When’s the best time to buy in Brisbane? What we can learn from the National Property Clock

When thinking about purchasing a new property, one of the most important aspects that new buyers should consider is the state of the market in their area. Is it on a downward trajectory? Are prices looking up? Although many predictors are quite subjective and can change in a heartbeat, the Herron Todd White Property Clock is one predictor that seems to get it right. Their latest report, released this week, finds Brisbane and many of Queensland’s regional markets sitting right at the bottom of the property clock for the apartment market, and adjacent to the bottom of the market for freestanding houses.

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Herron Todd White Property Clock for apartments and units, March 2019
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Herron Todd White Property Clock for houses, March 2019
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Brisbane property clock_houses

So what does this mean for buyers?

While not so great news for those looking to sell their home soon, Brisbane’s spot at the bottom of the property market means right now is an ideal time to buy. Given the cyclical nature of property prices, it won’t be long before the Brisbane market starts to recover, bringing rising property prices with it. In February, Brisbane houses were sitting at the bottom of the market, where come March, our riverside city is now marked at the “start of recovery” point of the clock. While this change is great for sellers looking to fetch a premium price for their product within the next few years, it means time is running out for first-time buyers and investors looking to snap up a deal. If it’s apartments you’re interested in, the change has been slower, and the Brisbane apartment market is only now approaching the bottom of the market.

At the very bottom of the housing clock are many of Queensland’s regional markets, including Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Toowoomba, so now is the ideal time to purchase a property in these markets — especially for first-time buyers or those who aren’t intending to sell an existing property simultaneously. Starting to recover alongside Brisbane is Ipswich, as well as the bulk of the northern coastal regions, including Harvey Bay, Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

It’s not all bad news for sellers though, with the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast markets both near the peak of the market for both freestanding homes and apartments.

Where’s the best spot to buy right now?

The market positioning is a reflection of the area on the whole, and trends in different suburbs within these regions can vary greatly. In Brisbane, middle-ring areas such as Chermside, Kedron and Nundah are offering great options for buyers, with prices and rental yield in these areas both very attractive to buyers. Looking at apartments for sale in Brisbane, your best options to look in suburbs with great local amenities and transport options, like West End and Woolloongabba.

Outside of Brisbane, it’s best to look towards the city centre, with inner-city options in Townsville and Rockhampton providing great opportunities for investors. In Gladstone. house prices over the last six months have increased nearly $40,000, with this trajectory expected to continue in 2019. If looking at purchasing in the Gladstone market, now would be the time before the prices head even further north. The Bundaberg and Mackay markets at the moment are ideal for investors, with the lower house prices meaning the rental income will be almost on-par with the mortgage repayments of the majority of properties in the inner-ring of these markets.

What can we expect next?

According to the Herron Todd White Property Clock, the northern regional housing markets should begin to recover within the next few months, while house prices in Brisbane are still expected to drop lower. While the market on the Gold Coast may start to decline, the Sunshine Coast should reach it’s peak, making the conditions ideal for those looking to sell. If you are planning on buying on the Sunshine Coast, be aware that you may be paying a premium price your new home. When it comes to apartments, Brisbane’s recovery is likely to continue, meaning time is of the essence for those looking to lock in a bargain in the River City. The same can be said for the Cains, Gladstone, Harvey Bay, Ipswich, Mackay and Townsville markets, while those looking to buy an apartment in Rockhampton, Bundaburg or Toowoomba do have a bit more time up their sleeves before prices start to increase again.

Interested in the full report? Check it out here.

Written: 7 March 2019, Updated: 1 October 2019

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