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This Brisbane suburb is loved by locals, but largely unknown



This Brisbane suburb is loved by locals, but largely unknown

IT’S a Brisbane suburb many would know by name, and quite possibly because of a famous poem which has no bearing on its locality, and yet they’d be hard-pressed to find it on a map.

Geebung on Brisbane’s northside is one of those places people tend to hear of but have no idea where it’s located.

Not even Banjo Patterson’s famous Geebung Polo Club ode is affiliated with the suburb.

Even local cafe owner Paul Edwards recounts recently ordering supplies from a business in Nundah, just a few kilometres south of his Railway Parade establishment, only for the receptionist to ask where Geebung was.

Paul Edwards, from Bite My Biscuit, admits he’d only ever driven through Geebung before moving his cafe to the suburb. Picture: Darren Cartwright

Paul Edwards, from Bite My Biscuit, admits he’d only ever driven through Geebung before moving his cafe to the suburb. Picture: Darren Cartwright

“I said ‘you’re kidding, it’s only two suburbs away’ and I had to spell it,” Mr Edwards said.

“I think it’s off everyone’s radar. Chermside is where everyone goes and it’s right next door.”

The owner of Bite My Biscuit even admits to being a little bit unsure of Geebung before he relocated his cafe from Stafford to opposite the railway station five years ago.

He took the punt to move after one of his regular customers, who lives at Geebung, mentioned a shop was available for lease.

“She said there was an empty shop here and it’s only five minutes from home, but I really didn’t know much about Geebung and I had lived in Wavell Heights for 15 years,” he said.

“I drove through but never stopped.”

But it would pay for people to make a pay a little more attention to Geebung, says Innov8 Property principal Michael Spillane.

He said even though Geebung is just 12 kilometres from the CBD and sidles more affluent suburbs, the median house-price is a mere $530,000. The highest sale for 2017 was $860,000 (Jan- Aug.).

Mr Spillane said there was so much room for growth that the suburb was prime for home renovators or even professionals looking to flip a house.

“It’s a forgotten and older suburb and some people don’t know Geebung’s locality even though they’ve heard of it,” he said.

“It’s not big geographically and it’s known to have a lower socio-economic background, but it’s perfectly placed when you think of access to Sandgate and Gympie roads, it’s not far from the airport, it has two railway stations and is extremely close to Chermside shopping centre.”

The two railway stations are Sunshine and Geebung and the latter of the two has undergone a major facelift which coincided with the opening of a $200 million rail overpass at Robinson Rd which the RACQ identified as one of Queensland’s worst traffic black spots.

The flyover on Robinson’s Rd opened in 2014 and connects Robinson East and Robinson West Roads.

Mr Edwards said the overpass had not affected his trade and was primarily for traffic passing through the area rather than heading into Geebung.

“We arrived as they were building it and the station was updated when they put in the overpass and they put in new lifts as well,” he said.

“We have a lot of young families come in and it can be extremely busy one minute. It’s like everyone moves in waves around here.”

Bite My Biscuit maybe one of the more recently established trades in Geebung but the oldest family-run business in the area, and possibly the oldest in Brisbane, is Gerns Continental Smallgoods in Buhot Rd.

The business started in 1895 after Heindrich Gerns, who emigrated from Hanover, Germany, bought 20 acres for 20 pounds.

Hendrich’s grandson Edwin Gerns, who is semi-retired and handed down the business to his son Andrew, said he’s seen a lot of changes over the decades.

“There used to just see paddocks around here but not anymore,” he said.

Gerns Continental Smallgoods and retail store sits at the rear of a block in a dead-end street at Geebung.

Edwin said his grandmother offered his father some motherly advice which he wished his dad had listened to now that Geebung is very much part of suburbia.

“In 1914 the homestead was built,” Edwin said.

“My grandmother said to my dad one day on the deck of the homestead, ‘why don’t you buy 70 acres there for 70 pounds for somewhere for the kids to play’ but he was too busy making salami.”

The exterior of the Geebung RSL. Picture: Darren Cartwright.

The exterior of the Geebung RSL. Picture: Darren Cartwright.

Within 500m of Gerns Continental Small Goods is Geebung State School while St Kevin’s Catholic Primary School is also nearby.

Mr Spillane said Geebung may only have a couple of schools but there are several respected one in the surrounding neighbourhoods which were very accessible and added to the appeal of the suburb for younger families.

Geebung’s public high school catchment area includes Aspley, Wavell Heights and Craiglea State High Schools and Earnshaw State College.

“There are a lot of schools around and you Nudgee College not that far away and neither is the Australian Catholic University at Banyo,” Mr Spillane said.

As for growth in real estate prices, Mr Spillane said the suburb had improved more than 20 per cent in the past five years and it was likely to climb at an even faster rate given the demand on properties in nearby suburbs like Chermside and Wavell Heights.

“When you think about it, you’re paying close to $500,000 for a two-bedroom unit at Chermside and yet you can buy a two or three bedroom house with land in the next suburb and it’s on a train line and Chermside isn’t.”

“And it’s quick to the city from there as well.”

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Market Place

Metro Property’s discounts leftover Brisbane apartments



Metro Property's discounts leftover Brisbane apartments

Want a bargain? Metro’s Newstead Towers in Brisbane has 20 per cent discounts. Supplied

Real estate agents are offering 20 per cent discounts on apartment sales at four of Brisbane-based developer Metro Property Development’s Brisbane CBD projects as the apartment market continues to face headwinds.

Along with 20 per cent discounts on one and two-bedroom apartments, buyers were being offered a 4.5 per cent rental one-year guarantee at Aqua Newstead, Broadway on Ann, Canterbury Towers, and Newstead Towers. These apply to apartments priced between low $400,000 to nearly $600,000.

The oversupply problem in Brisbane is heating up, with the Queensland Treasury now warning its apartment market could take a turn for the worse, especially if the bigger Sydney and Melbourne markets begin to falter.

But Metro said the discounts applied only to residual stock, not entire projects or launch prices, with residual discounting being part of a business-as-usual stock clearance.

“We are not discounting [the original prices of] apartments in Brisbane, but rather managing an orderly sell down of any remaining stock we have,” Metro marketing and sales general manager Phil Leahy said.

“The heat has certainly come out of the Brisbane market from where it was a couple of years ago, but we see it as just back to normal market conditions with good buying opportunities and plenty of growth potential in the coming years to buyers entering the market now.

“We have already secured buyers for the four buildings and are in the run up to settling the last of these units over the next couple of months.”

He said discounts were sometimes offered by agents on their own accord, hoping developers would accept the lower prices.

“We see this all the time, however I can confirm there is no discounting to our [original] price lists and we have been successful in maintaining pricing levels thanks to the locations, amenity, inclusions and designs offered in the apartment projects we have been selling,” Mr Leahy said.

Discounts aside, a 4.5 per cent rental guarantee was reasonable and agrees with SQM Research’s data which show the latest rental yield for two-bedroom units in Brisbane was close to 5 per cent.

“We are taking an average of 18 days from handover to secure a tenant via our in-house rental team. Given this strong demand, we do offer a one-year rent guarantee to investors,” Mr Leahy added.

“We are having excellent success getting investors from both Melbourne and Sydney to look at Brisbane as a more affordable investment option than the other wo capitals vis-à-vis lower purchase prices with high rental yields.”


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Market Place

Analysis: Brisbane’s backyards emerge victorious over townhouses but for how long?



Analysis: Brisbane’s backyards emerge victorious over townhouses but for how long?

Three years ago, Madonna King wrote that Brisbane was “at risk of becoming downright ugly”.

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Market Place

Queensland Budget 2018: What it Means for the Property Industry



Queensland Budget 2018: What it Means for the Property Industry
Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad handed down the Queensland State Budget on Tuesday, delivering a surprise $1.5 billion surplus and putting an extra $200 million into people’s pockets.

This year’s budget focused on infrastructure, tourism and mining funding.

Property investors will also be met with a 0.5 per cent increase in the land tax rate for aggregated holdings above $10 million, as well as an increase in the additional foreign acquirer duty from 3 per cent to 7 per cent.

The government also announced it will cut back the first home owners’ grant.

So what does the state budget mean for the property industry?

Here is what you need to know.

Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty

Aligning with states nationwide, the Queensland government announced an increased rate for additional foreign acquirer duty.

The AFAD is an additional tax on relevant transactions that are liable for transfer duty, landholder duty or corporate trustee duty which involve a foreign person directly or indirectly acquiring certain types of residential land in Queensland by foreign persons.

The duty will rise from 3 per cent to 7 per cent and is forecasted to result in an increased revenue of $33 million per annum.

Infrastructure Improvements

The state government will dedicate $4.217 billion to transport and roads.

The Sunshine State’s long-awaited duplication of the Sunshine Coast rail line received $161 million.

The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project received $543.3 million, a route to the north of Toowoomba from Helidon to the Gore Highway.

Brisbane’s Cross River Rail received $733 million to go toward the $5.4 billion project. The federal government failed to pledge any assistance towards the Cross River Rail project earlier this year leaving the state government to foot the bill.

There’s also $487 million over four years for upgrades to the M1 on Brisbane’s south and on the Gold Coast.

Queensland Budget 2018: What it Means for the Property Industry

Proposed Exhibition station on Cross River Rail. Artist’s Impression.Image: Cross River Rail Authority

First Home Buyers Grant Slashed

First home buyers have come to expect a $20,000 starter grant since 2016 will now see it cut to $15,000 if they buy a house from July onwards.

The $5,000 boost had been added to the grant in 2016 by former Treasurer Curtis Pitt, with the measure supposed to be in place for just one year.

It was extended twice in six-months until the end of 2017 and then to June of this year.

Land Tax Increase

Under the new taxes introduced in Tuesday’s budget, foreign landowners with more than $10 million worth of landholdings will now be in line for a 0.5 per cent increased rate of land tax.

Individuals with properties worth more than $10 million will now incur an additional rate of 2.25 per cent (or 2.5% for trusts or companies) for every dollar of taxable value over $10 million.

This is expected to bring in $71 million in revenue in its first year, with a projected 11 per cent increase in 2018-19 land tax revenue.


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