1 AUGUST 2019

In total, Brisbane has foregone 2497 of the 4014 apartments approved in towers since 2009, said Don Smith, BCI’s economics team leader. “From an ‘impending oversupply’ perspective out of a total of 4000 apartments that are being proposed, nearly 2500 have yet to meet appropriate technical and commercial criteria,” Smith said.  “There is an element of self-regulation.” The figures paint a reassuring macroeconomic picture of a market correcting, but they also hide the costs of that correction, borne mainly by consumers.

One of those is Michael Lyle, who works for an energy retailer. Lyle paid an $87,000 deposit in December 2015 for a two-bedroom apartment in Icon, a two-tower development in the inner Brisbane suburb of Milton that marked developer GH Properties’ first foray into the Australian high-rise market. The start was delayed. Hutchinson Builders cleared the site in 2017 and started work. In November, work stopped. Hutchinson’s contract was terminated and it subsequently removed its crane and equipment. The site with partially built structure at 20 Walsh Street is now closed off with hoarding.

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Michael Bleby