High-density apartments and investor-focused projects have dominated the south-east Queensland residential development market over the past few years. But according to Ray White Special Projects (Qld) Property Analyst Will Lawler, the past year has produced a notable shift in the market place.
Here, we have reproduced comments by Will Lawler, from the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s recent news and publications, who says the re-emergence of the owner-occupier buyer group has shifted the focus of developers:
“Throughout 2015, we saw a notable shift in the market place, with an increase in demand from developers seeking boutique townhouse and apartment projects as well as traditional residential subdivision sites focused towards owner occupiers.”
Mr Lawler also points to the lending restrictions on investors introduced by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in late 2014, which led to a decreased in demand from investors.
“This belief has recently been reinforced by housing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which illustrates that throughout 2015 the value of loan approvals for investors decreased by 6 per cent, with loans for owner occupiers in December 2015 now making up 65 per cent of total mortgages.”
Lawler cites a range of emerging trends in the owner-occupier oriented developments, including a desire for projects to be situated in premium suburbs relative to their locations – and Brisbane’s middle and inner-city ring suburbs such as New Farm and Everton Park have been in high demand.
Also highly sought after, says Lawler, is that apartments and townhouse developments are boutique in design (fewer than 80 dwellings), of high quality, and with good accessibility to established infrastructure – preferably within walking distance to shops and cafés.
Rochedale, Bridgeman Downs and Thornlands have also been in high demand for land subdivision, which Mr Lawler says has produced “an escalation in sale prices as a direct result of the end product predominantly comprising of high quality land subdivisions strongly focused towards owner occupiers”.
The rise owner-occupier buyer group will continue into the year ahead, according to Lawler, and will lead to a high demand for development sites.