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Where have all the Queenslanders gone? The iconic home in danger of dying out in the southeast

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THE quintessential Queenslander is in danger of becoming extinct as buyers battling rising building costs opt for low-maintenance versions of the real thing.

THE iconic Queenslander home is in danger of becoming extinct as buyers battling rising building costs opt for lower-maintenance versions of the real thing.

While our love affair with the traditional style of home is still strong, the state’s namesake is slowly being replaced by replicas of the original.

Housing history researcher Magnus Eriksson, who tracks the histories of houses across southeast Queensland, said quintessential Queenslanders were a dying breed.

“If WWF (World Wildlife Fund) was doing a survey, they’d probably put it on the most threatened list,” Mr Eriksson told The Sunday Mail.

“I would certainly say they’re disappearing and not being replaced.”

Mr Eriksson said true Queenslander homes were characterised as having a lightweight timber construction, a corrugated metal roof and a highset frame.

The original style was developed around the 1800s and began to change in the 1930s.

“That highset style started disappearing and more of a modern style came in,” he said.

“There are a few replicas going up, but there’s not too many of them.

“Only a few are built in the true form.

“The new ones may look the same but they’re not the same as a handmade original Queenslander.”

Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland executive director Melissa Greenall said the industry had noticed a decline in demand for the Queenslander as a preferred newbuild style.

“Modern families are exhibiting a preference for more modern styles, brick built with modern conveniences such as open plan living, ducted airconditioning and internal entertainment spaces such as media rooms,” she said.

“Sadly, it appears that the Queenslander is losing its popularity in Queensland.”

With the cost of building in the state climbing at the fastest rate in Australia, building, renovating and maintaining an original Queenslander home has also become more expensive.

Economist Michael Matusik recently published research which showed construction costs have risen by five per cent over the past year alone — the highest rise of anywhere in the country.

But buyers are prepared to pay a premium for a good quality replica with all the charm of an original, but without the upkeep.

A newly built Queenslander in Kedron recently broke the sale price record for the suburb after selling for $1.65 million under the hammer.

The auction of the five-bedroom home with a pool at 59 Thirteenth Avenue attracted a huge crowd and 14 registered bidders.

This newbuild Queenslander at 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron, sold for $1.65m. Source: Supplied

This newbuild Queenslander at 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron, sold for $1.65m. Source: Supplied

Selling agent Matthew Jabs of Place Newmarket said about 70 per cent of clients he dealt with were looking for a traditional Queenslander style home compared to a modern style, but it often depended on the location.

Matthew Jabs of Place at the auction of 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron. Photo: AAP/Ric Frearson.Source:News Corp Australia

Matthew Jabs of Place at the auction of 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron. Photo: AAP/Ric Frearson.Source:News Corp Australia

He said the quality of the build and finishes was a key factor and not all replicas were of the same standard.

“The proper, traditional ones are harder to build because they require more technique and craftsmanship,” Mr Jabs said.

“They also cost more to build so a lot of builders won’t do it.”

This newbuild Queenslander at 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron, attracted a big crowd at auction. Photo: AAP/Ric Frearson.Source: News Corp Australia

This newbuild Queenslander at 59 Thirteenth Ave, Kedron, attracted a big crowd at auction. Photo: AAP/Ric Frearson.Source: News Corp Australia

The former owners of the Kedron property, Belinda and Trent Ramke, of Ramear Investments, specialise in building high quality replicas of Queenslander homes.

Mrs Ramke said she found people were prepared to pay more for a high quality replica of a traditional style Queenslander than a contemporary style newbuild.

“The traditional houses are a bit more expensive to build because you’re putting more into them,” she said.

“There’s a lot of extra money in the carpentry.”

But she said the cost of a high quality Queenslander renovation could often be more expensive than a newbuild.

“That’s what we’ve found in our research,” she said.

And there are no “hidden surprises” in a newbuild.

“With a renovation, there could be anything behind those walls.”

Samantha and Malcolm Hall, with their son Max, outside their recently sold replica Queenslander in Hawthorne. Photo: Lachie Millard.Source: News Limited

Samantha and Malcolm Hall, with their son Max, outside their recently sold replica Queenslander in Hawthorne. Photo: Lachie Millard.Source: News Limited

Samantha and Malcolm Hall have just sold their replica Queenslander at 10 Lindsay St, Hawthorne for $1.164 million.

“I lived in actual Queenslanders through my university years and they look so lovely from the outside, but when you actually live in them, they’re draughty and hard to clean,” she said.

“A newbuild replica doesn’t have all those issues. It still has the character feel, but without the hassle.”

This replica Queenslander at 10 Lindsay St, Hawthorne, has just sold. Picture: realestate.com.au.

This replica Queenslander at 10 Lindsay St, Hawthorne, has just sold. Picture: realestate.com.au.Source:Supplied

Selling agent Gunther Behrendt of Ray White Bulimba said traditional Queenslander home styles were still sought-after.

“If they capture the character correctly in a replica, they’re definitely in higher demand,” he said.

“They’re a better built home and a lot of people like the lower maintenance of a replica.”

The original Queenslanders that do still exist are in high demand, as proven earlier this month when a Federation Queenslander built in 1912 fetched $4 million at auction.

The historic three-bedroom home at 77 Mowbray Tce, East Brisbane, attracted 30 registered bidders.

PRICE GROWTH TIPPED FOR 2018

WHAT MAKES A TRUE QUEENSLANDER?

*Timber frame

*Corrugated iron roof

*Raised up from the ground

*Internal walls made from VJ boards

*External walls clad in weatherboards

*Timber framed windows

This original Queenslander at 77 Mowbray Tce, East Brisbane, sold for $4m.Source: Supplied

This original Queenslander at 77 Mowbray Tce, East Brisbane, sold for $4m.Source: Supplied

Originally published: www.news.com.au

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Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs

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Inner city favourite New Farm is officially Brisbane’s most expensive suburb, with a median house price of $1.7 million.

New figures from the Domain Group have revealed the top 20 most expensive suburbs, ranked according to median house price — and, with Brisbane’s property market now in the ascent as the best performing capital city in Australia, it paints a strong picture of where the city’s wealthiest residents are willing to park their cash.

Acreage hot spot Chandler, in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, took out third place with a median house price of $1.585 million.

Old money favourites Ascot ($1.5 million median price) and Hamilton ($1.421 million median price) were closely followed by the inner eastern riverfront precinct of Bulimba, which had a median of $1,307,500.

expensive suburbs
These houses sit in Brisbane’s most expensive suburb: New Farm.

Other suburbs that made the top 20 most expensive list included Hawthorne, where Gina Rinehart’s $18 million estate fronts the Brisbane River; Clayfield (median price $1.125 million) and Kangaroo Point (median $1.03 million) – home to the  most expensive house ever sold in Brisbane: a clifftop mansion worth $18.48 million.

As well as taking out the title of Brisbane’s most expensive suburb, New Farm was also recently revealed as Brisbane’s best performing suburb for capital growth, with prices having soared nearly 90 per cent in the past five years.

New Farm’s remarkable success came as no surprise to local Ray White agent Matt Lancashire, who described it as the “Brisbane suburb for everyone”.

“There’s just so much in New Farm amenity-wise. New Farm is always the first place to boom and the last to cool off,” he said.

“My open numbers at the moment are huge. There’s such a strong desire to be in this suburb and I see that only continuing in the future years as Brisbane gets incredible new amenities like Howard Smith Wharves.”

brisbane suburbs
Ascot is up near the top of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs – 27 Sutherland Avenue sold for $11 million in 2018.

In Ascot, long-term resident Jenny Richardson has listed her house at 7 Bale Street for sale but she’s not moving far — she’s already bought a new property only a couple of streets away.

Ms Richardson has lived in Ascot since 2000 and said she wanted to stay because of the lifestyle it offered.

“Ascot has just got that lovely family feel about it, it really is such a wonderful community,” she said.

“It’s so quiet it’s got that suburban feel but with the proximity to the city and everything else — the Gasworks, Portside and James Street — and that means it’s the best of both worlds.”

expensive suburbs
Jenny Richardson at her home at Ascot, one of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs.

Fourteen kilometres southeast of the CBD, the acreage suburb of Chandler consistently rates as one of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs. Home to enviable land sizes ranging from a hectare to four hectares, it’s sought after for its proximity to Manly, as well as its peaceful treed surroundings.

Local Remax agent  Deborah Evans explained the “acreage precinct” of Chandler, Gumdale and Belmont was in high demand, although Chandler’s higher median house price of $1.585 million was partly due to its status as an acreage-only suburb.

“Every property in Chandler is an acreage property so naturally that will keep the median price high,” she said.

“Neighbouring Gumdale actually has more demand but its median is brought down by the non-acreage houses that sit on regular-sized residential blocks of land.”

She said demand always outstripped supply in the area and prices were rising — she recently sold a one-hectare acre block on Formosa Road for $1.6 million for land value only.

brisbane suburbs
Made up entirely of acreage estates, like this property at 11 Tyberry Street, Chandler is one of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs.

Ms Richardson’s Bale Street home is a four-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary residence set on one of Ascot’s most sought-after streets and — even more importantly — in the Ascot State School catchment.

“I’ve loved living here; I’ve got wonderful views out to the hills and the house is functional and quite timeless,” she said.

“I think Ascot is one of those suburbs people are always going to want to live in. It’s got such a wonderful feel.”

Brisbane’s top 20 most expensive suburbs:

SuburbMedianSuburbMedian
1. New Farm$1.7 million11. St Lucia$1,122,500
2. Teneriffe$1.65 million12. Auchenflower$1.11 million
3. Chandler$1.585 million13. Paddington$1.11 million
4. Ascot$1.5 million14. Brookfield$1.1 million
5. Hamilton$1.421 million15. Kalinga$1.049 million
6. Bulimba$1,307,50016. Kangaroo Point$1.03 million
7. Fig Tree Pocket$1,202,50017. South Brisbane$1,026,250
8. Hawthorne$1.2 million18. Hendra$1.025 million
9. Pullenvale$1.2 million19. West End$1.02 million
10. Clayfield$1.125 million20. Highgate Hill$1 million

Source: domain.com.au

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Highgate Hill:Brisbane’s most tightly held suburbs

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When people move to Highgate Hill, they fall so in love with the suburb they don’t want to leave.

Domain Group data from 2017 showed the suburb was the most tightly held within five kilometres of the Brisbane CBD, with property owners loath to move outside its borders.

Domain senior research analyst Dr Nicola Powell says tightly held areas tend to be those where people are on their second home, in the throes of raising a family, and are looking for proximity to schools, transport infrastructure, shops and entertainment options.

Highgate Hill, where the dominant demographic is families, ticks those boxes. Two kilometres south of the Brisbane CBD on the Brisbane River, the suburb is in the sought-after Brisbane State High School catchment and has great connectivity via buses and trains.

It’s also 12th most walkable suburb in Brisbane, according to Resolution Research.

brisbane
Sierra Nuvo apartments start at $785,000. Image: Supplied

“To leave an area that meets all that criteria requires a really good reason,” says Dr Powell.

Despite being close to major activity hubs, the hilly suburb still holds onto its more relaxed, suburban vibe, which is a huge part of its appeal, says Cam Milne, co-owner of Vvaldmeer cafe and a local resident.

“I think with West End now having been very much swamped with cafes, bars and trendy shops, it’s only natural that Highgate Hill would follow.”

Matt Pendragon, Shed 41 Café & Galleria owner, decided Highgate Hill was a perfect area to open a “relaxing, dog friendly, phone-charging, ‘sit down and have a brew’ space”.

He lives in the area too, and is often surprised to learn how many locals have been in Highgate Hill their whole lives, some even living in the houses they grew up in.

“The suburb, although being only a stone’s throw from the CBD, is so peaceful and tranquil, the houses are well kept, and the sense of community is stronger here than in any other place I’ve lived.”

Being tightly held puts pressure on prices, and the result has been 26.8 per cent growth over the past five years, according to Domain data.

brisbane high gate hills
Highgate Hill. Photo: Tammy Law

The median house price broke through the $1 million barrier last year after rising steadily, but since then there has been a slight pullback, says Dr Powell. It’s now sitting at $950,000 and the median unit price is just over $440,000.

“If you take away last year’s performance, the suburb has overall been outperforming Brisbane as a whole,” she says.

“In terms of house prices it was growing at a healthy rate between 2013 and 2017 and there were periods of time [where] there was double-digit growth.”

After children have flown their Highgate Hill coop, their parents don’t want to leave but they do want to downsize, while still staying within the boundaries of the suburb. That’s where apartment developments tailored for owner-occupiers, such as Sierra Nuvo, come in, making up part of the suburb’s diverse housing stock.

The 44-apartment luxury development launched in August, and has been popular with downsizers from the 4101 postcode, including Highgate Hill, South Brisbane and West End.

It offers two, three and four-bedroom apartments, plus four premium penthouses, with prices ranging from $785,000 to $2.835 million. Each apartment includes two car parks, while penthouses come with three car parks as well as a storage cage.

highgate hills
Sierra Nuvo has been popular with downsizers. Image: Supplied

Stephen Browne, principal of Skyring Real Estate, working with the developer behind Sierra Nuvo, says the development at 18 Jones Street is just 900 metres’ walk from Brisbane State High School, two kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, close to bus stops and is in one of the “super quiet” spots in Highgate Hill.

It’s in an elevated position with city views that can never be built out, he adds.

“You can almost hear the crickets when you drive into the street,” he says.

“From the sky garden on the rooftop, which has a 15-metre infinity edge lap pool, wading pool and spa, barbecues and entertaining pods, there are unencumbered 300-degree views that will be there for the rest of time.”

He says buyers have been particularly drawn to the level of finish of the luxury apartments in the building, with designer kitchens featuring granite stone benchtops, the latest Smeg and Pitt appliances, integrated fridge/freezer, integrated dishwasher,  Vintec drinks fridges, and a separate custom laundry for each residence.

Source: domain.com.au

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Will the new Brisbane State High School catchment affect property prices?

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Changes made to Brisbane State High School’s catchment zone are already affecting properties for sale in the area, according to local real estate agents.

The state government released new catchment maps last week which revealed Brisbane State High School’s catchment zone could be cut by 25 per cent to manage pressure on its rising enrolments.

The school’s current catchment stretches through West End and out to Dutton Park but, under the new draft catchment, students from more than 500 households in Dutton Park, Woolloongabba and Highgate Hill would no longer be eligible for direct entry to State High once the neighbouring high-rise school in Dutton Park opens in 2021.

brisbane state highschool

19A Gloucester Street, Highgate Hill, recently went under contract with four offers in one weekend because it will still fall in the catchment.

It’s been a devastating revelation for homeowners who bought in the area specifically to be in the catchment of Queensland’s top performing state high school, said Sam Peterffy, of Harcourts Homeside.

Not only are they upset at being kicked out of the catchment, they’re worried the value of their property will fall because if it, she said.

“Of course the people who are already living here are worried — many of them bought here for the school,” she said.

brisbane state highschool

7 Grantham Street, Dutton Park, is a six-bedroom family home that would fall outside of the Brisbane State High School catchment.

“I feel sorry for these people. They might have young children, aged five and under, and bought here planning for their children’s future. Now that’s up in the air. It’s not a great situation for them.”

Ms Peterffy said the local property market had already been affected.

“From a buyer perspective, I have people who were looking in these areas and have straight up said they’re no longer looking at Dutton Park or anywhere that’s out of the catchment,” she said.

brisbane state highschool

7 Grantham Street, Dutton Park: Marketing agent Ben Salm said being outside the BSHS catchment zone could potentially affect property prices of those homes who are currently in the catchment zone.

Brisbane State High School is a 3200-student strong, selective GPS school, sought-after for its top academic results and extensive extra curricular program.

Demand for places is so high, the school employed an investigator this year to uncover families rorting the catchment system.

Ben Salm of Place Estate Agents is selling a beautiful six-bedroom family home at Grantham Street, Dutton Park, that is currently in the State High catchment, but would be bumped out under the new plan.

He said it had already affected the property’s desirability for some buyers.

“It’s something we’ve seen a fair bit of with feedback from the buyers coming through,” he said.

“They’re unsure about the new school because it’s all so unknown at this stage; that creates a hesitancy and then you get less competition, which potentially means lower prices.

“Because this house is now looking like it’ll be out of the State High catchment, the feedback we’re getting suggests the price could be $50,000 less than what it might have been worth three to six months ago.

“There is a grace period though, so you never know what will happen.”

It’s important to note the effect on current and future families will not be immediate. Brisbane State High School students living in the proposed catchment zone for the new school will be allowed to remain enrolled at State High for the duration of their studies, while their siblings will still be able to enrol under transitional arrangements.

The government also said that families with primary school children living in a street which appears on both catchment maps can choose to enrol their child at either school.

But the changes are causing a lot of uncertainty. Ms Peterffy recently sold a house at Gloucester Street, Highgate Hill, a street where some houses will still fall in the catchment and others won’t.

This particular house will still be in the catchment, so the competition to secure it was strong, with four offers in one weekend, Ms Peterffy said.

“I had a couple who argued about it. The husband was saying that the new school was likely to be great but the wife was really worried about it,” she said.

“She just kept saying, ‘But it’s not going to be Brisbane State High, it won’t be the same’. So for them, the fact this house would still be in the catchment in a few years’ time was very important to them.

“That said, there will always be people who will want to buy in Dutton Park anyway. It’s the best suburb in Brisbane in my view.”

And Ms Peterffy said the silver lining would be in the new school, Inner City South State Secondary College, which had the potential to bring new buyers to the area long term.

“Some buyers who may not previously had Dutton Park and surrounding areas on their radar may come here because there is going to be a shiny new school with the best of everything and a connection to the University of Queensland,” she said.

“I know everyone wants to be in the State High catchment right now but my prediction is this new school will be in the top 10 state high schools in Queensland very quickly.”

Mr Salm said the property market could pick up again in these areas once the plans for the school are finalised and released to the public.

“It could actually create quite a bit of excitment in the area once there’s a lot more detail released and prices could go up again,” he said.

“I think in the long term this school will be competition for State High but at the moment it’s making buyers unsure about being in the area, and will only make competition for property staying in the State High catchment even tougher.”

The maps and the enrolment management plan are out for public consultation until September 30.

Source: www.domain.com.au

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