Brisbane unit prices hit a record high. Houses are set to follow suit

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Brisbane unit prices hit a record high. Houses are set to follow suit

By Sarah Webb

Brisbane house prices are on track to reach a new record high by the end of 2023, while unit prices have already reached a fresh peak.

Brisbane’s median house price rose 1.4 per cent to $848,752 in the September quarter, and is just 1 per cent below its June quarter 2022 peak, Domain’s latest House Price Report, released on Thursday, showed.

Brisbane unit prices are at a record high.

Brisbane unit prices are at a record high.Credit: Adam Ferguson

Steady growth over the past nine months has helped houses recoup $39,000 of the $47,000 value lost during the 2022 downturn, the report said.

Brisbane unit prices could sail past the $500,000 median mark in a matter of weeks.

The median unit price climbed 1.7 per cent over the past three months and 7.8 per cent over the past year to reach a record $495,143 – making the city one of only two capitals to achieve a unit price record over the quarter.

Experts attributed the growth to increased interstate migration, rising first home buyer rates and airtight stock levels, with more price climbs predicted until at least the end of the year.

Dr Nicola Powell, Domain chief of research and economics, said while the data revealed the overall pulling power of the Queensland capital across both markets, she felt the unit sector’s performance read like a dramatic comeback tale.

“When you think back over the past 10 years to when we had that heightened level of unit supply and it felt like there was no end in sight, it’s quite a remarkable statement to say prices are now at record highs,” said Powell.


“It also says a lot about affordability and how prices have changed so much. While the city is still more affordable than Sydney, Brisbane house medians were under $600,000 pre-pandemic.”


Dr Powell said the tight rental market and a lack of supply were applying pressure to property prices, as the city’s stock levels are 45 per cent below the five-year average.

“That is massive and that will push up pricing … but there are tailwinds influencing south-east Queensland overall and it’s that liveability factor and greater affordability in comparison to southern cities,” she said, adding the Olympic Games deadline in 2032 gives Queensland a chance to deliver all the infrastructure it needs.

“If done right, south-east Queensland could become the best connected city in Australia if we look at the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, the Gold Coast as one designated chunk of land.”

Dr Powell said construction costs, price challenges for first home buyers and new supply deficits remained the city’s biggest hurdles.

PRD chief economist, Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo, said the city’s liveability and the changing mindsets of buyers had pushed Brisbane unit prices north, with a rising number of families viewing apartment living as a viable option.

Brisbane property prices are likely to hit new records.

Brisbane property prices are likely to hit new records.Credit: Adam Ferguson

She said while prices had risen rapidly over the past few years, the fact you could buy a riverside apartment with water views for less than $1 million showed how much bang for buck the capital offered.

“You can’t get that in Sydney … and when we talk about Brisbane’s property market we often forget about the liveability and tranquillity here,” Dr Mardiasmo said.

“So our forecast is that prices will continue to go up.”

Units in the Springwood-Kingston statistical region clocked the biggest quarterly increase after a 13.3 per cent hike pushed medians to just over $340,000.

Brisbane home buyers can live near the water for a lower price than in Sydney.

Brisbane home buyers can live near the water for a lower price than in Sydney.Credit: Adam Ferguson

Carindale claimed the greatest price rise for houses, with a quarterly increase of 7.3 per cent sending the median to $1.25 million.

Brisbane’s inner west region remains the most expensive place to buy a house after a 2.8 per cent jump pushed the median to $1,575,000, while the priciest patch to buy a unit is Brisbane’s inner east at $685,000.

“Units have been such an outstanding performer recently,” said Haesley Cush, director of Ray White New Farm, Bulimba, Toowong and Clayfield.


“Prices were so low for so long, so when people looked at the Brisbane inner city, the disparity in value between units and houses was extreme.”

He said rising rents had also sparked a surge of investors and first home buyers.

“Interstate migration is still massive, and we have an increasing number of kiwis coming over too. Our 10-year outlook is unbelievable,” he said.

Place Bulimba lead agent Chris Rice said affordability had fuelled an uptick in medium density demand in his inner city pocket, with interstate interest on the rise after a brief slump last year.

He said downsizers were driving apartment demand, with a lack of stock adding fuel to price growth.

“One case study I have that reflects that unit growth is at 21 Thorpe St in Balmoral. We sold townhouses at number five and number three there for $838,000 and $800,000 (respectively). Recently, I sold number four – which is almost identical to number five – for $865,000,” Mr Rice said.

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