The month in review: Brisbane property market updates

By Herron Todd White
April 2019

Want a champagne location on a beer budget? Welcome to Brisbane.

We are the bottle of bubbly on the top shelf of this nation’s real estate market. A limited edition where every sip is a joy.

Compared to other major cities, we come at a reasonable discount. Yes, you can have it all in the Sunshine State and for a fraction of the cost you’d pay in Sydney or Melbourne.

It’s this sort of affordability factor that’s driving new residents to our region as net interstate migration finds itself on the rise. We are seeing a growth in infrastructure spending and there’s a general sense of positivity about private investment in the region too. As we look forward to rising employment, the long-term future for Brisbane property remains very positive.

So, regardless of the fact you can already buy a high-quality, reasonably priced home in our city, what about the micro markets?

First up, if you’re looking for the blue-chip, ooh-lala addresses in Brisbane, there are a wide range of options. From prestige acreage to high-end apartments, most tastes can be catered for.

For the sake of this discussion, it would be fair to say that most suburbs that ping on buyers’ radars are those within a stone’s throw of the CBD. This means locations such as Ascot, Hamilton, New Farm, Teneriffe and Paddington.

These are the resilient addresses of style where land values have a penchant for consistently rising. Resilient addresses full of all the fundamental drivers property people crave.

Things such as proximity to the CBD and Brisbane River; high-end amenities and lifestyle choices such as established café and restaurant precincts; great transport options including public transport alternatives or easy access through to major roadways. They often include elements such as prestigious school catchments too.

There are also physical attributes with elevation and views to the city, mountains or river helping increase the appeal.

So, for these addresses, what will it cost you to buy at the bottom of the price point?

To illustrate, your typical starter price for a detached dwelling in Ascot, Hamilton or Paddington would be around $700,000 plus as an absolute kick off.

As an example, 73 Dobson Street, Ascot sold for $751,000. This was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home that was very well presented and located.

Another recent sale was 10 Hopetoun Street, Ascot which sold for $770,000 – a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in modest condition and within proximity of a train line.

Starting prices for homes in New Farm and Teneriffe are a little more expensive at around $900,000. For example, a renovator option on approximately 250 square metres located at 21 Clay Street, New Farm sold for $940,000.

These are great options, but what if our beer budget is more XXXX than hipster craft? Then you must compromise and give up on the land component.

In fact, there are chances to rub shoulders with an affluent neighbour for less that $250,000 if you’re willing to make the switch to attached housing. One-bedroom, one-bathroom units are available in all these locations and enjoy the same access to services and facilities without the million-dollar price tags.

Examples include 8/12-14 Bailey Street, New Farm which sold for $224,000. This is a good-condition circa 1940 (converted 1997), one-bedroom/multipurpose room, one-bathroom post-war strata studio unit situated within the Venice Apartments development on ground level. It has a living area of 24 square metres and a south-westerly aspect with no significant views.

Another is 3/83 Dobson Street, Ascot which sold for $245,000. This unit is circa 1980 (converted 1997) and offers one-bedroom, one-bathroom on level two of The Dobson residential complex. The unit has a living area of 44 square metres, outdoor area of three square metres and car accommodation of 35 square metres. It was in good condition overall as well.

Smarter buyers might up the ante a little and hunt down a 1970s or 1980s two-bedroom brick unit in good condition and with car accommodation. In many hot suburbs, these are available for below $400,000. This sector has been hit hard by the recent oversupply of new unit stock which means the buy-in is low. If you’re an owner-occupier, enjoy living in the space for a stretch before moving on and renting it out. Yields are pretty good so holding the unit isn’t too much of a chore.

What you are compromising to get in for less money is obvious. You’re giving up land and space. Some of the cheaper properties might also be exposed to road noise and high pedestrian traffic areas too.

In some cases, they’ll come with no car accommodation and many will need some renovation work.

The other downside is that while they will enjoy the benefit of overall growth in locational demand, attached housing typically doesn’t rise in value as strongly as detached homes (that whole land component thing has a lot to do with it).

That said, first home buyers would do well to secure a well-located property at the low buy-in price level. When it comes time to move, they will rent out in a flash at a decent yield so you can start your portfolio with a set-and-forget option.

Chat with a Smartline Brisbane Mortgage Broker today.