Renting vs buying in Brisbane: The suburbs where it’s cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent - Queensland Property Investor
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Renting vs buying in Brisbane: The suburbs where it’s cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent

Renting vs buying in Brisbane The suburbs where it’s cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent

A  Domain data crunch has revealed where in Australia it’s cheaper to buy a property rather than rent and Brisbane has more suburbs to choose from for buyers than the capitals down south.

The data used mortgage repayments based on the median house or unit price for the suburb — assuming an interest rate of 3.5 per cent and a 20 per cent deposit — with costs like council rates and transfer duties excluded.

In Greater Brisbane, the suburbs where it was cheaper to pay for a mortgage than pay rent were generally found outside of the local government area, in Ipswich, Logan and Moreton Bay.

The Logan suburb of Waterford had the biggest gap between buying and renting, with mortgage repayments calculated at $367 a week compared to $400 per week for rent.

It was followed by Bellmere in Moreton Bay North, where paying the mortgage was $31 a week cheaper, and Loganholme and Crestmead, both in Logan, where mortgage repayments were $30 cheaper a week.

Weekly mortgage repayment
Weekly rent
BellmereMoreton Bay – North$329$360-$31
Redbank PlainsIpswich$315$340-$25
Boronia HeightsLogan$329$350-$21

While there was a similar pattern for apartments, there were also some inner-city suburbs such as Bowen Hills, Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley where mortgage repayments were cheaper than rents.

The best deal was in Eagleby with a $79 difference, but Bowen Hills in the inner city was not far behind with a mortgage repayment of $339 – compared to $418 for weekly rents, a difference of $78.

At the other end of the scale, New Farm’s weekly mortgage repayment was $1498, a whopping $838 above the weekly median rent of $660.

It was a similar story in Ascot, with median mortgage repayments coming in $641 per week more than it cost to rent, while Auchenflower’s repayments were $558 more than rents.

Domain Research analyst Eliza Owen said Brisbane had far more suburbs, compared to Melbourne and Sydney, where mortgages were cheaper to repay.

“Generally what we saw in houses — which is consistent across capital cities — rents outstrip mortgage repayments in more affordable areas,” she said.

Weekly mortgage repayment
Weekly rent
Bowen HillsInner City$339$418-$78
Deception BayMoreton Bay – North$240$305-$65
RuncornBrisbane – South$341$400-$59
Spring HillInner City$367$419-$52
CalamvaleBrisbane – South$346$395-$49
Fortitude ValleyInner City$358$400-$42
Upper Mount GravattBrisbane -South$401$440-$39
KallangurMoreton Bay – South$272$310-$38
MoorookaBrisbane – South$318$350-$32

Ms Owen said lower socio-economic areas of Brisbane might be seeing greater pressure on the rental market because of the hurdles associated with buying.

For example, ABS data showed that Waterford had a much higher percentage of rentals that other parts of the city.

“The competition that results in the rental market might be driving up rents over a mortgage repayment,” she said.

When it came to inner-city Brisbane units, Ms Owen said these properties had more competition from mobile workers, short-term residents and young professionals at the rental stage, which could explain why the rental growth was higher than in other parts of the city.

“Then at the same time, Brisbane has had so much supply, and so much scare around oversupply, that purchase prices have been relatively subdued,” Ms Owen added.

“Brisbane units have actually performed pretty poorly over the past few years, compared to the house market.”

Where mortgage repayments outstrip rents by the most 
Weekly mortgage repayment
Weekly rent
New FarmBrisbane North$1498$660$838
AscotBayside North$1290$650$641
AuchenflowerBrisbane West$1108$550$558
ClayfieldBrisbane North$1092$540$552
BulimbaBrisbane East$1181$643$538
HawthorneBrisbane East$1060$600$460
St LuciaBrisbane West$984$550$434
RobertsonBrisbane West$865$490$375
PaddingtonBrisbane West$968$595$373
BalmoralBrisbane East$885$548$337

At the other end of the scale, prestige areas like New Farm, Ascot and Clayfield would attract a premium from buyers and rental growth in those suburbs would struggle to keep up, she said.

“You’re never going to get the benefits of buying,” Ms Owen noted. “Plus with renting, you can arrange in share arrangements, which makes it even cheaper.”

Ms Owen said while the barriers to entering the Brisbane housing market were challenging, particularly for those on a lower income, the data could help aspiring buyers work out where they’d be placed in terms of managing their mortgage repayments.

“Not everyone is going to be able to afford to buy, but I think what’s helpful about this data set is that it does give perspective on what could be possible for people, if they can overcome the deposit hurdle,” she said.

William Kiln, Mortgage Manager at ING Australia, said housing affordability was an issue around Australia, with putting together the deposit a barrier for many buyers which he said was not going to go away.

“The biggest part of that is not the rental-vs-mortgage,” he said. “It’s the ability to save up for the deposit; that is one of the bigger challenges.

“Where the market is going at moment – interest rates are coming down, and that will help people service their mortgage. The fact is, you still have to save up and have that 20 per cent.”

He said ING was seeing more mortgage applications after the federal election than it had earlier in the year, and people would need to have a strict saving plan to accumulate their deposit.

Renting vs buying in Brisbane The suburbs where it’s cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent 1

John Jessop from Elders Shailer Park said buyers moving into the area or upgrading their home were predominately owner-occupiers.

“The $350,000 to $500,000 is a lot of first-home buyers,” he said, adding that they had a broad range of price points in the area they covered, with properties from as little as $150,000 up to well over $1 million.  

Mr Jessop had noticed the market had picked up since the federal election. “In  the past two to three weeks it’s started to motor again,” he said.

They were also getting buyers from further south, he added, who couldn’t believe the bang for their buck in the area.

When it came to barriers to entering the market, Mr Jessop thought that conditions for business and the labour market were making it harder for young people to buy a home.

“Ten years you basically had a permanent job, nowadays you have people who have two or three jobs,” he said. “The dynamics have changed.”

Meanwhile, in New Farm, demand was coming from young professionals, said Christine Rudolph from Ray White New Farm.

“The attraction of this beautiful suburb is that it sits on a peninsula, with no through access to other suburbs, which makes it unique being so close to the city,” she said.

Renting vs buying in Brisbane The suburbs where it’s cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent 2

She said local professional buyers were attracted to art deco apartments and the 1970s brick apartments were popular with renovators, while investors from Sydney were interested by the affordability compared to the Sydney market, as well as low vacancy rates.

Downsizers, too, were keen on buying New Farm apartments, wanting to be close to the water and the lifestyle it brought.

“Aspirational families in their 30s to 40s are key drivers for house sales,” she said, with the suburb well known for its classic Queenslander homes, as well as newer, premium luxury properties.

Meighan Hetherington, director of Property Pursuit Buyers’ Agents, said in property there was often a negative correlation between rent return and capital growth – that is, areas with strong rental returns often had a slower rate of growth over the long term.

“Many of these suburbs are outside the Brisbane local government area and very popular with first-home buyers,” she said, noting that the top 10 best suburbs for mortgage affordability, compared to rentals, all had a median house price under $400,000.

“At the other end of the scale, the 10 suburbs with the greatest gap between mortgage payments and rental returns are those where land values are much higher and the median house price is well over $1 million.

“But even with these higher prices, interstate buyers are seeing great value in inner Brisbane compared to Sydney and Melbourne.”

She said she was seeing family homes within eight kilometres of the CBD in the $750,000 to $900,000 price range being snapped up particularly quickly.

“We are also seeing new listings in this range attracting multiple offers within the first seven days,” she said.




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Brisbane rents: Landlords in ‘rosier position’ as unit oversupply eases

Brisbane rents Landlords in ‘rosier position’ as unit oversupply eases

Brisbane rents are creeping up and the proportion of vacant homes is inching down, as the city’s rental market recovers from years of oversupply, experts say.

Asking rents for units rose 1.3 per cent to a median $380 a week over the past year, the latest figures from the Domain Rental Report for the September quarter show.

House rents also edged up 1.3 per cent to a median $405 over the same time period, according to the report released on Thursday.

The combined vacancy rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 2.2 per cent during the September quarter.

It comes after a wave of new apartments were built in Brisbane’s inner city in recent years, with the extra supply keeping a lid on rents.

Domain research analyst Eliza Owen said the market was now in good health, despite appearing to be near-stagnant.

Median weekly asking rents for units
Brisbane – City wide$380$380$3750.0%1.3%
Brisbane – East$405$405$4000.0%1.3%
Brisbane – North$370$365$3631.4%2.1%
Brisbane – South$385$380$3751.3%2.7%
Brisbane – West$400$415$390-3.6%2.6%
Brisbane Inner City$420$425$410-1.2%2.4%
Moreton Bay – North$315$315$3100.0%1.6%
Moreton Bay – South$340$335$3351.5%1.5%

For units, the stability was a positive story compared to oversupply-induced market weakness a few years back, Ms Owen said.

“There’s been a lot of fear about over-development but in the building space there’s been tightening of dwelling completions,” she said. “They’ve come down sharply and are returning to long-run average levels.”

Rents were now trending up and vacancy rates down, she said.

“The picture for south-east Queensland in terms of rental returns is pretty good, it’s also one of the most affordable rental markets for houses.”

Ms Owen said interstate migration, mostly from Sydney, was a major factor in keeping the rental market balanced.

“The tightening of the rental market is off the back of strong population growth and a very affordable lifestyle, and this is reflected in the rental vacancy rate which is down to 2.2 per cent from 2.6 in the previous year,” she said.

Median weekly asking rents for houses
Brisbane – City wide$405$400$4001.3%1.3%
Brisbane – East$450$450$4500.0%0.0%
Brisbane – North$435$435$4300.0%1.2%
Brisbane – South$435$435$4400.0%-1.1%
Brisbane – West$490$485$4801.0%2.1%
Brisbane Inner City$550$530$5203.8%5.8%
Moreton Bay – North$375$370$3651.4%2.7%
Moreton Bay – South$410$413$410-0.6%0.0%

Space Property projects director Adam Gray said the unit market was threatening to tip into under-supply for sales, which could have a flow-on effect to the rental market.

“There’s a few reasons, one of the main reasons we’re not putting as much supply in,” he said. “There’s certainly a lot less cranes, and apartments being built than there once was.

“A lot of that was happening in the inner city and now rents are rising and rental vacancy rates are dropping.”

Ray White Brisbane CBD principal Dean Yesberg did not think a looming under-supply was something to worry about yet.

“No, definitely not,” he said. “We’ve got enough supply coming through to cater.”

The bulk of rentals were being filled because of new employment opportunities in the Queensland capital, said Mr Yesberg.

“The mining industry are getting into a better situation and that’s seen an increase in families coming to Brisbane, well qualified people coming up here for jobs,” he said.

“The coal mining people are getting into full swing, then there’s a lot of infrastructure going into Brisbane right now – the Cross River Rail and Queens Wharf casino, [for example].”

Median weekly rents – houses


Urbis director of property economics and research Paul Riga said young people were continuing to drive the rental market, particularly for units in the inner city.

“There’s a bit of a mix, when we look at the building manager feedback, the Gen Y demographic is driving that market,” he said.

“They’re here for employment and maybe from Sydney so their first port of call won’t be to buy, it will be to rent.

“It’s not a majority but it’s just grown in proportion. Some of our building managers are suggesting up to 20 per cent of their rental inquiry is coming from interstate.

“It’s a rosier position if you’re a landlord, definitely.”

Median weekly rents – units





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Investec Lists Fortitude Valley Office Tower

Investec Lists Fortitude Valley Office Tower

The newly-listed Investec Australia Property Fund will divest its 11-storey Fortitude Valley office building with an expected price north of $90 million as it moves to recycle capital.

Fresh off the heels of its fully underwritten institutional placement and purchase of three industrial properties in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia for $84 million last month, Investec has motioned to sell its Brisbane, 757 Ann Street, tower.

Investec purchasted the Nettleton Tribe-designed tower for 68.5 million after it was completed in 2014.

Comprising 9,422sq m of office space with a weighted average lease expiry of approximately five years, the A-grade building, anchored by technology company Asea Brown Boveri, is 100 per cent leased.

Investec Lists Fortitude Valley Office Tower 1

Cushman & Wakefield’s Mike Walsh and Peter Court are managing the international expression of interest campaign, to kick off mid-October, with expectations it will generate strong interest from domestic and off-shore institutions, funds and syndication groups.

“The entire commercial component of the asset is structured on a net lease basis, providing smooth, predictable cash flow for investors,” Court said.

Sales over the first half of the year surpassed the total volume of sales over 2018—reaching $1.2 billion, according to Colliers research, with Australian institutional investors dominating the lion share of transactions.

Commercial assets currently on the market include Perth-based investor RG Property’s 410 Queen Street in Brisbane’s ‘golden triangle’.

Recent Brisbane assets changing hands include the sale of the Jubilee Place Office development at nearby 470 St Pauls Terrace to a real estate fund managed by Credit Suisse, Malaysian-backed HCK’s 116 Adelaide street for $30 million, and QIC’s Q&A Centre at 141 Queen Street and 140 Elizabeth Street which sold to Taiwanese developer Shayher Group.

As for development plans in the Fortitude Valley precinct, Sydney fund manager Millinium Capital in August announced plans for a new university campus and 30-storey tower that would comprise student accomodation, co-living and co-working space at 240 Brunswick Street and 11 Overells Lane.





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Australian property management startup raises $3.5 million, expands to Brisbane

Australian property management startup raises $3.5 million, expands to Brisbane

Australian proptech startup :Different has announced it raised $3.5 million in its latest funding round to continue its national expansion.

The fund raising coincides with the company’s launch into Brisbane today.

:Different is a full-service property management startup where property owners pay a fixed fee of $100 per month instead of a percentage based on the rental price of the property.

The appeal of :Different is their tech base which automates the everyday tasks of a property manager.

:Different’s owner app provides 24/7 access to documents like lease agreements, statements, and maintenance requests, while the tenant app helps streamline requests and fast track communications.

Over the last 12 months, :Different’s customer base has grown five folds with more than $700 million worth of properties now under management across New South Wales and Victoria, while its team has quadrupled to 32.

The latest funding round supports :Different’s ambitions to expand into new markets, further enhance its tech platform and continue to build its team of expert property managers, said Mina Radhakrishnan, Co-Founder at :Different.   

“We’ve already had huge success since launching in Sydney and Melbourne, and we’re thrilled to offer the same great offering to Queenslanders,” Radhakrishnan said.

“We have big growth ambitions for :Different. This latest funding round will help us continue to rebuild property management in Australia and beyond.”


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