Brisbane faces severe apartment supply crisis

Urgent government action needed, Property Council says

Brisbane faces severe apartment supply crisis


By Mina Martin

The Property Council of Australia’s Queensland division is sounding the alarm on a potential collapse in Brisbane’s apartment market.

Independent research commissioned by the council indicated that without prompt government intervention, the city’s apartment supply could significantly diminish, potentially reaching zero projects under construction post-2025.

“This research raises serious concerns over the future of Brisbane’s apartment stock,” said Jess Caire, Queensland executive director of the Property Council.

Current supply far below demand

The statistics are stark: Brisbane’s development pipeline has become critically constrained, with new apartment completions plummeting from previous years. Currently, less than 3,000 apartments are under construction in 2024, expected to halve by 2025.

“If all the projects under construction proceed, it will only bring 4,356 dwellings to market, well short of the 7,500 attached dwellings needed for Brisbane each year according to the government’s South East Queensland Regional Plan,” Caire said.

Call for regulatory reform

The Property Council is urging the government to remove several tax and regulatory barriers that hinder housing development, arguing that these changes are essential for rejuvenating the apartment construction sector.

“Navigating planning frameworks and securing pre-sales and complex funding arrangements, all while navigating the minefield of complicated and costly taxation settings takes years and all has to be done before any ground is broken,” Caire said.

To stimulate development, the Property Council recommended eliminating prohibitive foreign investor taxes and expanding land tax concessions, particularly for the burgeoning build-to-rent sector.

“Abandoning prohibitive foreign investor taxes that continue to drive developers with a proportion of foreign ownership out of Queensland would go far,” Caire said. “Encouraging this investment to locate their capital in Queensland will help kick-start much-needed new apartment projects.”

The council also suggested introducing off-the-plan stamp duty concessions to boost pre-sales, a critical step in converting speculative projects into completed developments.

“Further introducing off-the-plan stamp duty concessions for buyers who choose to enter into contracts for apartments will increase the pre-sales that are key in turning speculative supply into completed projects and roofs over people's heads,” Caire said.

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