The FIRB has revealed a fall in foreign investment in new apartments in Australia.Source:Supplied
FOREIGN investment in Australia’s housing market has fallen, amid waning investor appetite and tighter lending standards.
OFFICIAL data has confirmed a collapse in approvals for foreign investment in Australia’s housing market, amid waning investor appetite, higher charges and tighter lending standards.
The Foreign Investment Review Board’s annual report reveals a 67 per cent fall in residential real estate approvals last financial year — down from 40,149 approvals to 13,198.
The value of FIRB approvals also plunged, from $72.4 billion to $25.2 billion in fiscal 2017.
The report reveals 18 per cent of approvals to foreigners were for residential real estate in Queensland in 2016-17.
Victoria and New South Wales remained the favourite destination for investment, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all approvals granted.
The FIRB said a significant factor contributing to the reduction in approvals was the introduction of application fees from December 2015.
“The introduction of fees resulted in investors only applying for properties they intend to purchase,” the report said
“Prior to the introduction of fees, individuals often made several applications earlier in the process when considering multiple properties, even though they might have only ended up purchasing a single property.
“This suggests that the resulting reduction in approvals may not imply a corresponding a reduction in actual investment in residential real estate. That is, the actual decline is likely to be lower than implied by the data.”
Along with the introduction of state-based taxes on foreign investors, the FIRB said weaker demand from China was another factor behind the decline in approvals granted.
Investment in new apartments from mainland Chinese investors dropped significantly in 2016-17.
AllenWargent Property Buyers chief executive Pete Wargent said the figures would have some significant impacts on the new apartment sector, construction trends, and the broader economy — especially in Sydney.
Mr Wargent said he expected Sydney to experience the greatest number of failed apartment projects, with increasing signs of discounting on new apartments.
“Perhaps this was an inevitable end-game for this cycle, where development has been too much skewed towards apartments for investors, and too little towards the types of medium-density dwellings that people want to reside in,” he wrote in his blog.
But Chinese international real estate website Juwai.com chief executive Carrie Law played down the reported decline in Chinese demand.
Ms Law said that in the second half of 2016, Chinese buyers were investing in Australian real estate at an almost irrational pace.
“It was like money falling from heaven for vendors and developers,” Ms Law said.
“In early 2017, capital controls, financing restrictions, and foreign buyer taxes reduced Chinese investment to more reasonable levels.
“Since November 2017, we seem to have entered a period of more sustainable long-term growth.”
Ms Law said Chinese buying enquiries for Australian property in March were 5.7 per cent higher than the month before and in April they were 22.3 per cent higher.
“Unfortunately, this year’s FIRB data is not directly comparable to that of prior years, due the change in regulations and buyer behavior,” she said.
“The big declines are partly due to lower demand, and mostly due to the changed application fees.”
Maturing Gold Coast Apartment Market No Longer ‘Boom and Bust’
Real estate firm Knight Frank have underlined a market in transition, becoming more solid and reliable due to continued population growth and changes in market focus in recent years.
The latest Knight Frank Australian Residential Development Review 2018 found apartment stock on the Gold Coast is being built to cater more for owner-occupiers, with a move towards larger apartments with more bedrooms.
It found two-bedroom apartments have been favoured in developments built between 2014 and 2017, making up 43 per cent of total stock.
Banks and the developers they lend to have also been careful not to oversupply the market with product as has been the case in previous cycles.
A shift towards smaller developments has also created less supply enabling buyers more time to make decisions, and this, along with growing long-term demand, has led to more stability.
North Residences, at 296 The Esplanade, features seven beachfront apartments in a residential-only boutique building.Image: Bureau Proberts
“While there will always be a market for the larger developments because of the amenity they provide, the emerging trend for smaller developments has resulted in a more balanced market and given the buying public a real choice,” Knight Frank director and head of project marketing in Queensland Chris Litfin said.
“With the steady increase in population on the Gold Coast and the ever-increasing downsizer demand from retirees, the result is a very stable property environment.”
An array of smaller projects have successfully navigated the changing market to provide high-quality boutique developments.
Recently, Brisbane-based developer Synergy Property Partners completed NORTH Residences in Burleigh, a nine-storey apartment building comprising large whole-floor living.
“It ticks all the boxes for affluent buyers looking for quality, new beachfront product on the southern Gold Coast,” Selling agent Jamie-Lee Edwards of Kollosche Prestige Agents said.
The market will also benefit from the proposed $30 billion development pipeline in the wake of the Commonwealth Games.
More than 250 projects rolling out over multiple sectors including residential, transportation, tourism, retail, health and services.
They include the $615 million third stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail, $500 million Westfield Coomera Town Centre, the $385 million Gold Coast Cultural Precinct, and the second stage of the Gold Coast Airport’s $300 million masterplan.
Gold Coast property: Gold Coast’s fastest selling suburbs revealed
An undated aerial view of Merrimac, Gold Coast
HOUSE hunters are snapping up Gold Coast properties in some inland suburbs within weeks of them hitting the market.
New figures released by property researcher CoreLogic show Currumbin Valley, Merrimac and Mudgeeraba top the list of fastest-selling suburbs on the Gold Coast.
Property experts attributed the demand to the unique homes on offer and better value for money in the areas.
Who wouldn’t wanna live here though?
Currumbin Valley and Merrimac shared first place, with houses on median sold 19 days of being on the market.
The figure is based on a total of 86 sales within those areas throughout the past year.
While McGrath Palm Beach agent Andy Hogarth was surprised 20 homes had sold in Currumbin Valley over the past year, he said the figure still accurately reflected the market.
He sold a luxury American-style barn in May after a week on the market while colleague Richard Snowden sold the country retreat of AFL legend Jonathan Brown following a four-week auction campaign.
An undated aerial view of Merrimac, Gold Coast
“I think it’s just the uniqueness of the properties that we have had out there that’s attracting people,” he said.
The 212 house sales in Mudgeeraba sold within a median of 22 days.
RE/MAX Regency Gold Coast agent Stuart Legg said properties in Mudgeeraba offered better value for money than many of those along the coast.
“During the (Gold Coast’s) growth period over the past four years, I think people have realised their budget will only go so far,” he said.
Mudgeeraba — where you get the best value for money.
Mr Legg said there was also a limited number of homes on the market, which meant people were quick to buy as soon as they were listed.
He recently sold a Mudgeeraba property, which attracted 20 groups for inspections and five offers, in four days.
“The number of sales are definitely down this year on last year, but that just increases the demand for properties as well,” he said.
Despite the data, CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said properties on the Coast were actually taking longer to sell compared to previous years, “which is reflective of the overall slowing of dwelling value growth over the past year”.
Aerial photo shoot this morning of Beach Erosion along the Gold Coast from Main Beach to Miami Beach — Surfers Paradise
Gold Coast’s fastest selling suburbs:
1. Currumbin Valley and Merrimac (houses) — 19 days
2. Mudgeeraba (houses) — 22 days
3. Burleigh Waters (units) — 23 days
4. Currumbin Waters, Mudgeeraba, Tugun (units) — 24 days
5. Miami (units) and Worongary (houses) — 25 days
10 QLD suburbs that smashed records in 2017/18
THEY are the state’s high achievers.
The suburbs that have outperformed their peers in the residential property stakes; breaking records for sale price, number of sales, days on market or for smashing through the million-dollar median price ceiling.
Benchmarks have been beaten in blue-chip areas like Ascot, Sunshine Beach and Surfers Paradise, as well as suburbs on the rise, including Kalinga and Underwood.
Records were smashed in at least 10 suburbs across the state in the past 12 months— an indicator of a shortage of stock and increase in demand in a number of competitive markets.
Here are some of Queensland’s benchmark busters of 2017/18:
The standout record-breaker in Brisbane was the sale of the trophy home of Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij in Ascot.
The $11 million sale price of 27 Sutherland Avenue in March set a new record for the inner-city, blue-chip suburb.
It was also Brisbane’s highest sale of the past financial year.
Patrick McKinnon of Place Ascot, formerly of Coronis Hamilton, brokered the deal and said Mr Meij sold after receiving an off-market offer from a buyer who had fallen in love with the property.
Set on a sprawling 2024 sqm, the lavish home has six bedrooms, six marble ensuites and a jaw-dropping outdoor entertaining space with resort-style gardens, infinity-edge pool, pool house with outdoor kitchen and verandas.
The fastest selling suburb in Queensland is Brendale in the Moreton Bay region, where the median house price is still an affordable $461,000.
It takes, on average, just 11 days to find a buyer, according to CoreLogic.
According to the latest Census data only 14.5 per cent of properties in the suburb are houses. With so few houses available, demand can be strong when something new is listed.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland suburb had the highest number of houses change hands in 2017/18, with 573 houses selling in the 12 months to May, according to CoreLogic.
The owners of a majestic property at 10 Orme Rd, Buderim, that once hosted royalty have embarked on a new push to sell it.
With all the focus on the royal newlyweds of late, it’s only fitting this heritage-listed Queenslander now holds extra appeal, given it was the residence of choice for the Duke of Gloucester during a royal visit in 1934.
The grand residence on 6315 sqm was built circa 1913 on the highest point of the northern slope of Mt Buderim, overlooking the Maroochy coast and river valley.
This Gold Coast suburb made the million dollar club for the first time in 2017/18, with its median house price now $1.05 million.
The sale of a waterfront mansion at 8-10 Marseilles Court this year for $9 million also broke the suburb’s sale price record — trumping the $8 million sale achieved in 2009 for a house in the same street.
The resort-style home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms and is on a huge, 2703 sqm riverfront block.
REIQ Gold Coast Zone chairman Andrew Henderson said the new record was not surprising given the Coast’s strong market and he was confident property values would continue to soar.
Andrew Stone and his partner, Naomi Freney, recently bought a five-bedroom house, which they renovated, in Bundall for $620,000.
Mr Stone said he considered it a bargain given how tightly-held the suburb had become and the increase in house prices.
“I think we probably hit pot luck with that place,” Mr Stone said.
“People had been saying that area was going to go up 20 years ago and all of a sudden, it’s growing and there’s not a lot of turnover anymore.”
Ben Latimer of LJ Hooker Southport said Bundall’s transformation into a record-breaking suburb had happened gradually.
“It’s desirable because it’s so close to everything and there’s a good mixture of waterfront and dry blocks,” he said.
Paul Nikolas agrees.
He’s been buying, renovating and selling homes in Bundall for the past six years.
The last house he sold there earned him a profit of around $700,000.
He’s now selling his latest project at 19 Donegal Crescent for a cool $3.995 million.
“I’ve found a niche market here — nice, older properties on the water,” Mr Nikolas said.
The inner Brisbane suburb achieved a new sale price record when a landmark house sold for $5.025 million just last month.
Designed by architect Eric Trewern, the English-inspired home known as Thongabel at 4 Welwyn Crescent captures views of the entire Brisbane City skyline.
The five-bedroom, three storey house had been renovated with architectural features including Tulip Oak timber floors, Italian tiles and travertine.
Other highlights included a library, gym, climate controlled wine cellar, formal office, heated lap pool, heated horizon spa and outdoor space for kids to play.
Just 4km from the CBD and with a number of good Catholic and private schools on offer, Coorparoo has become one of Brisbane’s most sought-after suburbs.
The median house price sits at $875,000, according to CoreLogic.
The tiny, up-and-coming suburb in Brisbane’s inner north made it into the million dollar club for the first time in 2017/18.
Its median house price broke through the $1 million barrier in late 2017 and currently sits at $1.04 million.
In November, 2017, records show the offmarket sale of a house at 119 Nelson Street for $4 million set a new price record for the suburb.
Brisbane’s bayside is a sleeping giant only held back by lack of stock, according to one of Manly’s leading agents.
The suburb set a new sale price record for both houses and units in the past financial year.
Marc Sorrentino of Place Manly recently sold a unit in the seaside suburb for a whopping $1.2 million — smashing the previous record price paid for an apartment there by $345,000.
A couple from Sydney snapped up the luxurious three-bedroom, two-bathroom pad at 301/177 Melville Terrace, which had been advertised for offers over $1.1 million.
The median unit price in Manly, just 15km from Brisbane’s CBD, is $485,000, according to property research firm CoreLogic.
Late last year, Mr Sorrentino sold a family home on a huge, waterfront block at 497 Royal Esplanade for $3.9 million — smashing the suburb record for the sale price of a house.
“I keep saying it’s Australia’s best kept secret, but you watch. The prices are just going to keep going up and up and up,” he said.
“There’s just been a lack of good stock.”
The sale of a beach house in Sunshine Beach for $18 million in March set a new price record for the entire Sunshine Coast region.
The seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom property at 21-23 Webb Road was bought by David Russell, the owner of private equity group Equis Energy.
Just streets away, former tennis star Pat Rafter’s beachfront home sold for $15.2 million to Betty’s Burger founder David Hales, within weeks of the Webb Road sale.
A whopping 1398 units were sold in the Gold Coast’s glitziest suburb in the past financial year — more than any other property type in any other suburb.
It seems only fitting then that the most expensive penthouse Queensland has ever seen is under construction in Surfers Paradise.
Priced at a whopping $41m and spread across two full floor levels, the highest home in the $1.2 billion Spirit 89 building easily tops the list of Queensland’s most expensive penthouses.
The 1899sq m sky home will also be one of the largest in the country, almost twice as large as Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung’s $7.95 shell of a penthouse in the Soul building, and just a fifth smaller than the hyper-exclusive Boyd Residence above ANZ Tower in Sydney — which at $66m is Australia’s most expensive penthouse.
“Without the spire on Q1, it is the tallest residential building in Queensland,” agent Julian Sutherland of Ray White Projects told The Courier-Mail.
The working class suburb in Brisbane’s south experienced the highest capital growth in Queensland in the past 12 months.
The Logan suburb’s median house price climbed nearly 25 per cent to $601,345 in the past financial year.
Underwood’s median house price also jumped a massive 65.6 per cent between May 2008 and May this year — the highest growth of any Brisbane suburb in the past decade.
CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher told The Courier-Mail it was “a bit surprising” given the suburb’s location, 17km from Brisbane’s CBD, but its affordability and access to the highway and Gold Coast made it attractive.
“But its median (house) price is now up over $600,000, so it’s not really that cheap anymore,” Mr Kusher said.
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