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Property prices: Best growth suburbs in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth

Property Prices

Property prices have surprisingly lifted even after the downward spiral to the economy this year. Here are the suburbs that have been given a boost.

House prices are rising across the board in all Australian capital cities at the same time, even though we are in a pandemic.

REA group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the slight downturn in the pandemic that dragged the economy down for the better part of this year had given rise to property growth.

“The property market is bouncing back very quickly. It’s national whether you’re in a capital city or regional area,” she said.

“The downturn in pricing was very short-lived. In many places we didn’t see any downturn compared to prior to the pandemic.

“Buyer confidence has definitely returned.”

Property prices

There’s been property growth in capital cities and regional areas alike. Picture: iStock.Source:istock

Ms Conisbee said the boost in the property market is seen across the board on the back of low interest rates and government support during the pandemic.

“Interest rates are incredibly low and that’s allowing people to borrow more. Rules to accessing credit is changing so it’s easier to get loans,” she explained.

November marked a turning point because of the announcement of several vaccines as well as a new APAC trade agreement and opening up of domestic borders, Ms Conisbee said.


A surprising trend is the growth in regional areas which is rivalling capital city growth on the back of our changing work and lifestyle conditions.

The biggest lift is in coastal areas, with beach haven Byron Bay the strongest growth area in Australia for 2020.

Ms Conisbee said buyers are looking for properties outside of the CBD as more people move out of bustling cities, possibly because of shifting work arrangements.

She added this shift has also impacted rental markets in the capital cities.

“There’s been a definite shift to regional areas as people are working differently and don’t need to be close to the city,” she said.

“The big trend at the moment is the growth in regional, particularly areas that offer a very nice lifestyle.

“At the top of the list is Pearl Beach on the Central Coast, offering a nice beachside lifestyle. Byron Bay and Sunshine Beach are up there as well.”


Property prices

There’s been a shift towards regional and coastal homes as well as people buying holiday homes. Picture: iStockSource:istock

Ms Conisbee added that while Aussies have been stuck at home without the prospect of international travel this year, more people are looking to put their money into a holiday home.

“There’s growth in people looking at second homes and holiday homes because people can’t travel and don’t know when we will be able to travel again,” she said.

Ms Conisbee added that if you’re looking in a high-growth area, such as Byron Bay, don’t expect it to grow much more.

“If you’re hoping to see growth in a high-growth area in the next 12 months, it’s not likely,” she said. “They’ve hit their maximum level.”


Property prices

There’s been growth across the board in Australia. Picture: iStockSource:News Regional Media


Out of all the capital cities, it’s no surprise that Sydney properties are at the top of the property price growth in Australia, which also dominated the top property sales of 2019.

The market in Perth is strong as well as Canberra and Hobart.

“Conditions in Perth are improving rapidly,” she said. “Perth is doing well as is Sydney and Melbourne which is unusual, it’s usually one or the other.”

Melbourne is experiencing “surprising” growth despite the prolonged lockdown this year, with particular growth in the unit market.

“Rental market conditions remain weak in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, so it is surprising to see fairly strong unit price growth across capital cities,” Ms Conisbee said.

There are promising signs for NSW buyers with the removal of stamp duty in the state which is set to come in mid-2021.

Ms Conisbee indicated the change might slow the market down until the new policy comes into action.

“First homebuyers got the stamp duty concessions anyway but come June when the stamp duty changes are made in NSW they will also get a $25,000 bonus,” she added.

Suburbs recording largest year-on-year increase in median sale price over the past 12 months:


St Lucia – 37.5 per cent

Sandgate – 22.9 per cent

Virginia – 22 per cent

Highgate Hill – 20 per cent

Samford Valley – 19.4 per cent


Pearl Beach – 45.5 per cent

North Willoughby – 43.8 per cent

Glenorie – 40.5 per cent

North Avoca – 38.6 per cent

Bayview – 34.1 per cent


Tyabb – 43.6 per cent

Aberfeldie – 24.4 per cent

Collingwood – 23.4 per cent

South Melbourne – 22.9 per cent

Coburg – 20.5 per cent


Dodges Ferry – 29.4 per cent

Primrose Sands – 26.4 per cent

Carlton – 19.4 per cent

Rokeby – 18.1 per cent

Berriedale – 17.2 per cent


Millswood – 34.6 per cent

Hove – 33 per cent

Seacliff – 21.3 per cent

Blackwood – 21.1 per cent

Craigburn Farm – 20.7 per cent


Coodanup – 29.1 per cent

Kelmscott – 26.6 per cent

Medina – 20.3 per cent

Mount Nasura – 20 per cent

Madora Bay – 18.4 per cent


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Bid to Open Up Student Accommodation to Workers

Student Accommodation

Scape Australia plans to open up its student accommodation to essential workers and interstate travellers as it waits for international students to return to the country.

The group applied for a temporary change of use for its Atria South Brisbane property until the end of February 2023, providing accommodation for non-students in the 88 Ernest Street building.

This will “allow the applicant to effectively manage the impact Covid-19 has had on their Brisbane assets [six buildings in total]” according to the application.

“Prior to Covid-19 [December 2019], building occupancy in Brisbane was at 75 per cent currently the assets have an occupancy rate of 28 per cent as Scape’s primary market is international students,” the report stated.

“The proposed ‘other change’ will allow Scape to use the vacancies in its buildings to offer the Brisbane housing market an alternative to typical renting models [share houses and the like].

“Scape are hoping to host like-minded occupants within the building who are not students.

“Examples include interstate travellers who do not want to sign a six- or 12-month lease elsewhere but need to remain in Brisbane for three-plus months or hospital workers who are assisting in the nearby Mater with the Covid-19 response.”

This is the second time Scape has tried to change the use of the building—that proposal was rejected by the council in August last year due to parking and transport issues.

Overseas arrival numbers remain at record lows, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which recorded a 99.1 per cent drop in visitor arrivals in February compared to the same period last year.

Student Accommodation

▲ Scape have multiple properties in Brisbane and more than 18,000 beds across the globe in development or operation. 

To shape a recovery for the industry, federal education minister Alan Tudge announced a 10-year, whole-of-sector international education.

In 2019 there were 750,000 international students studying in Australia, accounting for a third of university enrolments.

“In 2019, we started the year with around 480,000 continuing international students, while another 150,000 entered Australia to study in the first half of the year, and a further 130,000 in the second half,” Tudge said.

“Closing the borders, of course, had a significant disruption on the international student sector.

“That normal pattern was not possible last year. While some started online, many also deferred their studies, preferring to wait until travel is again possible.”

Despite a lack of international students in 2020, Scape continued to expand its Australian portfolio, purchasing 252 serviced apartments in the Aurora Melbourne Central building for $125 million in November.

The group also lodged plans for four student towers on each corner of an intersection in Kensington and Kingsford near the University of New South Wales.


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The cost of renting in Brisbane reaches record levels, outstrips Melbourne prices

For the first time in years, it now costs more to rent a home in Brisbane than Melbourne, with mass migration and a near two-decade low vacancy rate shooting median asking prices to record heights.

Amid tales of tenant bidding wars and rejected applicants reduced to tears, the latest Domain Rent Report, released Thursday, revealed the average weekly asking price for a house in the Queensland capital soared by almost 8 per cent to an unprecedented $440 per week over the past 12 months – and by 3.5 per cent over the past quarter alone.

The price hike means the average Brisbane tenant is now paying $10 more a week than their Melbourne counterpart for a house, and $25 more a week for a unit after prices for the latter rose by a slightly more modest 3.9 per cent over the year to a record-breaking $400 per week.

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said the report marked a sharp turnaround for the city, with houses, in particular, marking the steepest annual increase in rent prices since 2008 following three strong consecutive quarters of rent gains.

“Melbourne house rents have been higher than Brisbane’s since about 2016 so what we’ve really seen in Brisbane since mid-2020 is an acceleration in asking rents and this really goes against what was happening in the lead up [to the pandemic],” Dr Powell said.

“They had relatively flatlined since 2013.”

Dr Powell said while Queensland had always been a hot destination for interstate migrants, the pandemic and the possibility of remote working had fuelled the trend with the annual number of Australians moving to the state hitting its highest level since 2006.

“Tenants will find less choice, with the pool of available rentals shrinking by one-third compared to last year, pushing Brisbane’s vacancy rate to a multi-year low,” she said.

“House and unit rents held steady or increased in all regions across Greater Brisbane over the March quarter, apart from unit rents in Ipswich sliding a mere $5 a week. Annually, the biggest jump in asking rent was recorded for houses in Brisbane’s north and Moreton Bay North, the steepest annual increase since 2008, up 6.8 per cent and 6.7 per cent annually.”

While rent prices indeed soared across most parts of the city it was the capital’s family-friendly pockets in the middle and even outer rings that shone brightest, with houses in Bald Hills and Everton Park enjoying the biggest annual price rise after surging 10.6 per cent to $520 per week.

Hot on their heels were Kenmore, Brookfield and Moggill, where median asking prices for houses shot up by 8.2 per cent over the same period to an unprecedented $595 per week – a rental price equal only to houses in the inner-city west region.

It’s a rare rental boom that Aurora Realty Brisbane leasing manager Abi Harrington said was reaching eye-watering levels – with their agency currently managing 100,000 tenants actively seeking a home.

“We’ve gone from houses taking three weeks to rent out, to three days and even down to three hours [in the past quarter],” Ms Harrington said.

“You wouldn’t believe the gifts I have received (from desperate tenants) from gin, to flowers to cheesecake and even a bottle of champagne.

“We used to have the policy that a tenant mustn’t apply before they’ve seen the property but now we say apply first if you like the photos … and if you get approved we’ll arrange a private inspection after [because rentals are being snapped up so quickly].”

As for the soaring rents in Everton Park and Bald Hills, Ms Harrington put the increase down to tenants being simply priced out of Brisbane’s more expensive inner pockets, with houses in quiet suburbs boasting a good school catchment the number one lure.

“I’ve just listed a property in Everton Park … and in less than 24 hours I have five inspections booked in … but sometimes we get up to 15 people in the first few hours,” she said.

“This is the height of it and it’s absolute chaos. On average tenants are offering $20 to $30 dollars over the asking price but some people are surpassing that. People from Sydney and Melbourne are cashed up and headed this way because buying a house is far cheaper here and Queensland is the obvious choice as the office doesn’t exist anymore.”

Ms Harrington said soaring interstate migration was a major contributor to rising rent prices, with some southern home hunters willing to fork out $90 per week more in a move that was causing much anxiety among Brisbane residents.

cost of renting in Brisbane

Properties for rent in suburbs like Chapel Hill and Kenmore are sparking bidding wars.

“Locals feel like they’re being pushed out … and I see this getting worse. And it’s not fair on locals living here struggling to meet that price range … and we don’t encourage [bidding wars] because we’re trying to manage expectations,” she said.

Ray White Metro West property manager Stephanie Budrodeen said with rental wars now a common occurrence in hot spots such as Chapel Hill and Kenmore, median prices, in reality, had soared beyond eight per cent to as high as 30, creating a scene more akin to an auction, with the charge being led by Melbourne families particularly desperate to bag a house in a top school catchment.

She said the pandemonium was further fuelled by the “nuts” sales market with some tenants pushed out by owners desperate to sell in a booming market, while others were forced to rent purely because there was nothing to buy.

“Two weeks ago, we just had one property [a two-bedroom unit] left on our rental roll … and that’s never happened before. But the downfall to all of this is owners think their properties are worth more than they are and this is going to make problems for the future when prices are no longer inflated,” Ms Budrodeen said.

“Tenants are in panic mode right now … and in my opinion this a ripple effect from the housing market.”


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[+] Developer Ramps Up Hunt for Springfield CBD Investment Partner

Springfield CBD

Introducing The Urban Developer Plus (TUD+),
our premium membership for property professionals.

In this TUD+ Briefing, Springfield City Group’s Bob Sharpless discusses its global search for a partner to help deliver its $15-billion Knowledge Precinct that will complete the Springfield CBD.

The group has now put out a tender for a development partner to help deliver a new 120ha precinct, approved for more than 1.2-million sq m of commercial space and more than 5000 apartments.

This TUD+ Briefing covers:

—the mixed-use development opportunity for the partner

—education, health and technology uses across the site

—preferred partnership models and developer credentials

—the appointment of Moelis Australia to lead the search

—the impacts of Covid-19 on the global tender

—the timeline and projected announcement date.


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