Property research | 1 min read

Brisbane heading towards major residential undersupply

Michael Zaghini

A massive infrastructure investment injection, declining apartment supply, and strong employment and population growth are driving demand in Brisbane, resulting in record low rental vacancy rates.

It’s been widely reported that the Brisbane apartment market is now in full recovery mode. Record infrastructure investment, strong employment, and population growth are spurring increased demand for Brisbane real estate.  In combination with a declining apartment supply, these factors have been driving a trend of progressively falling residential vacancy rates across Brisbane since early 2017.

One of the best indicators of the demand and supply balance in residential property markets is monitoring vacancy rates. This is because renters are more readily impacted by and able to respond to underlying market demand and supply realities than owner-occupiers and investors.

To give some background context, vacancy rates below 2.6% are considered to represent a tight and undersupplied residential market. While vacancy rates exceeding 3.4% represent a weak and oversupplied market.

In November 2016 the Brisbane rental market experienced its weakest point in 15 years as the apartment supply reached a peak. However, since then the Brisbane market has gone from strength to strength. As the levels of new supply have fallen and been absorbed, vacancy rates have progressively improved. According to Jones LangLasalle, in the past 12 months alone the number of new apartments for sale in Inner Brisbane has fallen by a staggering 80 per cent.

Brisbane is now considered to be a tight and undersupplied market, given a vacancy rate which fell below 2.5% in May 2019 and was last recorded at 2.3% for October 2019. Given a constrained future supply pipeline, Brisbane vacancy rates are likely to continue on a downward trajectory and remain low for an extended period of time, which is great news for investors in the Inner Brisbane apartment market.