Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.
Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik. Rob Williams

Ipswich facing housing shortage: Property expert

SELLING a home in Ipswich will take an average of just 40 days and one property expert is warning Queensland's most affordable city is headed for a housing shortage.

The demand for homes in Ipswich is increasing rapidly as renters, owners and investors flock to the city to take advantage of the comparatively low property prices.

Highly regarded property analyst Michael Matusik says demand is outstripping supply.

In a report presented this month in Ipswich, Mr Matusik says the number of homes being listed for sale, compared with sales, have dropped in the past 12 months.

He says the city is behind on housing construction by about six months.

That is despite increasing interest from buyers and multiple large-scale residential developments such as those in the Ripley Valley and Springfield.

The report states that in the past five years developers have added 9077 homes to the Ipswich market, yet demand was significantly higher at 9994.

Rising demand coupled with a decline in supply will push prices up this year, the report says.

In June, the average sale price of a home in Ipswich was $320,000, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

By September that had increased to $325,000 and Mr Matusik said the average price for this year would be closer to $340,000, or an increase of 5% over the next 12 months.

Ipswich REIQ chair and local agent Darren Boettcher said while there was not an obvious under- supply now, if current trends continued there would not be enough homes in coming years.

"About 20 years ago there was an oversupply of homes in Ipswich," Mr Boettcher said.

"You would have 120 listings between two sales people trying to chase down buyers," he said.

"Now you've got 120 buyers and two listings, so it's completely turned around.

"If the trend continues there will be an under- supply of new and existing homes for sale."

Ipswich's vacancy rate has been about 2% for most of the past six months, suggesting there are just enough rental properties to house people moving into the city.

If that vacancy rate falls below 2%, renters will struggle to find properties and prices will increase.

Matusik's fast facts

  • About 5000 homes are expected to sell across Ipswich this year.
  • That's twice as many as were sold in 2012.
  • The number of homes, including units, townhouses and apartments, is sitting at about 4000 compared to about 4300 at this time last year.
  • House prices are expected to rise by 5% this year.
  • Over the next decade more young renters, first home buyers and upgraders are expected to move into Ipswich.

Mr Boettcher said his agency had already noticed an increase in people moving from Brisbane's outer suburbs into Ipswich.

"We're receiving rental applications from people that wouldn't normally come to Ipswich but rents (on the edge of Brisbane) are rising and there's increased rental demand in places like Redbank Plains," he said.

"The core suburbs of Ipswich are renting out very quickly."

Ipswich City Council planning boss Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said the council's planning scheme could cater for demand, but agreed "the pressure would be on".

"There's no doubt the development industry will be under pressure," Cr Antoniolli said.

"However the local development industry is stepping up to meet future demand.

"During the last major property boom, Lendlease was able to step up to deliver an Australian record of 1000 new lots created in one estate, at Springfield, in one year alone."

Last year the council approved 2749 new homes, 2806 new lots were created and a further 3393 new lots were approved.

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