Brisbane housing market still buoyant in a post-COVID world

By Tracy Pratt, Lawyer at Hillhouse Legal Partners
| 5 min. read

Key takeaways

  • Brisbane property prices did stall at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have bounced back with strong interest from local buyers and those considering an interstate move from Victoria and New South Wales.
  • Historically low interest rates and a decrease in listings of around 20 per cent on pre-COVID numbers, have combined to buoy Brisbane’s property market and this is expected to continue well into the future.
  • Predictions of a housing collapse because of COVID-19 have proven ill-founded with strong interest from buyers across the Brisbane Local Government Area.

Despite projections and fears that COVID-19 would spell disaster for the Brisbane housing market, the data shows the market remaining steadfastly resilient this year, despite an understandable slowdown during lockdown.

As a conveyancing lawyer, I’m regularly asked by real estate agents and homeowners what I feel the market will do. 

So given their expertise, I have spoken to two industry experts for a two-part series to help provide an insight into the current state of the property market.

For part one, I asked James Freudigmann, Co-Founder and Director of PMC Property Buyers to provide an overview of the market.

James said while the Brisbane property market “came to a complete halt” during lockdown in March and April, it bounced back to a sense of normality quite quickly after lockdown was lifted in May.

“Since COVID hit in March 2020, the market has somewhat remained reasonably unperturbed,” Freudigmann explained.  

“When Brisbane went into lockdown, listings dropped by over 60 per cent, sale volumes dropped by a similar amount and anyone who had been searching, decided to sit on the fence and see what would happen. 

“Prior to COVID, the inner-city housing market of Brisbane had been building momentum from September 2019, and people were beginning to get to the point of really chasing opportunities.

“When COVID hit that stopped, however, it appeared to be under control quite quickly in Brisbane and people came straight back into the market in May when lockdown was over. 

“Since then, we have seen the market continue to improve. Prices are back to pre-COVID levels and in most cases, have improved in value.” 

James said there are now a lot of people in the market, boosted by a high level of people from interstate looking to buy in Brisbane.

Combined with listing numbers being down some 50 per cent from pre-COVID listings and 20 per cent on the previous year, he said this has worked to continue to underpin the value of properties in Brisbane.

“The shortage of available supply is forcing people to either compromise on the property they are seeking, renovate the home they are already in or pay a small premium to secure the right property,” James continued. 

“With Queensland’s handling of COVID, and a lot of people cooped up in apartments in Sydney and Melbourne during lockdown, we feel it has opened people’s eyes to the opportunities of working from home or remotely.

“This means they don’t need a huge mortgage in an area of Sydney or Melbourne when they could have a freestanding house in Brisbane for similar, or likely, less money.  For this reason, I think our interstate migration in Brisbane will continue and while our construction supply is quite low, the market should continue to improve. 

“The most popular price point at the moment is the $700,000 - $1,000,000.  Properties within this market range are popular with both investors, home buyers and first home buyers with the average selling time for these properties at 15 to 20 days.

"Areas like Indooroopilly and Chelmer with good school catchments and access to the CBD, properties listed for $1,500,000 - $2,300,000 are also selling generally within three to four weeks which is substantially shorter than the normal days on market which is closer to 55-60.”

Buying interest across the Brisbane Local Government Area has no doubt remained solid this year and it is expected this will continue.

We will bring you part two of this series soon where another property expert will provide their insights on the property market.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.