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
Queensland Attracts UK Property Seekers
Research by realestate.com.au showed that searches for property in Queensland climbed by nearly a third in December compared to the same period in the previous year. This was driven largely by British people who are flocking to one of the most populous states in the country, according to a report by news.com.au.
The study found that property searches originating from the UK increased 31%, with the Sunshine Coast suburbs of Noosa Heads, Buderim and Mooloolaba as popular picks among potential buyers.
New Farm, Redcliffe and North Lakes, meanwhile, topped the list of the most in-demand suburbs in Brisbane.
Nerida Conisbee, Realestate.com.au chief economist, said Queensland, specifically its beachside properties, held the top spot in terms of total search activity among UK property seekers.
“The Hemsworth impact seems to be impacting the view of Byron Bay with this the most searched by UK property seekers in December 2018 — the number tripling from December 2017,” she said.
Universal Buyers Agents Director Darren Piper said that the chaos surrounding Brexit in Britain was enticing overseas buyers to explore the Australian property market.
“House prices in London have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row. It’s natural for investors to look for safe havens in times of uncertainty,” he said.
Australia’s property market has consistently grown over the past decade, with homes in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne reaching record prices.
“It’s the perfect time for people to get their foot in the door and it’s a great time as a homeowner to explore your options, maybe make a move or stay the course,” said Piper.
Where it’s cheaper to buy than rent: It’s Ipswich’s time to shine
SHUT out of the Brisbane market? Don’t despair. You can still bag a bargain in Ipswich as it shakes off its stigma as the city’s poor cousin.
IT HAS played second fiddle to Brisbane for years, but finally, it is Ipswich’s time to shine.
Long regarded as the river city’s poor cousin, the “Switch” has shaken off its stigma and is forging a name for itself as the state’s property bargain capital — where you can get a house for less than your weekly rent.
New figures from realestate.com.au have revealed the suburbs across Queensland where it is now cheaper to buy than rent and eight of the top 20 are in the Ipswich growth corridor.
In Ebbw Vale, where the median house price is $248,500, it works out to be $386 cheaper to own a home in the suburb than to rent one.
And in the burgeoning masterplanned community of Ripley, where it costs $1600 a month on average to rent of home, it only costs $1230 a month on average to own one.
It comes as Brisbane’s housing market has recorded its strongest annual rise in rents in three years.
After months of flat growth in rental properties, analysis of the latest CoreLogic data by realestate.com.au shows house rents increased 2.4 per cent in 2018, while the cost of leasing a unit became 2.6 per cent more expensive.
A rare combination of low interest rates, a rising population and fewer investors and new developments is starting to put upward pressure on rents in the sunshine state and industry experts say now is the time for long-term renters to buy.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the only way was up for rents in the city, as underlying demand in the Brisbane market began to absorb rental supply.
Ms Conisbee said she was surprised by the “sheer number of suburbs” in greater Brisbane where it was cheaper to buy than rent.
“There’s quite a large number of them,” she said.
“Now is actually a good time to look to buy because we are looking to see further increases in rental levels.
“The reason being we have fewer new developments going ahead and also fewer investors in the market.”
Caitlin and Bryn Williams decided to buy a home in Ripley when they realised they could pay about the same in loan repayments as they were in rent.
After previously renting in Ipswich, they bought a brand new, four-bedroom house for just over $350,000 in the Ecco Ripley estate, where stage one of the $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre has just been completed.
“We’re happy not to be renting anymore,” Mrs Williams said.
“What we were paying in rent, we were paying off someone else’s mortgage.”
Ripley is on track to become Australia’s biggest masterplanned community — home to 120,000 by 2041.
CoreLogic figures show the suburb’s median house price has grown by nearly 20 per cent in the past 12 months.
Mohammad Bassiri of Ray White Springfield Lakes said people were starting to realise it worked out cheaper or just as expensive to buy a home in the Ipswich region as it was to rent one.
Mr Bassiri said a friend of his recently moved from a rental at Springfield Lakes to buy a three-bedroom house at South Ripley for $320,000 because he realised the mortgage repayments were the same as his rent payments.
WHERE IT IS CHEAPER TO BUY THAN RENT IN QLD
Suburb Median house price Monthly loan repayment Monthly rent Difference
1. Lamb Island $110,000 $405 $997 $592
2. Macleay Island $182,000 $669 $1,192 $523
3. Russell Island $165,000 $607 $1,083 $476
4. Kilcoy $272,000 $1000 $1,452 $452
5. Mundoolun $576,000 $2,118 $2,548 $430
6. Laidley $237,500 $873 $1,300 $427
7. Woodford $327,250 $1,204 $1,603 $399
8. Plainland $375,000 $1,379 $1,768 $389
9. Ebbw Vale $248,500 $914 $1,300 $386
10. Ripley $335,000 $1,232 $1,603 $371
11. One Mile $242,500 $892 $1,257 $365
12. Blackstone $314,000 $1,155 $1,517 $362
13. Leichhardt $243,375 $895 $1,257 $362
14. Lowood $251,750 $926 $1,278 $352
15. Brendale $270,000 $993 $1,343 $350
16. Riverview $238,500 $877 $1,213 $336
17. Cedar Vale $498,000 $1,832 $2,167 $335
18. Goodna $310,500 $1,142 $1,473 $331
19. Loganholme $381,900 $1,405 $1,733 $328
20. Redbank $329,000 $1,210 $1,538 $328
Originally published as Where it’s cheaper to buy than rent
Labor Unveils $6.6bn Affordable Housing Plan to Build 250,000 New Homes
Labor has announced a ten-year plan to build 250,000 new homes across Australia, including 20,000 during its first term in government if it wins the election.
The $6.6 billion investment would see 250,000 new homes for low income and working families, key workers such as nurses, police, carers and teachers and women over 55, the fastest emerging group of Australians at risk of homelessness.
Subsidies of $8,500 per year would be offered to investors building new homes in return for cheaper rent for eligible tenants.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten unveiled the multibillion-dollar plan in his address yesterday at Labor’s three-day national conference in Adelaide.
“Building more affordable housing is infrastructure policy. It is cities policy. It is jobs and productivity policy,” he said.
The plan would see a family paying the national rental average save up to $92 each week.
“When you provide an affordable home for hard-working people, you give them the level playing-field and fair start they need,” he said.
Shorten said Labor would work with the states and territories, local councils, and community housing providers to make sure the rollout of homes were built “where they’re needed most” and would “go to the people who need them most”.
“Not foreign investors, nor international students.”
The new homes would be accessible for all ages and for people with a disability, with Shorten describing the new homes as “more energy efficient, meaning lower power bills”, also offering a rental discount of 20 per cent.
Describing Labor as a “party of home ownership, and a party of affordable housing and community housing”, Shorten used the speech as an opportunity to call on industry super to “step up” and invest in affordable housing projects.
And of course, the opposition leader touched upon the hotly debated campaign election issue: negative gearing.
“This is a boost for renters and for the liveability of our growing suburbs… Alongside our plans to make negative gearing fairer, it will drive a boom in construction jobs and apprenticeships,” Shorten said.
A recent report published by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) found Australia needed to triple its social housing by 2036, faced with a shortfall of 433,000 social housing dwellings.
Property industry bodies welcome Labor’s announcement
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison welcomed the incentives, but said they are “no substitute” for the supply of housing which is funded by 2.1 million property investors, “including those who access negative gearing”.
Housing affordability remains a critical issue for many Australians, an issue Morrison says is often overshadowed in the media by Melbourne and Sydney’s cooling markets.
“It makes sense to harness the investment capacity of the private sector to deliver affordable housing,” Morrison said.
“Labor’s incentives for investors to deliver affordable housing will make a contribution to meeting that need while also providing a boost to our construction industry, a key driver of economic activity.”
Planning schemes, land supply, and property taxes, which make up around 25 per cent of the cost of a new house are all part of the housing affordability mix, Morrison added, “there is no single ‘silver bullet’ solution”.
Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson said many different approaches are needed to tackle the hugely complex housing affordability issue.
“State and territory governments still have a responsibility to ensure that enough appropriately-zoned land is available in inner-ring suburbs to ensure sufficient housing supply,” Johnson said.
“Infrastructure levies must be kept under control to ensure that these do not add to the cost of housing production.”