Industrial market drives real estate growth in Brisbane

Brisbane’s industrial market will continue to be its star real estate performer, while the flourishing residential apartment sector will lose the investor sheen it has held over Sydney and Melbourne.

They were the predictions of two Brisbane “property prophets” who addressed a Property Council of Australia business lunch on Wednesday.

Two further real estate research experts said Brisbane’s inner city commercial sector was not as dire as some economic experts had predicted, while another said retail spend was anticipated to increase as people continued a trend to decrease their debt levels.

While the overall positive tone about the city’s property market from four key industry players was to be expected, audience members did not seem to share the optimism on some sectors.

Many seemed to hold out little hope of improvement in the commercial market in particular, despite the optimism of Leigh Warner of Jones Lang LaSalle.

“There are prophets of doom and they are not doing the market any favours,” he said.

“There is a 15.5 per cent vacancy rate currently but it is going to be lower at the end of the year.”

While many did not agree with Mr Warner’s predictions, RP Data’s Tim Lawless predicted a strengthening residential market for investors, which was much more popularly received.

“House yields in Brisbane are the highest in any capital city and units the second highest,” he said.

“Yields are still pretty healthy here but they are moving into an area where they are less attractive.”

According to Colliers International research director Mark Courtney, the city’s industrial sector remains strong due to a scarcity of supply.

“That will remain the case for another year and industrial is the star performer of the Brisbane property market,” he said.

In retail, Savills research director Paul Day said consumer sentiment was slowly returning following the global financial crisis.

“All these big brands come in and it lifts our game, retail is constantly reinventing itself,” he said.

“Aussie retailers are as good as anyone in the world.”

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