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Locals insist this Brisbane suburb is about more than just bad headlines



brisbane market place

IT’S a suburb well known for its public housing and cultural diversity, but it’s now gaining a reputation for a market which draws on four corners of the globe.

Woodridge, which sits about 22km south of the CBD, is easily maligned but rarely appreciated for successfully bringing dozens of nationalities together, says local councillor Russell Lutton, who was once the local station master.

Mr Lutton challenged those that look down their nose on the suburb, to visit the Sunday market at Woodridge railway station to witness multiculturalism in full flight.

Local councillor Russell Lutton praised Woodridge for its ability to draw cultures together.

Local councillor Russell Lutton praised Woodridge for its ability to draw cultures together.
“We’ve got cultural diversity that you would not see anywhere else,” Mr Lutton said.

“If you come down to the market you will see there a Global Village market where three or four thousand people visit every Sunday.

“We have a big refugee cohort and … the suburb doesn’t get enough credit for absorbing all the cultures.”

Bang in the middle of the market action is local newsagent Tony Tjin who has been in business in Woodridge for more than 25 years.

Mr Tjin once ran a supermarket but now spends his days meeting and greeting customers from all walks of life.

“There are just so many nationalities we have people from Africa, Vietnam, Myanmar, Samoans and so on,” Mr Tjin said.

“There’s a lot of assistance within the suburb with language classes and they take them for driving lessons to help them integrate into the community.

“I know the greetings and the pleasantries of most languages which is something I’ve picked up in the shop and it makes it more personal.”

Over the years, Mr Tjin has seen many a family start life in Woodridge only to move on, but that’s not such a given these days.

Two of the most telling examples of locals calling Woodridge home forever were local lottery winners, said Mr Tjin.

“We’ve had a couple of people win division one lotto and they could have moved out, but they stayed in the community,” he said.

Tony Tjin has operated a newsagency in Woodridge for almost three decades. Picture: Darren Cartwright

Tony Tjin has operated a newsagency in Woodridge for almost three decades. Picture: Darren Cartwright
Not only is Woodridge known for an eclectic mix of cultures, but also for being heavily family orientated.

According to the latest ABS Census, of the 12,579 residents, 24 per cent are 14-years-of-age or younger.

The average age of the local population is 32 which is five years below the state average and six years below the national average of 38.

The high number of families has both to do with the migrant intake but also the affordability of the suburb, says John Ahern Real Estate principal John Ahern.

“It’s good for community services which assist the refugees and migrants,” Mr Ahern said.

“You’ll find in any major city there are lower socio economic areas and Brisbane is no different and Woodridge is where you have a mixture of people because it’s a great starting point.

“First home buyers are quite noticeable in the area because not everyone wants a big mortgage and it offers great value for money.”

The median house price is tracking at $300,000 this year which is slightly down on 2016 ($303,300) but still well up on 2015 ($277,000).

The affordability factor certainly hasn’t been lost on interstate investors who are parking their money in Woodridge.

Of the some 550 properties Ahern Real Estate manages, some 30 of them have been owned by long term investors.

“One of our biggest buyers is investors,” he said.

“About 41 per cent of the properties are rented which is a reasonably high percentage compared to some of the other suburbs closer to the city because it’s both affordable for buyers and renters.

“I’ve been in business 37 years and we’ve had more than 30 people who had investment properties with us for more than twenty years.”

The low median house price means the suburb is not being picked-off by professional renovators looking to ‘flip’ a house for quick profit.

Mr Ahern said sales over $500,000 are “pretty rare” which means there’s little profit to be made in purely renovating houses for immediate resale although that won’t last forever.

“There’s a little bit of flipping (houses) where we get the builder handyman person who add some value and tidy it up then sell it, but not major renovations,” he said.

Trinder Park railway station is one of three stations to service the area. Picture: Darren Cartwright

Trinder Park railway station is one of three stations to service the area. Picture: Darren Cartwright
While there are plenty of social services for those in need, there are also plenty of schools to accommodate the young families with no fewer than five schools including the highly culturally diverse Woodridge State High, Woodridge State primary School, St Paul’s Catholic Primary School and Harris Fields State School in the region.

The suburb is also well served by two railway stations, Woodridge and Trinder Park, and an extensive bus service, including a regular service to Garden City.

A police beat has recently opened across from Woodridge Station and which was welcomed by the community, said Mr Tjin.

“I’ve live here for more than 25 years and I’ve seen it cleaned up a lot but I’d like to see more foot patrol with police,” he said.

“The police beat has moved in a few months ago which has helped a lot but there are still a few rat bags around but you are going to get that no matter where you go.”

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Market Place

Brisbane unit market ‘a buyer’s market’



Brisbane unit market ‘a buyer’s market’

The current state of Brisbane’s unit market is a viable option for investing in the capital city, a property specialist has claimed.

After reports by BIS Oxford Economics about Brisbane facing a unit oversupply, with around 20 per cent of its apartments remaining empty, Selena Corness, buyer’s agent at Universal Buyers Agent, said that right now is the right time for interested investors to enter into Brisbane’s market.

“Now is absolutely the time to buy and diversify your portfolio,” Ms Corness said.

“In the past 18 months, there have been a lot of new residential multi-storey unit complexes completed within a [two kilometre] radius of Brisbane CBD… [and] this has flooded the market and pushed prices down.”

As a result, Ms Corness said that buyers have panicked and pulled out. Investors can use this confusion to their advantage and find an entry point into the market via an affordable unit.

“By buying smart and taking advantage of the market, buyers are really in the driver’s seat,” the expert said.

“It’s a real ‘glass half full’ view — you could choose to see the doom and gloom side of the market and see it as half empty or appreciate it for what it is as a buyer: an opportunity.”

In order to enter the market, Ms Corness said that buyers need $300,000 in pre-approved finances, which will allow for investors to enter the premium markets of New Farm and Teneriffe.

“Not too long ago, living in these inner-city locations would have been a dream for most buyers, but now [that] prices are at the bottom end of the market, it’s a dream that can become a reality,” Ms Corness said.

“We know that prices will not continue to stay this low, so there is a lot of opportunit[ies] to make smart investments that will create great returns in the long term.”

As an example, Ms Corness pointed out how a unit developer cut its prices by nearly 25 per cent to try and sell its last units, from approximately $630,000 to $475,000, emphasising the room prices can grow back up to when the market corrects itself. However, deals such as this, she warns, are complicated to find.

“If you have $600,000 to invest in the Brisbane property market, my recommendation would be to split it and buy two units in different buildings aiming for an immediate minimum gross rental yield of 5.5 per cent,” Ms Corness said.


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Market Place

Brisbane suburbs earning double what the average worker does



Brisbane suburbs earning double what the average worker does

Amanda Wolski at 2837 Old Cleveland Road, Chandler, which is on the market for $1.15m. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning.Source:News Limited

HOMES in these suburbs earn double what the average worker does, raking in as much as $724.66 a night as their owners sleep.

Latest figures from and CoreLogic showed the top 10 Queensland suburbs for capital growth in the last year came out of the southeast corner of the state, the bulk of which were in Brisbane and Ipswich.

Chandler in Brisbane’s southeast topped the capital gains of the 10 best performing suburbs in the state when it came to daily earnings, with homes there bringing in a whopping $724.66 a day without their owners having to lift a finger. At $264,500 for the year, that’s about as much as the average futures trader earned in salary last year according to the Australian Taxation Office ($264,830).

Homes in Yeerongpilly were making their owners $506.85 richer every day ($185,00 annually) – which was like having a petroleum engineer in your wallet ($185,808), while Indooroopilly houses were cranking out a $495.89 boost in value daily ($181,000p/a) which was a public servant deputy level salary ($181,849).

Top performer percentage wise was Kurwongbah in Moreton Bay (32 per cent), four of the top 10 suburbs were in Brisbane (Yeerongpilly 28.2 per cent, Corinda 25.6 per cent, Indooroopilly 22 per cent and Chandler 21.5 per cent), the same out of the Ipswich region (Willowbank 27.7 per cent, Brightview 23.1 per cent, Chuwar 21.7 per cent), and Boonah in Scenic Rim also made the cut (20.9 per cent).

Agent Nyree Ewings of LJ Hooker Birkdale-Wellington Point said Chandler’s big earnings were not a surprise given the size of its blocks and Goldilocks proximity to the city, ocean and Gateway Motorway.

“It’s the most affordable acreage with good access to the city,” she said. “That’s the exciting part – there’s a package for every style of acreage there.”

“The reason there’s been so much capital growth there is people wanting a good old fashioned lifestyle but still within reach of the city and water.”

She said entry level in the area was over $1m now such as 2837 Old Cleveland Road which has 2.36 acres, two four-bedroom houses and a massive eight car spaces.

Its owner Amanda Wolski put the Chandler property on the market for $1.15m – “an entry level price”.

“I know it’s a good area. I did build it 12 years ago. It’s just beautiful out here, private, it feels like you’re in the country but you’re just 20 minutes to the city, private schools, close to the Gateway Motorway. You can be on the coast in an hour. The location is just incredible.

“It’s been the most beautiful place to raise children, they’ve had horses, guinea pigs, been in the pony club for years, had motor bikes, go carts, chickens, geese, campouts, firepits. We will miss that most plus just the peace and the trees.”

Ms Ewings said the home was attracting developers looking to land bank as well as locals keen to get into acreage as well as people from outside the area.



1 Kurwongbah 32% gain; $452.05 a day; $79.33p/hour

2 Yeerongpilly 28.2%; $506.85 a day; $88.94p/hour

3 Willowbank 27.7%; $246.58; $43.27

4 Corinda 25.6%; $457.53; $80.29

5 Brightview 23.1%; $164.38; $28.85

6 Indooroopilly 22%; $495.89; $87.02

7 Chuwar 21.7%; $273.97; $48.08

8 Chandler 21.5%; $724.66; $127.16

9 Boonah 20.9%; $157.53; $27.64

10 Basin Pocket20.6%; $132.88; $23.32



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Market Place

Why savvy Brisbane buyers are targeting 600 square metre development sites



Why savvy Brisbane buyers are targeting 600 square metre development sites
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