What does Brisbane’s Future Blueprint mean for property developers? (part #3)

Known for its warm weather and cultural diversity, Brisbane’s warm weather is not the only thing that attracts new visitors each year - It is the unique suburbs and communities that gives Brisbane it’s vibrancy and keep visitors wanting to stay… permanently. Which means that as a growing destination, the city needs to keep evolving to stay attractive to its communities - and with over 1300 people moving here each month, there will need to be more and more housing supply.

Earlier this year, the Brisbane City Council surveyed more than 100,000 residents of all ages and from all suburbs. This generated over 15,000 ideas and resulted in the creation of Brisbane’s Future Blueprint - a collection of principles designed to help shape the city’s next exciting chapter.

In part two, we discussed the next three principles of Brisbane’s Future Blueprint and the impact it could have on developers – both positive and negative. These were:

4. Protect the Brisbane Backyard and Our Unique Character; This principle aims to protect Brisbane’s character and history by retaining the things we love about the city, as well as offer extra lifestyle choices for residents – which can impact property developers.

5. Ensure best practice design that complements the character of Brisbane; The council wants to implement high-quality designed housing and estates to keep Brisbane an attractive city – a plus for developers.

6. Empower and engage residents; This principle aims on engaging the community regarding any new plans for development, as well as letting them provide feedback on any new ideas, builds or designs – which will impact property developers by either stopping or delaying projects from moving forward.

Below are the final two principles of Brisbane’s Future Blueprint:


Get People Home Quicker and Safer with More Travel Options

The council created this principle to enable more travel options - including better roads and extra public transport to help Brisbane residents spend less time travelling and more time with family and friends.

* Deliver the new 21 km, high-frequency Brisbane Metro with 18 stations and two dedicated lines from Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street and Herston to St Lucia.

This is an exciting opportunity for property developers. The development of the new high-frequency Brisbane metro with 18 stations, means that if we had a bag of cash now, we should be buying properties where these new stations are being positioned.

* Increase the car parking requirements for development in suburban areas.

This car parking strategy could become a problem for property development. If there is a 50 carpark lot, it will need to be increased to 100. This is the time to get a little innovative. For example, some projects may be clever and target young people who go to University close by, so instead of 100 parks – it could be a 3 carshare. This could be a plan to put forward to the council, which means that instead of providing 50 more car parks, a 2 or 3 carshare strategy could be implemented.

* Invest in more bikeways, local roads and active travel options.

This principle doesn’t really impact or affect property developers as the council is merely just providing different means for transport instead of relying on cars.

* Expand car-sharing facilities to make it easier to not own a car in the inner city.

Car-sharing means that it could only be of use to tenants of a building, making it harder for property developers. However, innovative thinking will help get around theses rules and make the project more feasible.


Give People More Choice when it Comes to Housing

The Brisbane City Council would like to encourage diverse housing options by focusing on affordability and offering residents more of a choice of housing which suits their needs better, as well as actively assisting people to own their own homes.

* Facilitate a wide range of housing types and sizes to cater for all Brisbane residents.

This component of the principle relates to house and land, townhouses and units, which will require extra development to meet the needs of the growing population – good news for property developers.

* Create and implement a housing strategy to ensure supply for people at every stage of life.

This item completely conflicts with everything that we read so far. The council is imposing a new strategy to meet the demands of extra supply. However, the new rules and regulations plus the input from the community will make things harder and pose many challenges for property developers. The council has not yet determined how this housing strategy will be implemented.

* Help Brisbane residents own their own home by continuing rates discounts for owner-occupiers and continuing the most generous pensioner rates discount in Australia

This may be handy for home buyers but not so much for property investors.

* Cater for an ageing population with a Retirement and Aged Care Incentive Scheme.

Australia has an aging population, so it can be a good idea to invest in aged care or retirement villages - as these investments can potentially be cheaper to buy and will always be tenanted. Although they may also have higher body corporate due to the nursing staff.

* Report on the housing targets set by the Queensland Government’s South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017.

The Government’s South East Queensland region plan has targets to make, which will be from how much housing they can provide in the SE QLD areas - and this target is high! At the same time due to the new principles and regulations, development will become harder - which is a little contradicting. Although this is good for the city and blueprint, it’s a wait and see game as to how much this will affect property developers.

As you can see, these principles will provide more housing choice, support a growing economy and assist with faster transport around the city. This is fantastic news for the Brisbane community, and for property investors and developers in the commercial sector.

However, there are also a few elements and regulations which could potentially impact new projects and builds. As an investor or developer, the idea is to always be one step ahead of the council - The best thing is to understand what the council is doing next by always staying up-to-date with newsletters and social streams.

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