Until this story, I’d never been to Everton Park, despite having lived in Brisbane for nearly 20 years.
I knew it was north side – but that was about it.
When I Google Mapped it, the estimated travel time – which, let’s face it, can sometimes be a little off – was about 15 minutes from my inner-city location during peak hour.
Surprised, I thought Google was having a bad day, but it was actually about spot on, thanks mainly to the new Airport Link that connects the CBD and Clem Jones tunnel to the East-West arterial road and Brisbane Airport.
LJ Hooker Stafford principal Richard Mirosch said that piece of infrastructure had been a game changer for his neck of the woods.
Not that he thought that way a few years back.
“When it was coming in, I didn’t really appreciate what was going to happen,” he said.
“But now we want to be near it because the roads are getting busier and that’s why these areas around here will keep going up [in price] – because they’re affordable.”
The thing about Everton Park is that it appears to be on the cusp of change.
New townhouses are cropping up and old homes are making way for new as a younger demographic stakes their claim on some of the most affordable property within 10 kilometres of the city.
It’s not quite there yet, but it seems like before long many more people will know where Everton Park is – and want to live there, too.
Mr Mirosch said Everton Park, about eight kilometres north of the CBD, was a firm favourite with city or airport workers due to its easy access to both locations.
The suburb is also firmly on the radar of first-home buyers, with 60 per cent of sales transacting between $500,000 and $700,000, he said.
Investors and owner-occupiers were equally keen, especially since the suburb has solid affordable homes on large blocks of land.
He said older weatherboard houses were being knocked down and replaced with new homes.
And they’re not the only punters who’ve recognised Everton Park’s development potential.
Crucially, there are no character controls in Everton Park, which means townhouse developers have made their move.
“What they did is they went out to Everton Park and Everton Hills, where they’ve got big englobo blocks of a hectare or half a hectare, because you can build 30 townhouses on it. It was the closest acreage to the city that [developers] could find,” Mr Mirosch said.
One such townhouse development is Queens Edge in Everton Park, which features 26 townhouses on what was previously an 8000sq m single home site.
Another, more ambitious project is in neighbouring Everton Hills, where developer giant Sunland has received approval for its 91 terrace home Hills Residences project.
This in itself shows where Everton Park and its surrounds are heading – a developer at big as Sunland would be unlikely to appear in a suburb without careful and well-researched consideration.
“Not only is [Everton Hills] easily accessible to the Brisbane CBD and major retail centres, it is also located on the doorstep of the expansive parklands and nature trails of Bunyaville State Forest,” Sunland Group managing director, Sahba Abedian said.
“It’s also exceptionally well-located close to four train stations with direct services to the city, more than 10 schools, and only minutes from the Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera.”
But Hot Property Buyers Agency senior buyers agent Zoran Solanohas, who has been targeting houses in Everton Park, has some concerns about a potential future oversupply of townhouses.
“Most of this new product will be sold to investors, which could oversupply the rental market and soften rents, so investors need to invest in established properties to ensure top performance,” he said.
It’s clear the area is changing but its retail offerings are still dragging the chain somewhat to a first-time visitor.
But that might be able to change, too, with plans afoot for a dining precinct across the road from the abandoned Masters site, which itself is set to be chopped up into smaller retail lots.
“It’s not a really trendy cafe precinct but as you get younger families shifting in they want those groovy coffee shops,” Mr Mirosch said.
“It’s those kind of neighbourhood centres that will really drive an area. That will be one of the biggest factors and one of the driving forces of Everton Park when it goes off.
“It’s the area that you want to buy in because it hasn’t gone but you know it’s going to go. It’s like Stafford three years ago because all of the little cafes were opening up there,” Mr Mirosch said.
“Once that starts happening, people feel confident and they start spending money in the area so the median price goes up.
“It’s too late when you see big rises because people have already poured their money into it, whereas it’s a good time to be buying here because it hasn’t gone yet.”
5 things you didn’t know about Everton Park
- It’s home to the electorate office of Deputy Leader of the Queensland Opposition Tim Mander.
- It has no character controls.
- You can still buy a house there for about $500,000.
- It’s closer to the city than you think.
- It’s a favourite with airport workers courtesy of the Airport Link.