News

Brisbane property market continues to decline: study

11 August 2009

Property is always a hot topic, even moreso with the shadow of the global financial crisis hanging over us all, and QUT researchers have been keeping a close eye on the housing market.

A group of researchers from the School of Urban Development in the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering have been tracking property listings and sales in Brisbane since February this year, and said property values continued to decline in all price brackets.

Professor Chris Eves, who led the study, said the team tracked high value areas, middle value and establishing suburbs.

"The bottom line is that the market is still declining, and the number of homebuyers has not increased according to expectations in relation to the improving economy," he said.

"Our view is that we haven't seen the worst of the decline yet, and property figures in all areas will remain in decline while the unemployment figures are still rising.

"The most significant decline in weekly property listings for sale in the period from February to May was in the middle-value suburbs, which have seen a 17.7 per cent decrease in weekly listings over the past six months."

The first home market has not been as severely affected, and has seen a decline of 9.4 per cent, while houses listed for sale in the upper end of the market dropped by 13.6 per cent.

"We expected the first home-owners grant to have a greater impact; it did have an impact to a certain extent as falls weren't as great as in higher-value areas, but it was still in decline," said Professor Eves.

Professor Eves said there had also been a drop in the ratio between monthly listings and monthly sales in all areas.

"Even from February to May this year, the drop has been significant," he said.

"In low housing markets, 16.2 per cent of homes listed were sold in May, compared with 20.2 per cent in February, and in high value suburbs it fell from 17.4 per cent in February to 10.1 per cent in May.

"However, the fall in the middle value suburbs of Brisbane has not been as significant with a reduction from 25.4 per cent to 23.2 per cent, suggesting that this market is proving more stable than the high and lower end of the Brisbane residential property sector."

Professor Eves also said that although there had been an increase in median house prices over the past two months, this was likely due to a reduction in the number of property listings rather than an increase in buyers.

He said the university's Property Economics group would be updating this research into the housing market on a quarterly basis.

Media contact: Sharon Thompson, QUT media officer - 3138 4494 or sharon.thompson@qut.edu.au