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Brisbane’s 5 most affordable suburbs within 15km of the CBD

Image: Steve Christo

Image: Steve Christo

With Melbourne and especially Sydney becoming increasingly less attractive to first-time investors due to skyrocketing property prices, Brisbane is shaping up as a viable alternative for those prepared to look north.
The Queensland capital has the dual appeal of comparatively low median property prices—of the capitals, only Adelaide’s and Hobart’s lower—combined with solid growth potential over the coming years.
Industry analyst BIS Shrapnel predicts Brisbane will be the only capital city market to experience any increase in house values in real terms (accounting for the rate of inflation) over the next three years, forecasting 13% growth in that period and 6% growth for its units.

So which inner Brisbane suburbs—those within about 15kms of the CBD—are the most affordable to buy into? And do they offer much in terms of growth potential for your investment?
We take a look at CoreLogic RP Data’s figures to find out.
The southern suburb of Rocklea, home to the Brisbane Markets, comes in with an enticing median house price of $353,030, according to CoreLogic RP Data.
It should be noted, however, that Rocklea, which is close to the Brisbane River and one of its major tributaries, Oxley Creek, is also one of Brisbane’s most flood-prone suburbs. Its median house price plummeted almost 24% in the 12 months following the city’s 2011 floods, according to data from
Nevertheless, it’s seen solid price recovery since, with a growth rate in median house prices of 10.8% in the 12 months to 31 May, based on CoreLogic RP Data.
Rocklea also has the highest gross house rental yield—the annual income earned through a property when rented out divided by its sale price or market value—of all the top 5 most affordable suburbs, at 5%.

Keperra in Brisbane’s north-west has a median house price of $439,015.
It’s about 10kms from the CBD but is serviced by its own train station on the Ferny Grove line, and also boasts a 27-hole championship golf course, shopping centre and several parks.
Keperra residential property is a blend of post-war weatherboard and public housing along with newer developments. It’s seen solid house value growth since 2012 and a median growth rate of 8.14% in the year to 31 May, based on CoreLogic RP Data.
Tingalpa is about 11kms due east of the Brisbane CBD and, like Keperra, has some older-style post-war weatherboard and chamferboard cottages along with newer estates. It’s also within an 8km radius of Moreton Bay.
Kianawah Park is contained within Tingalpa, as is Carmichael Park, a multi-sports field venue. There’s also a state school, supermarket and family-friendly hotel. Of the five suburbs, Tingalpa has the highest percentage of couples with children as part of its overall mix of household structures.

Tingalpa’s median house price is $478,686, although its 12-month median house growth rate to 31 May was the lowest of the five suburbs at 3.37%, again by CoreLogic RP Data figures. Nevertheless, since 2011 house prices have been on a slow but steady incline in this suburb.
One stop further south along the Beenleigh train line from Rocklea is Salisbury, with a median house price of $485,570. It’s home to Russ Hall Park (also known as Salisbury Recreation Reserve), a multi-function sports and recreational space, as well as a section of the Toohey Forest Conservation Park (see Nathan, below).
Salisbury contains a blend of traditional Queenslander homes, older post-war style residences and newer developments, many of which are freestanding and on decent-sized allotments.
Of the five suburbs, Salisbury has the lowest figure for the average number of days properties take to sell from listing based on CoreLogic RP Data figures – 33 days, compared with 71 in Rocklea, the highest.
Nathan is just one suburb over from Salisbury heading east, and is home to Toohey Forest Conservation Park, the foundation campus of Griffith University and the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre.
Its median house price is $487,265, and of the five suburbs it’s furthest away from the Brisbane CBD.
With Toohey Forest taking up much of the suburb, Nathan is relatively sparsely populated. Only 10 properties sold there in the past 12 months looking at CoreLogic RP Data numbers, compared with 129 in Tingalpa, so sales figures are less reliable.
Affordable suburbs for units
CoreLogic RP Data lists Holland Park West, Gordon Park, Kedron, Tingalpa and Moorooka as the most affordable suburbs in inner Brisbane for units. Median unit prices range from around $347,000 to around $351,000.
Capital gains for units in these suburbs over the 12 months to 31 May ranged from 3.2% in Gordon Park to 12.5% in Tingalpa. And CoreLogic RP Data reports Brisbane shares with Darwin the equal-highest gross rental yield for apartments of all the capital cities.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) property economist, Professor Chris Eves, has raised concerns the city’s inner-city apartment market could falter next year due to oversupply.
He notes the increase in newly built apartments in the Brisbane CBD, South Brisbane and West End in particular, but suggests established (i.e. not off-the-plan) units in middle and outer inner-fringe suburbs with good schools, transport and city access—which would certainly include Tingalpa and Moorooka at least—are at less risk of oversupply.


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Housing investors to pick up slack as first home buyers retreat: AFG

Housing investors

One of the country’s biggest mortgage brokers, AFG, expects Housing investors will continue returning to the market, helping to fill the gap left by retreating first home buyers.

After figures this week showed house prices surged again last month, the chief executive of wholesale broker AFG, David Bailey, said investors were making up a bigger share of its new lending and he expected the trend had further to run.

While banks have predicted the rapid growth in house prices will slow this year, Mr Bailey said he had not seen a softening in lending activity, which was being mainly driven by people upgrading to a new home.

“Coming through the other side of the pandemic … my view is that as first home buyers — particularly who look at apartments and smaller places and so forth — come out of the market, that volume will probably be replaced by investors,” he said.

The chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), Wayne Byres, also said on Wednesday he expected investors would continue returning to the housing market.

Appearing before Senate estimates, Mr Byres said the fact owner-occupiers and first home buyers had driven the market until recently was a positive trend, but investor lending was now on the rise.

“Certainly the commitments to investors had been very low through 2020, but they’ve started to pick up again in recent months, so I think we’ll see them start to come back to the market,” Mr Byres said.

Lending to housing investors is being closely watched by regulators, who have warned banks not to cut their loan standards as low interest rates cause prices to surge. When APRA has put the brakes on previous housing booms by introducing credit restrictions, the measures were targeted at investors.

Mr Bailey said the share of AFG’s new lending going to property investors had risen from 21.3 per cent in the first quarter to 24.9 in the current quarter so far, but this was still well below its historical average of about 35 per cent.

Mr Bailey made the comment as AFG on Wednesday said it would take a 7 per cent stake in the neobank Volt for $15 million, and it announced Volt would supply some of AFG’s white-label loans. Volt also said its next chairman would be Graham Bradley, former chair of HSBC Australia and listed companies including Stockland and Graincorp.

In a further sign of investor activity lifting, the chief executive of mortgage broker Alan Hemmings said inquiries from investors were up by about 50 per cent compared with last year. He said this could be a response to some lenders cutting interest rates on investment loans.

“It may also be due to investors seeing opportunity in the market with the RBA continuing to state it will keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future and continued speculation of property price increases,” Mr Hemmings said.

The strengthening conditions in the housing market were also underlined by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, which said arrears rates for lower-risk borrowers had fallen to 0.94 per cent in March, down from 1.03 per cent a year earlier.

Director at S&P Global Ratings Erin Kitson said ultra-low interest rates, government stimulus, and a refinancing boom had allowed customers to build up financial buffers, and helped some struggling borrowers to move out of arrears.

“Given the low level overall, we are not expecting a big uptick in arrears as borrowers come off their mortgage deferral arrangements,” Ms Kitson said.

Ms Kitson said that in previous housing booms, the retreat of first home buyers had been followed by stronger lending to investors. She said investors were typically more able to access credit because they were likely to already own property, and had higher incomes.


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Best and Worst Suburbs For Rental Properties Revealed

rental properties

Australia’s rental Properties is tightening, finally reaching pre-Covid levels, however some suburbs are faring better than others.

The vacancy rate fell in May for the second consecutive month and now sits at 1.7 per cent. The last time rates were this low was February, 2020 according to research by Domain.

The report showed Sydney’s vacancy was at March, 2020 levels and Melbourne, while considerably high, was rapidly falling from its 5.4 per cent peak in December last year.

Adelaide and Brisbane had the lowest level of vacancy since the records began in 2017 while Canberra and Perth were close to record multi-year lows.

Worst places for rental property owners

Rank Sydney Vacancy Melbourne Vacancy Brisbane, Gold Coast Vacancy Perth Vacancy Adelaide Vacancy
1 Paramatta 4.6% Melbourne City 8.6% Brisbane Inner 3.4% Perth City 1.4% Adelaide City 4.7%
2 Auburn 4.4% Stonnington-East 7.8% Sherwood-Indropilly 2.5% Cottesloe-Claremont 1.5% Prospect-Walkerville 0.9%
3 Strathfield-Burwood-Ashfield 3.9% Whitehorse-West 6.1% Brisbane Inner-West 2.3% South Perth 1.1% Holdfast Bay 0.9%
4 Canterbury 3.9% Stonnington West 5.8% Nathan 2.2% Belmont-Victoria Park 1.1% Norwood-Payneham-St Peters 0.8%
5 Ku-ring-gai 3.2% Boroondara 5.6% Mt Gravatt 2.1% Canning 1% Burnside 0.7%

Best places for rental property owners

Rank Sydney Vacancy Melbourne Vacancy Brisbane, Gold Coast Vacancy Perth Vacancy Adelaide Vacancy
1 Camden 0.3% Yarra Ranges 0.2% Capalaba 0.2% Kwinana 0.3% Gawler-Two Wells 0.1%
2 Blue Mountains 0.4% Nillumbik-Kinglake 0.4% Caboolture Hinterland 0.3% Wanneroo 0.4% Marion 0.1%
3 Wyong 0.4% Maroondah 0.4% Nerang 0.3% Serpentine-Jarrahdale 0.4% Playford 0.2%
4 Gosford 0.6% Cardinia 0.4% Coolangatta 0.3% Cockburn 0.4% Tea Tree Gully 0.2%
5 Campbelltown 0.6% Mornington Peninsula 0.5% Wynnum-Manly 0.4% Swan 0.4% Salisbury 0.2%

^Source: Domain rental vacancy report, May 2021

Despite performing relatively poorly, Melbourne vacancy rate tightened more than any other capital, from 4.2 per cent in April.

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said extended lockdowns in the state would impact the city.

“Vacant rental listings may increase in regions with a high proportion of people working in the hospitality and tourism sectors,” Powell said.

“Those who have had a significant reduction in hours may be forced to cut costs and move in with family or friends.

“Vacancy rates are also likely to remain particularly weak in areas with a higher proportion of short-term rentals as ongoing outbreaks affect interstate travel and sentiment towards travelling to Greater Melbourne.”

Home owners in Melbourne were trying to get ahead of the curb with the rate of homes selling before auction doubling.

Meanwhile, in a rare occurrence, house prices were on the rise in every capital city during May and 97 per cent of sub-regions.


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House Prices Up Again in Synchronised Upswing

House Prices

House prices are continuing to surge with prices up 14.3 per cent in a year as the national market has a rare “synchronised upswing”.

The only things that could slow the market are affordability constraints and tighter credit policies, according to Corelogic’s monthly home value index.

In May, dwelling values rose 2.2 per cent across capital cities, however, this was slightly weaker than March when prices increased 2.8 per cent, breaking a 32-year record.

Sydney had the strongest price growth at 3 per cent while Perth lagged behind at 1.1 per cent and the Melbourne market held on at 1.8 per cent as the state went into lockdown again.

Corelogic house prices: May

Month Quarter Year
Sydney 3.0% 9.3% 11.2%
Melbourne 1.8% 5.5% 5.0%
Brisbane 2.0% 6.2% 10.6%
Adelaide 1.9% 5.4% 11.8%
Perth 1.1% 3.8% 8.5%
Hobart 3.2% 7.7% 16.5%
Darwin 2.7% 7.9% 20.3%
Canberra 1.7% 6.5% 15.6%
Capitals 2.3% 7.1% 9.4%
Regional 2.0% 6.5% 15.2%
National 2.2% 7.0% 14.3%

^Source: Corelogic home value index May 2021

Corelogic research director Tim Lawless said of the 334 sub-regions analysed, 97 per cent recorded a lift in the past three months.

“Such a synchronised upswing is an absolute rarity across Australia’s diverse array of housing markets,” Lawless said.

“Despite the consistently strong headline results, the underlying trends have shifted during the past year.

“The most expensive end of the market is now driving the highest rate of price appreciation across most of the capital cities, whereas early in the growth cycle it was the most affordable end of the market that was the strongest.

“It was the smaller capital cities that led the housing market out of the Covid-19 slump, but now Sydney has risen through the ranks to record the largest capital gain during the past three months with values up 9.3 per cent.”

However, the increased prices are continuing to put pressure on affordable housing in Sydney with the NSW productivity commission finding a lack of housing was limiting the number of workers available.

Lawless said that for now, Australia remains firmly entrenched in a housing boom and will continue to rise in 2021 but will slow down as affordability affects market participation.


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