‘Calm down’: Brisbane property demand now double pre-pandemic

Brisbane city skyline and Brisbane river at twilight

The sky won’t be falling on Brisbane property any time soon with demand still double what it was pre-pandemic.

Latest data shows Brisbane property demand – for both rentals and purchases – is still surging at double what it was pre-pandemic, despite having ‘calmed down’ in recent months.

Brisbane’s property demand – for both homes for rent and those available to purchase – is chugging along at double the pace it was before Covid-19 caused a mega-surge in the market, according to REA Group executive manager economic research Cameron Kusher.

“The big thing is just how strong demand is,” he said. “Demand is not anywhere near as strong as it was late last year to earlier this year, but it’s still very elevated compared to what we were seeing before the pandemic. That speaks to the fact that people do still have a lot of money, they just obviously haven’t found the right property yet.”

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Cameron Kusher, REA Group Executive Manager – Economic Research

He said while rental demand was highly seasonal, there had been a big escalation in potential renters per listing in Brisbane “and we think that’s going to continue particularly as more people start coming back into the country”.

The number of potential buyers per listing in Brisbane was 13 people – the lowest it has been all year and one person shy of April’s 14 people, according to REA Group data.

Brisbane’s overall potential buyers per listing peak was in December last year when it sat at 17, though the current August 2022 figure of 13 is still almost double what it was in February 2020 when the pandemic fallout first began.

“The number of potential buyers is elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels but it has drifted lower,” Mr Kusher said, with rental demand also elevated though it too had eased from recent highs.

Brisbane is showing strong staying power in the minds of renters and buyers. Picture Brisbane City Council.

“When we look at potential renters per listing in particular, a lot of that has been driven by the fact that the supply of rental stock has reduced dramatically over the last 12-18 months,” he said.

“It’s moved really from regionally being very strong before but now in the capital city area, we’re seeing a big reduction in rental listings, properties are leasing very quickly and rents are starting to climb even faster.”

Mr Kusher said Brisbane had “calmed down”.

“The reality is that the market will move slow further over the coming months, but I’d say at the moment, things have just calmed down from the real strength we’ve seen over the last couple of years.”

He said house sales in Brisbane were down -11.7 per cent so far this year compared to last, while units sales were up 0.4 per cent.

“We are seeing the slowdown is more prevalent for houses, and this is really a case that as interest rates have risen, people’s borrowing capacities have reduced. Whilst people might still want a house, they can’t necessarily afford a house, so we are seeing the unit market hold up better.”

Mr Kusher said unit prices had also grown at a much slower pace than house prices over the last few years.

“I wouldn’t be surprised over the next few months if we see unit prices starting to fall but slowing at a much slower pace than the slowdown we’ve seen for houses.”


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