Controversial Brisbane apartments enjoy strong sales

By Financial Review (Matthew Cranston)

Cbus Property's controversial planned riverside apartment tower in Brisbane has had strong early sales results despite some concerns about an oversupply in the city.

The development at 443 Queen Street attracted buyers for 52 apartments worth $73 million over the weekend and Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo is confident there will not be a concern with selling the remaining 212 apartments.

"We are targeting the owner-occupier market where we think there is not enough product available," Mr Pozzo said.

"And its not just owner-occupiers from Brisbane, but from interstate," he said.

The proposed 47-storey tower has aroused plenty of controversy, law firm Allens having attempted to stifle progress of the development. The tower will block Allens' view of the Brisbane River.

Legal action was also taken by University of Queensland but later dropped. The project neighbours the heritage-listed Customs House as well as a large tree.

But the $350 million project has been granted approval and will proceed.

Sale prices ranged from $569,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to $3 million for a four-bedroom apartment.

Over the weekend 33 apartments fetched more than $1 million – the most of any project in Brisbane this year.

Selling agent Paul Barratt, of CBRE, said quite a few of the buyers were already living in CBD apartments.

"Those buyers are responding to the opportunity to move to a new level of architecture and design that offers the Queensland lifestyle with light and air, rather than an airconditioned box," Mr Barratt said.

The majority of buyers were Brisbane owner occupiers, with 10 per cent of buyers from interstate. Mr Barratt said several buyers were from nearby apartment towers in the area known as Petrie Bight.

"Many of these apartment towers are close to 20 years old and face south. By contrast, 443 Queen Street sits on a small peninsula, allowing the apartments to face north-east and offer a much better climate."