May 01, 2018
Michael Matusik

Practice has told me that the key to understanding a local housing market involves three things: reading the property clock, gauging underlying demand, and counting the relevant supply.

And increasingly experience and familiarity are often better measures than what others say or write about.

So, with these caveats in mind, this post I want to discuss the Ipswich housing market.

I have done several consultancy jobs in Ipswich over the last six months and I have found a common thread regardless of the nature of the commission and the type of projects/product reviewed.

In summary, Ipswich is going through a period of intense urbanisation; is in the recovery phase of the property cycle; is growing faster than projected and is struggling to keep with this demand.

And more townhouse-type developments will be needed in the future.

When someone asks me about Ipswich’s future I reply “Think Big: Think Parramatta”.

To me, Ipswich resembles Parramatta of about 15 to 20 years ago.  Ipswich is set to experience substantial urban growth in coming decades.  For mine Ipswich will become, just like Parramatta is in Sydney, Brisbane’s second CBD.

I grew up in Sydney’s western suburbs and spent most of my school years in Parramatta, so I have some knowledge about my reference.

And I have also found that it is often best to number things.

Ten things: Ipswich

1. Most of Ipswich’s housing types are in the recovery phase of the property cycle.  All should peak sometime over the next 12 to 18 months.

2. Sales volumes have more than doubled in the last five years and I think the local market will grow another 20% in size before the next peak.

3. At present both new and resale housing supply is struggling to keep up with sales.

4. Property prices are rising as a result, with current resale values growing much faster than mid-term and long-term averages.

5. Rental supply is tight for well-located new or recently completed infill housing product.

6. Like housing prices, weekly rents are rising across many suburbs in the Ipswich area.

7. Population growth exceeds the forecasts and is expected to increase further.  About 210,000 live in Ipswich and the local population is projected to double within 20 years.

8. There are 160,000 jobs now in the Ipswich region.  The number of jobs has increased by a third (40,000) over the past decade.

9. Another factor influencing underlying demand is housing affordability.  The dwelling price to local income ratio in Ipswich is 4.7 and tenants, on average, pay 24% of their income on rent.  Both are affordable metrics.

10. At present there is a need to build 2,500 new homes per year in Ipswich.  Our modelling suggests this could grow to 3,500 per annum and the current 15% townhouse market share is likely to double to 30% over the next decade.

I stress that I am not advocating Ipswich over other areas.

In coming weeks, I will post similar intel for other areas across south east Queensland, including the Sunshine Coast and Logan.

And now a word from a sponsor.

Matusik Property Pick

I have been advising a small development group about building better infill housing product and their current projects happen to be in Ipswich.  They are a rare property operative – they have listened to advice!

If you want to know more about these projects/products – and to cut to the chase, as a potential buyer – then contact me.

For more information go here.

Please accurately fill in all the fields as I don’t want to muck about.  Your details will not be shared with anyone unless you give me permission to do so.

For more about Matusik Property Pick go here.

And to know how I might be able to help you with accurate market analysis and implementable project/product advice then go here.

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Until next time,


Michael Matusik

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