The oversupply of apartments in the Brisbane market has been a hot topic in recent months but experts are now predicting a looming undersupply within five years.
Research by PRDnationwide puts the shortfall at 15,500 apartments by 2023.
“There’s always going to be a two to three-year horizon for developers to be making changes and … this year there’s a bit of a low but it flings back up a little bit in 2020,” PRDnationwide research analyst Josh Mangleson said.
“That’s reflective of the fact that developers put on their brakes in the last year or so.”
The latest Place Advisory Apartment Report said Brisbane was now on the “cusp of change” after a period of significant construction.
“This did, however, temporarily create a supply surplus and subsequent subdued price growth in the region was widely recognised during this period,” the report said.
“Simultaneous strengthening of the local economy and increasing population growth is seeing supply absorption occur and the rental market strengthen in parallel — helping inner Brisbane’s property market transition into a new growth cycle.”
Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker said the market faced a similar scenario in 2007-2008 when the global financial crisis hit and supply tightened substantially.
“All the projects that were currently in the market place were slowly getting absorbed and there was no future supply coming,” Mr Walker said.
“The first new large release following the GFC, was in 2010 and that was over in Hamilton Harbour, which then started that next cycle that we saw, which follows the next five years.
“In that five-year period, we probably caught back the demand, or the supply imbalance between 2008 and 2011 and then probably overshot that a little bit through 2015-2016.’’
But Mr Walker said bureaucratic measures taken to curve the market place has pushed it back too far.
“We’ve gone past that period of balance and we’re now in a market where it’s almost impossible to get finance, unless you’re very, very well heeled,” he said.
“Brisbane is the most difficult place to deliver any new stock, so those who do get into the market place in the next 12 months are going to do well but there will be a lot that just won’t happen.
“In 12 months our current supply levels will be absorbed and we will be in the same sort of space as 2009, where there’s just nothing around and it will take years to catch that up again.”
Mr Walker said if banks had a more controlled and sustained approach to the financial situation, more quality local developers would be building.
“If negative gearing is removed from the landscape as well, then we’re in a situation where good quality product is going to be sold well,” he said.
“The cheaper investment product, which doesn’t really have a secondary market place outside of an investor, that’s going to struggle a bit, but that good solid stuff that investors buy that can be sold back to an owner- occupier in the future, that’s going to be the product that goes really well and continues to see price growth.’’