Brisbane’s cheapest suburbs closest to the CBD have been revealed — and if you’re in the market for a house, you can still pick one up for under $500,000, less than 10 kilometres from the CBD.
According to new data from Domain, there are still a number of sleeper suburbs close to the city centre that have median sale prices considerably less than their surrounding areas.
Houses in Keperra, Chermside and Everton Park, as well as units in Spring Hill, Clayfield and Bowen Hills, are some of the most affordable properties within a 10-kilometre radius. Moving further out to between 10 and 20 kilometres, units in Zillmere and Runcorn offer great value, as well as houses in Acacia Ridge, Thorneside and Durack.
Domain research analyst Eliza Owen said while the general rule was the further a suburb was placed from the CBD the more affordable it was, there were exceptions.
“The average median for a Brisbane house within 10 kilometres of the CBD is $845,000, so take Stafford Heights, where a typical price is $600,000 — while that is still a lot of money, it’s relatively affordable when you’re looking at properties that close to the CBD,” Ms Owen said.
The data showed units within walking distance of the city centre for under $400,000, while the median for units up to 10 kilometres out is $460,000, Ms Owen said.
She said there were often reasons why these suburbs were more affordable.
“There are other factors that create pockets of relatively low prices. Being placed near industrial parks, having relatively low socio economics in there, being close to an airport or under a flight path and the nature of the housing stock can all affect a suburb’s value,” she said.
Suburbs less than 10 kilometres from the CBD
In Brisbane’s leafy north west, buyers after an affordable home can pick up a house at Keperra, where the median sale price is $530,000, although Christine McKay of Harcourts Solutions says many sell for less than that.
“Houses are selling from around $480,000 — often they’re pretty little post-wars, and they’re very popular with the young people,” she said.
“Keperra has a lot to offer apart from its proximity to the city and that’s the transport, schools, shops … all the infrastructure is here.
“Why do people live here for 70 years? Because everything is here. It’s a lovely suburb and we’re finding people are buying these little post-wars and turning them into beautiful homes, lifting them, extending them and building in underneath.”
Other affordable suburbs included Chermside and Chermside West, in Brisbane’s north, and Everton Park, also in the north west.
For units, Moorooka, Bowen Hills and Clayfield were the cheapest, followed by Spring Hill, which is only one kilometre from the CBD.
Most affordable suburbs <10km
Suburbs 10 to 20 kilometres from the CBD
A little further out from the city centre and prices come down further, particularly for houses. Inala, 14 kilometres west of Brisbane, has the cheapest median house price at $365,000.
The bayside suburb of Thorneside, which straddles the Brisbane coastline a little further along from Manly and Lota, has a median house price of just $432,000.
But it’s suburbs like Acacia Ridge, only 12 kilometres south of the CBD with a median houses price of $400,000, which agent Adrian Daynes of Daynes Property refers to as a “sleeping giant”.
“If you compare it to surrounding suburbs like Coopers Plains, Algester, Sunnybank or Salisbury, Acacia Ridge is right next to these suburbs but the prices are so much lower,” he said.
“It’s a little bit unknown in that respect. Buyers come out to investigate the suburb and are pleasantly surprised because the quality of the home you can get here is 40 to 50 per cent cheaper than the neighbouring suburbs.”
Mr Daynes recently listed a three-bedroom, two-bathroom post-war house on 607 square metres of land at 15 Scouse Street, Acacia Ridge for $419,000 but said the same house would be worth $560,000 to $570,000 in Coopers Plains.
“A lot of our buyers here are first-home owners but we also get a lot of investors too as the rental yields are so high. They’ll buy a house for $350,000 and get $350 a week rent,” he said.
Most affordable suburbs 10-20km
Suburbs 20 to 30 kilometres from the CBD
Unsurprisingly, house prices drop considerably by this distance, dominated by the LGAs of Logan and Ipswich.
Goodna, on Ipswich’s fringe, has excellent transport links via trains and the Ipswich Motorway to Brisbane’s CBD. With a median house price of $337,000, it is only 20 kilometres from the CBD.
Also in Ipswich, Collingwood Park and Redbank Plains, both with median house prices of $340,000, are located 23 and 26 kilometres respectively from Brisbane’s CBD.
Some of Greater Brisbane’s most affordable units, however, are located in Moreton Bay, north of Brisbane along the coastline.
Units at Woody Point, 25 kilometres out, have a median of $382,500, while neighbouring Redcliffe, 28 kilometres out, has a median of $384,500.
Most affordable suburbs 20-30km
Are these Australia’s cheapest blocks of land?
Just when we thought we had found the cheapest – a patch of dirt for $4.94 a square metre near the Queensland and NT border – we found another one.
And this “dirt cheap” vacant block is on the market for $2.08 a square metre – less than a 2L bottle of milk!
The fully fenced rural block of land has town water available and “power close by” but is only suitable for horses or recreation, hence the price.
It is listed with LJ Hooker Gayndah.
In Camooweal, yes that one near the border, a “drovers dream” is listed at 54 Cronin Street for $10,000.
With 2024sq m of vacant land that works out to be $4.94 a square metre — less than a beer at the local pub or a foot-long sub on discount day.
To help you wrap your head around that, that block of land would cost you over $1 million in Ipswich.
A recent report by property services group Oliver Hume found that Ipswich had the best value dirt in southeast Queensland, with land averaging $507 a square metre.
That is nearly half the price of vacant land in Brisbane, where buyers can expect to pay an average of $970 a square metre, so that block of land in Camooweal would set you back almost $2 million in the big smoke.
Bronwyn Finch of Jays Real Estate Mount Isa is marketing the Camooweal vacant block, which is located off the Barkly Highway.
Camooweal had a population of 208 at the time of the 2016 Census, with the average resident aged 36.
“It is walking distance to the local shop and garage, and you can wave at the tourists as they go past,” Ms Finch said.
“I sold another block about a year back, same deal for about $8000.”
Ms Finch said the cheap blocks were usually purchased by retirees looking for a spot to park their van between trips.
She noted it would be a tough ask to get a car park in Brisbane for the same price.
“It is quite close to the Gregory River, which is beautiful, and Adels Grove, our premiere tourist attraction out here, is about an hour away.
“That’s close for us. That’s a daily commute in the city.”
Meanwhile in Mungallala, a tiny outpost on the Warrego Highway west of Mitchell, is a 1012sq m vacant lot of land that is on the market for $6000, or the nearest offer.
That’s $5.92 a square metre – less than a cup of coffee in Ascot.
It is listed with Ray White Charleville agent Glenda Fill.
“There has been a new house built in the town in the last two years,” she said.
“It is very small town off the Warrego Highway and had a population of 136 in 2016.
“It is an hour and a quarter from here (Charleville) so it’s a bit closer to the coast than we are.”
And in Westwood, which is about half an hour from Rockhampton, the beef capital of Queensland, is an 1800sq m block for $9000.
There is also another 1174sq m lot for $8000, and the 962sq m lot, which was listed for $6000, has sold.
“Blocks are not serviced and would suit ‘off grid’ living,” the listing says.
“There is no town water in Westwood – households rely on tank or underground (bore) water.
“No town sewerage (septic or bio), Westwood has electricity – no current supply to this estate.”
Marketing agent John Neumann of Discover Real Estate said “it’s a bargain” with a “rural outlook”.
“There is a rail line nearby, a mining one,” he said. “I think there is a pub, a post office and a police officer there.
“It is only about 50km from Rockhamption and it is on the western highway to the mining belt.”
Mr Neumann said he had already had some interest in the lots, mostly from grey nomads looking for a base and people keen to “go off-grid”.
He said he had even had inquiries from uni students looking to get a leg – or toe – on the property ladder.
Westwood had a population of 174 during the 2016 census.
It was the first new town proclaimed in the Queensland Government Gazette, after the state became a separate colony back in 1859.
‘The margin will never be this close again’: Brisbane’s waterfront secret where property is still affordable
Think “Brisbane waterfront” and Moreton Bay darlings Wynnum and Manly quickly spring to mind.
But only 30 kilometres northeast, on the other side of the airport and a similar distance to the CBD, another bay-front suburb, Sandgate, appears.
The photogenic village topped Domain’s best performing Brisbane suburb list in 2018 with 18.8 per cent median house price growth.
Despite this overall rise in housing value, data-savvy local agent Jacqui McKeering makes the case that Sandgate’s waterfront properties are still undervalued compared to southside bay designer homes.
Ms McKeering, of Jim McKeering Real Estate, says Sandgate waterfront still remains great value because family groups have to buy further back to get more features.
“When the price-to-rateable-land-value gap narrows, you are getting a bit of a bargain,” she says.
“A simple calculation to illustrate this point shows the market value of Sandgate waterfront properties not that much greater than the rateable land value; on average 32 per cent greater.
“In fact one waterfront property sale, back in 2017, sold for 15 per cent less than the rateable land value, yet one block back and without bay view properties have a greater gap of 42 per cent.
“One particular [non-waterfront] property sold as high as 66 per cent greater than the rateable land value.
“The outtake here is there is plenty of money to be made on Sandgate waterfront properties.
“I do believe the margin between waterfront properties and the neighbouring streets will never be this close again.”
Flinders Parade, which runs along the foreshore of Sandgate and into Brighton, plus Eagle Crescent and Shorncliffe Parade, are the waterfront property strips in focus.
Ms McKeering says a lot of people have been buying these older houses and renovating and that at the moment there is some choice in “real cheapies” from about $900,000 to about $1.35 million.
“I know someone who bought for $1.4 million in 2017 with a $1.8 million renovation budget,” she says.
“When you see that sort of money coming into an area, it tells me people are seeing long-term capital value in this area.”
Fellow Sandgate agent Tamara Wecker of RE/MAX agrees suburb 4017’s waterfront properties are priced and selling considerably under their comparable Brisbane market values.
“When compared to Wynnum and Manly,” Ms Wecker says, “absolutely; I mean you can live in the Taj Mahal in Sandgate for about $1.5 million.”
She is seeing buyer migration from Sydney and “a little bit from Perth” because of affordability, and thinks Sandgate’s strict rules, which prohibit multi-unit developments on its waterfront, is a further drawcard.
“People tend to think of Wynnum and Manly but here you can have a premium home and lifestyle only 30 minutes from the city,” Ms Wecker says.
“To be honest, it has been a bit of a secret because we are off the highway so you have to have a reason to come here, but that is changing in the past 18 months.
“We are getting more inquiries from people, even from Brisbane, who just did not know about us.”
Mark Crew has been selling Sandgate housing since 1990 and thinks people have woken up to how great a suburb it is in the past 18 months.
The Professionals’ agent has reported strong interest from Sydney buyers “looking for a better family lifestyle”.
He estimates 25 to 30 per cent of Sandgate buyers this year have come from the neighbouring suburbs of Shorncliffe, Deagon and Brighton; people who want to upgrade but stay in “the village”.
“It is 31 minutes to the CBD and you can be walking on the waterfront with your kids after work and we’ve got excellent schools too,” Mr Crew says.
Regarding Sandgate’s waterfront property market and its value, he says three factors should be considered.
“There are few waterfront properties for sale, land is scarce and over the past 20 years there has been a lot of change to the houses themselves, a lot of renovation and/or raising older three-bedroom cottages and transforming them into often substantial five-bedroom luxury houses,” he says.
“So these houses on their waterfront blocks are, quite rightly, going to fetch more in sale prices when they do one day return to the market; and that is showing.”
Cheap Units In Brisbane Suburbs
Twelve suburbs in Brisbane have a median unit price of just under $400,000, according to Domain’s June House Price Report.
Ten out of these 12 suburbs are in the inner city, the report said.
Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Albion, and Spring Hills are all within three kilometres of the Brisbane CBD. The median unit prices in these suburbs are below $400,000, the figures showed.
East Brisbane, Coorparoo, Clayfield, Nundah, Taringa, and Kedron also offer some of Brisbane’s cheapest unit values, according to the report.
Bowen Hills is the cheapest suburb to buy a unit, with prices falling 13.7% in the past 12 months, the figures showed.
Here are Brisbane’s cheapest suburbs to buy units by median price, according to Domain:
|Suburb||Median price||YoY % growth||5-year % growth|
In Greater Brisbane, the median unit price fell 8.6% over the year to June, according to the report.
The capital city’s unit prices are “sitting at 2013 levels”—down from their peak in 2015, according to Domain research analyst Eliza Owen.
However, prices are expected to bottom out this year, with the end of the downturn in the unit segment in sight, Owen said.
“Unit listings are also moderating, which should reduce downward pressure on prices,” she said.
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