THE verdict is in.
These are the top spots across the state’s southeast to buy a home in 2019, according to those who know the market best.
Some of the industry’s top heavyweights have shared their picks for first home buyers, families and luxury buyers exclusively with The Courier-Mail.
Those key players are Ray White Queensland’s Tony Warland, Harcourts Queensland’s Jason Jaeger, Belle Property Queensland’s Jon Iceton, Property Pursuit Buyers’ Agency director Meighan Hetherington and Place Estate Agents’ Sarah Hackett.
FIRST HOME BUYERS — under $500,000
North Lakes: It’s perfect for first home buyers if you are looking for a newer home in an area with high infrastructure and good schools and shopping. It is one of the fast growing areas by population in southeast Queensland. TW
Banyo: It’s close to Nudgee Beach, the airport, the M1, the CBD and the newly developed Banyo Village. JJ
Carseldine: Only 15km from the CBD, with great schooling, parks and recreation areas.
Also access to rail and motorways. JI
Geebung: Along the Kippa Ring train line, this suburb was developed mostly in the post-war period. In the mid to high $500,000 range you can find solid, three-bedroom highset post-war houses to renovate. Local employment is available in the industrial areas surrounding the suburbs and the commute to the CBD is approximately 11km. Nearby Chermside Westfield shopping centre is easily accessed. Houses in this area are being upgraded and we expect to see more renovations and new builds in the coming year, improving the attractiveness of the area. MH
Albion: Still comparatively cheaper than neighboring suburbs, Albion is located between two new entertainment and residential hubs in Newstead and Hamilton. There are now plans to spread the gentrification to Albion, which will transform the suburb. SH
Marsden: I like Marsden for the speed of its market. It has a lot of good affordable stock with opportunities for renovation. There’s a lot of new buyers applying their tastes on older homes. TW
Springwood: While still close to the CBD, it’s an easy access suburb with all that the Gold Coast has to offer. JJ
Sunnybank Hills: Only 15km from CBD. For the lucky buyer, as it’s harder to find in this price range, an excellent opportunity exists here to buy a good house on smaller block in this very strong growth corridor, where the median age group is 34.JI
Upper Mount Gravatt: This suburb was developed largely in the post-war period and has been home to a high percentage of State Housing properties. Over time, the older homes have been sold off to private owners who are progressively upgrading or demolishing to build new homes. MH
West End: This suburb has been heavily transformed, with many new apartments during past years. However, that is quickly coming to an end with this segment of the property market having stabilised. The suburb offers everything from restaurants, a beach, a river walk, a library, bars, parks, and is within walking distance of the CBD.SH
Capalaba: It’s a terrific, established centre with plenty of good services and shopping, where our members have a lot of good stock in four-bedroom brick and tile homes. It’s also a comfortable commute for inner city workers. TW
Murrarie: A nice mixture of old, charming houses and new, move right in options.JJ
Wynnum: Only 14kms from the CBD, situated next to the bay and only minutes from bustling Manly. Great value can still be found in this modern, progressive suburb. JI
Carina Heights: About 8km from the CBD, this suburb was mostly developed in the post-war period. Westfield Carindale services the area and properties are slowly being upgraded. The $22m Eastern Transitway will vastly improve public transport in the area when government funding is secured. MH
Morningside: This suburb has definitely strated to see some gentrification occur, with renovations and new builds beginning to lift the suburb’s standing. There are, however, some great buys in the market for the first home buyer. SH
Ipswich: The Ipswich region is my pick of the regions for first home buyers in all of southeast Queensland as it’s a big city where you can buy big classic Queenslanders and new homes under $500,000. It has great schools and a good lifestyle, plus it’s an easy commute to the Brisbane CBD too. TW
Oxley: Good transport with the train station there, a wonderful family feel and terrific coffee cafes. JJ
Richlands: Located 16kms from the CBD, with rail and motorway access and a median age group of 29. There is a great blend of new and existing houses available.JI
Keperra: Along the Ferny Grove train line, this suburb is approximately 10km from the CBD. The Great Western Shopping Centre provides amenities and employment opportunities. The old quarry between the shopping centre and the retirement village has been rezoned for residential development. We look for post-war houses in walking distance to the train station. MH
Red Hill: Its location next to Paddington and the CBD ensures demand is always high for these properties. As the market continues to improve, demand is expected to create strong competition for well presented real estate in the suburb. SH
Nerang: This long established Gold Coast sweetheart suburb is well loved by first home buyers for its handy highway access and affordability. TW
Upper Coomera: Has the location of living on the Gold Coast without the big price tag for properties. JJ
Pacific Pines: This northern suburb of the Gold Coast, between Helensvale and Nerang, has a mix of new and modern homes in new estates and ample schooling — all within striking distance of the Gold Coast beaches. JI
Oxenford: Houses with larger, 700 sqm-plus blocks within 22 minutes of the Broadwater and beaches. MH
Nambour: This suburb is a very affordable and well established community in as elevated part of the Sunshine Coast. TW
Aura: The new suburb has terrific value-for-money homes, a new school and a bike/walking path that connects the community. JJ
Caloundra: With multiple developments in and around this growth area, Caloundra and Caloundra West are certainly suburbs to watch. Good schools and great new infrastructure. JI
FAMILIES — $500,000 to $1 million
Albany Creek: This suburb is perfect for family homes and its easy lifestyle. It’s a great place to throw a ball or create your own cricket pitch in the backyard. TW
North Lakes: Central to everything, great value for money in one of the biggest growth corridors in southeast Queensland. JJ
Bridgeman Downs: 12km northwest of the CBD, this suburb is ideal for families, with the average median age around 40. With new subdivisions and rebuilds in high demand, this is a great destination for the growing family. JI
Kedron: This suburb has been on our radar for many years and still has a long way to go with price growth. Character houses abound and young families have been transforming them into lovely grand homes. Schools in the area are well regarded and the commute to the CBD is about 15-20 minutes. MH
Alderley: A perfect suburb for families with many house options in this price range. The suburb has a large shopping centre and main road access direct to the CBD. SH
Springwood: Offering great value for families, Springwood is a well established community within very close proximity to the CBD via the freeway. TW
Macgregor: An established area with still some capital growth to be had. JJ
Tarragindi: Just 6kms from the CBD, this city fringe suburb has generous sized blocks, perfect for families, and modern contemporary builds. With a cafe lifestyle and local shops and only a short commute to city. The median age group is 37. JI
Greenslopes: This suburb has character cottages in flood free positions. MH
Highgate Hill: With recent development in surrounding South Brisbane and West End adding amenity within walking distance of Highgate Hill, a house for families here and the land they are on is becoming even more valuable and scarce. SH
Wellington Point: This is a genuine choice when it comes to value for families and their needs in a home. TW
Carina/Carindale: Everyone loves the area, it has one of the country’s best Westfield shopping centres and it’s central to everything. JJ
Morningside: 5kms east of the CBD, Morningside is an in-demand suburb that benefits from the surrounding suburbs of Balmoral and Hawthorne. Shopping, quality schools and amenities are at your fingertips such as great recreation areas make this an ideal family suburb. JI
Camp Hill: This family-friendly suburb will also eventually benefit from the Eastern Transitway development. With a mix of character Queenslanders and post-war houses on large lots, the area has been undergoing renovation and transformation over the past few years. Some properties also enjoy city views. MH
Coorparoo: Still possesses great value compared to surrounding suburbs and has experienced strong demand for properties. Its location so close to the CBD and affordable prices will see this suburb continue to experience strong demand. SH
Ashgrove — You cannot go past Ashgrove for its classic Queenslanders.
It’s such a well established, blue-chip suburb in Brisbane and there’s still good buying in this price bracket. TW
The Gap: Great schools and near the Army base, Mt Coot-tha and the nature reserve. JJ
The Gap: 8kms west of the CBD, this is a modern suburb nestled in between Mt Coot-tha and Enoggera Hill. Creeks, bushland and wildlife areas add to the attraction of this family orientated suburb. JI
Ashgrove: This is one of the leafiest suburbs in Brisbane and largely character residential. With one of the most sought-after state primary schools in Queensland, plus four private schools, this suburb is ideal for families. Only 5km from the CBD, it is a well established blue chip area. In 2019, we expect demand will continue to outstrip supply, pushing prices up. MH
Indooroopilly: An employment and entertainment hub of Brisbane’s west region. This suburb is central to everything and will always be in strong demand. SH
Robina: Ticks every box. It’s got great schools, transport, shopping and the lifestyle close to the beach. TW
Coolangatta: Awesome beaches, cafes, laid-back lifestyle and good value property.JJ
Mermaid Waters: The resurgence of this iconic Gold Coast suburb continues, with the renovation and architectural redesign of some of the original canal front homes. Still providing exceptional value and embracing everything the coast lifestyle has to offer. JI
Burleigh Waters: Close to the Burleigh Heads action, but without the price tag. MH
Caloundra: It has long been the favourite for people who work in Brisbane and for families who love the Sunshine Coast lifestyle. TW
Caloundra: A country town with epic surf beaches and homes that won’t stretch the bank account. Big city amenities. JJ
Coolum: Still a favourite location for the adventurers, this beachside suburb is still worth a look. With a racecourse, cafe strip and pristine coastline that parallels the relaxed clean-living atmosphere that is on offer, along with great surfing, hiking and golfing at your door, many experts agree this suburb has yet to yield its full potential.JI
LUXURY — $1 million-plus
Wilston: B uyers looking for renovated classics and modern luxe over $1 million cannot go past Wilston for its village vibe and tight-knit community. TW
Ascot/Clayfield: Stunning architecture and a strong community with trendy developments set among Queenslander homes — a great scene. JJ
Ascot: In demand for its highly sought-after tree lined streets, and the offerings of racecourse rd. Cafe lifestyle, this picturesque suburb has a perfect blend of community, heritage aesthetics and entertainment culture, home to some of Brisbane’s top-tier villas and large estates. JI
Wilston: Plenty of elevated family homes. MH
New Farm: A consistently strong performer due to its enviable location along the Brisbane River and next to the CBD and established amenity, this suburb has plenty of luxury properties that will be a first option for those that can afford it. SH
West End: Hands down, West End offers a wonderful opportunity for buyers, with a myriad of high quality property.
It’s close to the CBD and always sought-after for its lifestyle. TW
Taragindi: A hot area at the moment due to its location to the city and stunning city views. JJ
Hawthorne: A premium riverside location with an enviable selection of refurbished homes and colonial Queenslanders capturing river and city views. Within easy reach of the CBD and Oxford Street cafe district, Hawthorne’s style and quality can’t be disputed. JI
South Brisbane: Houses in the new Brisbane State High School catchment area will do well. MH
Yeronga: Despite being a little further from the CBD, the suburbs in front of it generally have a high proportion of apartments. Yeronga’s hidden pocket of luxury properties remain scarce and in hot demand due to their waterfront location. SH
Carina: This suburb is one of the fastest moving for stock in all of Brisbane. It’s highly sought-after for post-war style property on very big blocks and it’s got some great schools. TW
Bulimba: Who doesn’t like Bulimba? The one place north siders will go to on the south side, with the draw of Oxford Street shopping. JJ
Gumdale: Only 14km from the CBD, making it one of the closest acreage homesites to the city, the demand for these quality larger acreage residences never diminishes. The freedom of space and a semirural existence surrounded by other quality homes, and only minutes from all amenities, just sets this suburb apart. JI
Bulimba/Hawthorne: Demand continues to outstrip supply for flood-free and elevated properties in this area. With its peninsular-like feel and strong community orientation, families love these suburbs. MH
Hawthorne: This suburb has some of the most appealing properties in Brisbane along its waterfront. Aussies love to live as close to the water as possible, which will see these scarce properties continue to be in high demand. SH
Indooroopilly: Everyone loves Indooroopilly in the leafy western suburbs of Brisbane. It’s always been popular with prestige buyers from the river out to Kenmore. It’s only a short distance for professionals working in the city and has some of the best schools in Brisbane. TW
Brookfield: Nice big properties with big blocks up to small acreage.
A country feel close to the city. JJ
Chelmer: This leafy, river-lined neighbourhood is never going out of style. With its relaxing, yet, changing demographic towards younger families, its cafes and eateries are at your disposal. Architectural new-builds in keeping with the suburb’s tradition and charm, plus ongoing renovations of traditional Queenslanders are now the focus.JI
Paddington: Interstate buyers continue their love of this inner-city suburb. With an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants and character houses, demand for prestige property in the $2 million to $3 million range is strong. MH
St Lucia: This iconic, blue chip suburb offers some of Brisbane’s most exclusive waterfront properties — some boasting amazing easterly views of the CBD. Close to the CBD, it will remain in high demand. SH
Sanctuary Cove: Has established its reputation firmly as a priority suburb for luxury property buyers with plenty of activity in recent sales. TW
Hope Island: Canal living, with easy access to the water for boating and fishing.
Not as hectic as the rest of the Gold Coast. JJ
Palm Beach: This is one of the last remaining beachside promenades on the Gold Coast to be fully developed. It still embraces the laid-back living of the Coast with superbly renovated beach houses and new, contemporary residences on million-dollar lots and conservative residential homes lining its numbered avenues. A fabulous blend of community on the beach. Only minutes from the airport and the heart of Surfers Paradise. JI
Mermaid Beach: Everyone loves being so close to the Nobby’s Beach village, cafes, bars and local beaches. MH
Alexandra Headlands: This suburb has always been popular with luxe buyers. It’s firmly in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, which offers sea views. Plus, it’s very close to sought-after Mooloolaba. TW
Noosa: Luxury living, celebrity chefs, and the holiday vibe to match. JJ
Sunshine Beach: The sea and tree change is certainly on, as the old makes way for the new. A relaxing beachside location, with pristine beaches and national parks for the semi-retired and for those wanting larger blocks of land. There is a renewed focus on prestige new-builds and renovations in this highly desirable location. JI
Originally published as Where to buy a home in 2019
How good an investment is south-east Queensland
Why do we believe we’ll see increasing investor interest in this market? Strong population growth, a diversified and growing economy, and substantial investment in infrastructure should combine to boost demand.
We expect that these factors will swell the number of white-collar jobs – increasing demand for office space, which in turn will push down vacancy rates and raise rental incomes. This should be good news for office property investors – especially those like Centuria Metropolitan REIT (CMA) that are already well-positioned in the market.
A significant and growing population
South East Queensland (SEQ) stretches from the Gold Coast up to the Sunshine Coast and across to Toowoomba in the west. As Australia’s third-largest population zone, the region has been growing significantly, particularly Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Interstate migration figures show a pattern of steady net migration, with Queensland the only Australian state with consistent net inflows of people from other states. In the five years prior to the 2016 Census, over 220,000 people moved to the Sunshine State – mainly to SEQ where nearly 90% of population growth occurred. This is important for property investors because of its implications for demand, but the trend is interconnected with other favourable factors.
A diversified economy poised for growth
Queensland’s economy is diversified across a range of industries including agriculture, resources, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and services. Over the past two decades, its economic growth has consistently exceeded the national average – and in our view this is likely to continue.
The resources sector is gaining momentum, and a significant pipeline of major infrastructure and development projects is helping propel economic and jobs growth, in turn increasing interstate migration and driving demand for both residential and commercial property.
Investment in infrastructure
A strong infrastructure program delivers more than business and consumer amenity – it generates jobs, drives investment, and facilitates population growth. The pipeline of infrastructure and development projects announced in the past few years is likely to have a material impact on the region – substantially improving its accessibility and amenity – most notably, Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf precinct and the Cross River Rail.
Queen’s Wharf, touted as a “world-class entertainment precinct”, is an integrated resort development costing $3.6 billion and covering over 26 hectares with retail, dining, hotel and entertainment spaces. As Queensland’s biggest ever tourism project it will be a game-changer for Brisbane, attracting overseas as well as local visitors. Estimated to contribute $1.69 billion annually to the economy, it will employ more than 2,000 people during construction and an estimated 10,000 once operational.
The Queensland Government’s number one infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, comprises a new 10.2km rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, which includes a 5.9km tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. It’s the first major rail infrastructure investment in the inner city since 1986 and is set to generate urban renewal, economic development and the revitalisation of inner-city precincts.
Outlook for commercial office property investment
These factors indicate a region poised for growth – and for growing commercial property demand. CMA’s portfolio has a significant exposure to the area in general (six SEQ assets with a combined book value of over $480 million), with many of the individual assets located in those parts of Brisbane set to benefit most from these developments.
Our view is that Brisbane office markets, where five of CMA’s assets sit, are continuing to improve, with vacancies hitting a five-year low – indicating increasing tenant demand – and continued yield compression, demonstrating strong investment demand. Office sales hit the highest level in a decade during 2018 (at $2.35 billion), increasing 60% from 2017.
With the strong outlook for SEQ, we expect the region will continue to attract tenants and investors alike.
Brisbane apartment market to outperform nation: Moody’s
BRISBANE’S apartment market is predicted to outperform the rest of the nation over the next two years as it bounces back from a supply glut.
BRISBANE’S apartment market is predicted to outperform the rest of the nation over the next two years as it bounces back from a supply glut.
In good news for property investors, apartment values in the city are forecast to grow nearly 1 per cent this year before jumping 5.8 per cent in 2020 and climbing a further 5.3 per cent in 2021, according to Moody’s Analytics.
Areas like Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Logan are expected to see the biggest gains in apartment values in the next two years.
The latest quarterly CoreLogic-Moody’s Analytics Australia Home Value Index Forecasts report predicts a modest 0.6 per cent correction for house values in greater Brisbane in 2019.
But that’s much better than the 9.3 per cent fall in house values forecast for Sydney this year and the 11.4 per cent drop expected for Melbourne.
The report by the ratings agency sees Brisbane’s housing market recovering in 2020, with a 1.9 per cent increase in house values forecast, followed by a further 2.3 per cent growth the following year.
But not all of Queensland’s housing markets are expected to soften this year.
Moody’s Analytics is predicting home values in the Mackay and Whitsunday region to grow 2.3 per cent in 2019, followed by stunning growth of 8.2 per cent and 9.1 per cent in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The report’s authors write that the “recent uptick in commodity prices and tourism has sparked recoveries in areas such as Mackay”.
Cairns home values are also set to rise modestly this year, while Ipswich house values are expected to increase 1.5 per cent in 2019.
Houses in East Brisbane are also set to buck the trend, with a 0.4 per cent rise in values predicted this year.
MORE: Size matters for buyers
The Moody’s Analytics report revises down its predictions for the nation’s property market.
In January, the agency forecast a 3 per cent fall for house prices across the country through 2019, but it now believes they could drop as much as 7.7 per cent — led predominantly by falls in Sydney and Melbourne.
It expects a more modest correction for apartment values, which are forecast to take a 4.3 per cent hit to growth.
Universal Buyers Agents director Darren Piper said the forecast recovery in Brisbane’s apartment market presented “great buying” opportunities for investors who knew what to look for.
“The apartment market has been more sluggish in the face of excessive supply levels,” Mr Piper said.
“However, unit values have started to pick up recently, perhaps hinting that the rough patch for the Brisbane apartment market is likely over now.
“Since the unit construction peaked back in 2016, supply concerns are not a pressing point now.”
It comes as CoreLogic’s quarterly rent review released this week revealed rental yields are rising in Brisbane and rents increased 0.8 per cent in the first three months of the year to a median of $436 a week.
Originally published as Brisbane units are safe as houses
Property downturn spells the death of the ‘dog box’
As the property downturn picks up steam, apartment developers are going to the wall — and our cities could soon look a lot more like Paris.
The property downturn may finally spell the end of the “dog box”.
As local and overseas investors flee en masse, property developers are struggling to get funding from banks, with a growing number of apartment buildings being delayed or abandoned altogether.
Non-bank lenders are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap — and the focus is turning away from the 20-storey high-rises and tiny one-bedroom apartments favoured by investors to larger units in smaller-scale developments targeted at owner-occupiers.
“There is a tailwind in terms of the demographics, especially the baby boomers who have more capital, as they make that transition to apartments for lifestyle reasons,” said David Chin, founder of investment advisory firm Basis Point.
“The larger two- and three-bedroom apartments still have a market. In Europe and (places like) Paris, it is quite common for apartments to be very large, three bedrooms, almost like homes. It sets the higher density living in three- four-, five-storey buildings, not high rises. It works and I think that will be more common in Australia.”
Mr Chin hosted a Deloitte seminar this week titled “Preparing for Pain and Gain in Western Sydney”, which discussed the coming “fast and furious times” amid the property downturn, slowing Chinese capital flows and US-China tensions.
Speaking on a panel discussing the role of non-bank lenders — both Australian “old money” and new “Chinese money” — Dorado Property co-founder Peter Packer highlighted the role of the sector in cushioning the falls in Brisbane.
“We were reading headlines about how that was going to crash and burn,” he said.
A number of major banks had funded construction projects without being covered by sales, which “meant you had expiring bank debt at completion of projects”.
“But us and a number of private lenders jumped into that market and refinanced that debt, usually with 18- to 24-month terms, putting requirements on the developers to slowly sell down their stock,” Mr Packer said.
“What it meant was that market never had the crash that (people) were talking about. That’s where non-bank lenders can help.”
Dorado Property is currently funding a number of projects in Perth and Brisbane. Mr Packer said successful developers were turning to “smaller projects, more boutique, higher-density areas, good locations”.
“They’ve generally moved away from investor focus (which meant) internal bedrooms, small floor plans,” he said.
“You’re getting more light, bright, airy apartments, they’re getting larger. Well designed, good apartments that owner-occupiers want to live in, but smaller-scale projects where you don’t have to go out and get a huge number of presales. That’s typically what needs to happen in a down market.”
REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the flood of investors and offshore buyers had “led to a lot of projects starting that would have otherwise not been able to start”.
“In many cases, particularly in Melbourne, developers selling to Asia were able to get projects up and running from that buyer group which from there have been sold more broadly into the market,” she said.
Concerns about apartment quality, amenity and overdevelopment have led to a number of states implementing minimum size requirements in the past few years to clamp down on so-called “dog boxes”.
Ms Conisbee said the changing environment meant developers were now having to set their sights on the three owner-occupier groups — first homebuyers, downsizers and upsizers.
“Downsizers are a key market, what they’re looking for is often quite bespoke apartments. They want greater choice in the layout, bigger apartments, they’re a bit more fussy about the type of fit-out,” she said.
First homebuyers, while more price driven, are also more discerning. “The better developers at the moment are looking at more communal areas, more places to hang out,” she said.
“They’re trying to create places that people want to live in as opposed to small apartments that don’t offer the best sense of community.”
David Mao, executive director with real estate investment firm White & Partners, told the Deloitte conference he still saw plenty of opportunities in the falling market.
“We see value everywhere — western Sydney, the north, the south,” he said. “We’re maintaining our discipline as long as we find the right asset at the right price.”
White & Partners sees the market as “not so much a down market but more of a moderating market”. “The run-up particularly in the last five years has been quite tremendous because of the low interest rate environment,” Mr Mao said.
“You saw asset prices reach historical highs. What we’re seeing currently is not so much that it’s down but it’s moderating such that the long-term average is reached.”
Paul Zahara, executive director of Austar Fund Management, was optimistic about the outlook for the market.
“I think we’re in a fortunate position where if you look at previous downturns there’s been grave imbalances between the supply and demand situation,” he said.
“We’ve got generally a balance between supply and demand at the moment. Even though we’ve got affordability issues, the supply and demand situation isn’t bent out of shape. That’s a dramatic contrast to previous downturns, 1991, 1974.”
A property cycle can come off a peak in one of two ways. “It’s like a balloon, you can either pop the balloon or you can let the air out,” Mr Zahara said.
“This time we’ve done a pretty good job of letting the air out of the balloon, we haven’t seen the major pop. For me 1991 was a major, major crisis. We’ve done a very good job this time of managing that decrease in the property market.
“The banks pulled back, the government’s gotten involved, developers have realised what’s going on.”
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