Brisbane Affordable Market Overview Q2 2011

As the debate on the affordability of residential property continues, PRD Research has analysed the affordable sub $500,000 market within Brisbane over the past five years. Noticeably over this period, the Brisbane market has seen a shift in what affordable price points account for the majority of transactions. During the 2005 half year to December, the sub $500,000 price point represented the majority of Brisbanes total house market transactions accounting for 77% of sales. Most recently during the December 2010 half year however, this price point accounted for just 41% of total sales.

Analysis of the affordable market throughout the December 2010 half year has revealed the most active price range was defined within $300,000 to $499,999, accounting for 2,508 sales. The corresponding period in 2005 however, saw the lower $200,000 to $399,999 price range absorbing the bulk of sales at 5,378 transactions. This transition in the dominant affordable price points is viewed as a natural shift associated with increasing prices, taking into account wage growth and inflation.

Following the 2006 to 2007 boom the prospect of buying a house within the $200,000 to $299,999 range within a practical distance of the CBD was no longer a viable option. As a result, the implication of increasing property prices, cost of living and cost of debt, is a trend seeing younger and more price sensitive purchasers turning to units and townhouses in more attractive areas as a more feasible property purchase. While units and townhouses provide residents with an affordable alternative, they are also very appealing to purchasers as they have less of an impact on lifestyle due to the low maintenance and generally strong amenity within close proximity to the property.

Purchasers in the affordable unit market comprise a mix of demographics including empty nesters looking to downgrade, investors and younger residents. People are becoming less inclined to make purchases which adversely affect their lifestyle and therefore units, representing an affordable compromise, are becoming more popular.
PRD has mapped the suburbs of Brisbane which recorded the highest volume of sales within $300,000 to $399,999 for both houses and units over the December 2010 half year. Predictably this study has indicated most houses that sold within this price range were located around a 15km radius from the CBD, nestled along major transport corridors. On the other hand affordable units are primarily available within a five to ten kilometre radius of the Brisbane CBD.