South East Queensland Land Market Remains Strong

By Emma Harris

New data from Ray White’s SEQ Vacant Land Market Report confirms Brisbane’s residential house and land market performed strongly over 2017 with land prices up more than 11 per cent, which is good news for all developers.

The South East Queensland Vacant Land Market Report, which reports on the 10 major Local Government Areas, showed the market responded to firming conditions with supply of vacant lots showing a sharp 31.82 per cent rise in Brisbane in the year to December 2017.

Ray White Commercial head of research Vanessa Rader found a nine per cent spike in lot approvals which shows developers’ expectations of firming future demand.

Ray White Special Projects executive director Mark Creevey expects to see price growth continue to firm largely in south-east Queensland due to the lack of available land for development and developers focused on owner occupied product.

“Given there’s been a marginal lift of three per cent in the number of projects from last year it would appear that the significant increase has been derived from established estates delivering further supply to cater for demand,” Mr Creevey said.

In south east Queensland more broadly there were 18,867 lots approved in 2017 – which is down 16 per cent on 2016 but there were 15,691 lots registered which is a 5.97 per cent increase. The weighted average vacant land price in south east Queensland lifted 2.37 per cent in 2017 to $262,534.

Brisbane City Council lead the way with a 9.13 per cent increase in registered lots to 2,894 in 2017 and an 11.35 per cent jump in the median land price to $412,000, with 435sq m the median lot size.

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House and land package sales fell 18.44 per cent to 566 sales but prices jumped 6.91 per cent to $735,000, demonstrating the continued requirement for increased supply in the Brisbane region.

“Sales slipped backwards in 2017 but DA approvals and prices keep rising which bodes well for the future – with a 31.82 per cent spike in lot registrations,” Mr Creevey said.
In Moreton Bay, a potential bottleneck is looming unless more land is unlocked by the local council to meet housing demand.

Ray White data found there was 50.40 per cent less lots approved in 2017 to 3,174 in total, with an 11.11 per cent fall in total projects to 168 developments.

Ray White Special Projects executive director Tony Williams said the inability of the LGA to deliver approvals in prime development corridors including Caboolture West, Warner and Morayfield resulted in a dramatic drop in lot approvals by more than 50 per cent.

“If this is not addressed it could potentially have future supply and price implications,” Mr Williams said.

“The number of lots registered has shown a solid increase of 32.38 per cent however this increase is from 11 per cent less projects than the previous year pointing toward diminishing future supply unless key areas are unlocked.

“The Moreton Bay LGA has demonstrated a flat performance over the past 12 months with the majority of indicators showing a downward trend somewhat defying the market sentiment and demand in this region.

“The Moreton Bay LGA has traditionally been a popular development corridor offering significant supply across SEQld however has experienced a decline in vacant land settlements (down 4.45 per cent) as well as the median land price which reflects $251,000 (down 1.57 per cent).”

On the Gold Coast, house and land package sales fell 35.71 per cent to 261 sales in 2017, with the median price rose 3.48 per cent to $505,000. The median lot size is 455sq m with a median vacant land price up 7.54 per cent to $271,000.

Ray White Special Projects director Matthew Fritzsche said the Gold Coast LGA land market had shown robust results over the last few years.

“The volume of vacant land sales has however shown significant reductions although it has not dampened the median price across the region. Lot values have seen sizeable gains over the past 12 months after the prior few years had recorded minimal growth which was keeping affordability in check, the decrease in average lot size being a contributing factor,” Mr Fritzsche said.

“The true growth on a $ per sqm basis has been consistently positive (albeit at a slower rate) and shows encouraging signs for the market. The fall in lot approvals on the back of limited availability of greenfield land is helping push prices upward.

“Other indicators such as the house and land packages value increase emphasises the ongoing demand for housing in this location, which is expected to remain similar for the rest of 2018.”

The Ipswich City Council region saw a 3.31 per cent slide in lot registrations, and it’s median vacant land price slipped 3.28 per cent to $191,500. House and land package prices remained steady at $385,000, and the median lot size in Ipswich was 443sq m.

Mr Creevey anticipates that both values and volumes would remain similar over 2018 as an equilibrium was found between new supply and demand.

“Demand for land and house and land product in the Ipswich LGA over the 2017 calendar year remained strong with only a slight variance down from 2016 in respect to median values and sales volumes,” Mr Creevey said.

“The median value for land has reduced slightly we which expect to be a result of increased competition with a number of new estates having commenced in 2017. Volumes remain significantly higher than the longer term 5 and 10 year average.

“Median values are only 5.69 per cent higher than the 10 year average while the rate per sqm is 20 per cent higher due to diminishing lots sizes which highlights the importance of maintaining affordability as a key selling point in this region.”

The median lot size in Logan is 421sq m, with a steady median price for vacant of $220,500 with a healthy 5.3 per cent bump in lots registered to 1,690.

Mr Fritzsche anticipated rates of sale to remain strong throughout 2018 with some vacant land price growth.

“Rates of sale improved by approximately five per cent over this same period and are well up on the long term averages, however value levels remain fairly static. The results for the Logan City LGA show a strong increase in lot approvals over the 12 month period to calendar end 2017,” Mr Fritzsche said.

“This is a reflection of a number of large master-planned communities coming online in the region, together with a number of smaller more fragmented projects being undertaken by small to medium private developers / builders.”

Ray White Special Projects associate director Andrew Burke said there was a 39 per cent fall in lot approvals to 1662 lots on the Sunshine Coast, while the number of projects rose by 17 per cent to 88.

The median vacant land price rose 5.69 per cent to $269,500 and the median price of a house and land package rose 4.4 per cent to $522,000.

“We anticipate further increase in demand in this location due to ongoing business confidence and continued population growth.

“Infrastructure projects such as the University Hospital, the Sunshine Coast airport expansion, Maroochydore City Centre upgrade and the mooted light rail from Maroochydore to Caloundra (Stage 1 and 2) continue to transition to a highly valuable and sustainable economy,” Burke said.

Visit the Ray White Special Projects QLD website to view all properties for sale.

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