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5 good reasons why now is the right time to invest in Brisbane

the right time to invest in Brisbane

Are you considering investing in the Brisbane property market?

I know Brisbane has been in the headlines recently as the best place to invest over the next few years.

But how many times have we heard that before?

What makes this time different and why would you invest in Brisbane anyway?

Having been investing and buying for our clients for close to 15 years, I wanted to share with you my insights on “why Brisbane?”

And I’d like to explain why this time is different and why the numbers are starting to make sense.

I also want to highlight what we see at ground level, to give you a greater level of comfort if you are looking to buy an investment property in Brisbane.

To be frank, overall the last decade has not delivered the same returns for many Brisbane property  investors that they could have achieved elsewhere, but the next decade is looking very positive.

Here are my thoughts;


Define Brisbane

I have heard Brisbane described as the area anywhere from Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast and out to Toowoomba.

While that is certainly South-East Queensland, it is not Brisbane.

As an investor you must firstly understand an important concept – Brisbane does not have the urban sprawl or the maturity of a Sydney or Melbourne market.

The guide we use is an imaginary ring 10-12km from the Brisbane CBD.

Some suggest the outer areas of south-east Queensland are up to 40 years behind our bigger, more advanced capital cities.

So, there will be growth…… eventually, but can you afford to wait that long?

However The inner 10 – 12km ring around the Brisbane CBD is likely only two decades behind.

This means, buying in the right pockets of Brisbane now, could potentially be the equivalent of buying in a similar suburb in Sydney or Melbourne 20 years ago.

If only we could have that opportunity all over again – buying in those capital cities in the year 2000.

1. One City Council

One of the major benefits of investing in Brisbane is that fact that you are bound by only one city council.

This means, many processes are efficient and transparent, without all the hold ups and indecision that take place from multiple decision makers.

I believe this has allowed Brisbane to be proactive in many aspects, especially from an infrastructure perspective.

Take for example our tunnel networks across the city.

Initially, there were questions raised about these projects being premature, but now it is viewed as a more positive outcome.

In Sydney and Melbourne, they are only just building tunnel networks more recently, which has been a more reactive measure.

Moving forward, it is the bigger infrastructure projects that will lead the way for Brisbane and create a huge amount of jobs in the process.

The two big ticket items in the pipeline are the Cross-River Rail project and Brisbane Metro.

Cross-River rail is an exciting subway style piece of infrastructure linking a number of inner-city southside suburbs and precincts to the CBD and beyond and now under construction.

the right time to invest in Brisbane


Brisbane Metro links the inner city to our middle ring southern suburbs by a dedicated bus system.

No longer will commuters be stuck in general traffic, but have the luxury of a modern, air-conditioned fleet of vehicles that run regularly and on time.


the right time to invest in Brisbane

2. Affordability/Opportunity

The price gap between our biggest capitals and Brisbane are now at an all-time high.

So much so, that if you sold your home in Sydney at the median, you could probably afford to buy two properties for the same price or buy one home and be potentially debt free, plus change!

At some point in time this significant price gap – the difference in affordability has to be seen as an opportunity by many south of the border.

For the cost of an average home in Brisbane you can buy within 10km of the Brisbane CBD, while in Sydney and Melbourne you would be looking 30km to 40km away for a house.

The cost of living is also becoming a major issue in our larger capitals.

The ability to potentially earn an extra $100k in a bigger city soon loses its appeal once you are forced to either stump up double for a house or consider living much further out.

This will lead to next generation Brisbane-ites staying put and may also be too big of an attraction for young professionals around the country.

Remember for the next generation of home buyers it is all about instant gratification and they tend to prefer to live closer to where the action is – jobs, lifestyle and amenities.

In the old Brisbane, these jobs may not have been on offer due to floods and downturns, but those opportunities are starting to present themselves.

Adding to that, Brisbane seems like the place to be after recent lockdowns and the working from afar phenomenon ramping up.

The planets are starting to align.

3. Lifestyle

The days of Brisbane being a big country town will become a thing of the past as we head into the new decade.

The energy in the city and the lifestyle on offer is rapidly changing.

This will be headlined by the completion of the Queens Wharf Precinct which will alone see a net increase of 11,500 jobs.


the right time to invest in Brisbane


It will see 5 new hotels, 50 restaurants, bars and cafes and there will also be 3 residential towers linked to a world class Casino.

It will also include a pedestrian bridge across to South Brisbane and beyond.

It has already triggered a domino effect of new precincts around the CBD from the Howard Smith wharves underneath the iconic Story Bridge, to the redevelopment of Eagle Street Pier.

With a buzz around the city and easy access to these lifestyle precincts, Brisbane will see a new lease of life and change forever.

This will draw new arrivals from interstate and visitors from overseas who may just be tempted to stay for a while longer to be part of this new world city.

4. Proximity to Asia

Is Brisbane about to become the playground for China?

I posed this question in a previous blog as a result of the opening of the second runway at Brisbane Airport.

There is a huge amount of interest and support from regions like China and Taiwan in Brisbane, with up to six local airlines committing to the new runway.

These are airlines that have never previously flown to Brisbane.

This is important for several reasons but predominantly for business, tourism and education opportunities which will all contribute to the local economy.

Now residents in these huge Asian countries will have the ability to do business, travel and be educated in Brisbane, something not previously on offer.

Incredibly exciting, considering we are the closest capital out of the big three to our Asian neighbours.

Brisbane can only benefit from more business and tourism and certainly our universities and tertiary institutions will be vying for a slice of the international student pie form Sydney and Melbourne.

We find these students often stay put on working Visas once they are suitably qualified to contribute to the local community and economy.

Asia will play a huge role in shaping Brisbane moving forward.

5. Undersupplied

A number of these points may push the “its time” factor but what does the data suggest?

Probably the most important aspect of any investment is to understand the basics of Supply and Demand.

At our Seminar earlier in the year, Dr Andrew Wilson provided a snapshot of the Brisbane property market.


the right time to invest in Brisbane


Dr Wilson suggests that we are undersupplied by around 80 properties per week and projected household completions continuing a downward trajectory.

the right time to invest in Brisbane

While fewer homes are being built, demand is continuing to rise as bigger projects like the Brisbane Airport Precinct, Queens Wharf precinct and a host of infrastructure projects create jobs.

This mismatch between Supply and Demand will certainly play out in the early part of this decade and to some extent we are already seeing the shift.

In Conclusion

Brisbane is really starting to transition and emerge as a new world city, following a decade of floods and downturns and a sever lack of jobs growth.

A proactive and beneficial local council has provided more efficiency and certainty for residents and business with positive infrastructure projects.

The gap between Brisbane property prices and the bigger capitals is at all-time highs and the affordability factor will start to play on people’s minds.

With more working flexibility and a new lease of life, Brisbane will start to shake off the country town feel.

Asia will also be a key part of Brisbane’s future.

Being the closest major capital city will be a huge bonus for the river city with access to more business, tourism and education opportunities not previously on offer.

Attraction from interstate and eventually overseas will continue to provide strong demand for housing at a time when we are not building enough of the right type of properties.

While there certainly are enough reasons to suggest it is time, the numbers are finally starting to back it up.

The opportunity to invest in a Sydney or a Melbourne equivalent 20 years ago may have just presented itself again.

This is why you should consider Brisbane for your next investment.


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Brisbane Officially Top Choice for 2032 Olympic Games

Olympic Games

Queensland officials are finalising plans for the $4.5 billion Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games as the hunt for stadiums, venues and infrastructure funding continues.

The International Olympic Committee selected Queensland’s capital as the targeted host for the games bringing “stability” as the committee moves towards a cost neutral event.

The site of the opening ceremony is yet to be finalised with the top picks Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane or a completely new venue on the cards.

During bidding, a masterplan was developed with two athlete villages, an 80,000 seat stadium and a second M1 Motorway with final locations to be determined.

The majority of the sports will be held in existing venues with the exception of rowing which requires a new base.

Instead, funding for Brisbane 2032 Olympics will be focused on bringing infrastructure projects forward, which will have a knock-on effect for the property market.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said they already have 85 per cent of the venues for the event.

“It’s a new norm, which means it is a game changer, we don’t have to build huge stadiums that are not going to be used in the future,” Palaczszuk said.

“There is an option of one new big venue in terms of the opening ceremony but we may use Carrara as well, we’ve got to go down to the fine print and make sure we’ve got all the funding lined up.

“We want to include the regions as well, so of course with the football we’ve been looking at the soccer matches up around the different regions and of course all of the state will share in an Olympic glory.”

Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said this is the best opportunity the state has had in generations.

“Now we need to actually go through and make sure we lock in the plans for improved infrastructure,” Schrinner said.

Queensland is already on the cusp of an economic boom with domestic migration reaching double digits and house prices hitting a record high in January.

Olympic Games

▲ The blueprint for Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games under new rules that would allow a region, rather than a city to host the event. Images: Urbis

Developers back Brisbane 2032 Olympics

Brisbane’s bid for the games dates back to 2015 and some of the state’s biggest property developers have pledged their support.

Consolidated Properties Group chief executive Don O’Rorke said the latest announcement will further build confidence in the property market for both Australians and people overseas.

“There’s going to be an intangible excitement that builds over the next decade,” O’Rorke said.

“Covid has shown Australia is a great place relative to the rest of the world.

“When it comes to the more tangible aspects, there will be construction jobs created doing the build [of Olympics-related assets] and that will be over five to six years.

“The spotlight will be put on Queensland, and you only have to look at Sydney to know what that does.

“We need to ensure the responsible deployment of capital so that stadiums [and other assets] can be used afterwards…and southeast Queensland will become known worldwide as a destination.”

Property Council of Australia executive director Chris Mountford said done right, the Olympics will turbocharge investment in the region.

“Along with facilitating investment in catalytic infrastructure, hosting the Olympics will showcase our region to the world, and inspire confidence in the private sector to invest alongside government,” Mountford said.

“Queensland is already well-placed to capitalize on its success in its handling of the pandemic, and the Olympic spotlight will only accelerate the growth trajectory of the region.”

Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive Gert-Jan de Graff, Aria Property Group founder Tim Forrester, Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson as well as sporting figures Darren Lockyer, Ian Healy and Duncan Armstrong are behind the push for a Brisbane Olympic games.

Olympic funding strategy shifts

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said the IOC do not want countries to go out and spend big money so the three levels of government need to focus elsewhere.

“They’ve got to get in one [mindset] in terms of the funding not for the games but the funding, that this region requires to host the games…the future infrastructure, transport, in particular rail and road,” Coates said.

“The IOC is on a budget of circa $4.5 billion, the IOC puts in $2.5 billion give or take the exchange rate…then you get $1 billion from national sponsorship and $1 billion from ticketing.

“They don’t want to have big costly losses for many cities, you know go back to Melbourne and Sydney, we spent $30 million on those.”

IOC president Thomas Bach said the decision to pick Brisbane aligns with their new agenda for 2020 onwards, as a result of the pandemic.

“It proposes sustainable games in line with the region’s long-term strategy and using primarily existing and temporary venues,” Bach said.

“The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000.”

Although the city is the only candidate now being considered for the 2032 games there are still a few minor hurdles to jump through before it is set in stone


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Two green bridges underway, Brisbane City Council seeks feedback on two more

Construction on two green bridges linking Brisbane’s inner-city suburbs is slated to begin this year, but the location of three other planned bridges remains unclear.

In 2019, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner made a $550 million pledge to build five new green bridges, catering for pedestrians and cyclists, to reduce vehicle traffic and improve the city’s connectivity.

At Tuesday’s public and active transport committee meeting, Brisbane City councillors were given an update on the progress of the green bridges program.

Public and active transport committee chairman Ryan Murphy told the committee the council wanted state or federal funding support alongside the $550 million already committed.

The $190 million Kangaroo Point green bridge will be 470 metres long and 6.8 metres wide, with separated cycling and pedestrian lanes, linking the inner-city suburb with the City Botanic Gardens.

Construction on the Kangaroo Point and Breakfast Creek bridges will begin this year, with the council now out to tender for both.

Consultation for two West End bridges

Community consultation on the bridges from West End to St Lucia and West End to Toowong was extended following concerns the December-January consultation was too short.

For the West End bridges, suggested locations put forward by Brisbane City Council would either place the landing pads on public parks, such as Orleigh Park in West End and Guyatt Park in St Lucia, or on private property.

Two green bridges

A concept image for the St Lucia to West End green bridge(Supplied: Brisbane City Council)

Greens councillor Jonathan Sri, in whose ward both West End bridges would sit, said it appeared the third option for the St Lucia bridge — between Keith Street in St Lucia and Boundary Street in West End — was most supported.

“I’ve heard from several residents who’ve said they think the Option C location for the St Lucia bridge is preferable from a transport perspective, but they have concerns about the scale and design of the exact alignment proposed by council, and the associated home resumptions,” Cr Sri said.

“The vast majority of residents seem to prefer alignment Option A for the Toowong Bridge, and it seems like the Toowong bridge in general has a lot more support.”

Two green bridges

A concept image for the Toowong to West End landing pad for a green bridge(Supplied: Brisbane City Council)

Option A for the Toowong bridge would see the bridge land at 600 Coronation Drive — the former ABC Towoong site now owned by developers Sunland, but put up for sale late last year.

Last year, Cr Schrinner ruled out purchasing the 600 Coronation Drive site saying the cost would be prohibitive, but said the council would consider resuming a portion of the land for a green bridge if needed.

LNP councillor James Mackay, in whose ward of Walter-Taylor the two bridges would land, recently spoke at a rally for a group opposed to a possible Guyatt Park alignment for the St Lucia to West End Bridge.

Cr Mackay referred queries about his community’s opinions to the lord mayor’s office.

Fifth green bridge site unknown

In mid-2020 a fifth proposed bridge, from Belbowrie to Wacol, was scrapped after several rounds of community consultation found little support.

The council is preparing options for a fifth bridge location, the committee heard.

Two green bridges

A concept image of the Breakfast Creek green bridge linking Kingsford Smith Drive and Newstead House(Supplied: Brisbane City Council)

Deputy Labor leader Kara Cook in a statement said she had lodged a petition with more than a thousand signatures calling for a bridge on the eastern side of the river.

Cr Cook said a bridge in her area — around Bulimba and Hawthorne connecting across to New Farm or Teneriffe — had been mooted since at least 1925.

Technical challenges are greater for the eastern section of the river as any new bridge must be of a height to allow ships through and would span a wider section of water.


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Commercial Market Update – Brisbane Fringe Cityscope February 2021

The latest research from Brisbane Fringe Cityscope shows in the last three months property sale numbers have increased but sales figures have had a slight increase. The last three months to the beginning of February 2021 recorded 22 sales for a total of $114.2 million, with $23.7 million for commercial, $4.4 million for commercial strata, $4.2 million for retail, $4.3 million for retail strata and $77.5 million for other.

In comparison, the last three months to the beginning of November 2020 recorded 14 sales for a total of $98.9 million, with $86.2 million for commercial, $1.5 million for commercial strata, $800,000 for retail strata and $10.5 million for other.

The 12 months leading up to early February 2021 recorded 60 sales for a total of $323.5 million, more than $212.6 million less than the same time last year.

The table below shows sales recorded for the past eight updates of Brisbane Fringe Cityscope:

Commercial Market

Brisbane Fringe Sales Grid

Significant sales recorded this quarter total nearly $80 million, these sales include:

After a failed sale to iProsperity, interests associated with Amora Hotels & Resorts have purchased the 296-room Novotel Brisbane Hotel for just over $67.8 million; the hotel will be rebranded following Novotel’s lease expiring in late April this year. JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group negotiated the sale. The hotel last traded for $63.5 million in 2010.

A three-storey child care centre at 20-22 Marie Street, Milton has been sold for $8.435 million; it was purchased through The Trust Company (Australia) Limited. The property, formerly an office building, was extended and refurbished in 2018 for use by the a 120-space child care centre. It previously traded for $6.15 million in 2017.

Developer, builder and property managers, Pellicano, have purchased 68 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley for $8 million from Metro Property Group. The property was originally going to house stage 4 of the adjoining Central Village development. The 5,374 sqm site was sold through JLL Brisbane and has Council approval to demolish the existing buildings on site.

Commercial Market

Brisbane Fringe Sales Chart

Properties for sale include:

  • Lanmor House, 124 Brunswick Street and 52 Amelia Street – a two-storey office building and a two-storey warehouse/office building, with a combined area of 960 sqm and associated car parking. For sale by expressions of interest, closing February 24, 2021; agent, Colliers International (Hunter Higgins and Nick Wedge).
  • 29 Amelia Street, Fortitude Valley – two-strata units (the whole building) with a combined 828 sqm of office space over two levels, plus ground floor car parking for 20 vehicles. For sale by expressions of interest, closing February 18, 2021; agent, C Property Qld (Sam Callanan and Joe Kennedy).
  • 196 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley – a two-storey retail/entertainment building with lower ground level to the rear. For sale by offers to purchase; agent, Commercial Brisbane (Glenn Corrigan and Tom Chan).

Properties under contract (conditional or unconditional) include:

  • 38 Warry Street and adjoining car parking at 41 Kennigo Street – 2,955 sqm of office space (the former Keatings Bread Factory site) and an adjoining carparking for 20 vehicles. Under contract; agent, Cushman & Wakefield Brisbane (Peter Court and Mike Walsh) and CBRE Brisbane (Jack Morrison and Peter Chapple).
  • 72 Costin Street, Fortitude Valley – a single-storey plus mezzanine, brick office building with car parking for 15 vehicles. Net lettable area, 507 sqm. Under contract unconditionally with a long, one-year settlement period expected; agent, Colliers International Brisbane (Hunter Higgins and Nick Wedge). The property was advertised with a potential leaseback agreement from 9-months to three-years.


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