All eyes are now on Queensland’s housing market as it catches up with the New South Wales-Victoria duo amid the fallout from the pandemic, experts say.

Doron Peleg, CEO of RiskWise Property Research, said Queensland is benefiting from the population decline in Victoria, which is already impacting rental markets.

Rental vacancies in central Melbourne are as high as 6.6%, driven by the absence of international students and tourists.

“Investors in Melbourne should be aware and prepared for low rental yields at least for the coming year,” said Mr Peleg.

Rents have also fallen by no less than 11% in the inner-city region of Melbourne.

“In Brisbane, rental vacancy rates have continued to tighten below 1.5%, while Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast both have exceptionally tight rental markets.”

Queensland top spot for investors, interstate buyers

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Victoria lost most residents to Queensland in the first quarter of 2021.

On the other hand, Queensland welcomed the highest number of interstate movers during the period.

A large proportion of the internal migrants came from New South Wales and Victoria.

Pete Wargent, co-founder of BuyersBuyers, said there has been a marked shift towards coastal and lifestyle locations in south east Queensland.

“While state borders have not always been open, even by the end of March there was significant population growth away from Victoria,” said Mr Wargent.

“Queensland has had relatively few restrictions over the past 18 months, and when the opportunity arose, residents made their way to the Sunshine State.”

Mr Wargent said South East Queensland (SEQ) in particular has booming conditions.

“The whole region, from Noosa to the Tweed, is booming, and our buying agents are currently running at a very high capacity,” he said.

“The biggest challenge for buyers is finding inventory, with properties selling exceptionally fast.”

A recent survey by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) showed that three in five investors think Queensland has the best investment prospects during the year.

PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos said SEQ’s main selling point was its billions of dollars worth of major infrastructure projects.

“All of these factors, as well as real estate affordability in South East Queensland and strong interstate migration, are some of the reasons investors are so optimistic about market conditions there,” Koulizos said.

2032 Olympic Games an important driver

Brisbane’s successful bid to host the 2032 Olympics had experts predicting median home prices in the city would triple, but it is just one of the drivers expected to boost Queensland’s property market.

In an analysis, Hotspotting director Terry Ryder said Brisbane was already one of Australia’s emerging markets even before the successful bid was announced.

“The increase in sales activity in Brisbane since late 2020 has been exponential,” said Mr Ryder.

“The markets across the Greater Brisbane area registered sales volumes not seen in more than a decade.”

Mr Ryder said housing demand in Brisbane has already caused a massive surge in median home prices, with million dollar suburbs already growing 20%, while middle and outer ring suburbs growing 10% – 15% .

But Mr Ryder said the SEQ region was already thriving before the pandemic.

“The Gold Coast is particularly targeted by residents of the major cities who are tired of the long and repeated lockdowns,” he said.

“It has also been targeted by expat Aussies escaping coronavirus hotspots abroad and looking for real estate hot spots in Australia.”

Meanwhile, the $20 billion infrastructure boost to the Sunshine Coast has already attracted buyers and investors in the region.

“Just when the market seemed to be waning after very strong price growth, the Olympics decision has come to create a second wave of buyer interest,” said Mr Ryder.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay