Quirks in the QLD property market investors should be aware of

Many interstate investors are eyeing Queensland for its relative affordability and potential for growth. However, it’s important to remember that the Sunshine State has plenty of quirks that you need to be aware of and anticipate in order to prevent investment blunders, according to Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), and Bryce Holdaway, partner at Empower Wealth.  

Different rules and regulations throughout Australia mean that buying and selling property isn’t done the same way in each state and territory. 

Here are some of the major differences that can be found in Queensland:

1. There are no auction price guides and price estimates.

Unlike New South Wales and Victoria, when real estate goes to auction in Queensland, the agent cannot give potential buyers and auction attendees any guidance on the price, Mercorella said.

“This is a measure that has been designed to eliminate the risk of underquoting and largely [it] has been successful,” she added. 

2. There’s no statutory vendor disclosure regime.

While Queensland has no statutory vendor disclosure regime, there is a five-day cooling off period for residential buyers, unless the property is sold by auction.

“Unlike other states, we have a five-day cooling off period, which [allows buyers] to extricate themselves from the purchase of the property,” Mercorella said. “This will potentially incur the loss of the deposit, depending on the terms of the contract.”

3. You need to check for flood zones.

Holdaway, who’s been buying Queensland properties for clients of his buyers’ agency for years, said interstate buyers need to check for flood zones.

“Under no circumstances will we put a client into a property that has been under in 1974 or 2011 – no matter how it stacks up,” he said. “I’ve seen people who were up to the roof during the [2011] flood and they’d only bought [the property] the year before, and they never expected it. For us, flood zones are our first check.”

4. Properties must have air-conditioning.

Due to the prevailing weather conditions in Queensland, it’s vital to purchase an investment property with air-conditioning.

“Don’t think about buying a property in Queensland without … air conditioning in it as an investor because your tenants won’t like it,” Holdaway said.

5. Brisbane’s suburbs have uniform rules.

The Brisbane City Council is the largest council in Australia. This means that neighbouring suburbs don’t have radically different rules, unlike in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Having that one big council is an advantage, particularly for those people who want to potentially add value to their property in some way … you can get precedent across the city,” Holdaway said.