Brisbane has 32,000 more apartments on the way, and there's no way to soften the blow


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Property experts estimate Brisbane is facing the introduction of as many as 32,000 new units to the market, with few ways to combat the continued downward pressure on prices.

Property experts estimate Brisbane is facing the introduction of as many as 32,000 new units to the market, with few ways to combat the continued downward pressure on prices.

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Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson made the estimation based on approvals for apartments in Brisbane for the past two years.

"You could speculate that over the next two years you could have that quantity of apartments coming into the Brisbane market," he said. "You may get some developments that are shelved, put on hold. And that does happen as well."

Dr Wilson said there was no clear way to manage the incoming units.

"That's the conundrum for the developer, isn't it. They're putting supply into a market where supply is already ahead of demand," he said. "We're moving into the peak of the supply cycle. And there's negative factors impacting the demand cycle."

Metropole Property Strategists chief executive Michael Yardney said the genie was out of the bottle, and Brisbane developers, investors, and homeowners simply had to weather the storm.

"What can we do to prevent it? The answer is nothing," he said.

"The problem is there are many vested interest involved with large amounts of money involved with long time-frames, these projects were started two or three years ago or sometimes even longer.

"It's now too far into the process to say speed it up. Or delay it, because there's extra holding and finance and interest costs."

That storm, or "tsunami" as Mr Yardney has taken to calling it, will take the form of falling values and widespread settlement issues.

"There's a tsunami of settlement issues coming," he said. "[The apartments] won't be worth what [buyers] paid for and they won't get any capital growth for five to six years."

Even banks were taking a step back from getting involved in Brisbane high rise apartment buildings, Mr Yardney said.

"Currently the banks are worried and concern so there's a whole lot of blacklists. Banks are only lending to a small percentage in these buildings," he said. "They only want 15 to 20 per cent exposure in each building. So what's going to happen is you'll have difficulty getting finance."

Dr Wilson this attitude from lenders and the banking regulator APRA was exacerbating the issue. "Even if you want to buy a unit in Brisbane you can't get a competitive interest rate or you can't get a loan at all," he said. "So how is the market going to adjust if the banks aren't lending? It doesn't help the Brisbane market that lenders won't lend."

The story Brisbane has 32,000 more apartments on the way, and there's no way to soften the blow first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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