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: Buyers 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
Negative gearing set to impact over 60% of investors
Perth and Brisbane have emerged as new property investment hotspots as investor interest continues to shift from the declining Sydney and Melbourne markets.
A survey of 483 investors across Australia by property investment consultancy Momentum Wealth showed that Perth and Brisbane were leading the pack when it comes to investor preference, with 36% and 33% of survey respondents highlighting the respective capital cities as the best places to invest.
Team Leader of Momentum Wealth’s buyer’s agents, Emma Everett, said a combination of affordability and potential growth opportunities had likely contributed to higher levels of investor interest in the capital city markets.
“Whilst both markets offer strong levels of affordability compared to Sydney and Melbourne, they also hold promising opportunities for long-term growth, with Brisbane already experiencing overall price growth and areas of Perth performing strongly as the market enters its recovery,” she said.
Ms Everett said that investors looking to take advantage of current conditions will need to remain vigilant in their property research and selection.
“In these early stages of recovery, it’s not uncommon for different areas of the market to experience price growth at different times, so investors will need to remain diligent in their research to ensure they are selecting an area that aligns with both their investment strategy and growth expectations,” she explained.
The survey also showed that professional service firms were regarded as the most credible source of information when researching the property market, compared to only 1% of investors who ranked friends and family as the best source of property research.
Hometown confidence hits a high in WA
Whilst Perth was considered the best place to buy amongst overall respondents, the survey also highlighted a considerable rise in home confidence, with an overwhelming 70% of WA investors finding Perth to be the most appealing capital city to invest in.
This marks a further 4.5% increase from last year’s survey, when the proportion of WA respondents preferring Perth spiked a staggering 29% from the year prior.
Ms Everett said renewed confidence is already leading to price growth in some areas, but warns investors need to act fast to avoid rising levels of buyer competition.
“Perth is offering some great buying opportunities for investors looking to take advantage of current levels of affordability, but those looking towards high-demand suburbs will need to move quickly or risk entering the market when competition levels have already picked up.”
“We are already seeing significant evidence of this in some areas of the market, with increased activity from trade-up buyers resulting in significant price growth in Perth’s central sub-region across the past 18 months,” she said.
Lending restrictions still a barrier
Whilst investors are recognising the potential benefits of entering the market, lending restrictions continue to pose a barrier for some, with a number of investors finding increasing difficulty in securing finance in light of recent APRA changes and the Banking Royal Commission.
The survey showed that 67% of respondents had reviewed their loans in the 12 months to November 2018, up 8% on the previous year’s results.
Team Leader of Momentum wealth’s mortgage broking team, Caylum Merrick, said the challenging lending conditions highlight the importance of regular loan reviews in ensuring investors continue to receive the support they need.
“In today’s lending environment, and in any lending environment for that matter, it’s vital that investors conduct regular loan reviews to ensure they are still receiving the best rates and products to support their investment goals.”
“Whilst we’ve seen record low interest rates in recent years, we’ve also seen a number of buyers impacted by changing lending restrictions. With many banks now raising their interest rates outside the RBA cycle, it’s more important than ever that investors keep their finger on the pulse,” he said.
Negative gearing set to impact majority
The potential changes to negative gearing proposed by the Labor government pose a further source of uncertainty for some investors, with 61% of survey respondents revealing they have a negative cash flow portfolio.
Ms Everett said that whilst investors who rely heavily on the tax benefit will need to be mindful of the impact of such changes, it’s important they remain focused on the fundamentals during the property selection process.
“Whilst negative gearing provides a useful tax benefit for those with a negative cash flow portfolio, investors need to remember that tax offsets only form a small portion of a property’s overall returns, and that factors such as land value, location and tenant appeal remain critical to a property’s performance.”
“Investors who get these fundamentals right from the start will be better placed to weather potential changes and short-term volatilities in the market,” she said.
Ms Everett said that any investors who are unsure or concerned about the potential impact of recent changes, including shifts within the lending environment, should seek advice from an independent investment advisor.
“It’s been a challenging and at times confusing period for investors trying to navigate through these complexities themselves or relying on unreliable sources to guide them, so it’s important that they seek professional and independent advice to ensure they fully understand the opportunities and risks specific to their situation,” she said.
Investors in search of stability and yield amid the market downturn could find solitude in an old favourite this year.
The February issue of Herron Todd White’s Month In Review report found that the Brisbane property market will see some growth in 2019, and overall will continue to see consistency in its property market.
“Brisbane in the coming 12 months will, generally speaking, see a stable market across most locations,” the report noted.
“Brisbane has been on the cusp of substantial price rises for about six years now.”
What could indicate those looming price rises is an influx of infrastructure projects, which are expected to drive employment up, a factor which the report stated is “sorely in need of improvement in Queensland”.
“Some of these major projects will have national and international appeal – the Howard Smith Wharves project and the Queens Wharf complex in particular – which have a ﬂow-on for boosting our tourism and services sector,” stated the report.
Also of importance is the capital city’s more affordable property when compared to Sydney and Melbourne and high levels of interstate migration figures.
Tips for buyers
The report noted the inner and middle rings, particularly around 3 kilometres of the CBD, is unlikely to produce any bargains, but provide investors with some long-term investing opportunities.
“This is solid real estate where our population likes to live and play. For example, this would include Enoggera out to Stafford in the north and Annerley through to Moorooka in the south,” the report stated.
For Brisbane property, the report also mentioned to look for growth creation factors, such as renovatable properties on sizable blocks of land, larger allotments with solid long-term redevelopment potential and subdivisible land.
Investors looking for where not to invest should be careful in the northern and western corridors pictured more so towards property investors, the report warned.
“If there’s a predominance of dual occupancy and duplex structures or generic townhouse designs on offer, tread warily if your goal is capital gains,” the report stated.
“Credit restrictions have not helped the demand side of the equation in this sector either and with plenty of supply on hand, the result seems to be subdued growth if any for this real estate.”
Despite the oversupply of apartments, those aimed at home owners have performed well, according to the report, and further supply has been predicted to slow down.
“We aren’t recommending anyone rush back into this type of investor accommodation, but the future is looking less dire than it did a couple of years back,” the report noted.
“2019 will be a year to watch in Brisbane. If we can accentuate the positive and eliminate the negatives, then property owners should do fine by annum’s end.”
The big picture
Although the broader Australian residential property market is in a down cycle, data experts and research houses are quick to point out that the long-term trajectory is positive for property investors.
You can read more about how the property market has been performing since 1999 here.
Don’t have a negatively geared investment property? You’re in good company.
Despite all the talk about negatively geared nurses and property baron police officers, 90 per cent of taxpayers do not use it.
But federal Labor’s policy will still affect you through changes in the housing market and the budget. Here’s what you should know.
Labor’s negative gearing policy will prevent investors from writing off the losses from their property investments against the tax they pay on their wages. This will affect investors buying properties where the rent isn’t enough to cover the cost of operating the property, including any interest payments on the investment loan.
Doesn’t sound like a good investment? Exactly right: negatively gearing a property only makes sense as an investment strategy if you expect that the house will rise significantly in value so you’ll make a decent capital gain when you sell.
The negatively geared investor gets a good deal on tax – they write off their losses in full as they occur but they are only taxed on 50 per cent of their gains when they sell.
Labor’s policy makes the tax deal a little less sweet – losses can only be written off against other investment income, including the proceeds from the property when it is sold. And investors will pay tax on 75 per cent of their gains, at their marginal tax rate.
Future property speculators are unlikely to be popping the champagne corks for Labor’s plan. But other Australians should know that there are a lot of potential upsides from winding back these concessions.
Limiting negative gearing and reducing the capital gains tax discount will substantially boost the budget bottom line. The independent Parliamentary Budget Office estimates Labor’s policy will raise about $32.1 billion over a decade.
Ultimately, the winners from the change are the 89 per cent of nurses, 87 per cent of teachers and all the other hard-working taxpayers who don’t negatively gear. Winding back tax concessions that do not have a strong economic justification means the government can reduce other taxes, provide more services or improve the budget bottom line.
Labor’s plan will reduce house prices, a little. By reducing investor tax breaks, it will reduce investor demand for existing houses.
Assuming the value of the $6.6 trillion property market falls by the entire value of the future stream of tax benefits, there would be price falls in the range of 1 per cent to 2 per cent. Any reduction in competition from investors is a win for first home buyers.
Existing home-owners may be less pleased, especially in light of recent price falls in Sydney and Melbourne. But if they bought their house more than a couple of years ago, chances are they are still comfortably ahead.
And renters need not fear Labor’s policy. Fewer investors does mean fewer rental properties, but those properties don’t disappear – home buyers move in, and so there are also fewer renters.
Negative gearing would affect rents only if it reduced new housing supply. Any effects will be small: around 90 per cent of investment lending is for existing housing, and Labor’s policy leaves in place negative gearing tax write-offs for new homes.
All Australians will benefit from greater stability in the housing market from the proposed change. The existing tax breaks magnify volatility. Negative gearing is most attractive as a tax minimisation strategy when asset prices are rising strongly. So in boom times it feeds investor demand for housing. The opposite is true when prices are stable or falling.
The Reserve Bank, the Productivity Commission and the Murray financial system inquiry have all raised concerns about the effects of the current tax arrangements on financial stability.
Negative gearing would affect rents only if it reduced new housing supply.
And for those worried about equity? Negative gearing and capital gains are both skewed towards the better off. Almost 70 per cent of capital gains accrue to those with taxable incomes of more than $130,000, putting them in the top 10 per cent of income earners.
For negative gearing, 38 per cent of the tax benefits flow to this group. But people who negatively gear have lower taxable incomes because they are negatively gearing. If we look at people’s taxable incomes before rental deductions, the top 10 per cent of income earners receive almost 50 per cent of the tax benefit from negative gearing.
So you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the share of anaesthetists negatively gearing is almost triple that for nurses, and the average tax benefits they receive are around 11 times higher.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says aspirational voters should fear Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and the capital gains tax.
But for those of us who aspire to a better budget bottom line, a more stable housing market and better opportunities for first home buyers, the policies have plenty to find favour.