Cashflow versus Capital Growth in Brisbane

Cashflow versus Capital Growth in Brisbane

One of the areas in relation to property investing that is least understood is around the property investment strategy and cashflow versus Capital Growth.

In our role, we speak to so many property investors who do not understand what type of property is best suited for them based on their goals, risk appetite and their personal circumstances. Property investing should NEVER be a one-size-fits-all approach, and yet so many investors select a strategy that may have unintended consequences for them in the future.  The purpose of this article is to highlight the difference between a high capital growth and a high yield strategy when selecting an investment property here in Brisbane.

As a member and participant on a number of property investment facebook groups and online chat forums, I see many individuals seeking advice in relation to what is the best suburb in Brisbane to invest in for a specified budget.  It always amuses me when others jump in with their suggestions and recommendations, based purely on price.  This approach comes with so much risk, because there has been no thought given to the requirements for growth and yield for that individual. 

How to determine the right investment strategy for you

To get an understanding of what investment approach might be best for you there are a number of considerations that you need to make:

  1. What are your investment goals? That is, are you looking for more income now, or are you looking to create a future nest egg for yourself and your family?
  2. What is your current taxable income? Remember any income that you generate through investments owned in your own name now will be taxed at your marginal tax bracket so this needs to be considered before you buy.
  3. What is your exit strategy? Consideration must be given to whether you intend to hold the asset into retirement and live off the income it generates, or if you intend to sell at some stage in the future.  The tax implications associated with this must also be considered up front.
  4. At what stage in life are you now? The duration of the investment period that you have to work with can influence the type of property that you might target based on your specific needs at that time in life.
  5. What is your risk appetite? We all have our own comfort levels and these need to be considered so that you can sleep at night!

 

Let’s take a look at a high yield asset first

Brisbane is a higher-yielding city than the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, so many investors are attracted to our city because of this benefit.  Properties that return a higher yield are usually positively geared and are often cashflow positive properties as well.

A positively geared property means the property is producing income from a tax perspective.  A positive cash flow property is one that puts money in the bank each week, once you account for all holdings costs, interest on the loan, and any repayments that you may be making towards the principal of the loan.

Properties are more likely to be cashflow positive on interest only lending – especially in the current environment where interest rates are at record lows.  Fewer properties remain in a cashflow positive position once they convert to principal and interest loan repayments.

An investor can control the gearing and the cashflow position for an investment property through the finance structure that they implement for the purchase.  For example, paying a higher deposit through cash would mean that the interest charges are lower due to a lower loan-to-value ratio and therefore the property is more likely to be positively geared, or even cashflow positive.

Investors MUST keep in mind that high-yielding assets have lower growth when assessing assets over the longer term.  There is an inverse relationship between growth and yield.  As one goes up, the other goes down and vice versa. 

We can select an “example” high yielding suburb in Brisbane and determine the long-term performance of an asset based on historical data.  Whilst there is no guarantee that the past is a reflection of the future, we do know that the past is going to tell a story that investors need to consider.

Let’s assume that the property value is $500K. The example property has a gross weekly rent of $600 which provides a strong 6.12% yield.

These are the additional assumptions:

  • Annual Vacancy rate of 2%
  • Borrowing at 80% Loan-to-Value Ratio (ie: $400K loan on the $500K purchase)
  • Paying for the remaining 20% property value and purchase costs via cash
  • The Interest Rate of 3% pa remains unchanged over the investment period
  • Principal and Interest Lending
  • Rental expenses = 27.37% of Rental Income (this covers property management fees, rates, insurance, maintenance etc)
  • Inflation on rental expenses set at 2%

Being a high yielding location, the capital growth rate is set at 3.5%. This is representative of historical growth rates in suburbs within Greater Brisbane that achieve higher yields like this example. For this reason, the Rental Price growth is also set at 3.5% pa (in line with capital growth).

The two most important things to note in relation to the cashflow in this scenario are as follows:

  1. The pre-tax cashflow position is +$10,035 in the first year.
  2. By year 31 the annual pre-tax cashflow position is +$70,350

In relation to the FUTURE VALUE, based on the compounding growth rate of 3.5%, this property will look like this:

  1. By year 31 the value will be $1,453,000
  2. This is an INCREASE of $953,000 from the time of purchase.

Brisbane Property Podcast

 

Now let’s look at a high growth Asset as a comparison

Consider now that the location selected is a high growth location which is in most cases going to generate a LOWER yield. In this example, we will again assume that EVERYTHING remains the same as in the higher yielding example, however, we will switch the growth rate the yield around. Therefore, the growth rate is assumed to be 6.12% pa and the yield is assumed to be 3.5% (based on a weekly rent of $343 per week on a $500K purchase). We can also assume that the rental price growth will be similar to the capital growth because the more scarce locations will achieve higher rental returns over time due to limited supply and higher demand. This ensures that a rental yield of 3.5% is maintained over time based on the property value. All other variables in the modeling will be exactly the same.

The cashflows in this scenario are as follows:

  1. The pre-tax cashflow position is -$9,870 in the first year.
  2. By year 31 the annual pre-tax cashflow position is +$134,161.

In relation to the FUTURE VALUE, based on the compounding growth rate of 6.12%, this property will look like this:

  1. By year 31 the value will be $3,153,000
  2. This is an INCREASE of $2,653,000 from the time of purchase.

Cashflow versus Capital Growth in Brisbane

Of course, this example is provided purely to illustrate the difference that a small change in the compounding growth rate can make over many years.  TIME IN the market makes a huge difference when investing for capital gains for the future.

The reality is that generally the higher growth assets are located in the more scarce locations and therefore they are already priced higher.  So it would not be realistic to expect that you can shop with the same budget and expect to choose between either high yield or high growth. 

The difficulty for investors comes, when they have higher investment budgets, and they are presented with a CHOICE.

Should I buy One Higher Growth Asset or Two Higher Yielding Assets?

We also often get inquiry where people may have a budget of more than $1M to spend in Brisbane, but they ask if it is “better” to buy two properties instead of one with this budget.  Again, the answer always depends on the unique circumstances of the individual.

If we look at the higher yielding asset and we consider buying two of these at $500K each, the numbers look like this:

  • Total Pre-Tax Cashflow for first year = +$20,070
  • By year 31 the annual pre-tax cashflow position is +$140,700
  • Total combined asset value = $2,906,000
  • Total INCREASE in value from time of purchase = $1,906,000

BUT … if you are a high-income earner, on the highest marginal tax bracket, then you would be paying tax of $4,770 in the first year for EACH property, which REDUCES your cash position from +$20,070 to +$10,530.

By year 31, assuming you were still paying tax at the highest marginal tax bracket, then your annual pre-tax income of +$140,700 would be reduced to $74,570 AFTER tax. 

Over the life of the 30-year loan on each property, you would have paid a total of $481,670 in TAX which works out to be $963,340 across the two properties of TAX PAYMENTS in this scenario!!!!!

The after-tax cashflow position over the 30 years would be a total of $143,145 for each property, which provides after-tax cashflow of $286,290 across the two properties over the 30 year period.

Therefore, the TOTAL return would be:

  • Total after-tax cashflow across 30 years = $286,290
  • Total Growth over 30 years = $1,906,000
  • TOTAL RETURN over 30 years = $2,192,290.

 

Now let’s look at the alternative – buying a single high growth asset with the total budget of $1M and therefore targeting a higher growth asset.

If we look at the higher capital growth asset and we consider buying just one of these at a purchase price of $1M, the numbers look like this:

  • Total Pre-Tax Cashflow for first year = -$23,415
  • By year 31 the annual pre-tax cashflow position is +$134,161
  • Total asset value = $6,305,000
  • TOTAL INCREASE in value from time of purchase = $5,305,000

AGAIN … every investor must consider the tax implications of their investment decisions.  Using the same examples, if you are a high-income earner, on the highest marginal tax bracket, then you would NOT be paying tax, in fact you would get a TAX REFUND of $3,155 in the first year.  This is because at this time the property is NEGATIVELY GEARED which means you will be paying a portion from your own funds to hold the asset because the costs associated with holding the property exceed the income from rent that is being achieved.

By year 31, assuming you were still paying tax at the highest marginal tax bracket, then your annual pre-tax income of +$134,161 would be reduced to $71,105 AFTER tax.  This is only $3,465 less than in the high yield example!

Over the life of the 30-year loan on the single property, you would have paid a total of $602,705 in TAX which works out to be $360,635 LESS TAX compared to the scenario of buying the two properties with the higher yielding returns.

The after-tax cashflow position over the 30 years in this high growth scenario would be -$120,353, mainly because the income from rent has not fully covered all costs as well as principal repayments for this property over the life of the loan. 

Therefore, the TOTAL return would be:

  • Total after-tax cashflow across 30 years = -$120,353
  • Total Growth over 30 years = $5,305,000
  • TOTAL RETURN over 30 years = $5,184,647.

When we compare the two scenarios, the difference in the TOTAL RETURN, puts the single high growth property ahead by a HUGE $2,992,357!!!

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So, which Strategy is better?

The answer to this question is still – It DEPENDS!

Of course, looking at the overall returns, targeting the high growth asset results in significantly higher levels of wealth after 30 years.  There is no doubt about that from the numbers above.

But, some would argue that having all your eggs in one basket presents as higher risk.  If the property is vacant, for example, you have no income at all.  But if you buy the RIGHT asset then the risk of vacancy is minimized.

Also, given you would have one high value asset instead of two lower valued assets after 30 years, some would argue that it is better to own two properties so you can sell just one if needed and still hold the other.  As I said previously, the exist strategy is very important to consider before you buy as these decisions need to be included in selecting the overall approach.

Finally, your own income levels and risk appetite will influence how much you have to spend and that may limit the type of strategy that you can afford to buy.

As we always say – the right strategy for an individual investor depends on individual circumstances.  We always need to consider the investment strategy alongside the tax strategy and the finance strategy.  There are so many moving parts to consider before an investor even starts to look at properties to buy.  It is so important to plan prior to executing!

I hope this article has helped you to understand that investment strategies need to be tailored.  Too many investors start off blind and make mistakes.  Getting professional advice can help you tailor the right mix of growth yield based on your unique circumstances.

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Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you. You can make an enquiry with Streamline Property Buyers Team. We are the Most Qualified Team of Brisbane Buyers Agents.

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Start an investment portfolio in Brisbane and how the current market conditions could help you

Start an investment portfolio in Brisbane and how the current market conditions could help you

It is not a surprise to most of us that the Brisbane Property Market has seen strong growth over the last 12 months. We have seen this in the news headlines for months.  There have been a lot of buyers in the market, and very few sellers, and this is putting strong upward pressure on prices.  So how can you start an investment portfolio in Brisbane if you have not been able to save a deposit for another purchase?

If you already own a property in Brisbane, this means that you might have some strong equity growth in your property!  In the last 12 months alone, according to CoreLogic Data, the median value of Brisbane house prices increased 17.7% and unit prices increased 7%.

Let’s quantify what this might look like for you.  See below a table of previous values and current values based on the median price growth for Brisbane in the housing sector.  We have also included a column for the growth that might have been achieved over the last 12 months based on the median rate of growth for the city.

August 2020 Value August 2021 Value Growth
$500,000 $588,500 $88,500
$750,000 $882,750 $132,750
$1,000,000 $1,177,000 $177,000
$1,250,000 $1,471,250 $221,250
$1,500,000 $1,765,500 $265,500

 

This growth in property values over the short term, is not something most property owners think about.  But the fact is, being able to leverage from this growth is what can enable any property owner to kick start an investment portfolio themselves.

When looking to invest in property, most individuals are seeking either a boost to their current cashflow position, or longer-term growth which contributes to wealth creation.  The balance between income now (ie: investment yield) and growth in the future (ie: equity) will always depend on an investor’s unique circumstances. 

Regardless of the investment strategy (ie: the balance between capital growth and yield), it is always better to maximize investment debt when you also have personal debt (ie: a home loan that you are paying off).  This is where a clever finance strategy can ensure you get the best tax advantages associated with your investment properties as well.  These three factors must ALL be considered based on an individual’s personal circumstances when you start an investment portfolio for your future.

Start an investment portfolio

For many property investors, the hardest part is actually saving the deposit to get started.  A lot of investors think that you need to set aside additional cash until you have enough to cover the contributions towards a deposit, as well as purchase costs for a property purchase.

 

But in actual fact, this is not the case when you are already a property owner.  Whether you already own a home or another investment property, you can use the equity growth in that property to start an investment portfolio!  Here’s how …

The equity is simply the difference between the current value of a property, and the amount owing on that property (eg: the mortgage amount).  The equity position can be increased either by paying off the debt (ie: through repayments) or through growth in the asset value (Ie: capital growth). 

Generally, a bank will allow you to borrow up to 80% of the value of a residential property without needing to take out Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), subject to their assessment criteria of course.  LMI only applies when the amount of borrowed funds exceeds 80% of the value of the property.  What this means is that you can potentially tap into the additional funds that sit in your home as equity.  This is especially exciting because, with recent market growth in Brisbane, the market itself has done a lot of the hard work in creating the equity!

 

So how can you take advantage of this increased equity in your property to start an investment portfolio?

It is really quite simple!

1. Get in contact with your Mortgage Broker today so that they can provide a valuation estimate on your existing property to determine its current value. Your Mortgage Broker will also help you calculate your available equity.

2. Perform an assessment of your borrowing capacity for another property purchase.

3. Re-mortgage or re-finance your existing facility to draw out the equity as an equity loan which you can use as a deposit for the next property purchase (again your mortgage broker can assist with this process).

4. Ensure you can afford the investment as well as any additional repayments that may be necessary to hold that investment property.

Once you understand how much you can afford to pay for an investment property, then you can start your research in terms of where to buy and what to buy so that your investment purchase achieves the goals you have set for yourself and your family.  We encourage all investors to seek professional assistance if they are unsure of what type of property might be best for their unique circumstances.

 

In terms of Brisbane as a location for your investment, there are a few things that make our city a great pick!

1. Brisbane is a very affordable market. Our median dwelling value is $598,615 according to CoreLogic Data at the end of July 2021. Compare this to other capital city median values below.

Capital City Median Value as at July 2021
Brisbane $598,615
Sydney $1,017,692
Melbourne $762,068
Canberra $793,872
Hobart $621,102

 

2. Brisbane offers strong gross rental yields of 4.0% compared to Sydney at 2.5% and Melbourne at 2.8%.

3. Brisbane has experienced positive net migration due to interstate migration over the last 12 months which means more people are moving to the great South East, and therefore more people need somewhere to live.

4. Brisbane also has a rental crisis right now, with the city-wide vacancy rate sitting at 1.3%. Rents in the housing sector have increased 9.4% over the last 12 months.

5. Brisbane’s response to the covid-19 pandemic has been superior to other capital cities and we have the lifestyle that many Australians are seeking, which is why so many people are moving interstate.

6. A lot of infrastructure which will better connect south-east Queensland will be fast-tracked due to the announcement that Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympic Games. This will benefit our city both in the lead-up to the Games and for many years thereafter.

 

To find out more about what is happening in the Brisbane property market right now, visit the Streamline Property Buyers’ blog HERE where we provide monthly Brisbane property market updates.

The list of reasons why Brisbane is a great place to invest right now could be longer, but we have outlined just a few. If you want to set yourself up for a better future by using equity from your existing property as a deposit for an investment property – speak to your mortgage broker today. This is a great way to start an investment portfolio. Using this strategy and taking advantage of the recent growth in the Brisbane market, without having to save cash for a deposit is clever. It is a great way you can get ahead and potentially begin your property investment journey.

Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you. You can book in for a FREE Discovery Call with Streamline Property Buyers. We are the Most Qualified Team of Brisbane Buyers Agents.

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How to Assess Flood Impacts in Brisbane

How to Assess Flood Impacts in Brisbane

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.

Brisbane Flooding 1

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:

Brisbane Flooding 2

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:

Brisbane Flooding 3

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:

Brisbane Flood Report

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:

Brisbane Flood Report 2

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.

 

Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you. You can book in for a FREE Discovery Call with Streamline Property Buyers. We are the Most Qualified Team of Brisbane Buyers Agents.

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When is the market fenzy in brisbane going to stop Why you should not let FOMO set in when you buy

 

When is the Property Market Frenzy in Brisbane going to Stop?

When is the Property Market Frenzy in Brisbane going to Stop?

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% lower in 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
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 City
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.

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The Multiple Offer Process in Brisbane

The Multiple Offer Process in Brisbane

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.

Ashgrove bisbane

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.

 

Brisbane Property research

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. 

If you need assistance with buying in Brisbane, of course, we are here to help. Reach out to us to book your Discovery Call today.

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The importance of finance pre approval when buying property

The importance of finance pre approval when buying property

We explain the importance of finance pre approval when buying property in Brisbane. The property market in Brisbane is extremely competitive right now and you need to ensure you have a finance pre approval when buying a property.

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.

Finance Pre approval when buying property

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 when buying property 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 don’t have a finance pre approval when buying property.

In the majority of circumstances, having a pre approval when buying property 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
an offer.

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 when buying property 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.

Ashgrove bisbane

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
will select.

Remember, sellers want certainty, and so do their agents. Having a finance pre approval when buying property 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.

Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you.

Book in for a FREE Discovery Call with Streamline Property Buyers
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Why you should NOT let FOMO set in when you BUY

Why you should NOT let FOMO set in when you BUY

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.

See the source image

 

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

Get in touch if you would like to know how we can help you.

 

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Suburbs to Benefit from Brisbane Infrastructure Projects

Suburbs to Benefit from Brisbane Infrastructure Projects

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.

Brisbane Infrastructure ProjectsOur 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.  

Brisbane Infrastructure ProjectsLocated 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. 

Brisbane Infrastructure ProjectsOn Brisbane’s south-side 6 stations will benefit from significant upgrades and therefore the greater communities of these areas. They are:

  • Salisbury
  • Rocklea
  • Moorooka
  • Yeerongpilly
  • Yeronga
  • Fairfield

 

You can keep up to date with current progress on the Cross River Rail Facebook Page.

 

Brisbane Metro

 

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 PlainsBrisbane Infrastructure Projects
  • Upper Mt Gravatt
  • Mt Gravatt
  • Nathan
  • Holland Park
  • Holland Park West
  • Greenslopes
  • Buranda
  • Wooloongabba
  • West End
  • Southbank
  • Kelvin Grove
  • Red Hill
  • Herston
  • Dutton Park
  • St Lucia

 

 

 

 

 

Brisbane Live

 

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.

Brisbane Infrastructure Projects

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.

 

Queens Wharf

 

Brisbane Infrastructure ProjectsThe 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.

Watch the fly through video here.

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.

 

Victoria Park

 

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.

Brisbane Infrastructure Projects

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

 

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).

Brisbane Infrastructure Projects

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.

For more details here’s the link to the Brisbane Development website. You can download the full Master Plan here.

Kangaroo Point Pedestrian 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.

Wooloongabba Precinct

 

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.

Brisbane Infrastructure Projects

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 read here. 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.

 

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6 Tips – Choosing the Best Buyers Agent in Brisbane

6 Tips – Choosing the Best Buyers Agent in Brisbane

Before we get into choosing the Best Buyers agent in Brisbane it is important to know what a Buyers agent is and what can they do for you.

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.

 

Best Buyers Agent in BrisbaneMost 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.

  1. 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 HERE to see a list of Qualified Property Investment Advisors in your area.
  2. 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. Click HERE for 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.
  3. 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.  Click HERE to 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 click HERE for further examples.

Google review best buyers agent Brisbane

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”.

 

Best Buyers Agent in Brisbane 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.

 

Best Buyers Agent in BrisbaneEven 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 out HERE.

 

 

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Off Market Properties in Brisbane

Off Market Properties in Brisbane

Have you heard the term “off market property”?

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

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?

 

Brisbane buyers agent

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

 

off market properties

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.auThis 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.

 

 

Book in for a FREE Discovery Call with Streamline Property Buyers

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Brisbane Flight Paths- Impact on Property

Brisbane Flight Paths- Impact on Property

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.

Brisbane flight paths

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.

 

Brisbane flight paths

 

The top 10 suburbs to be affected by the Brisbane flight paths.

Suburb No. Flights above 70db (two Runways) No. Flights above 70db (one runway)
1. Balmoral 20 to 49 Flights 0 Flights
2. Hemmant 20 to 49 Flights 10 to 19 Flights
3. Cannon Hill 20 to 49 Flights 50 or more Flights
4. Pinkenba 20 to 49 Flights 50 or more flights
5. Hawthorne 10 to 19 Flights 0 Flights
6. Hamilton 10 to 19 Flights 2 to 4 Flights
7. Seven Hills 10 to 19 Flights 10 to 19 Flights
8. Ascot 5 to 9 Flights 0 Flights
9. Bulimba 5 to 9 Flights 5 to 9 Flights
10. New Farm 2 to 4 Flights 0 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!

  1. Balmoral
  2. Hemmant
  3. Hawthorne
  4. Hamilton
  5. Ascot
  6. New Farm

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

 

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.

 

 

Summary

 

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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4 Letters to Look out for in a Real Estate Listing

4 Letters to Look out for in a Real Estate Listing

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.

 

Brisbane Buyers Agent

 

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.

 

Brisbane Buyers Agent

 

 

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 on realestate.com.au or domain.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.

 

Brisbane Buyers AgentAs Brisbane buyers agents we 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?

Book in for a FREE Discovery Call with Streamline Property Buyers

We are the Most Qualified Team of Brisbane Buyers Agents

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