YEAR AHEAD: Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Bell is optimistic about business opportunities in the city in 2018.
IT’S going to be a ‘defining year’ for business in Ipswich.
Boutique restaurants and cafes, speciality shops and niche market-based businesses are already cashing in on the CBD facelift but outside the city centre, investors are spying potential in growing markets.
Confidence in the building and construction sector, a $150m cash splash on the Ipswich Mall and healthy competition in food, entertainment and hospitality businesses is sparking a bright 12 months for the city.
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Bell said he was looking forward to seeing the Ipswich business sector blossom in 2018.
“The city heart precinct is going to feature very strongly but having said that a lot of business will take a little time to settle and build their profile and clientele,” Mr Bell said.
“I think all businesses would accept that takes time. Momentum will continue to build in 2018.
“In particular hospitality and retail types businesses are finding improved opportunities for business in the Ipswich CBD.”
He said the focus on the CBD redevelopment played a significant role in encouraging business confidence.
“I observed local business struggle a few years back but what we are seeing now, particularly with the confidence the council is showing with the $150 million in the CBD, is that people are being drawn back,” Mr Bell said.
“There will always be a strong market for business competing outside the CBD but with the types of entertainment, retail and hospitality type precincts that are being created, the opportunity for small business in retail and hospitality is just going to continue to grow. 2018 is going to be a defining year for business in Ipswich.”
Mr Bell said while many businesses were making the most of the opportunities to strengthen within the city, others were facing challenges not exclusive to Ipswich.
“There are a lot of small businesses that truly operate on the margin. We need to be cautious because we have enjoyed a relatively low cost of debt so small business, in particular, will have to watch their balance sheet in the next 12 to 24 months,” he said. “If we see an asset squeeze and interest rates starting to shift upwards, there is some cause for concern for those in the margin.”
Local business heading overseas
SMALL businesses which have already secured their hold on the Ipswich market are increasingly looking to overseas consumers to sell their goods.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell predicts 2018 will be a year of strong growth for small business exporters.
Ms Carnell said Australia’s International Business Survey 2017 showed greater confidence among businesses that were already exporting.
In agriculture and wholesaling, two thirds of businesses believe the outlook is better than the previous two years.
China, the United States and United Kingdom have been identified as markets where revenue growth is likely to be strong.
“Australia is seeing increased growth in exports and small businesses are leading the way,” Ms Carnell said.
“Nearly 88 per cent of Australian exporters are small-medium enterprises.
“An increasing number of firms are ‘born global’, which means they’re exporting at the very beginning.”
Ms Carnell said the survey findings matched Efic’s exporter sentiment index from August, which showed two thirds of respondents expected future sales revenue to increase
Originally Published: www.qt.com.au
Rush to spend big in Greater Springfield
PREMIUM properties across Greater Springfield are in such high demand that local real estate agents are being inundated with offers at an unprecedented rate.
And if the recent sale of 12 Foreshore Drive is anything to go by, it looks to be a seller’s market.
McGrath principal Tracey Caruana sold the Springfield Lakes home in November for $742,000 netting the seller close to a $100,000 profit. They bought the two-storey, four-bedder in 2015 for $650,000.
The median sale price for four-bedroom homes in Springfield Lakes is $465,000.
Ms Caruana has sold homes in the area for 12 years, and said selling a house for more than $700,000 used to be “a hard slog”.
This one had four multiple offers after its first open home.
“I’ve never seen this before,” Ms Caruana said.
“We don’t normally see this type of interest in the high end market of Springfield and Springfield Lakes, but we are finding that more people are interested in these type of large executive-style homes.”
She credited the sale to the “superior fixtures” and “wow factor” of the two-storey Plantation Home situated on a 576 sqm block.
With a chef’s kitchen, butler’s pantry, fingerprint security technology, solar panels and solar hot water, the home was marketed as having “everything you need”.
Ms Caruana said the local supply of high-end properties was not keeping up with demand.
“We have a waiting list of people wanting premium, high end properties,” she said.
“I’m seeing people pounce on anything over $700,000 as soon as it goes on the market.
“It never used to be that way. You’d sit at an open home just watching the sky.”
She credited an influx of executives and families wanting larger block sizes for the bolstered interest in larger, more expensive properties.
Movement in the Augustine Heights market was also contributing.
“They want space for a trampoline and a swing set in the backyard which you can’t do with a 300 sqm block,” she said.
Ms Caruana said interest in the top end would help increase property values across the board. “The upper end drives the rest of the market,” she said.
“If the upper end moves up it pulls the rest of the market up. It’s a significant change, but definitely a positive one.
“If the trend continues at the current rate and the current interest remains, then I would at least expect to see continual growth across Greater Springfield.”
The sale of an Augustine Heights property that was only on the market for one day took the record for the speediest sale of 2017.
Brookwater Residential agent Irena Marasea secured the $900,000 December sale. It even inspired her to have ‘sold in one day’ stickers created. Ms Marasea holds the $1.4 million price record for Brookwater set in 2016.
Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au
Ipswich Mall ready for re-construction
The wrecking ball and dozers moved into the derelict site mid last year, demolishing what used to be the heart of the city, ready for a fresh new look to begin evolving in 2018.
The new Ipswich City Council administration building, the future food and beverage precinct and parts of Murphy’s Pub are all ready for re-construction to begin in the first part of the year.
Murphy’s Pub in Union Place has been deconstructed in consultation with heritage experts, with all non-original elements removed and all historically-significant elements either on-site or in storage ahead of restoration.
Expressions of Interest for the rebuilding project have now been received and it is anticipated that the tenders will be advised shortly.
Work has also been completed to restore the Bremer St footpath with pedestrian access now available.
Originally Published: www.qt.com.au
$900,000 Ipswich home sets record with speed of sale
AN AUGUSTINE Heights home has been snapped up by eager buyers for $900,000 just one day after it was put on the market.
The sale of the five bedroom, three-bathroom home is believed to be the quickest in the area.
It was also another feather in the cap of Brookwater Residential agent, Irena Marasea.
Ms Marasea, who last year set the price record with a $1.4 million sale in Brookwater, attributed the fast sale to the depth of her buyer database.
With a second kitchenette and an additional double garage, Ms Marasea said it was a unique property that appealed to a certain couple.
“These buyers had a particular requirement and this house really ticked all of their boxes,” she said.
The sale of the home was a straight-forward one.
“I met with the owners and they wanted to see what I thought of their property,” she said.
“They were surprised and taken back at the value of the appraisal I’d given them.”
The home was put on the market and within one day the buyers, Victoria and Ian, had fallen in love with it.
“I could just see that these buyers, it was for them, I knew they would like it – their lifestyle would fit,” Ms Marasea said.
“It was a really nice sale for all parties.”
The couple had spent about eight months with Ms Marasea searching for the right property.
She believes by understanding the couple’s ideas and wishes, the sale was completed quickly and easily.
Ms Marasea has worked as a real estate agent in the area for about 10 years.
She recalls the days when about five cars used the Centenary Motorway, a far cry from the bustling metropolis the Greater Springfield region is becoming.
With last year’s $1.4 million Brookwater sale, Ms Marasea predicts the region will continue growing.
“I think definitely in a positive direction, people love the idea of living there,” she said.
“You’ve got lots of beautiful houses with swimming pools, lots of land available.”
Her record-breaking time on the market led Ms Marasea to create ‘sold in one day’ stickers.
Originally Published: www.qt.com.au