Study shows investment low

FEWER investors are committing their money to buy Brisbane's residential properties, a study shows.

A survey by L.J. Hooker shows properties sold to investors have fallen from 45 per cent to 31 per cent, a decrease of 14 per cent over the year to date.

'As interstate migration to Queensland slows, fewer people are spending their investment dollar in the Brisbane area,' according to researcher Matthew Barrelle.

'Instead, they are injecting their capital into their local market, leaving Queensland with a smaller pool of investors in the buying market.

'On the other hand, second home and more buyers have increased their profile in the Brisbane market. They represent about 40 per cent of home purchases, a 10 per cent increase on the corresponding period last year.

'Buyers upgrading in fear of higher interest rates could explain this domination.' The number of first home buyers has also increased proportionally.

With lower unemployment and the economy growing at a healthy rate, confidence among this group is still fairly high, according to Mr Barrelle.

About one in four properties was sold to this group, up five per cent from 20 per cent in the same period last year.

The investor-dominated Brisbane unit market has experienced significant volatility over the past 12 months. After dipping during the middle of 1994, the median value for a Brisbane unit currently stands at A$126,000 (HK$706,000) - a four per cent decrease over the year.

'This trend is likely to continue,' Mr Barrelle said.

'However, as supply starts to thin out, the Brisbane unit market will feel demand draw closer to housing supply. This will lead to a stabilisation or slight increase in unit sale values in the medium to long term.'