Record Waits for Queensland Sites to Settle

The time it takes a residential lot in south-east Queensland to settle has tripled in less than two years, with the chronic shortage of sites blamed for the blow-out.

According to the RPM SEQ Property Research Report, buyers are waiting 208 days after signing a contract to settle on residential lots.

This is more than double the median of 96 days buyers had to wait in 2021 and more than three times the 67 days it took to settle land purchases in 2020.

The interstate migration boom and labour shortages are factors, researchers said, the biggest issue is the release of registered land lots falling short of market expectation and demand.

The report shows that despite construction in Queensland approaching the record levels of 2016, with 40,290 homes under construction, the release of land remains well below average.

South-east Queensland recorded 17,583 lot registrations in the 12 months to December last year, a figure that comprises urban and large-lot residential land, as well as unit lots. This is well down from the peak of 31,545 in 2017—the figures have been falling steadily every year since then.

“Despite record construction activity across the state, south-east Queensland is failing to keep up with demand for residential lots,” said RPM Group Queensland managing director Clinton Trezise said.

“This is partly due to the combined impact of sustained demand, material shortages and labour constraints. However, the key issue remains a shortage of development sites coming to the market in high demand areas.”

The RPM report shows that south-east Queensland’s indicative land supply appears robust, with a combined 29,208ha of broadhectare sites earmarked for the development of 399,130 homes.

Logan and Ipswich have the lion’s shares of this land. Together, these two areas account for more than half of the south-east’s combined home yield.

▲ More than half the land supply for the region will come from Ipswich and Logan.

However, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, the lifestyle markets that are among the most in demand by interstate buyers, have about 1,00ha of broadhectare sites each that could be developed to yield 27, 434 and 56,497 residences respectively. These markets together account for just over 21 per cent of the combined home yield.

The RPM report also details the pressure on the rental market amid the south-east’s population boom with data showing a significant decrease in the number of bonds held by the Rental Tenancies Authority over the past year.

Brisbane was the only local government area to record an increase in bonds, which indicates more homes entered the rental pool during the year, RPG said.

The biggest falls in percentage terms were recorded in Somerset and the Lockyer Valley, at 12 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

However, the Gold Coast led the charge by number with a massive 3469 fewer rental bonds for the 12 months to the end of December—a fall of 4 per cent.

Sunshine Coast had 1502 fewer rental bonds, down 5 per cent, while Moreton Bay bonds were down by 1500 or 3 per cent.

“These decreases have obviously had a knock-on effect on average rents across the region,” Trezise said.

▲ The Gold Coast had 3469 fewer rental bonds for the 12 months to the end of December.

Rents on the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay have increased by 19 per cent across all homes. And while vacancy rates across the state eased slightly in December, the most recent quarter’s data found that that there were 6758 fewer bonds held across southe-ast Queensland than the same time last year.

Queensland recorded 55,418 interstate arrivals over the 12 months leading up to June 2022, the most of any state, with the majority of those settling in the south-east corner.

The RPM report shows that affordability remains a key attraction for interstate buyers with the cheapest land closest to Brisbane at Doolandella (average price $414,000), 20 minutes from the city; followed by Logan Reserve ($335,000) which is 30 minutes from the city.

The cheapest land closest to the Melbourne CBD is $530,000 at Greenvale which is under 30 minutes from the city, while in Sydney lots at Marsden Park, 40 minutes from the city, are averaging $910,000.

However, the RPM report notes that, at the current rate of land releases, south-east Queensland will struggle to meet the estimated 30,640 new dwellings a year needed to cater for the expected population growth.

“Amid the ongoing capacity constraints, there is clearly a need for statutory bodies to release more land to ease the pressure on buyers,” Trezise said.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor

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