When people move to Highgate Hill, they fall so in love with the suburb they don’t want to leave.
Domain Group data from 2017 showed the suburb was the most tightly held within five kilometres of the Brisbane CBD, with property owners loath to move outside its borders.
Highgate Hill, where the dominant demographic is families, ticks those boxes. Two kilometres south of the Brisbane CBD on the Brisbane River, the suburb is in the sought-after Brisbane State High School catchment and has great connectivity via buses and trains.
It’s also 12th most walkable suburb in Brisbane, according to Resolution Research.
“To leave an area that meets all that criteria requires a really good reason,” says Dr Powell.
Despite being close to major activity hubs, the hilly suburb still holds onto its more relaxed, suburban vibe, which is a huge part of its appeal, says Cam Milne, co-owner of Vvaldmeer cafe and a local resident.
“I think with West End now having been very much swamped with cafes, bars and trendy shops, it’s only natural that Highgate Hill would follow.”
Matt Pendragon, Shed 41 Café & Galleria owner, decided Highgate Hill was a perfect area to open a “relaxing, dog friendly, phone-charging, ‘sit down and have a brew’ space”.
He lives in the area too, and is often surprised to learn how many locals have been in Highgate Hill their whole lives, some even living in the houses they grew up in.
“The suburb, although being only a stone’s throw from the CBD, is so peaceful and tranquil, the houses are well kept, and the sense of community is stronger here than in any other place I’ve lived.”
Being tightly held puts pressure on prices, and the result has been 26.8 per cent growth over the past five years, according to Domain data.
The median house price broke through the $1 million barrier last year after rising steadily, but since then there has been a slight pullback, says Dr Powell. It’s now sitting at $950,000 and the median unit price is just over $440,000.
“If you take away last year’s performance, the suburb has overall been outperforming Brisbane as a whole,” she says.
“In terms of house prices it was growing at a healthy rate between 2013 and 2017 and there were periods of time [where] there was double-digit growth.”
After children have flown their Highgate Hill coop, their parents don’t want to leave but they do want to downsize, while still staying within the boundaries of the suburb. That’s where apartment developments tailored for owner-occupiers, such as Sierra Nuvo, come in, making up part of the suburb’s diverse housing stock.
The 44-apartment luxury development launched in August, and has been popular with downsizers from the 4101 postcode, including Highgate Hill, South Brisbane and West End.
It offers two, three and four-bedroom apartments, plus four premium penthouses, with prices ranging from $785,000 to $2.835 million. Each apartment includes two car parks, while penthouses come with three car parks as well as a storage cage.
Stephen Browne, principal of Skyring Real Estate, working with the developer behind Sierra Nuvo, says the development at 18 Jones Street is just 900 metres’ walk from Brisbane State High School, two kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, close to bus stops and is in one of the “super quiet” spots in Highgate Hill.
It’s in an elevated position with city views that can never be built out, he adds.
“You can almost hear the crickets when you drive into the street,” he says.
“From the sky garden on the rooftop, which has a 15-metre infinity edge lap pool, wading pool and spa, barbecues and entertaining pods, there are unencumbered 300-degree views that will be there for the rest of time.”
He says buyers have been particularly drawn to the level of finish of the luxury apartments in the building, with designer kitchens featuring granite stone benchtops, the latest Smeg and Pitt appliances, integrated fridge/freezer, integrated dishwasher, Vintec drinks fridges, and a separate custom laundry for each residence.
‘There’s not another home like it on the Gold Coast’: Unique Broadbeach Waters on the market
It’s a house that makes a statement. Dominated by unbroken, horizontal forms, and offering water frontage and city views, there’s a considerable 821 square metres of living space to kick back, relax and entertain in.
Now on the market for $7.495 million, the five-bedroom home at 15 Cleland Crescent, Broadbeach Waters is kitted out with floor-to-ceiling windows, a 2000-bottle cellar, butler’s pantry, media room and spa.
The vendor bought the block in 2010 for just under $2.895 million, with the market at the time feeling the effects of the GFC.
The resort-style residence itself is four years old. It was designed by Adam Beck from BDA Architects as a family home over 12 months, with a separate wing for their teenage offspring.
With the children now flying the nest, the time had come for the vendors to sell, said agent Jordan Williams from J.D. Prestige Agents.
“It’s in a really nice elevated position, due north,” Mr Williams said. “It’s got over 30 metres of water frontage, which is very hard to come by.”
“The design is very cool, it has two wings and two sets of stairs,” he added, noting that to design and build the property today would take $2.5 million or so.
Mr Williams said they’d had good numbers through to look at the property already, and he thought it would appeal to a Sydney or a Melbourne buyer in particular with its industrial vibe, off-form concrete and large panelling.
“There’s not another home like it on the Gold Coast – it’s very unique,” he said.
Overall, he thought the Gold Coast market was picking up after the end of financial year, with the winter chill beginning to thaw.
“The steady numbers are coming back through – I think we’re in a very good position,” Mr Williams said.
The median house price in Broadbeach Waters sits at $1,137,500 for the year to May 2019, based on 164 sales – a 3.4 per cent increase on a year ago.
So far this year, records show the most expensive sale in the suburb was 24 Andrea Avenue, Broadbeach Waters, which scored $3 million via private treaty in January.
Meanwhile, in 2017 it was 201-205 Monaco Street that took top honours with a $9.5 million sale in February, while 77 Monaco Street changed hands for $9 million in March.
Melbourne Top Investment Choice for Chinese Buyers
Chinese buyer enquiries for residential property in Australia has recorded two consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth for the first time since 2016, with Melbourne still the most popularAustralian city.
Australia has been losing Chinese buyer interest to other parts of the world due to increased taxes and banking restrictions.
But Australia’s hefty state foreign buyer taxes have been counterbalanced by its weakening dollar according to the latest Juwai.com report, which has seen it drop around 11 per cent of its value against the Chinese Yuan since mid-2018.
Juwai.com CEO Carrie Law says she expects Chinese buying to remain flat in 2019, with forecasts it could start to grow again inline Australia’s property market recovery.
“Chinese buyers make 83 per cent more enquiries about acquiring Melbourne property than they do Sydney,” Law said.
Brisbane has the second fastest rate of Chinese buyer growth. Law said Brisbane recorded 30.8 per cent more Chinese buyer enquiries in 2018.
“Brisbane is becoming a real alternative for the two traditional gateway cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
“The fastest growing cities, in terms of Chinese buyer interest, are Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra.”
Melbourne receives 43.8 per cent of Chinese buying enquiries in Australia, Sydney 23.9 per cent, Brisbane 10.1 per cent, Perth and Adelaide 6.1 per cent, the Gold Coast 3.7 per cent, Canberra 3.6 per cent, and Hobart 2.6 per cent.
Weak Aussie dollar boosts buyer interest
Despite the tougher state foreign buyer taxes, Australian’s weakening dollar means it now costs less to secure real estate.
“A buyer holding Yuan today needs the equivalent of $88,800 less in funds compared to 2017 to purchase an $800,000 dwelling,” Law said.
“The plummeting Australian dollar, which has lost 11.1 per cent of its value against the Chinese Yuan since July 2018… [That] compares to the 8 per cent rate of the highest foreign buyer taxes, which are in New South Wales and Victoria.”
Law says Chinese demand is driven largely by growing wealth, a desire to store assets ‘safely’ overseas, education, travel, commercial ties, immigration and high-net-worth immigration, along with environment and lifestyle.
“Eighty-three per cent of Chinese consumers cite education as their reason for immigration, 69 per cent cite environment, 57 per cent cite food safety, and 28 per cent cite asset security.”
Australia’s Most Expensive Capital City to Rent a House Might Surprise You
When it comes to the nation’s most expensive capital city to rent a house, Sydney takes second place in what may come as a surprise to some, with Canberra crowned as Australia’s most expensive capital.
While Domain’s rental report shows Canberra remains as the nation’s most expensive capital to rent a house, it also shows it’s more expensive to rent a house in Hobart than Melbourne.
The latest report, which covers the median rental price for houses and units across the country, shows Melbourne house rents remained unchanged over the year at $430 per week, while unit rents increased 2.4 per cent over the year.
Taking in the unit market, despite Sydney’s price falls of almost 5 per cent over the year the harbour city is still the most expensive capital city to rent a unit.
Strong construction of new housing has weighed on rents in Sydney, and also contributed to the vacancy rate increasing to 3.2 per cent in June, up from 2.4 per cent one year ago, Domain’s Economist Trent Wiltshere says.
House rents fell by 3.6 per cent over the year to $530 per week.
While unit rents dropped by 0.9 per cent in the quarter and 4.5 per cent over the year.
“Rents held up the best on the Central Coast and on Sydney’s north shore, but fell in other Sydney regions,” the Domain report notes.
While largely thanks to the significant property price falls over the past few years, Sydney’s rental yields have risen slightly.
Melbourne’s strong population growth since 2013, averaging an annual 2.6 per cent, has seen ongoing rental demand.
House rents grew fastest in the Mornington Peninsula and in Melbourne’s inner-south, but were unchanged in Melbourne’s eastern suburb, for the past year.
Melbourne’s unit rents have increased by 2.4 per cent over the year.
While rent on a typical unit has increased 14 per cent over the past five years to $420, despite the city’s apartment construction boom during this time.
Melbourne’s house rents have also increased 13 per cent during this period.
Domain says unit rentals have held steady in recent years, despite the large supply of new Brisbane apartments.
“House rents were steady in most parts of Brisbane over the past 12-months, but unit rents increased 6 per cent in the inner city.”
Unit rents also increased by 2 per cent on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
And while rental prices for houses across Greater Brisbanerecorded falls in the June quarter, rental prices have remained unchanged year-on-year.
Brisbane’s rental vacancy rate fell from 2.6 per cent to 2.2 per cent over the past year, a sign of a strengthening rental market, Wiltshere says.
House rents in Adelaide dropped 1 per cent in the June quarter, but have recorded an increase of 2.7 per cent over the year.
Adelaide’s unit rentals have increased by 1.7 per cent over the year, with the typical unit renting for around $305 a week, this makes Adelaide the cheapest across all capitals.
Hobart remains the fourth most expensive city to rent a house behind Canberra and Sydney, according to Domain’s report.
Canberra house rents dropped 3.5 per cent in the June quarter, but are unchanged over the year at $550 per week. Unit rents increased by 4.4 per cent over the year, sitting at $470.
Canberra unit rents have increased a staggering 18 per cent over the past three years, despite an apartment construction boom.
And Darwin rents for houses have now dropped from the 2014 highs of $700 a week to $490. Darwin units have dropped over the past five years from $570 to $385, reflecting declining demand as the city’s population decreases.
Perth remains the most affordable capital city to rent a house in Australia at $365 a week. Rental prices for both Perth houses (up 4.3 per cent) and units (up 3.3 per cent) have increased over the past year.
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