Falling land prices are creating an opportunity for more build-to-rent, says CBRE in its Australia Real Estate Market Outlook 2019 report.

While growth in the build-to-rent sector has been slowed down by the federal government's decision not to allow local projects to enjoy the lower 15 percent withholding tax rate currently available to foreign investors in other parts of Australian property, CBRE says that it expects price corrections in units to be the most severe in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, with apartment prices in Brisbane in Perth by 2021 to have sunk below their 2011 levels.

This it notes would make the build-to-rent sector far more attractive, which to date has just 3500 units nationally in planning and development.

According to CBRE's Australia head of research Bradley Speers, “…it also makes build to rent more economical because if you're doing more development and say your land cost $50m, then if suddenly the land's worth $25 million, then your investment is going pay off a lot better.”

"A potential change in federal government in the first half of the year could also open up new dialogue regarding the sector and ultimately result in policies more favourable to build-to-rent," Speers told the Australian Financial Review.