THE verdict is in.
These are the top spots across the state’s southeast to buy a home in 2019, according to those who know the market best.
Some of the industry’s top heavyweights have shared their picks for first home buyers, families and luxury buyers exclusively with The Courier-Mail.
Those key players are Ray White Queensland’s Tony Warland, Harcourts Queensland’s Jason Jaeger, Belle Property Queensland’s Jon Iceton, Property Pursuit Buyers’ Agency director Meighan Hetherington and Place Estate Agents’ Sarah Hackett.
FIRST HOME BUYERS — under $500,000
North Lakes: It’s perfect for first home buyers if you are looking for a newer home in an area with high infrastructure and good schools and shopping. It is one of the fast growing areas by population in southeast Queensland. TW
Banyo: It’s close to Nudgee Beach, the airport, the M1, the CBD and the newly developed Banyo Village. JJ
Carseldine: Only 15km from the CBD, with great schooling, parks and recreation areas.
Also access to rail and motorways. JI
Geebung: Along the Kippa Ring train line, this suburb was developed mostly in the post-war period. In the mid to high $500,000 range you can find solid, three-bedroom highset post-war houses to renovate. Local employment is available in the industrial areas surrounding the suburbs and the commute to the CBD is approximately 11km. Nearby Chermside Westfield shopping centre is easily accessed. Houses in this area are being upgraded and we expect to see more renovations and new builds in the coming year, improving the attractiveness of the area. MH
Albion: Still comparatively cheaper than neighboring suburbs, Albion is located between two new entertainment and residential hubs in Newstead and Hamilton. There are now plans to spread the gentrification to Albion, which will transform the suburb. SH
Marsden: I like Marsden for the speed of its market. It has a lot of good affordable stock with opportunities for renovation. There’s a lot of new buyers applying their tastes on older homes. TW
Springwood: While still close to the CBD, it’s an easy access suburb with all that the Gold Coast has to offer. JJ
Sunnybank Hills: Only 15km from CBD. For the lucky buyer, as it’s harder to find in this price range, an excellent opportunity exists here to buy a good house on smaller block in this very strong growth corridor, where the median age group is 34.JI
Upper Mount Gravatt: This suburb was developed largely in the post-war period and has been home to a high percentage of State Housing properties. Over time, the older homes have been sold off to private owners who are progressively upgrading or demolishing to build new homes. MH
West End: This suburb has been heavily transformed, with many new apartments during past years. However, that is quickly coming to an end with this segment of the property market having stabilised. The suburb offers everything from restaurants, a beach, a river walk, a library, bars, parks, and is within walking distance of the CBD.SH
Capalaba: It’s a terrific, established centre with plenty of good services and shopping, where our members have a lot of good stock in four-bedroom brick and tile homes. It’s also a comfortable commute for inner city workers. TW
Murrarie: A nice mixture of old, charming houses and new, move right in options.JJ
Wynnum: Only 14kms from the CBD, situated next to the bay and only minutes from bustling Manly. Great value can still be found in this modern, progressive suburb. JI
Carina Heights: About 8km from the CBD, this suburb was mostly developed in the post-war period. Westfield Carindale services the area and properties are slowly being upgraded. The $22m Eastern Transitway will vastly improve public transport in the area when government funding is secured. MH
Morningside: This suburb has definitely strated to see some gentrification occur, with renovations and new builds beginning to lift the suburb’s standing. There are, however, some great buys in the market for the first home buyer. SH
Ipswich: The Ipswich region is my pick of the regions for first home buyers in all of southeast Queensland as it’s a big city where you can buy big classic Queenslanders and new homes under $500,000. It has great schools and a good lifestyle, plus it’s an easy commute to the Brisbane CBD too. TW
Oxley: Good transport with the train station there, a wonderful family feel and terrific coffee cafes. JJ
Richlands: Located 16kms from the CBD, with rail and motorway access and a median age group of 29. There is a great blend of new and existing houses available.JI
Keperra: Along the Ferny Grove train line, this suburb is approximately 10km from the CBD. The Great Western Shopping Centre provides amenities and employment opportunities. The old quarry between the shopping centre and the retirement village has been rezoned for residential development. We look for post-war houses in walking distance to the train station. MH
Red Hill: Its location next to Paddington and the CBD ensures demand is always high for these properties. As the market continues to improve, demand is expected to create strong competition for well presented real estate in the suburb. SH
Nerang: This long established Gold Coast sweetheart suburb is well loved by first home buyers for its handy highway access and affordability. TW
Upper Coomera: Has the location of living on the Gold Coast without the big price tag for properties. JJ
Pacific Pines: This northern suburb of the Gold Coast, between Helensvale and Nerang, has a mix of new and modern homes in new estates and ample schooling — all within striking distance of the Gold Coast beaches. JI
Oxenford: Houses with larger, 700 sqm-plus blocks within 22 minutes of the Broadwater and beaches. MH
Nambour: This suburb is a very affordable and well established community in as elevated part of the Sunshine Coast. TW
Aura: The new suburb has terrific value-for-money homes, a new school and a bike/walking path that connects the community. JJ
Caloundra: With multiple developments in and around this growth area, Caloundra and Caloundra West are certainly suburbs to watch. Good schools and great new infrastructure. JI
FAMILIES — $500,000 to $1 million
Albany Creek: This suburb is perfect for family homes and its easy lifestyle. It’s a great place to throw a ball or create your own cricket pitch in the backyard. TW
North Lakes: Central to everything, great value for money in one of the biggest growth corridors in southeast Queensland. JJ
Bridgeman Downs: 12km northwest of the CBD, this suburb is ideal for families, with the average median age around 40. With new subdivisions and rebuilds in high demand, this is a great destination for the growing family. JI
Kedron: This suburb has been on our radar for many years and still has a long way to go with price growth. Character houses abound and young families have been transforming them into lovely grand homes. Schools in the area are well regarded and the commute to the CBD is about 15-20 minutes. MH
Alderley: A perfect suburb for families with many house options in this price range. The suburb has a large shopping centre and main road access direct to the CBD. SH
Springwood: Offering great value for families, Springwood is a well established community within very close proximity to the CBD via the freeway. TW
Macgregor: An established area with still some capital growth to be had. JJ
Tarragindi: Just 6kms from the CBD, this city fringe suburb has generous sized blocks, perfect for families, and modern contemporary builds. With a cafe lifestyle and local shops and only a short commute to city. The median age group is 37. JI
Greenslopes: This suburb has character cottages in flood free positions. MH
Highgate Hill: With recent development in surrounding South Brisbane and West End adding amenity within walking distance of Highgate Hill, a house for families here and the land they are on is becoming even more valuable and scarce. SH
Wellington Point: This is a genuine choice when it comes to value for families and their needs in a home. TW
Carina/Carindale: Everyone loves the area, it has one of the country’s best Westfield shopping centres and it’s central to everything. JJ
Morningside: 5kms east of the CBD, Morningside is an in-demand suburb that benefits from the surrounding suburbs of Balmoral and Hawthorne. Shopping, quality schools and amenities are at your fingertips such as great recreation areas make this an ideal family suburb. JI
Camp Hill: This family-friendly suburb will also eventually benefit from the Eastern Transitway development. With a mix of character Queenslanders and post-war houses on large lots, the area has been undergoing renovation and transformation over the past few years. Some properties also enjoy city views. MH
Coorparoo: Still possesses great value compared to surrounding suburbs and has experienced strong demand for properties. Its location so close to the CBD and affordable prices will see this suburb continue to experience strong demand. SH
Ashgrove — You cannot go past Ashgrove for its classic Queenslanders.
It’s such a well established, blue-chip suburb in Brisbane and there’s still good buying in this price bracket. TW
The Gap: Great schools and near the Army base, Mt Coot-tha and the nature reserve. JJ
The Gap: 8kms west of the CBD, this is a modern suburb nestled in between Mt Coot-tha and Enoggera Hill. Creeks, bushland and wildlife areas add to the attraction of this family orientated suburb. JI
Ashgrove: This is one of the leafiest suburbs in Brisbane and largely character residential. With one of the most sought-after state primary schools in Queensland, plus four private schools, this suburb is ideal for families. Only 5km from the CBD, it is a well established blue chip area. In 2019, we expect demand will continue to outstrip supply, pushing prices up. MH
Indooroopilly: An employment and entertainment hub of Brisbane’s west region. This suburb is central to everything and will always be in strong demand. SH
Robina: Ticks every box. It’s got great schools, transport, shopping and the lifestyle close to the beach. TW
Coolangatta: Awesome beaches, cafes, laid-back lifestyle and good value property.JJ
Mermaid Waters: The resurgence of this iconic Gold Coast suburb continues, with the renovation and architectural redesign of some of the original canal front homes. Still providing exceptional value and embracing everything the coast lifestyle has to offer. JI
Burleigh Waters: Close to the Burleigh Heads action, but without the price tag. MH
Caloundra: It has long been the favourite for people who work in Brisbane and for families who love the Sunshine Coast lifestyle. TW
Caloundra: A country town with epic surf beaches and homes that won’t stretch the bank account. Big city amenities. JJ
Coolum: Still a favourite location for the adventurers, this beachside suburb is still worth a look. With a racecourse, cafe strip and pristine coastline that parallels the relaxed clean-living atmosphere that is on offer, along with great surfing, hiking and golfing at your door, many experts agree this suburb has yet to yield its full potential.JI
LUXURY — $1 million-plus
Wilston: B uyers looking for renovated classics and modern luxe over $1 million cannot go past Wilston for its village vibe and tight-knit community. TW
Ascot/Clayfield: Stunning architecture and a strong community with trendy developments set among Queenslander homes — a great scene. JJ
Ascot: In demand for its highly sought-after tree lined streets, and the offerings of racecourse rd. Cafe lifestyle, this picturesque suburb has a perfect blend of community, heritage aesthetics and entertainment culture, home to some of Brisbane’s top-tier villas and large estates. JI
Wilston: Plenty of elevated family homes. MH
New Farm: A consistently strong performer due to its enviable location along the Brisbane River and next to the CBD and established amenity, this suburb has plenty of luxury properties that will be a first option for those that can afford it. SH
West End: Hands down, West End offers a wonderful opportunity for buyers, with a myriad of high quality property.
It’s close to the CBD and always sought-after for its lifestyle. TW
Taragindi: A hot area at the moment due to its location to the city and stunning city views. JJ
Hawthorne: A premium riverside location with an enviable selection of refurbished homes and colonial Queenslanders capturing river and city views. Within easy reach of the CBD and Oxford Street cafe district, Hawthorne’s style and quality can’t be disputed. JI
South Brisbane: Houses in the new Brisbane State High School catchment area will do well. MH
Yeronga: Despite being a little further from the CBD, the suburbs in front of it generally have a high proportion of apartments. Yeronga’s hidden pocket of luxury properties remain scarce and in hot demand due to their waterfront location. SH
Carina: This suburb is one of the fastest moving for stock in all of Brisbane. It’s highly sought-after for post-war style property on very big blocks and it’s got some great schools. TW
Bulimba: Who doesn’t like Bulimba? The one place north siders will go to on the south side, with the draw of Oxford Street shopping. JJ
Gumdale: Only 14km from the CBD, making it one of the closest acreage homesites to the city, the demand for these quality larger acreage residences never diminishes. The freedom of space and a semirural existence surrounded by other quality homes, and only minutes from all amenities, just sets this suburb apart. JI
Bulimba/Hawthorne: Demand continues to outstrip supply for flood-free and elevated properties in this area. With its peninsular-like feel and strong community orientation, families love these suburbs. MH
Hawthorne: This suburb has some of the most appealing properties in Brisbane along its waterfront. Aussies love to live as close to the water as possible, which will see these scarce properties continue to be in high demand. SH
Indooroopilly: Everyone loves Indooroopilly in the leafy western suburbs of Brisbane. It’s always been popular with prestige buyers from the river out to Kenmore. It’s only a short distance for professionals working in the city and has some of the best schools in Brisbane. TW
Brookfield: Nice big properties with big blocks up to small acreage.
A country feel close to the city. JJ
Chelmer: This leafy, river-lined neighbourhood is never going out of style. With its relaxing, yet, changing demographic towards younger families, its cafes and eateries are at your disposal. Architectural new-builds in keeping with the suburb’s tradition and charm, plus ongoing renovations of traditional Queenslanders are now the focus.JI
Paddington: Interstate buyers continue their love of this inner-city suburb. With an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants and character houses, demand for prestige property in the $2 million to $3 million range is strong. MH
St Lucia: This iconic, blue chip suburb offers some of Brisbane’s most exclusive waterfront properties — some boasting amazing easterly views of the CBD. Close to the CBD, it will remain in high demand. SH
Sanctuary Cove: Has established its reputation firmly as a priority suburb for luxury property buyers with plenty of activity in recent sales. TW
Hope Island: Canal living, with easy access to the water for boating and fishing.
Not as hectic as the rest of the Gold Coast. JJ
Palm Beach: This is one of the last remaining beachside promenades on the Gold Coast to be fully developed. It still embraces the laid-back living of the Coast with superbly renovated beach houses and new, contemporary residences on million-dollar lots and conservative residential homes lining its numbered avenues. A fabulous blend of community on the beach. Only minutes from the airport and the heart of Surfers Paradise. JI
Mermaid Beach: Everyone loves being so close to the Nobby’s Beach village, cafes, bars and local beaches. MH
Alexandra Headlands: This suburb has always been popular with luxe buyers. It’s firmly in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, which offers sea views. Plus, it’s very close to sought-after Mooloolaba. TW
Noosa: Luxury living, celebrity chefs, and the holiday vibe to match. JJ
Sunshine Beach: The sea and tree change is certainly on, as the old makes way for the new. A relaxing beachside location, with pristine beaches and national parks for the semi-retired and for those wanting larger blocks of land. There is a renewed focus on prestige new-builds and renovations in this highly desirable location. JI
Originally published as Where to buy a home in 2019
Regional Queensland now a national property market leader: Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder
Regional Queensland is becoming one of the nation’s most compelling markets. Rising numbers of locations have growth symptoms, both in terms of sales activity and price movements. Over 60% of Regional Queensland markets have median prices higher than a year ago, with apartment markets a standout.
The Sunshine Coast remains the No.1 market in the state, but other growth markets are emerging. Increasingly we are seeing recovery signs in places that were previously in downturn, including the long-suffering Gladstone market.
The one major contradiction to the overall growth scenario is the Gold Coast, which had some uplift in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games but has faded since. In Hotspotting’s Winter survey of sales activity, we can’t find any growth momentum in Gold Coast locations – most suburbs are “plateau” markets and there is a growing number of suburbs ranked as “decline” markets.
The Sunshine Coast stands in stark contrast to the Gold Coast. The Sunshine Coast has one of the nation’s leading growth economies and its real estate market is thriving as a result.
In our previous (Autumn 2019) quarterly survey, we observed that Mackay was challenging the Sunshine Coast as the leading Regional Queensland market. That situation has re-adjusted in this latest survey, with the Sunshine Coast still entrenched as the state leader and Mackay not as prominent.
Emerging centres with improvement in their markets include Cairns, Rockhampton and the Fraser Coast, while major regional cities like Toowoomba and Townsville may be on the cusp of new growth phases.
The number of growth markets in Regional Queensland has trended higher in the past 18 months. This is despite the decline of the Gold Coast. Recovery in resources-related regional centres like Mackay, Emerald and Rockhampton is helping, while Gladstone is now showing increasing signs of improvement, with some of its suburbs rising.
Regional Queensland markets collectively have improved in the past year or so: in the past six quarterly surveys, the number of locations with growing demand has been 30, 36, 40, 45, 48 and 45. The number of growth markets had decreased sharply in the late 2017 survey but showed steady improvement in 2018 and this has continued into 2019.
The other key feature is the number of Regional Queensland markets with price growth. Hotspotting analysed price movements in 293 markets and found 179 (61%) have median prices higher than a year ago. Of the 179 growth markets, 77 have recorded median price growth of 5% or more, while another 102 markets have increased by less than 5%.
Of the higher growth markets, 21 have increased by more than 10%, headed by the Central Queensland mining-related centre of Emerald (up 27%). But the No.1 centre for house price growth is the Sunshine Coast: 10 of the 21 locations up by 10%-plus are Sunshine Coast suburbs, led by Eumundi (28%), Sunshine Beach (15%), Twin Waters (15%) and Wurtulla (15%).
Apartment markets overall are doing particularly well in Regional Queensland. Two-thirds of unit markets have median prices higher than a year ago, headed by Airlie Beach (up 31%), East Toowoomba (36%), Broadbeach Waters (25%) and Coolangatta (20%). The Sunshine Coast is prominent here as well – headed by the iconic Noosa market which is up 24%, while Noosaville has risen 15%. In the southern part of the Sunshine Coast, Golden Beach and Warana are both up 15%.
Our analysis of sales activity confirms the status of the Sunshine Coast: 10 suburbs have rising buyer demand, while another 13 have consistent sales activity.
Cairns (pictured top) has six growth suburbs and plenty of steady performers, while Mackay has five growth markets and the Fraser Coast four. Rockhampton has emerged for the first time in several years, with five of its suburbs notable for their rising buyer activity – including Norman Gardens, Berserker and Yeppoon.
There’s further evidence of revival in Gladstone, which we first noted in the two previous (Summer 2019 and Autumn 2019) quarterly surveys. But the situation remains patchy: our ranking of Gladstone suburbs include four rising, three plateau, one consistency, two decline and three danger.
We’ve been watching the Toowoomba market for growth signs, because this is one of Australia’s largest inland regional cities and it has been a growth market in the past. The early signs of uplift are now emerging, with Newtown lifting quarterly sales from 67-82-82-91-95 over the past year or so, and Centenary Heights showing 40-40-42-52-55.
Townsville has suffered setbacks from the February floods but nevertheless has growth markets and will be boosted when work starts on significant infrastructure projects.
As we reported in previous editions, the post-Games boost predicted by some has not eventuated on the Gold Coast. This market was strong from 2015 to 2017 because of the pre-Commonwealth Games construction boom.
Since then the growth has subsided and there are now 40 suburbs classified as either plateau or consistency markets – and eight decline markets.
The price outcomes are also mixed for the Gold Coast: 51 markets have median prices higher than a year ago, but there are 31 with prices lower than last year.
Brisbane to see biggest house price rise nationally by 2022
Brisbane’s median house price is predicted to jump 20 per cent by 2022, far beyond any other capital city in the same period.
The BIS Oxford Economics property forecast predicts Brisbane will see the greatest national gains in house prices, but not for another couple of years as the remaining oversupply is consumed.
The median house price is expected to increase from $552,000 to $665,000 in Brisbane.
That percentage rise is the highest predicted for the capital cities nationally, well ahead of Sydney at 6 per cent and Melbourne at 7 per cent.
“A weak Queensland economy and high level of dwelling supply have dampened price growth in Brisbane in recent years,” the report notes.
“The result is that house prices in Brisbane are relatively affordable.
“With credit conditions easing and interest rates falling, improving affordability will be a catalyst for raising price growth as stronger economic growth returns and the market moves into a rising deficiency.”
Apartment supply is still high, according to the report, and the economy remains slow keeping price rises “modest” over the next 12 months before prices are predicted to jump in 2021-22.
While houses are predicted to see a big jump, apartment and unit prices are only expected to see a 14 per cent median rise in Brisbane.
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, meanwhile, are benefiting from the high migration rates with house prices remaining high.
With low vacancy rates and supply now increasing, BIS Oxford Economics predicted slower price growth of nine per cent for the Gold Coast and seven per cent for the Sunshine Coast to June 2022.
Further north, Townsville’s house prices struggled as mining investment left the region but the city can still expect a 9 per cent house price rise over the coming two years.
Report author Angie Zigomanis said nationally housing supply was high.
“Supply is running at record levels, with new dwelling completions having exceeded 200,000 in each of the past four years and expected to have peaked at a record of just under 227,000 dwellings in 2018-19,” Mr Zigomanis said.
“This compares with underlying demand for new dwellings averaging around 195,000 per annum in the same period, which in itself is a record.”
Mr Zigomanis said reductions in interest rates and lending policies becoming more relaxed were predicted to help stabilise residential markets this year and encourage price growth to start in 2020.
Investors in the box seat amid surprise surge in rental demand for Brisbane apartments
Surging tenant demand for Brisbane apartments, falling interest rates and rising rents are luring investors back to the market.
A SURPRISE surge in tenant demand for apartments combined with falling interest rates and rising rents looks set to lure property investors back to the Brisbane market after years in the doldrums.
The apartment rental squeeze is getting so tight some agents are now advising prospective tenants to submit applications before they have even inspected properties — or risk missing out.
At the same time rents are on the rise due to a combination of interstate migration, steady economic growth and a decline in new apartments coming to market.
A new report from independent consultancy Urbis has found tenant demand for new inner Brisbane apartments jumped in the first quarter of this year.
The survey revealed a vacancy rate of just 1.6 per cent across 22 apartment projects in inner Brisbane — tightening 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter.
The rebound in the rental market after years of apartment oversupply has even surprised experts, who say the level of demand is greater than expected.
Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker said it was a good time for investors to be researching the market and looking to buy.
“I’m surprised the rental market has recovered so fast, and even more surprised supply’s dried up so fast,” Mr Walker said.
“That’s the one thing that’s held Brisbane back these last three to four years — the high level of supply — but that is quickly disappearing.
“I think we’re in for a supply shortage over the next six to nine months … that’s why we’re seeing some rental growth and vacancy rates starting to drop.”
It comes at a time when borrowing money has never been cheaper, with interest rates being cut to an all-time low of 1 per cent this week.
Independent real estate group Position Property has a vacancy rate of less than 1 per cent on its 800 rental properties in the Brisbane region.
Position Property director Richard Lawrence said property managers in some areas were advising people to submit rental applications without waiting until they had seen the home.
“We are seeing a general tightening in the rental market across the board, including in locations previously reported as having excess new apartment stock available,” Mr Lawrence said.
“This is the case both in inner city locations such as South Brisbane and Newstead, and out to middle ring suburbs such as Chermside on Brisbane’s north side and Upper Mount Gravatt on the south side.”
Mr Lawrence said the situation was likely to intensify in the months ahead given the expected fall in the number of new apartment projects starting construction, leading to a reduction in availability of high quality apartments.
“Anyone currently renting should seriously consider purchasing a new apartment if they can afford it as they will likely be paying higher rents within the next 12 months,” he said.
“Similarly, local investors who may have been sitting on the sidelines can now buy with greater confidence knowing that there is an abundance of tenants available for the right property and rental yields are strengthening.”
The pipeline of new infrastructure coming to inner Brisbane, including Brisbane Metro, Queens Wharf and the proposed South Bank redevelopment, is encouraging new buyers to choose new apartments over established houses.
A new luxury apartment and townhouse development at Newstead, Newstead Series, has put up the no vacancy sign with leasing agent Jones Lang LaSalle reporting a waiting list of people seeking one and two bedroom apartments.
There is a waiting list for the luxury Newstead development, Lucent Gasworks, and in South Brisbane, the first stage of Pradella’s SkyNeedle Apartments also has a zero vacancy rate and a waiting list of prospective tenants.
“I believe we have reached a real turning point where the Brisbane property market is returning to normal supply and demand conditions,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Smart investors who purchase apartments in places where couples, young families and downsizers want to live will reap the rewards in terms of achieving higher rents, good quality tenants and low vacancy rates.
“New arrivals from interstate who might normally opt to rent for a few months to get a feel for their new city would also be well advised to consider buying instead to avoid the tougher rental market conditions ahead.”
Urbis property economics and research director Paul Riga also said interstate migration had played a part in the increase in demand for rentals.
“Anecdotal feedback from participants indicated that inquiries from interstate remained solid, and certainly up from the same time last year,” he said.
“Apartments provide these tenants the flexibility of being able to settle into employment and get to know the city and it’s different precincts.”
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