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Developers run the risk of 'over-supply' of the wrong type of apartments.

Developers told to get creative to combat constraints

Developers in Queensland have been told to get creative – or risk flailing in a highly-taxed environment where buyers are already hesitant about entering the market.

And that advice is likely to ring true around the country, with oversupply of apartments emerging as an issue in many capital cities.

A Property Council of Australia breakfast in Brisbane on Friday brought together a panel of experts from across the sector: REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee, Mirvac national product manager Myles Campbell, ARIA Property Group development director Michael Hurley, and AVID Property Group Queensland general manager Bruce Harper, with moderator Brad Jones from Wolter Consulting Group.

Hurley struck a chord with his strong views on inner-city living. ARIA has made its name with a collection of award-winning high-rise developments in Brisbane, notably in South Brisbane, Woolloongabba and Kangaroo Point.

Hurley told the crowd of more than 100 industry figures that if developers weren’t prepared to live in their properties, they shouldn’t be building them.

Buyers, he said, were increasingly savvy and developers needed to make sure their products lived up to how they were advertised.

“A gym in a new residential high-rise is not room for a treadmill and a ball.  To attract buyers, it has to have room for spin classes, kick boxing and pilates,” Hurley said.

“There is a danger of oversupply of the ‘wrong kind’ of apartments and high-rises.

“People are attracted to amenities that are beyond their wildest dreams [for their own homes] – libraries, private dining rooms, gyms and wine cellars – and these are all things that attract people downsizing to apartment living.”

While the Queensland market is generally considered to be a challenging one because of taxation on property – nine new taxes have been introduced in the past three years – there are positive signs on the horizon.

Conisbee discussed trends on realestate.com.au, noting significant increases in property searches in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne since the Federal Election in May.

She also noted growth in regional property markets sparked by mining projects and strong domestic migration to Queensland from other states, with the exception of Victorians (who instead seem to be moving to Hobart).

The general consensus was the Queensland market is in recovery, despite its challenges.

Peta Baldwin is Cannings Purple’s State Director in Queensland and an expert in investor relations and the resources industry, who has worked in in-house roles at Mount Isa Mines, Alcoa and most recently AngloGold Ashanti. Contact Peta

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Main image by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash