Research indicates Australia has 13 million spare bedrooms – but it’s not just bedrooms that are empty, with new figures also showing there are 87,000 empty homes in Queensland. According to the ABS, around 87,000 Queensland households own residential properties that aren’t their main dwelling and have not been rented out for at least three of the past 12 months. The data includes properties used for other purposes, such as holiday homes, second residences and dwellings occupied rent-free by family members. Water provider, Urban Utilities, says 19,500 homes across lower South-East Queensland had their water connection on, but no-one has used it for months. Spokeswoman Michelle Cull says 3.3% had low or no water consumption over a three-month period. “Properties may have no or low water usage for a range of reasons including the use of water tanks instead of town water supply, residents could be away from home, or the property could be vacant or uninhabitable,” she says
Brisbane High End Market Booming
Prices for Brisbane homes continue to rise, with new data revealing a surge in $4 million-plus sales in the past month. Brisbane recorded the highest median house price growth in the past 12 months, and the top end of the market is still going strong, according to figures from PropTrack. It shows prices at the top quartile of the market have increased by 52% in the past three years from $703,589 to $1,066,299. PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh says a key factor is people moving to Brisbane chasing a different lifestyle with larger homes. The blue-chip suburbs of Hamilton and Ascot,each recorded increases of 36% between December 2019 and May 2022. Place Ascot’s Drew Davies says there has been a massive shift in what is considered an entry-level home.Recent sales include a new-build home at Ascot which sold for $4.4 million and a knockdown rebuild prospect at Hamilton Hill which sold for $4.9 million.
Quote of the Week
“Tax on [property] turnover means people are in houses that don’t suit their circumstance. So, we would get a better allocation of houses if we replace stamp duty with land tax.”
Centre for Independent Studies chief economist Peter Tulip
Consumers Reject Negative Forecasts
Despite daily media articles declaring that property prices are set to fall 15% or 20% or more, most Australians don’t believe it. That’s according to the latest Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker, which sought consumers’ views on the direction of house prices in the next 12 months. Even in Sydney and Melbourne, where some economists and commentators have declared prices to be falling already, only about 20% of consumers believe prices in their local area will fall in the next 12 months. In Sydney, 50% believe prices will rise and another 28% suggest there will be no change. In Melbourne, 56% expect property prices to increase and 25% expect them to stay the same. Consumers are even more bullish about house prices in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. In Brisbane, 63% expect prices to rise and 23% expect no change. Only 14% expect prices to decline. In Perth, 58% expect price increases and 29% foresee no change to house values. Only 13% expect prices to fall.
94% Of Sellers Make A Profit
The number of properties selling for more than the owners initially paid may have fallen slightly in the past quarter, but overwhelmingly sellers are still coming out on top. CoreLogic’s latest Pain & Gain Report, which analysed about 106,000 property resales in the March 2022 Quarter, recorded a 0.3 percentage point decline in the number of profit-making sales nationally – but the level of gains increased in 10 of the 15 market jurisdictions. CoreLogic’s Head of Research Eliza Owen says 93.7% of sales are still at a profit. Median gains nationally are $290,000, with Sydney sellers recording the biggest median gain of $415,000 and Perth the lowest at a still healthy $119,000. For those who lost out on a sale, the median loss was $33,000. “Our analysis shows the median hold period nationally is nine years,” Owens says. “Since then, Australian dwelling values have increased 70.3%, or the equivalent of around $309,000 in the median dwelling value across Australia.”
Unemployment Sits At Historic Low
Unemployment figures continue to sit at historic lows with another 60,000 people employed last month. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the unemployment rate remains at 3.9% for the third consecutive month. At the same time, the under-employment rate dropped to a 14- year low, at 5.7%. The ABS says average employment growth over the past three months continues to be stronger than the pre-pandemic levels. ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis says the participation rate – people in work or looking for employment – also reached a record high of 66.7%. “For the first time ever, more than two out of three Australians aged 15 and over were participating in the labour force,” Jarvis says. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Andrew McKellar says Australian businesses are facing the second worst workforce shortages in the OECD. BIS Oxford Economics’ Sean Langcake says the low unemployment rate will add to wage pressures