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.
Queensland’s 100,000-property public housing shortfall revealed
Queensland has a severe shortage of social and affordable housing, an issue that is projected to get worse by 2036 according to new research.
More than 102,000 additional social houses are currently needed across the state, and 54,700 affordable houses are also needed with nearly 13 per cent of Queenslanders spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.
By 2036, Queensland is projected to need 254,300 more social and affordable houses – the second-highest unmet need behind NSW, the report found.
The new figures come from a UNSW City Futures Research Centre report on social housing shortfall across Australia.
Regional social housing shortfalls are higher than in Brisbane, the data shows, but Brisbane residents are slightly more likely to be spending more of their income on rent.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said housing affordability was a “big issue” for Queensland.
“Through the Palaszczuk government’s $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy, Labor is driving key reforms and targeted investment across the housing continuum,” he said.
“The Strategy commits us to build more than 1000 affordable homes for Queenslanders, as well as a further 4522 new social homes to help ensure everyone has a safe, secure and stable place to live.”
Lead researcher Laurence Troy said 22.5 per cent of Australia’s entire housing growth must go to social housing to meet demand into the future.
“Our analysis shows that the sheer number of households in rental stress across the country means that if we’re going to meet the need, at least 12 per cent of all our housing by 2036 will need to be social and affordable housing – which is a very reasonable ambition in global terms,” Mr Troy said.
“To cover the backlog of unmet need and future need in Australia two in 10 new homes will need to be for social housing over the next 20 years, and a further one in ten for below-market affordable rental housing.”
Mr Troy said the research’s financial modelling found the “best and cheapest way” for governments to meet the need for social housing was to fund it through upfront grants and low-interest government financing.
“Delivering below market rental housing through the not-for-profit sector, as opposed to the private equity model, will save $3 billion a year by removing developer mark-ups and shareholder returns,” he said.
The financial modelling was commissioned by the NSW community housing sector.
Mr de Brenni said the state government was “listening” through its recent public consultation on rental reform and was committed to investing in affordable housing in partnership with community housing, to provide more subsidied homes for low income earners.
“We heard Queenslanders are struggling to afford rental properties in the suburbs close to where they work,” he said.
“Through our Build-to-Rent pilot project, we are seeking to work with the private sector to increase the number of long-term, affordable rental properties for low to moderate income earners, including key workers in health, early childhood and hospitality.
“Internationally, the Build-to-Rent model is delivering fantastic outcomes and facilities for tenants and we’re looking to see what the market is open to delivering here.
“The pilot, if it proceeds, will see $70 million invested towards delivery of hundreds of affordable rental properties for key workers in inner-city areas where affordability has been identified.”
Mr de Brenni said the registrations of interest for that pilot had seen strong market interest, and the department was considering the responses before calling for expressions of interest.
Treasury: Negative Gearing Reforms Will Have ‘Little to No Effect’ on House Prices
Federal Treasury has delivered a serious rebuke to the Coalition for exaggerating the impact of Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains changes.
In emails released under freedom of information, acting treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer requested the department fact check the Coalition’s claims that Labor’s policies would cause house prices to fall.
In response, Treasury issued a correction: “The [s]tatement is not consistent with our advice.”
“We did not say that the proposed policies ‘will’ reduce house prices,” the email reads.
“We said that they ‘could’ put downward pressure on house prices in the short-term depending on what else was going on in the market at the time.
“But in the long-term they were unlikely to have much impact.”
Labor has jumped on the release, with shadow treasurer Chris Bowen saying that the government had been “caught red-handed” misrepresenting Treasury’s advice.
For his part, treasurer Josh Frydenberg denied that the government was misrepresenting Treasury, pointing to the Financial Review’s take on the release that changes “could” put downward pressure on house prices in the short term.
Frydenberg quoted building industry group the Masters Builders Association figures.
“If Labor’s policy is in place you’ll see 32,000 fewer jobs and 42,000 fewer homes being built.”
House prices hit spending
It has been a difficult week in economic policy, with GDP figures released on Wednesday revealing that the economy has slowed significantly, entering a “per capita recession” for the first time in 13 years.
Retail trade figures for the March quarter were also sluggish, with falling house prices impacting wealth and spending.
RBA governor Philip Lowe highlighted the link between the two at the AFR annual business summit on Wednesday.
“The evidence is that a tightening in credit supply has contributed to the slowdown in credit growth,” Lowe said.
“The main story, though, is one of reduced demand for credit, rather than reduced supply.
“When housing prices are falling, investors are less likely to enter the market and to borrow. So too are owner-occupiers for a while.”