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CONFIDENCE in Brisbane’s housing market has hit its strongest level in months amid growing belief that a rebalance against southern capitals is underway.

Buyers hit by affordability pains and capital growth slowdown in Sydney and Melbourne had already triggered a flight of capital north, according to experts.

Property Investment Professionals of Australia chair Ben Kingsley said “Brisbane and Queensland is the next best bet” given its “affordable buying and good yields”.

“Sentiment is definitely on the positive side and there is a sense of urgency,” he said.

“I think it is real … Whether they’re owner occupiers or investors, they’re now getting FOMO (fear of missing out) … It’s simply very difficult to get another million or more from the bank for a Sydney purchase, but to service $750-800,000 for Brisbane might be easier.”

Alex Jordan of McGrath Estate Agents – Paddington said the market began to pick up in late July.

“We were fairly flat until about August and then it started to really build. We’re seeing more buyer inquiries, better numbers through open houses, there seems to be more confidence and we’re starting to see some price growth … If this trend continues I think we will see rebalancing.”

Affordability and rental yields were key drivers of demand in Brisbane.

Properties that were unable to sell last year were coming back on the market this spring, he said, to find much stronger interest.

“Relistings are rising, and a lot of listings offered in August have been sold. It’s now getting to the point where the stock is starting to tighten again. It’s very different to early this year, there’s a fundamental shift in confidence.”

Analyst Lachlan Walker of Place Projects agreed that some areas were not able to get properties to market fast enough to meet demand.

“We’ve got a long way to catch up to Sydney, but Sydney has come to the point where it’s starting to plateau which for Brisbane is a great opportunity given its affordability. Queensland always goes through long periods of stability before a lift in growth so this could be one of those times.”

John and Lisa King have been buoyed by the lift in buyer demand, having just listed their five bedroom family home for sale a week ago.

“It seems to be a bit popular,” Mr King said who listed in Spring “mostly because we were thinking to make the sale go a bit quicker”.

“This time of year people want to buy and settle before Christmas. That gives them only six or so weeks.”


Sophie Foster, Real Estate (online), 1 October 2017