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What’s in store for 2015

  • Source: Terry Ryder 11/12/2014 

Here’s what I see coming up next year.

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I expect Brisbane to continue its rise.  2014 was a year of recovery for Brisbane markets and that process should continue in 2015.

The places with the strongest momentum are Brisbane Northside, the Moreton Bay Region and Logan City in the south.  We can expect inner-city units to make steady sales, but beware of oversupply.

As I suggested last week, South-East Queensland – Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast – is the nation’s No.1 market entering 2015. The Sunshine Coast has $15 billion in investment driving its transition from a tourist resort to a regional city. The genuine housing markets of the Gold Coast will do plenty of business, but I would avoid the coastal high-rise (permanently).

Toowoomba and Cairns will remain strong – both have considerable growth drivers. Townsville has been sluggish but should improve in 2015.

Investors should continue to avoid Gladstone for the time being, but we may see signs of recovery in centres hurt by the coal downturn – among them Emerald and Mackay.

There was a momentum switch in NSW real estate in 2014. The features in the second half of the year were (1) the biggest Sydney growth was in the middle and outer ring areas; and (2) a number of regional centres emerged with rising markets. In the Sydney metropolitan area in 2015, growth is likely to be led by affordable fringe areas: Camden, Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith. The exception will be the inner-city unit market, where new projects will attract strong sales.  But the strongest growth may come in regional cities. The Central Coast north of Sydney and the Wollongong area south of the capital have already seen big increases. Places further afield will do well in 2015: Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Dubbo, Goulburn and Albury will be among them.

Adelaide has undoubted momentum. There are suburbs with growing sales levels right across the city. The more affordable areas, like the Salisbury LGA in the north, stand out. I don’t expect boom-style growth, but Adelaide should have a solid year. There are also several regional centres with growth markets in South Australia, including Mt Gambier, Murray Bridge and Port Augusta.

Melbourne hasn’t had a boom but it has delivered good growth in the past two years. Now the momentum has shifted from the centre to the outer areas. The Sunshine precinct is strong, as are middle-market areas like Monash City. I expect good 2015 growth in the Whittlesea, Casey, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula LGAs. In the regions, Ballarat and Bendigo will gather strength as major infrastructure, like the $5 billion Regional Rail Link, nears completion.

After a couple of solid years, Perth tapered off in 2014, although growth markets remain. There will still be momentum in 2015 in the cheaper areas like Rockingham. The regions south of Perth will be market leaders, including Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton. The Real Estate Institute of WA says Busselton was No.1 for price growth in 2014 – and that concurs with my own research – but the regional centre with the greatest head of steam is Mandurah.

Darwin is always a difficult market to read. What I do know is that Darwin is one of the nation’s most consistent cities. It has the highest price growth rate among the capital cities, the highest rents and the highest capital city yields. Sales levels have been very consistent over the past two years.

Hobart is quietly picking up pace, although it’s unlikely to break any records on price growth next year.

Canberra continues to get left behind by the other capital cities. News about down-sizing the public service continues to hurt confidence. Steer clear of the Canberra unit market, which has been in steady decline for two years.

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