Sydney siders are looking to buy property in southeast Queensland more than anywhere else in Australia, new data shows.
Exclusive research from Domain into out-of-area inquiries made by people living in Sydney has revealed that, last year, more than 50 per cent were looking at buying property in Queensland.
That’s up 5 per cent on 2017 inquiries and, so far this year, that figure is increasing again.
The highest proportion of those inquiries was to Brisbane (21.5 per cent), followed by the Gold Coast (15.3 per cent).
Only 25.7 per cent of Sydney buying inquiries were made to Victoria and, moreover, that figure has been falling since 2017.
It’s in line with ABS figures released last week, which showed the top three areas with the biggest flow of interstate migration.
Brisbane had the most by far, followed by the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and then Melbourne – while Sydney had a net loss of -27,300.
Domain data scientist Eliza Owen said the figures pinpointed exactly where the growing interest was in Queensland.
“We can track where those inquiries are increasing and decreasing, and can see that the portion of people looking to buy in Queensland has increased over time and overtaken Victoria,” she said.
“The Gold Coast in particular has had strong growth over the past couple of years and we can see the increase in inquiries has grown at quite significant levels and is continuing well into this year.”
Kristi and Lance Burrows were happily renting a small townhouse in Mona Vale, in Sydney’s northern beaches, when Lance was offered a job in Brisbane last year.
“We originally turned it down because I was heavily pregnant with our second child but then we toyed with it a bit more … the lifestyle in terms of being right in the middle of Byron Bay, Noosa — and the property market, we could buy somewhere, which was a massive incentive,” Ms Burrows said.
The couple took a leap of faith and moved with their two small children, Kingston and Ruby, and settled in Balmoral, in Brisbane’s exclusive inner east.
After renting for a few months, they purchased a two-bedroom weatherboard cottage on 430 square metres of land — and plans are already in motion for an extension that will bring the footprint to four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a pool.
Mr Burrows, general manager at Howard Smith Wharves, catches the ferry to work every day and Kristi has just started a part-time job two days a week.
Achieving the equivalent in Sydney would have been a pipe dream, Ms Burrows said.
“If we were still in Sydney? We would have still been renting. For us to purchase in the northern beaches we would have had to put another $1 million in front of what we paid here,” she said.
“For us to buy in Sydney I would’ve had to work full-time and for a good five years with both our wages to save for a deposit. So the reach was really far; it was not something we could’ve realistically done.
“I had a friend who spent just under $1 million for a teeny townhouse in Narrabeen. We bought a free-standing house for well under that, and even after we renovate we will have only spent the same — and we’ll have four-bedroom home with a pool, four or five kilometres from the city. That’s why we’re still here.”
Demographer Mark McCrindle said it was clear that people were looking for alternatives to the cost of living, the congestion and the sheer size of the city.
“Sydney, while Australia’s largest and most global city, is losing numbers and the data shows it’s those in western Sydney that are more likely to move,” he said.
“Those southwest areas — Parramatta, even the inner west — that’s where the biggest exodus is coming from. It’s those who are the furthest out with the worst commutes who are questioning a lifestyle change.
“The buy data is fascinating — it’s a little more aspirational. They’re dreaming about their ideal new life and it’s all a story of southeast Queensland.”
Meighan Hetherington, director and buyers agent at Property Pursuit, said she saw two key groups of Sydney buyers in Brisbane.
“One of these groups is the buyers who want a lifestyle change and that mortgage relief,” she said.
“They’re selling out of their Sydney asset and looking for mortgage-free purchases, which allows them to step out of that corporate lifestyle, step back from working 60 to 80 hours a week to come back and focus on spending more time with family.”
The main other type of Sydney buyer was investors with a budget of $800,000 to $1 million, Ms Hetherington said.
“They’re sophisticated investors with a plan to invest in high-quality assets in Brisbane,” she said.
“They’re not the entry-level investors who we saw buying up cheap properties around Logan, Ipswich and Stafford around 2016 — a lot of these investors are buying in Brisbane on the advice of financial planners who have identified Brisbane as having a stable economic base and that steadier growth over the long term.”
She said they’re making conscious decisions to buy properties where the land value content is high.
“They’re buying in more of the key suburbs like Paddington, Wilston, Grange, Balmoral, Red Hill, and because of that, rental income or yield is a low priority,” she said.
“They’re focused on capital gains, so they want to buy low-density, entry-level character cottages on good land.”
Shannon Harvey of Place Estate Agents Bulimba sold the Burrows’ their Balmoral home and said it was more than just cheap housing that was drawing Sydneysiders to Brisbane.
“They can see the value and yes, Sydney isn’t performing well but there is more to it than that,” she said.
“Brisbane has become a really dynamic place to live, there’s a lot of infrastructure going on and there’s work here. It’s the lifestyle.
“Bulimba State School had 25 new families join the school from interstate this year. I mean, it’s huge. People from Sydney love this area because it’s on the river, it’s got the original cafe strip culture and it’s tight-knit.”
Ms Burrows said there were certainly things she and her husband missed about Sydney.
“We miss the beach being so close, like on our doorstep. We were pretty spoilt with where we could go from where we lived. That’s the biggest miss for us, being by the water,” she said.
“And having our friends close by as well. That said, everyone is so busy in Sydney. We miss our friends but how often would we have seen them?”
Mr McCrindle said despite the negative flow away from Sydney to interstate locations like southeast Queensland, it was still Australia’s global city.
“People haven’t quit on Sydney. It’s still Australia’s economic gateway — but it’s almost a victim of its own success,” he said.
“We’ve had a fair bit of catch up on infrastructure the past five years and it will take another 15 to get there but if we fast forward another couple of decades, we’ll see Sydney shine again.
“With that international brand and a nation-leading economy, it will get back there.”
Smart buys: Brisbane’s best properties under $800,000 for sale right now
Here’s our pick of the best buys in Brisbane and some of its surrounds at the moment — and they’re all under $800,000.
34 Ivy Street, Toowong
With tongue-and-groove floorboards, a cast-iron fireplace begging for love, a sunroom, and a prime position on 405 square metres, this three-bedroom original workers’ cottage is bound to catch eyes of inner-west renovators. No price has been set yet but agent Alex Jordan says as a vacant block on land it would achieve over $600,000.
McGrath, Alex Jordan 0410 424 749
81 Payne Road, The Gap
The rear of this multi-tone brick house surprises. There’s a single-garage-cum-workshop or home office between the double carport and an elevated timber sundeck, and there’s also a pool. It is fully fenced on a 625-square-metre block, and has three bedrooms with a further small room inside that could become a fourth bedroom or study.
Harcourts, Stephen Dangerfield 0412 145 802
48 Bringelly Street, Arana Hills
From its white picket fence to its flat sandpit-friendly backyard, the DNA of this three-bedroom, one-bathroom house is pure family. Set on a flat 607-square-metre block about 20 metres from the local bus stop, Grovely State School is 900 metres away and Arana Hills Plaza, restaurants and cafes are at the end of the street.
Coronis, Jo Dryden 07 3351 5151
19 Allamanda Crescent, Albany Creek
This substantial four-bedroom, double-storey house sits on a 1250-square-metre landscaped block. It has ample room for its pool and double garage, and there is a massive covered entertaining area and both casual and formal living and eating rooms. Two state high schools are located within 2.4 kilometres of the front door.
Style Real Estate, Claire Little 0422 755 171
40 O’Quinn Street, Nudgee Beach
This 54-year-old updated beauty on a double block opposite the beach offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms and 1000 square metres of land. Open-plan living and dining space, plenty of natural light, timber floors, and a second living area with clever built-in bench seating and storage are boons. The rear has a storage shed, two garden sheds and a single garage.
Calio & Scott Real Estate, Carl Calio 0416 145 288
6 Chase Crescent, North Lakes
Worth a look if a first-time home buyer, or investor watching budget-friendly growth areas, this super neat, modern three-bedroom, two-bathroom house also has a double garage. It is set on a low-maintenance and landscaped 486-square-metre block. It also has decent-sized, open-plan living and media rooms.
Hudson Property, Viv Robinson 0407 918 184
50 Windsor Place, Deception Bay
This two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage on a 397-square-metre corner block has serious update or rebuild potential. Set three blocks west of Moreton Bay and one block to the suburban public primary school, it is liveable as a home or easily rentable with a modern kitchen and fenced backyard. It has a separate sunroom and a single carport.
Ray White, Lydia Robins 0438 166 763
441 Beenleigh Road, Sunnybank
This renovated, four-bedroom, one-bathroom house has parking space for two cars on a 708-square-metre block. The floor plan is open between living, dining and kitchen areas and the metro rail station is about 400 metres away. Its reserve price is unknown as required by Queensland auction laws, but it was found in a search for homes under $800,000.
Auction, June 29, 12.30pm
RE/MAX, Gary Dellios 0411 879 935
4 Parliament Street, Bethania
The federal election is done for 2019, but here is another way to get into Parliament. With three bedrooms and one bathroom, this brick-and-tile house also has a double carport and a double garage. On a flat 758-square-metre block, the back section is contained making for a fine play zone. Neutral timber-look flooring in the kitchen-meals area balances the retro swirl carpet in the living-dining.
LJ Hooker, Trina Wilson 0427 188 500
Cbus Property Plans $600m North Quay Tower
Cbus Property will partner with local Brisbane developer Nielson Properties to deliver a $600 million riverfront commercial building in the city’s CBD.
The 3,000sq m corner site, an amalgamation of 205 North Quay and neighbouring 30 Herschel Street, will now house the city’s latest A-grade commercial building.
The office development, to be known as 205 North Quay, will deliver 50,000sq m of net lettable area.
Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said the site was ideal as it takes advantage of Brisbane’s strong economic outlook, employment growth and the state government’s infrastructure investment.
“205 North Quay is a major riverfront CBD site, ideally located to capitalise on the major infrastructure projects nearby such as the recently announced Roma Street Station, Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail and Brisbane Live,” Pozzo said.
“Queensland’s economic growth also anticipated to continue to outperform the Australian average.”
“We will look to build on these strong economic foundations and our past success with 1 William Street, to deliver a premium and future-focused commercial tower for Brisbane’s CBD in collaboration with our partner, Nielson Properties.”
No stranger to Brisbane CBD’s commercial market, the project follows Cbus Property’s 46-storey “tower of power” at 1 William Street, home to the Queensland government.
The 205 North Quay development will add to the continued regeneration of the burgeoning North Quarter precinct, which will also include Mirvac’s 80 Ann Street tower to be tenanted by Suncorp, Shayher Group’s 300 George Street project and the recently completed W Hotel on George Street.
The development will also be located in Brisbane’s prime commercial district, capitalising on the major infrastructure projects nearby such as the recently announced Roma Street Station, Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail and Brisbane Live.
“As a local Brisbane developer, we’re excited to be a part of the evolution of the North Quarter as it becomes a vibrant hub bolstered by outstanding connectivity to Brisbane’s CBD and premium infrastructure and amenity,” Nielson Properties director Ross Nielson said.
Cbus and Nielson have commenced preliminary discussions with the Brisbane City Council.
Last week, Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group snatched up Makerston House, a neighbouring commercial property in Brisbane’s North Quarter precinct from investment management company Challenger for $103 million.
Further along the CBD riverfront, work has also commenced at the $3.6 billion Queens Wharf developed by the Destination Brisbane Consortium, a joint venture led by casino giant Star Entertainment Group, Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.
Work is also under way on Brisbane’s newest riverside public space, with the area between the Goodwill Bridge and 1 William Street to be developed into an above-water pedestrian walkway and recreational area called Waterline Park.
‘Why not Hendra?’ The luxury house that is poised to set a new benchmark for this Brisbane suburb
A prestigious new property in Hendra is tipped to break records when it goes under the hammer in a couple of weeks, setting a new benchmark for luxury in the area.
The five-bedroom, four-bathroom house may be located on General Street, but its myriad of bells and whistles means it’s anything but.
With a plethora of top-line features, including travertine tiles, state-of-the-art fixtures and a mosaic-tiled swimming pool, it includes a climate-controlled wine cellar as well as bespoke cabinetry throughout.
Marketing agent Patrick McKinnon of Place Ascot said the house was part of an emerging trend in the suburb towards luxury new builds. The developers behind the home, Innovare Builders, were quickly transforming the standard of Hendra homes project by project, he said.
“They’ve really lifted the benchmark for what’s expected in Hendra and set the tone for the quality that people look for here,” he said.
“This house should a set a record for the area for 405-square-metre non-racecourse property. The records are around the $1 millions and I think this is better than anything else comparable on the market right now.”
While perhaps not as well-known as its prestigious neighbouring suburbs of Ascot and Hamilton, Hendra’s gentrification is well underway, partly due to the redevelopment of Eagle Farm Racecourse.
The 379-square-metre statement home is within an easy canter of the racecourse as well as many cafe precincts.
Orazio D’Arro of Innovare Builders said Hendra’s multitude of attributes made the decision to develop there simple.
“In a nutshell, why not Hendra?” he said.
“We first chose Hendra because it is a gentrified living suburb with wide, tree-lined streets full of traditional and modern character houses and dotted by cafes, boutiques, other community businesses and gorgeous local parklands.”
Mr D’Arro said the design inspiration was Hamptons exterior meets modern European interior.
“Modern life requires thoughtful use of space and automation as well as comfort and this was at the forefront of each and every design and inclusion decision,” he said.
Located within easy commute of the Brisbane Airport as well motorways north and south, the home can be controlled from anywhere in the world via state-of-the-art automation and electrical integration.
“Part of a busy modern family’s lifestyle demands convenience – even while travelling – and the electronic aids offered up here deliver convenience in spades,” Mr D’Arro said.
Other features of the home include a rear patio designed for al fresco dining and summer barbecues, with a built-in, custom outdoor kitchen that features a barbecue and beverage centre.
The home also boasts an in-ground swimming pool lined with mosaic tiling and a manicured, drought-resistant lawn with landscaped gardens.
The property is located at 6 General Street, Hendra, and will go to auction on Saturday, June 22.
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