding the seller’s motivations can often work to a buyer’s advantage.
Be finance ready – a shorter time frame for a finance clause, or an offer without a finance clause will be more attractive for a seller.
Shorten the timeframe for the Building and Pest Inspection – pre-book a building and pest inspector so the timeframe can be shorter.
Stretch that little bit more – most buyers put forward round numbers when making an offer. Buyers who add an extra few hundred dollars to the end of the offer amount can sometimes be successful because of the extra stretch.
Write a personal letter – We have seen this done successfully in Brisbane. Buyer’s who try to find an emotional connection with the seller can sometimes pull on the heartstrings of a seller and convince them to choose their offer.
Consider waiving the right to a “Cooling Off” period – if your buyer is certain about the purchase this is also possible.
Be flexible with other conditions – understanding the seller’s circumstances will help to align any additional special conditions in their favour. For example, rent-back clauses can be useful when the seller has not yet bought elsewhere – so get to know the motivation behind the sale!
The Multiple Offer Process can be overwhelming for many buyers, but understanding the process often helps to provide more confidence. Being able to position an offer favourably, even outside of price, can often be the difference between buying and missing out.
Buying a property in Brisbane right now is extremely competitive and you need to ensure
you have a finance pre approval. With the high volume of buyers searching for a property
now outweighing the number of properties that are available for sale. When there is a
supply shortage (ie: low listing volumes) in conjunction with high demand (ie: a large
vole of buyers), then ensuring an offer is competitive becomes incredibly important.
Brisbane is a market whereby the majority of residential property sales occur by private treaty. This
means a property is listed for sale on the major real estate portals, and once buyers have seen the
property, they can submit an offer to the seller to be considered. When there are multiple buyers
who are interested in the property, multiple offers may be submitted by a specific cut off time for
the seller’s consideration.
The objective of a seller is always to get the highest price, but they are also looking for certainty of the sale. When offers are submitted through a private treaty sales process, many of the offers will be subject to certain conditions, such as a building and pest clause or a finance clause.
A finance clause can be inserted into a contract of sale to enable a buyer to obtain a final approval
from their lender before the purchase becomes an unconditional sale. This usually involves the bank
sending a valuer to the property that has been purchased to ensure that the bank also values the
property at the purchase price. If the bank valuation comes in at the purchase price, then the
paperwork is finalised and the final approval can be issued. When a bank valuation comes in under
the purchase price, a buyer can cover the shortfall, contest the valuation, or withdraw from the sale
contract and get the deposit refunded.
To ensure that the post contract phase to obtain a final approval is fast, quite often a pre-approval is
required. This means that the bank has assessed the majority of the documentation associated with
obtaining a loan for a property purchase and has provided guidance to a buyer in relation to the
amount that they can comfortably afford to pay for a property purchase.
Where we sometimes see things breaking down is when buyers are not finance pre approved. In the
majority of circumstances, having a pre-approval in place provides more certainty to buyers, which
in turn provides more certainty to sellers and their agents, as long as this is disclosed when making
Results from a recent study by Aussie Home Loans confirmed that 52% of property buyers do not know where to begin to obtain a finance pre approval and 54% said they had missed out on a property because they did not have a finance pre-approval in place. These are very alarming statistics.
Sales Agents will often be asking buyers if they have a finance pre approval in place to ascertain the risk of
that buyer not following through with the purchase. When a contract is entered into, and a buyer is
not finance ready, then often requests for an extension of the finance clause can cause a purchase to
fall over. In a market where buyers who may have been the under bidders are waiting to hear if a
contract has crashed, there is a real risk to buyers who may not have a pre-approval in place if the
timeframe required to obtain a final approval pushes out.
The same survey by Aussie also revealed that 91% of buyers “feel stuck” which is holding them
back from making a property purchase. Reasons for this included current market conditions, competition from other buyers or not being able to find the right property.
Of course progress is within reach if buyers do their homework and get organised in advance. When
a buyer can beat the competition due to having better terms in relation to an offer, it often puts
them in a more favourable position in a highly competitive market. If two offers are made at a
similar price, then the offer with the more favourable conditions is likely to be the one that a seller
Remember, sellers want certainty, and so do their agents. Having a finance pre approval in place ensures
that when the right property comes along, a buyer is ready to make the move. It also ensures that
the offer is more competitive than others whose terms may be less favourable when there are
multiple offers that a seller can choose to accept.
Property Markets cycle through periods when there are more buyers than sellers, and then when the market cools, the cycle changes and there are often more sellers than buyers. These market cycles depend on the supply of dwellings (measured through listing volumes and new homes being built), and the corresponding demand for properties (the number of buyers who are ready to purchase). Regardless of market conditions, the type of property that you need to target should never change. The focus needs to be long-term and buyers need to avoid getting caught in the fear of missing out (FOMO) that often creeps into their mindset in tough market conditions.
We see it often. When there are more buyers than sellers, people get frantic. The market moves quickly and prices often escalate at a pace that is unbelievably fast. Properties are listed, and within days they are under contract. Buyers are making quick decisions about spending huge sums of money on an asset that they will hold well into the future.
But with the frantic speed, we also see some people start to take unnecessary risks. Some of these are outlined below.
Making Cash Offers
Buyers often make offers that are no longer conditional to obtaining a final approval on finance. Whilst this can provide a competitive advantage in a seller’s market, it also exposes the buyer to a certain level of risk.
We see buyers offer to purchase properties at amounts well over the seller’s expectations. The buyer then takes on the risk that the property valuation does not come in at the purchase price. When this happens, it means the valuer can not see evidence of other sales that support the purchase price. Remember, a valuer is engaged to protect the interests of the bank. They provide the bank with the reassurance that the property will achieve the same purchase price if the property needs to be sold in the very near future.
When there is no finance clause to allow a buyer to withdraw from a contract, in the event that a property valuation does not come in at the purchase price, the buyer will have to put forward more cash or equity to cover the shortfall. When buyers do not have the capacity to cover any shortfall, then it puts the buyers in a very difficult situation. Failure to obtain the funds to settle on a property, where there is a legally binding contract in place, exposes a buyer to contract breaches, which is a dire situation to find yourself in.
Watch our video on Risks associated with making an unconditional offer
Overlooking a Building and Pest Inspection
Quite often in Brisbane, buyers will make their offer subject to a satisfactory building and pest report being obtained once a contract has been entered into. When there is a lot of competition from buyers for a property, we sometimes see buyers eliminate this condition from their offer to ensure that their offer is “cleaner” and more competitive.
The obvious risk associated with this, is that there may be major defects with the building that can not possibly be detected during a standard open house inspection. It is rarely possible to inspect the ceiling space, investigate moisture readings in walls or crawl into under-floor cavities during a standard inspection. A lot of defects or pest issues are not visible to the naked eye, so further investigation provides a level of security that the asset you are buying is not going to come with hidden surprises.
Accepting Compromises just to get into the Market
We also see buyers start to make compromises on things that they would not accept under normal market conditions. Buyers become fearful about how fast a market might be growing in value, and therefore just to get into a market they consider properties that might have impacts that will affect the asset long term.
But the focus for some buyers shifts away from the long-term outcomes. Remember property is an asset class that generally delivers superior results the longer it is owned. Making compromises just to get into the market makes little sense if it will impact the long term performance.
Taking Short Cuts
Taking the time to complete the necessary thorough due diligence is critical. In a fast moving market, it is easy to overlook the importance of thoroughly investigating a property before making an offer. When a property is only listed for a couple of days before it is under offer, every buyer should ensure that they understand all of the potential impacts on a property BEFORE they consider it a suitable purchase. By skimping on the due diligence, buyers can often be blindsided by issues that were evident if in fact, they took the time to investigate further.
Property markets always cycle through periods of boom and bust. It is inevitable that property buyers will ride the emotional journey and react in various ways that may be dependent on market conditions. FOMO is a real problem that many buyers do experience. It can really cloud judgment and cause people to make irrational decisions.
If you are feeling FOMO when looking to buy, perhaps getting professional assistance will ensure that your decisions will be focused on the long term outcomes. Buyers should NEVER take unnecessary risks or purchase a property that is not an ideal match for their circumstances. Remember, property is a long term asset and the transactional costs are high if you make a mistake. You want to get it right up front
There’s no denying it – Brisbane is booming! There are currently billions of dollars of Major Brisbane Infrastructure Projects either underway or well into the planning stages. These infrastructure projects are not only providing vital employment, now and in the future, but are also changing the face of Brisbane.
Our city is currently experiencing what has been described by some as a “once in a generation” infrastructure boom. Whilst in the short term there will be disruptions for residents, once these projects are complete they will improve our transportation options, lifestyle options, employment opportunities and tourism offerings.
The Major Brisbane infrastructure projects include the Cross River Rail, Brisbane Metro, Queen’s Wharf, Brisbane Live, Victoria Park, Waterfront Precinct, Herston Quarter, International Cruise Terminal, West Village. There are so many projects which are also discussed on the Brisbane Property Podcast. You can listen here.
Already completed major projects are the new Brisbane airport runway and the redevelopment of Howard Smith Wharves. The new runway officially opened mid-July after 8 years of construction. This $1.1b project aims to bring the most efficient runway system in Australia to Brisbane. Once air travel is back up and running this will enable Brisbane to be the hub to the Asia Pacific.
Located under the Story Bridge Howard Smith Wharves has given Brisbane locals and tourists another picturesque riverside destination for picnics, restaurants, bars and functions. “Weekends on the lawn” are popular and relaxed family friendly events.
Now, let’s have a look at what the current infrastructure projects are and which suburbs in Brisbane are going to benefit from them.
Brisbane Infrastructure Projects
Cross River Rail
“Cross River Rail is a new 10.2 kilometre rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, which includes 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and the CBD.”
As our population increases we are experiencing more strain on our public transport system. We need faster access for suburban residents to access major employment hubs including the CBD. Currently Brisbane only has one river crossing for trains and only 4 stations in the CBD. This creates a bottleneck and impedes the number of trains that can run and cross the city at any one time.
The Cross River Rail will bring 4 new stations at Albert St, Boggo Rd, Wooloongabba, and Roma St plus upgrades to rail stations that already exist including Exhibition Station in Herston. You can read more information on these stations here. As well as benefiting Brisbane residents and visitors, the Cross River Rail will shorten travel time to and from the Gold Coast enhancing the connectivity between the tourist and employment hubs.
On Brisbane’s south-side 6 stations will benefit from significant upgrades and therefore the greater communities of these areas. They are:
You can keep up to date with current progress on the Cross River Rail Facebook Page.
The Brisbane Metro was originally proposed to be a high-frequency subway but has now progressed to an electric busway system. The buses will be 24 metres long and split into three carriages. Services in peak hours will be fast with a bus every 3 mins and outside of these hours there will be 5 minute services. This will be a drastic improvement to the current public transport services available.
There will be two different lines for the Brisbane Metro. Line 1 will run from Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street. Line 2 will run from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Herston to the University of QLD in St Lucia.
There are plans to extend to Chermside and Carindale in the future. All of these suburbs will benefit greatly from the completion of this infrastructure.
Although separate to the state governments’ Cross River Rail project they will share interchanges at Boggo Road and Roma St stations. The Brisbane Metro is expected to start services by the end of 2023. Suburbs that will benefit directly from the metro are below and their neighbouring suburbs will also benefit.
Eight Mile Plains
Upper Mt Gravatt
Holland Park West
In alignment with the Cross River Rail Project and building the new underground station at Roma Street, a new entertainment arena complex will be constructed in place of the old transit centre.
This $2 billion redevelopment will revitalise this part of the city with the arena and retail shops and “unlock under-utilised land in the heart of the city”. The multi-purpose arena complex with proposed 17,000-18,000 seat capacity has been designed in the New York Madison Square Garden style and will allow greater accessibility to big sporting, music and arts events in Brisbane.
There will be retail spaces on the Roma Street side as well as a “Sky Lounge” that can operate as a function area when there are no events taking place.
This project will benefit all Brisbane residents who like to attend events and will no longer have to travel to the Boondall Entertainment Centre north of Brisbane. You can access updates on Brisbane Development’s project page here.
The old non-heritage buildings have been demolished and development of the $3.6 billion dollar Queen’s Wharf integrated resort development is underway. Covering more than 26 hectares across land and the river, the development will merge contemporary architecture with restored heritage buildings. There will be four integrated resort towers with luxury hotels, residence apartments, restaurants, cafes, bars, retail shops, a casino and a Sky Deck.
A new pedestrian bridge – the Neville Bonner Pedestrian Bridge – will be built to link this revitalised area of the city to South Bank. This will be a major drawcard for tourists to come to Brisbane and also provide a new area for all locals to explore and shop.
Already redeveloped and opened as part of the Queen’s Wharf project are Mangrove Walk and the first section of the bicentennial bikeway opening up a 500 metre stretch of land underneath the Riverside Expressway.
Maritime work at The Landing has already started in the Brisbane River for the construction of the piled suspended concrete slab that will provide 6,500m2 of new public space. The scheduled completion date for the Queen’s Wharf Development is 2022. You can keep up to date with construction progress on their Facebook page or here.
The current 18-hole Victoria Park golf course will be closing in June 2021 to make way for Brisbane’s biggest new park in 50 years. The Victoria Park Vision will create 45 hectares of public parkland space which is more than double the size of the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens. The current putt putt course, driving range and function centre will remain. Plans are yet to be finalised but you can have a look at the visual representation of the draft vision here.
Feedback has been gathered after a 6 month consultation period and final plans will be released at the end of this year.
Victoria Park will become a natural retreat, an urban park for adventure, discovery and reconnection.
A Cultural Hub will celebrate Brisbane’s heritage and natural environment. The park will feature native bushland pockets and waterholes where visitors can enjoy kayaking and swimming lagoons.
Architecture will mimic the landscape with suspended canopy walks and a tree house so visitors can connect with nature, day and night.
This prime inner-city location will include a community garden, giving visitors more to see and do.
It will be culturally authentic, celebrating the many layers of human contact with the landscape and the site’s significance to Aboriginal people.
Waterfront Brisbane will deliver on quite a few key items from the City Reach Waterfront Master Plan (Brisbane City Council’s plan to revitalise the waterfront from the City Botanic Gardens through to Howard Smith Wharves).
The $2.1billion dollar project will redevlop Eagle Street Pier and open up 7,900m2 of space, increase the size of the current Riverwalk (including extending the width to 6 metres) to a 1.2km waterfront promenade for pedestrians and cyclists.
The old Eagle Street Pier building will be demolished and in its place there will be two new towers which allow better access to the river and its views. There will be improved linkages from the city to the river for pedestrians and cyclists.
The plan also details space for a proposed public riverside lap pool, relocation of the current city cat terminal and integration with the proposed Kangaroo Point green bridge.
This is another key project to deliver on the City Reach Waterfront Master Plan. The proposed green bridge, connecting City Reach to the Kangaroo Point peninsula, will dramatically improve access to and along the waterfront and fundamentally re-shape City Reach’s profile.
Connecting to the City Botanic Gardens Riverwalk and River Access Hub, this bridge will be for pedestrians and cyclists only. To have a look at the proposed design click here.
In alignment with the new station being built at Wooloongabba for the Cross River Rail project, there is an area set aside for redevelopment above the underground station including the GABBA stadium. The renewal plan can be accessed here. Below is the video of the concept.
International Cruise Terminal
The Port Of Brisbane has a brand new international cruise terminal in development worth $177 million. It has been designed to cater for the biggest cruise ships in the world which although aren’t currently running will increase Brisbane and Queensland’s tourism capacity once COVID-19 is under control. For information and videos on construction updates click through to the Port of Brisbane’s website here.
Other projects to link in with existing or planned Brisbane infrastructure projects are:
Herston Quarter – in March 2017 the $1.1b redevelopment of the 5 hectare site began. This is located within the Herston Health Precinct and is proposed to be a mixed-use community which will cater for health, residential, commercial and retail development. For more information click here.
West Village – stage 1 and 2 are already complete of the new West Village. This project is rejuvenating an industrial area in West End bringing more public green space and retail opportunities to the community and restoring heritage buildings.
Lamington Markets Lutwyche – a large integrated mixed-use transit development is proposed for a vacant site in Lutwyche. The proposal includes a large fresh food market hall, boutique cinema complex, retail stores and residential apartments. You can read more about this and see artists impressions of the Lamington Markets Lutwyche here.
Howard Smith wharves ferry terminal – The Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminal will provide new access for residents and visitors to Howard Smith Wharves and further enhance the existing ferry network. It will also provide connection to the New Farm Riverwalk and surrounding areas as well as proposed to link to North Stradbroke Island.
South Bank Ferry Terminal upgrade – for information click here.
There are many more Brisbane Infrastructure Projects planned for the city. For access to information and updates on these projects go the the Brisbane Development website.
QPAC Arts Theatre upgrade at the Playhouse Green – for details click here.
So as you can see there are billions of dollars worth of Brisbane infrastructure projects either underway or in planning. These projects will have a direct positive impact on the suburbs mentioned above, increasing their livability and their growth potential.
To make an informed decision about choosing the best suburb to invest or buy your home in, you can cross check the suburbs that benefit from these projects against those that are affected by adverse risk factors. Our blog on noise from the runway and flight paths can be readhere. You can also read about 9 Due Diligence Checks to take into consideration before buying.
We hope this has helped you understand the suburbs that are going to benefit from the current and planned Brisbane infrastructure projects. Please get in touch if you would like further help with your property search.
A Buyers agent is a fully licensed property professional that has a strong network in the industry and is able to help you to find and buy property that is listed on the market, or that is off market, whether that be a home or an investment property.
Having a Buyers Agent to represent you can instil confidence in your decision-making and help you see where the value lies in a property.
It can be daunting trying to find the right home for you and your family. It can also be overwhelming to try and find an investment property, especially when you don’t know where to start. And because the selling agent works exclusively for the seller, you can never be confident that the information they are sharing with you is for your benefit.
The major role of a Buyers Agent is to help Clients purchase the right property for the right price. They work for you as the buyer!
Now that you know what a Buyers agent is, let us get into some of the things you should consider so that you work with the best.
1. Buyers Agents should have a lot of local knowledge and strong industry experience.
Most Buyers Agents offer a complimentary consultation. It is wise to use this time to get to know what expertise the Buyers Agent has to offer. They will be sharing with you their experience and knowledge so make sure to ask questions about their time in the industry.
Look for Buyers Agencies that can offer a wide range of expert knowledge. This may be a Qualified Property Investment Advisor to assist with strategy, a licensed Builder to inspect a property initially and then check over building and pest inspections in detail, a home buyer or investment specialist who understands your needs and maybe someone with extensive experience in property management.
2. The Best Buyers Agents in Brisbane will be Qualified.
Every agent must be licensed to act on behalf of clients however real estate is still an industry that is not regulated in regards to what type of advice they can give. Until the industry changes, you need to complete your own due diligence as there are qualifications buyers agents can obtain to ensure they are giving you accredited advice for your personal circumstances.
QPIA: Qualified property investment adviser is a three-year accreditation course that property and finance professionals can take through the Property Investment Professionals of Australia. This course ensures they are informed and qualified to give unbiased, professional and proven advice to help you achieve your property goals. Click HEREto see a list of Qualified Property Investment Advisors in your area.
REBAA: The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia is a membership program for professional Buyers Agents. They conduct extensive research on the agency which involves disclosure of all processes and procedures. This ensures that the buyers agency adheres to a professional code of conduct. If the Buyer’s Agent is a member of REBAA then they are dedicated to do the right thing by the industry and for you. ClickHEREfor a list of REBAA members. If you Buyers Agent is a member of REBAA, it provides you with peace of mind because it is another layer of protection for the consumer.
QBCC: The Queensland Building and Construction Commission holds the licences for builders and building contractors. If you are relying on your Buyers Agent to provide advice around building, development or renovation, please check their licence class to ensure they are qualified to give that advice. ClickHEREto search or check license details in Queensland. Other States in Australia will have their own building regulatory authority through which a licence check can also take place.
3. Look for a Buyers Agent with strong Google Reviews.
Google reviews are independent and not controlled by the Buyers Agency business themselves. If the buyer’s agent is directing you to their testimonial page on their website, or another page which manages reviews on their behalf, then this is an area that they can control so some poor or negative reviews may be filtered. Google reviews are a great way for clients to rate their honest feedback.
It is important to read other clients’ experience as no one can tell it better than the clients themselves.
Check for lengthy and detailed reviews to get the best understanding of the full experience. Below is an example of a strong google review and clickHEREfor further examples.
Even better – ask the Buyers Agent if they will put you in touch with previous Clients of theirs so that you can ask the questions that you want directly!
4. The Best Buyers Agent in Brisbane will not have a Sales Pitch to “Make you Millions fast”.
If you are looking into a Buyer’s Agent for the purpose of creating wealth or securing your future I am sure you would have seen a number of Facebook ads on young, rich Buyers Agents saying you can make millions in under 5 years…
Its easy right?…
This is not how property works. “Property spruikers” (it’s what we call them) hurt their clients time and time again. They are in the business to make themselves money and when the time comes to evaluate the performance of the asset purchased they have moved on, closed the business and started again. The buyer is left with an under performing asset and no way out.
If you are talking to a Buyer’s Agent who does not charge you anything for their service – it is likely that you are dealing with a property spruiker! They will be getting paid by the developer or the builder to offload new stock.
5. Buyers Agents should put your needs first.
Of course, ‘your needs’ are completely client dependent as every consumer has a different reason for engaging a particular service.
Does the Buyer’s Agency fit with what you are looking for in your journey and can they help you achieve your goals? If you are looking at sites that have development potential, do they have specialists within their team to provide expert knowledge or a builder who can understand, educate and assist throughout the process?
If you are looking to rent the property, looking for a Buyers Agent that has experience in property management is very helpful as well! Otherwise they should have strong relationships with Property Managers in the local area. No matter what your goal is in buying property, a buyers agent should always put your needs first and customise a strategy to help you achieve your goals.
If you are looking for a family home, make sure the buyers agent that you choose knows the area themselves. They should have intimate knowledge about your preferred suburbs in Brisbane and not only be able to provide advice on property alone, but also help with information relevant to selecting the right location for your family such as ensuring you are in the right school catchment zone, or close to transport.
6. Buyers Agents should not take commissions from others.
Even if the Buyer’s Agent is offering an attractive discounted fee to you, chances are they are only able to do that as others are paying them in referral fees. You want the Buyers Agent to refer you to others in the industry purely based on great service and not because they are giving the Agent commission.
If there is an incentive involved check to see if the Agent is keeping it for themselves or passing on the incentive to you as their client. A common way Buyers Agents can get paid is through developers.
The developer will pay a substantial amount of money to agents to try and sell properties in their estate as oversupply can make it difficult for them to do this naturally through the display homes. This type of property may not be the right one for you but because the Buyer’s Agent is aligned with the developer they may try to push you towards that purchase. Be very aware of not making this mistake. As stated above, the Buyers Agent should always have your best interest at heart.
In terms of fees, a Buyers Agent in Brisbane may charge either a fixed fee, or a commission based on the purchase price. Commissions range from 2-3% of the purchase price, depending on the Buyers Agent you select. Fixed fees are either set, or negotiated up front before the search commences. Either way, buyers agent fees are payable by a buyer who is engaging the service.
We hope these tips have helped you understand how to choose the Best Buyers Agent in Brisbane! If you need help and would like to explore using a qualified buyers agent in Brisbane to help you streamline the process please reach outHERE.
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Do you know what it means and how it can benefit you in your property search?
How can a Buyers Agent help you secure an off market property in Brisbane?
What are off market properties?
Off market properties are properties that are for sale without being advertised to the general public. They are not listed on the usual real estate website portals, they don’t have shiny brochures and they don’t have regular “open for inspections”. All of this means that they are available to a limited number of buyers which can reduce the competition for that property. This can be advantageous for you, the buyer!
If you’ve been searching online for a while you may have seen new Brisbane properties pop up and already have “under offer” or “sold” on them. This is usually because the property has sold off market, and the selling agent wants to use it as a marketing tool for themselves. The best way for them to get new clients is to show their sales results!
Here’s a quick video explaining off market properties.
Why are there off market properties?
Why would owners want to sell their home or investment property off market when it means they may not get the maximum sales price possible? There are a variety of reasons:
They want to keep the sale private.
Usually from the neighbourhood or their local community who aren’t close friends. This could be due to a break-up, illness, change in working location or financial circumstances. Some people are simply private people.
To save on marketing costs.
Listing on real estate websites can cost thousands of dollars so selling off market saves money. The owners may not want professional photography or styling either so this saves on that as well.
To avoid open home inspections.
It takes a lot of work to clean and present a home for open inspections every Saturday for few weeks at a minimum. Some agents like to open for inspection mid-week too depending on the target market. Then there’s the after inspection clean up! On top of this is the lack of privacy you have with people traipsing through your home and looking at your personal possessions.
Selling your property off market can avoid this which is appealing for families with children, busy professionals or public figures in the community.
To reduce the stress of selling the home.
Selling your home can be quite a stressful process. If the owners are already in a stressful situation adding the public sale of their home can be a bit much to take. Keeping the sale off market and available to only a limited number of buyers reduces this stress. Owners can direct the sales agent to only bring qualified, genuine buyers through the property.
How can you find off market properties in Brisbane?
If you have the time then call every agent who sells in the areas you’re looking to buy into and ask them what they have available. Make sure you’re checking in with them every 1-2 weeks and that they have your details in their system to send you their email updates.
Go to all of their open house inspections even if that property is not right for you. The more that the agents see you the better. Talk to them and ask them questions.
Follow agents on social media. More agents are ‘announcing’ their up-coming listings on Instagram and Facebook.
You need to be top of mind when they speak to and sign up a new client. This is imperative for you to have access to the whole range of properties for sale whether on market or off market.
Help for buyers
If you’re time poor and frustrated with the search, a Brisbane Buyers Agent can help you.
Buyers Agents should already have a developed network of agents. Because they specialise in searching for clients, they have regular contact with selling agents in all different areas of Brisbane. A Buyers Agent contacts sales agents and provides them their clients’ needs and wants in a new home or investment property. The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) defines the role here.
A Buyers Agent will conduct basic due diligence of a property before even presenting it to their clients to make sure there are no major issues with the house and/or land. To save their clients time, Buyers Agents arrange and conduct the initial inspection of the property and take a detailed video to show their client. Our blog goes more in depth into how a Buyers Agent can help you.
Depending of the circumstances of the seller, time can be of critical importance in securing an off market property. This is especially true if the seller does want to take the property to market, i.e. have professional photos and advertise online through the real estate portals such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. This can also be known as a pre-market opportunity.
These are still off market properties, but the owners are motivated to sell and prepared to list their property publicly. However, if they do receive a good enough offer before they go to the open market they are prepared to sell to save on the marketing costs and remove the inconvenience of open for inspections.
If you can offer a good price to buy the property, then even if it’s a bit under what the selling agent could achieve with competition, the owner can decide to sell off market. The benefits of reducing the stress and costs as outlined above can outweigh the loss of a few thousand dollars. It’s important in this situation that you have a good understanding of what the value of the property is so that you don’t overpay! Research is critical for successful negotiation of both on market and off market properties. Take your time and make sure you understand the current market!
We hope this has helped you understand off market properties in Brisbane. Please get in touch if you would like further help with your property search.
This article will show you everything you need to know now that Brisbane’s second runway has opened. This has resulted in some changes to the flight paths and plane noise impact for many residents around our city.
On July 12 2020 the official opening of Brisbane’s much anticipated second runway went ahead as scheduled, despite the impacts of Covid-19. project took more than 15 years of planning and construction. With passenger numbers expected to increase to 50 million by 2035, this project was essential to keep up the growing demand as well as connect Queensland to the rest of the world for business and leisure.
Understanding the noise impact from the Brisbane Flight Paths.
It is no secret that doubling the capacity of an airport will bring double the traffic, and this is exactly the plan for Brisbane’s Airport. Flight paths are the highways of the sky and just like the motorways here on the ground, they do carry noise.
You might want to know who is responsible for determining the flight paths and this is done by Air Services Australia. Flight pathways are based on so many factors including weather, direction of the wind, airport capacity, direction of travel as well as many more.
To help you understand the level of noise impact please see the below diagram comparing the decibels to places around Brisbane. A noise level of 70 decibels is likely to interfere with people speaking indoors (with the windows open) as per Australian standards.
The next diagram may also provide some perspective in relation to flight path noise. When comparing the Brisbane Flight Paths to different airports throughout Australia, you will notice there are vast differences. The Brisbane Airport is 6km away from residential housing, whilst in some other states it is only 600m away from residential housing.
The top 10 suburbs to be affected by the Brisbane flight paths.
No. Flights above 70db (two Runways)
No. Flights above 70db (one runway)
20 to 49 Flights
20 to 49 Flights
10 to 19 Flights
3. Cannon Hill
20 to 49 Flights
50 or more Flights
20 to 49 Flights
50 or more flights
10 to 19 Flights
10 to 19 Flights
2 to 4 Flights
7. Seven Hills
10 to 19 Flights
10 to 19 Flights
5 to 9 Flights
5 to 9 Flights
5 to 9 Flights
10. New Farm
2 to 4 Flights
There are a few new suburbs added to the mix now that the second runway is operational, that were not previously affected by Brisbane flight path noise. There are also some suburbs that have had a reduced impact due the spread of flights over both runways. This also takes the pressure off one runway and its heavy use.
Below are the suburbs in Brisbane which have experienced an increase in plane traffic and noise. Balmoral is the most heavily impacted suburb, going from 0 flights that are above 70 decibels to 20 – 49 flights at the same noise level. This is a significant increase!
As Brisbane grows the impact of plain noise is expected to increase. As the airports get busier, more flights are needed to accommodate the flight demand.
How does Brisbane Flight Paths affect the Property Market?
According to a study lead by the Queensland University of Technology there has been no reported impact historically from plane noise in terms of the capital growth potential or the demand for a location in Brisbane. This study provided a comprehensive report on the impact of Aircraft noise on Brisbane residential sectors. Historically, suburbs with strong aircraft noise impacts have performed just as well as those that did not.
We do not yet know if this same trend will continue given the capacity of the Brisbane airport has effectively doubled with the opening on the second runway. Time will tell.
What this study did show was that price growth appeared to be driven more so by location in terms of distance from the CBD which is a trend also reported throughout other Capital cities in Australia.
Although there is no published evidence of plane noise impacting the long term capital growth in Brisbane suburbs, there may be some shifts in demand in the future once the new impacts become more apparent. Perhaps in locations where air traffic noise is likely to increase the most (for example, Ascot, Hamilton & Balmoral), some home buyers may prefer to consider other comparable locations that have no such impact.
How to check Brisbane Flight Paths
There will always be noise impact in some way from planes. As the wind, time, day and seasons change so will the paths the planes take. Please click HERE to check if your property is affected by the second runway.
This resource provides a great interactive tool so that you can assess the flight noise impact for any address across the city. It is recommended that this forms part of your property buying due diligence checklist now and into the future.
When comparing capital cities it is evident that some other airports are significantly closer to their residential properties than here in Brisbane. Our city has an airport set further away from the surrounding residential neighbourhoods, which provides an increased distance for the initial take off.
If you are thinking of purchasing a property in Brisbane we hope these tools are useful. They will help you to determine the most affected locations resulting from the opening of the second runway in Brisbane. It can be overwhelming to get everything right when selecing your ideal property, but that is why we are here to help. If you need assistance in securing your next home or investment property please get in touch with Streamline Property Buyers.
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Purchasing a development site in Brisbane requires a unique set of skills to uncover all layers that must be considered during the site acquisition process for a successful and profitable development project. As Brisbane Buyers Agents we want to help you learn the things to look out for when buying a potential site.
Zoning and Overlays
Things such as flood overlays, character overlays, land zoning and site dimensions … to name a few … all need to be considered BEFORE entering a contract to purchase a potential development site. This is what you need to look for when conducting due diligence on properties.
Finding a development site
Our Brisbane Buyers Agents team are constantly searching for these opportunities. To capture the full range of sites available we assess a lot of opportunities off market, or pre-market, but we also review properties that do come to market.
In those that are listed onrealestate.com.auordomain.com.au, we always look out for these 4 letters …. STCA. When anyone is trolling through real estate listings it so important to BE AWARE of these letters which stand for “Subject To Council Approval.”
In our experience, we have seen many sales agents who suggest, in their listing, that a property that is for sale may have upside development potential.
Some agents may even go as far as suggesting how a property may be developed by indicating that a property can be subdivided or may be converted into units or townhouses. But there’s always a disclaimer on their listing …. STCA. So, you must look out for these letters in a listing when purchasing a development site in Brisbane and tread with caution in relation to properties when they exist.
When an agent suggests a property has development potential, but the listing is tagged “STCA”, what this really means is that there is no guarantee of the development potential for the property and it is really up to you, as the purchaser, to do your own due diligence.
As Brisbane buyers agentswe have heard of many instances, where a contract for the purchase of a property has gone unconditional or even settled and only after there is no option to withdraw, the purchaser discovers that there is in fact no development upside. This is usually because there are limitations, or there are constraints impacting the site, that of course were not identified in the real estate listing, but were also not discovered during a comprehensive site due diligence process.
Of course sales agents are never going to tell you the negative aspects of a property in their listing, so it is up to you to do your own due diligence – especially when purchasing a development site in Brisbane.
Help for You
Thankfully, local Brisbane Buyers Agents can help you with that process so that you can understand what it is that you are purchasing. We can uncover the true upside potential of a property and evaluate the development limitations that may exist.
Working with a good Town Planner is also essential with these types of sites. You can learn more about this on the Brisbane Property Podcast – Episode 6. You can listen here. And you can learn more about Steffan Town Planning on their website here.
I hope this information has been helpful on your quest to buy your next development site in Brisbane. If you need further help to secure a site with the necessary due diligence we can help. Please reach out by booking a discovery call through the link below to your Brisbane Buyers Agents.
Would you like to understand more about working with a Buyers Agent in Brisbane?
Have you shopped around to get an idea of costs from a few buyers agents and found the price varies between agencies?
Have you been shocked at some of the costs associated with engaging a Buyers Agent to help you purchase your home or investment property in Brisbane?
I hear you! I plan to share why choosing the cheapest Buyers Agent in Brisbane may not necessarily be the best idea.
A Buyers Agent is a property professional that can guide you through the purchase process of buying a home or an investment property.
We all know sales agents work for the seller to get the highest price possible. Having a Buyers Agent in your corner, to ensure you are selecting a quality asset and not paying too much for it so you do not make a mistake, is crucial.
Buying property in Brisbane is one of the biggest and most expensive decisions you may make in your lifetime. It is important to do it right from the beginning to ensure you are not making mistakes. Let’s now look into why you shouldn’t use the cheapest Buyer’s Agent in Brisbane.
1. Assess Value NOT Price
When purchasing property there is a lot of work that goes into each site of interest. The level of local knowledge, past experience, process of due diligence and the scope of local agent networks will all add up to extra value for you as a property buyer.
If you are searching for the cheapest Buyers Agent in Brisbane and shopping purely on price alone, you may not assess the differences in value that you actually receive as part of the service.
Low fees might mean that you don’t receive extensive due diligence and research reports about properties that you are looking to purchase. Perhaps if it is an investment you are seeking, low fees might exclude tailored property investment advice and full property investment projection reports, to ensure the property is right for you.
The cheapest Buyers Agents in Brisbane might be new to the industry, and therefore they would lack extensive and well established networks with Sales Agents through the city. This might limit the number of off-market properties that you get to consider as a property buyer.
I have heard horror stories where Buyers Agents have not physically inspected the properties on behalf of their Clients. Some even rely on sales agents to video an inspection on their behalf. This obviously reduces the cost to a property buyer, but is dramatically increases the risk because a sales agent will not highlight any issues that a buyers agent should pick up during a physical inspection themselves.
2. Check for additional Qualifications
The property investment industry is not regulated when it comes to providing property investment advice. Yes, this may be shocking to hear because every day Australians are putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into property purchases, but they may be receiving advice from someone who has no qualifications to provide such advice.
When mistakes are made with property buying and property investing, they can cost you a lot of money as a property owner.
Thankfully, there are ways that Buyers Agents can set themselves apart to provide some level of confidence for consumers.
Below I have provided a list of professional bodies that govern the buyers agency and property investment industries in Australia. Participating Agencies are required to adhere to a strict code of conduct, giving property buyers the peace of mind that they are selecting the right Agent for their needs.
REBAA: Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia aim to raise the profile of the industry and to establish guidelines for professional conduct of real estate buyers agents nationally. Members of REBAA are committed to following the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. Click HERE to see which QLD Buyers Agents are members of REBAA.
PIPA: Property Investment Professionals of Australia aims to raise the professional standards of all operators servicing consumers in property investment. Members adhere to a strict code of conduct and are required to obtain professional standards of accreditation through education and a commitment to excellence.
QPIA: Qualified Property Investment Advisors are members of PIPA who have completed an extensive accreditation course to become experts in providing advice surrounding property and investments. It is common that the cheapest buyers agents in Brisbane won’t have any qualifications and mask that by drawing in people with lower fees. Click HERE to search for Qualified Property Investment Advisors in your area.
3. The Cheapest Buyers Agent in Brisbane might focus more on Volume rather than providing a Quality Service
When a Buyer’s Agent charges low fees to their clients, they often have a lot of spaces to fill and can take on many clients at one time. This sometimes means less attention is focused on your property search and you may find personal communication and a high quality of service is lacking. It is important to look for an agency that prioritize quality over quantity.
The best way to do this is to request some details of previous Clients. Property buyers who have used a Buyers Agent previously are usually happy to speak to others about their experiences.
4. The Cheapest Buyers Agent in Brisbane will provide what you pay for.
In the property industry, like many others, it is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for” when you are searching based on price.
If you are looking for buyers agent who charges a bargain price, there will be some compromises that you must be willing to accept.
Some of these compromises may be more limited connections with agents, so fewer off market opportunities, lack of experience, lack of professional affiliations or simply a lack of in depth property knowledge. They may also be located interstate, so would not be experts on the local area or “on the ground” when it comes to inspecting properties.
However, some Buyers Agents will (and do) charge a premium for their services. In some instances up to 3% + GST – even at the highest price points. One thing to point out here is that the “most expensive” is not always the Best in this industry. So again … check what value they provide and don’t just assume that the most expensive is always the best!
5. The Cheapest Buyers Agent in Brisbane may actually be FREE
Yes that’s right, some Buyers Agents might advertise that their service is FREE.
What? No-one works for free!!!
It is absolutely true that no-one works for free, but some Buyers Agents get paid a fee from developers or builders to sell on their stock.
It is gut wrenching to witness, however, there are many Buyers Agents that have strong relationships with developers and they are paid high commissions by the developers to bring buyers in to absorb their stock. This is usually stock that does not provide strong growth opportunities for investors and are typically new estates a fair distance from the CBD or apartment high-rise unit developments. Because they are being paid in other ways during the purchase process, the fees to clients using their services can be FREE.
Property buyers must investigate whether using the cheapest buyers agent is Brisbane is right for them. I urge consumers to take the above points into consideration. You want to ensure that the person or company representing you as a property buyer will deliver the results you are after and help you by way of compliance with a professional standard.
A high quality buyers agent in Brisbane will save you the most money in the long run.
With the continuing threat of the Coronavirus outbreak causing panic in countries throughout the world, it is important to consider what is the likely impact of coronavirus on Brisbane Property Values. We have had a number of people contact us asking what our thoughts are on this topic.
We first published our response to this question on March 12 2020, and at that time it was too uncertain to assess the impact that was likely to occur in the months that followed. Since then we know that the response in Queensland has been exceptional. Let’s look at what has unfolded and where we might be heading.
The presence of coronavirus in Australia, and around the world, is causing a significant slow down in the economy.
However, in Australia, the combined effect of monetary and fiscal policy has helped all of us navigate this difficult period.
Impact of Coronavirus on Brisbane Property Values
In terms of the impact of coronavirus on Brisbane property, it is important to note that the fundamentals for Brisbane real estate have not changed at all.
We still have a huge supply shortage, driven by lower listing volumes as well as a reduction in construction completions.
In fact disruption to consumer confidence caused by the presence of coronavirus has resulted in some new attached dwelling projects to be delayed in Brisbane. This will result in a further reduction in the supply of new dwellings in the coming months and years.
Remember, before Brisbane Covid-19 concerns became a part of our every day lives, the rate of interstate migration was accelerating. More and more people were relocating to the Great South East which was supporting the strong population growth that our region was experiencing.
With border closures, this trend has paused.
But it is expected that with normal movement recommencing between states, that more and more people will look to migrate to our City, driven by affordability, sunshine and other lifestyle drivers.
Demand for property is still stronger than ever. On the ground we have seen no slow down in terms of the number of people at open homes, the number of registered bidders at auctions or the number of offers on properties listed for sale by private treaty. Across the board we are still seeing extremely high demand for quality properties in well located pockets within Brisbane.
Additionally, Australia is not one property market. There are markets within Markets and the Brisbane Property Market is actually quite different right now to the other major cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
According to Corelogic Data, the median house prices at the end of July 2020 for the largest capital cities in Australia are listed below:
Brisbane = $502,000
Sydney = $866,000
Melbourne = $678,000
Sydney is 72% higher than Brisbane and Melbourne’s median value is 35% higher than Brisbane.
The average income in Brisbane is $2,231 per week compared with $2,867 in Sydney (28% higher) and $2,413 in Melbourne (8% higher) (ABS).
The proportion of household debt to incomes is therefore a lot greater in Sydney and Melbourne, than it is in Brisbane which provides strong support for our local market during the economic downturn as homeowners are in a much stronger position to be able to afford to meet the repayments on their loans.
The economy is, however, being supported through interest rate cuts and the federal government’s $17.6 billion economic stimulus package. Due to Australia’s prudent economic management in recent years, we are now in a very strong position to support the economy with the necessary stimulus to help us through the months ahead.
With the Federal Government’s ongoing intention to support jobs, incomes, small business and investment, our national economy should be OK in this time of uncertainty. We will come out the other side!
These factors can work to ensure the demand for property remains strong and robust. Lower interest rates provide more disposable income to the household sector that can be used for spending to boost the overall economic benefits.
They also increase the borrowing capacity of buyers providing a further stimulus for people looking to enter the market. Remember there are many people who have NOT been impacted by the pandemic. These people have access to finance that has NEVER been cheaper. It is these people that are underpinning the Brisbane Property Market.
The property market, especially residential property, is quite different to other markets (such as the sharemarket) because it is not dominated by investors.
It makes up approximately $6.2 Trillion worth of Australia’s Wealth being the largest asset class in our country behind Australian Superannuation at $2.7 Trillion and Australian Listed Stocks at $1.8 Trillion.
Approximately 65-70% of all residential property is occupied by home owners and we as Australian’s will cut out spending in a lot of other areas before we make the decision to sell our much-loved family homes.
Of course, the main purpose of residential property is to provide shelter, and this is a human necessity. Because of the high transaction costs, we do not buy and sell property quickly (like shares) and therefore as an asset class it is less likely to experience price fluctuations in short periods of time.
Whilst this is a serious matter, it is important to remember that illnesses like influenza cause 3,500 deaths, about 18,000 hospitalizations and 300,000 GP consultations every year .
In relation to Coronavirus, according to the Australian Government Department of Health, as at 18th August 2020 Australia has 23,559 confirmed cases including 421 deaths .
Remember the effect of the virus will come to an end at some point.
Just like SARS (2002-3) and swine flu (2009-10), it is expected that the Coronovirus will come and go within a relatively short period of time.
According to the RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle, “Once we get beyond the effect of the virus, Australia’s economy would be supported by the low level of interest rates, the pick up in mining investment, infrastructure spending and an anticipated recovery in residential construction.” So there is no need to panic, instead taking a common sense long term approach seems like a more logical approach.
The Brisbane market has been strong up until March when coronavirus started to impact our lives. The fundamentals have not changed, so it is important to keep this all in context. We got through the Global Financial Crisis – the biggest economic downturn in modern history – so we can get through this.