- Posted By David Brown
A lucky 100 Queenslanders got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime tour through the Merle tunnel, a part of the Cross River Rail project. The members of the group got to sign their name on a commemorative board that will be preserved on a wall in the tunnel. The rail project will span 10.2km linking Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, which will include twin tunnels that run under the Brisbane River and CBD. The project is worth $5.4 billion and is in preparation for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024, and ready for operation in 2025. The Merle tunnel is named in honour of Merle Thornton AM, who famously chained herself to the Regatta Hotel bar in 1965 to protest against a ban on women drinking in public bars in Queensland. The project has still got much work to be completed with the tracks soon to be laid in the Merle tunnel, although this is in preparation for the Olympics, the recent population surge that SEQ has faced this is a much needed additional to Brisbane’s infrastructure.
Back in 2018, well before COVID was discovered, Brisbane’s real estate market was breaking records. A one-bedroom apartment sold for $2.625M, earning the title of Brisbane’s most expensive one-bedroom apartment. Now the apartment is back on the market with offers by negotiation. The apartment is located on the 41st level of Riparian Plaza in the heart if Brisbane CBD and has stunning views of the Brisbane River. The apartment features a master retreat with two walk-in robes, and ensuite, balcony, and 3 parking spaces. The 323sqm property from a three-bedroom apartment to a single to make way for a media room, office, and powder room. Even though it seems the market has begun to cool sellers are still hoping people will pay to have their own piece of luxury.
A couple of decades ago a select amount of lots located on Keswick Island, off the coast of Mackay, many jumped at the opportunity of owning their own slice of paradise. Decades on many of those lots still remain bare and are once again back on the market. When the lots first hit the market in the early 2000s promises of an all-tide jetty and a marina were made, but those promises never came to fruition, so many of the owners have decided that after years of waiting it is time to sell. The island is home to a least 10 full-time residents, with many splitting their time between the island paradise and the mainland. Despite the lack of development on the island that was promise, many of the residents don’t want to leave, and no one can blame them. With stunning ocean views and the Great Barrier Reef literally on their doorstep, it is understandable why they call this slice of paradise home.
The elderly owner of an original Broadwater property was hoping she was sitting on a goldmine, after many developers approached her last year, she was hoping to fetch $3 million for her humble home. The property sat on the market for 118 days and she was left with no choice but to reduce the price to $2.55 million. The decision to reduce the price was in the relation to the rising construction costs and labour shortages that has caused many developers to pull back. The lot is zoned for a medium density residential development up to 15m in height. It is located just 300m to the stunning Broadwater, it is in a prime location for future development. The owners still haven’t given up hope as they know just how much the land is worth to developers, as the site is nearly a quarter of an acre and the median house price in Biggera Waters went up 34% last year to $1.1 million.
Brisbane’s rental market is the tightest it has ever been, with vacancy rate well below the national average. Australia’s national vacancy rate is 1% which is the lowest of record for the third consecutive month, Brisbane’s vacancy rate is currently at 0.6%. There is some sense of relief that Brisbane’s proeprty and rental market has been about the bounce back so strongly after the pandemic but there are concerns that the market has gone too far in that direction. It is expected that rental market is going to remain this way for the coming months. Rising interest rates and slowing median prices are driving this rental crisis. Sydney and Melbourne are the only two capitals that have not dropped between the national average over the past 12 months. In May 2021 Sydney and Melbourne’s vacancy rates were 2.6% and 3.6% respectively. Although they did drop the past 12 months they have both remained well above 1%. Compared to Brisbane in May 2021 the vacancy rate was 1.2% and dropped to 0.6% in May 2022. With the current construction crisis it is not expected that these numbers will improve in the coming months.