QLD HTW Property Clock: December 2019 and the year in review

As we head towards the end of another year, it’s time to take a look at the year that was. Here, we’re breaking down how the Queensland market performed for the last month and what 2020 has in store for the property market.

December 2019

Despite being the haziest month in recent memory due to smoke from ongoing bushfires and grueling heat, December showed that the Queensland market is slowly starting to come out of the (relative) slump it has been in over the past year.


HTW Property Clock December 2019 Houses
HTW Property Clock December 2019: Houses

As you can see, the Brisbane housing market flagged as ‘Start of Recovery’ meaning that the market is starting to bounce back. Herron Todd White believe that much of this can be attributed to the market performing steadily throughout the year, and we’d have to agree.

“We said our region would continue to attract affordability-driven capital city seekers, but values across most markets would relatively remain flat,” HTW said in their report. If the HTW prediction is correct, and we do move into a rising property market in 2020, we can expect a strong performance from South East Queensland markets, and Brisbane in particular.

The Gold Coast market for houses is in a similar position, whilst the Sunshine Coast housing market remains strong at the peak. The presumption would be therefore that the Sunshine Coast market may decline in the new year. We personally are of the view that this will be unlikely and we would expect the Sunshine Coast market to continue to perform strongly through 2020.


HTW Property Clock December 2019 Apartments
HTW Property Clock December 2019: Apartments

It might seem like a terrible thing that the apartments in Brisbane and the Gold Coast are at the bottom of the market according to the property clock above, but do not despair. For buyers, buying at the ‘bottom of the market’ if a purchasers bonanza. It’s obviously a different story for sellers, but it’s not hard to be optimistic when the only way out is up. We expect the Brisbane market to perform strongly in 2020 as it finally follows the Sydney and Melbourne markets up.

How did 2019 perform overall?

To borrow a phrase off HTW, “restrained optimism” has been the best way to describe the Queensland market throughout 2019. With increasing Net Interstate Migration (NIM) compared to ten years ago, the market is beginning to absorb the oversupply of apartments, which is helping push prices slightly higher. This NIM figure is an important one to keep your eye on as we head into 2020, as it usually tracks in tandem with increased real estate values. If it continues to increase, you can expect the market to do similarly.

HTW NIM 1999-2019
HTW Net Interstate Migration (NIM) 1999-2019. The small dip at the end allows for an annualised figure.

All of this occurred despite some rather big shake-ups to the property industry throughout the year, with the fallout from the Banking Royal Commission, interest rate drops and the federal election all playing their part. The aforementioned Royal Commission and the resulting outcomes depressed the property industry country-wide, but the interest rate drops and the Liberal federal election win returned some buyer confidence in the second half of the year, which really re-stabilised the market as a whole. The re-emergence of the Sydney and Melbourne markets from their short but sharp downturn has also contributed to add a far more positive note to the Australian property market as a whole.

We think that throughout Queensland, 2020 will be a particularly promising year. The recent announcement of the 2034 Olympic bid, increasing interstate migration, significant infrastructure projects such as Queens Wharf and an overall increase in confidence in the property market throughout the country are set to make it a great year for owner-occupier buyers and investors alike.

Written: 13 December 2019, Updated: 30 January 2020

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