Less than 5 per cent of interstate migrants during the 2016-2017 financial year settled in Brisbane, according to data from the ABS. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Interstate migration to Queensland is booming but analysis shows most new residents are bypassing Brisbane for other regions in the Sunshine State.
Buyers’ agency Propertyology analysed ABS data, which showed there were 17,246 internal migrations to Queensland in 2016-17. But out of those, only 846 relocated to Brisbane, which equates to less than 5 per cent.
Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said the lion’s share went to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Cairns, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim.
“We’ve read a lot about interstate migration to Queensland lately and it’s been growing each year, which is great,” he said.
“The thing is, people automatically think Queensland means Brisbane but when you actually look closely at the numbers, they tell a very different story.”
As a proportion of total population growth over 2016-17, the biggest beneficiaries of interstate migration were Tasmania (22.5 per cent) and Queensland (21.9 per cent).
House prices in the regions with the most internal migrations have mainly increased — house prices on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts have increased by 7.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively over the past 12 months — although Mr Pressley said the correlation between population growth and house price growth was often overstated.
“I know logically it makes sense — if an area has a big surge in population, house prices should go up — but there’s much more to it than that,” he said.
“Jobs growth is a lot more important than population growth, so is wage growth, [and] affordability is also extremely important.”
REIQ Gold Coast zone chair Andrew Henderson said each of those factors was connected and all had contributed to the Gold Coast’s house price success in recent years.
“Our local economy is strong but it’s also changed. We’re no longer solely reliant on the tourism industry. The diversity of our job offering has changed,” he said.
“With new infrastructure like universities and hospitals, we’ve got people moving here from interstate into jobs who would have never been able to move here 10, 20 years ago.
“So the age of the people we’ve got moving here has also changed. We’ve always had a lot of retirees but we’ve noticed a surge in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s – people moving their whole families up here. Around Mermaid Waters and Clear Island Waters there’s a really strong southern presence.”
Andrew Campbell of Ray White Redcliffe said the influx of interstate migrants buying up locally in the Moreton Bay region had become apparent more recently.
“We noticed a dip in the interstaters for a while but recently they’ve started to come back and it’s about affordability. All the properties around that median price are really moving so quickly,” he said.
Domain Group figures show the median house price in Moreton Bay is $456,000.
“There’s a lot of first-home buyers who fly up here for the weekend from Sydney. They know they can’t afford to buy there so they’re moving here because they see you can buy a house for under $500,000, get the lifestyle and still only have to drive 40 minutes to work in Brisbane,” Mr Campbell said.
But Mr Pressley said interstate migrants were being “pushed” to Queensland, rather “pulled” as they were during the mining boom.
“People have always wanted to come to Queensland because of the good lifestyle, weather and affordable housing,” he said.
“In the past they came for those things but also because we created more jobs year after year than everyone else. Now, we’re not dragging here through job growth, they’re coming here by default.
“To me, that’s why interstate migration hasn’t translated into property prices yet … and that’s why only minimal people have gone to Brisbane.
“I anticipate that in the next 12 months we’re going to see another really strong year of interstate migration into Queensland; if our economy improves, then it could translate to property prices for Brisbane and all over Queensland. Overall though, this is a good news story for Queensland and Brisbane as well. It’s looking positive.”
‘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.
High-end property prices are booming in these five Aussie cities
The Australian economy is recovering from a property downturn, but the growth in national house prices is still faster than many cities across the world.
And it’s expensive property that’s in highest demand.
In fact, a handful of Australian cities rank among other leading global cities for having some of the fastest luxury property price growth in the world.
Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Gold Coast, and Perth all feature on Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index of Q2 2019, which tracks the movement in luxury residential prices across 46 global cities.
Sydney ranks in at 18th place, with 2.5 per cent rise in luxury property prices in the 12 months to June 2019.
Brisbane came 20th place, recording 2.2 per cent price growth, followed closely by Melbourne at 2.1 per cent.
Gold Coast is a new name on the list, with the newcomer ranking 27th and recording 1.1 per cent growth in luxury property prices, while Perth – at 32nd place – saw 0.6 per cent growth.
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane’s price change was above the overall average of 1.4 per cent across the 46 cities.
Berlin took out first place on the list with a stunning 12.7 per cent growth in high-end property, followed by Frankfurt at 12 per cent.
Break it down
Knight Frank head of residential research research Australia Michelle Ciesielski said Sydney had recorded its sixth consecutive year of growth, averaging 8.7 per cent across this period.
“This outstrips the average of 1.8 per cent recorded the six years prior,” she said.
“The Sydney prime market remains resilient at a healthy 2.5 per cent growth per annum, being the best prestige performer in Australasia.”
Meanwhile, Gold Coast was noted for making its first appearance on the list.
“The Gold Coast has been included in the Prime Global Cities Index for the first time in the second quarter of 2019, reflecting stability and depth in the city’s established luxury home market, with a solid pipeline of new projects catered towards affluent local and interstate downsizers,” a Knight Frank statement said.
Who made the cut?
This is the full list of the 46 global cities where luxury property prices have grown the fastest:
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