By Herron Todd White
August 2019

Brisbane is the capital city poster child of how property fundamentals drive values.

We have a central, riverfront CBD that’s been the bull’s eye for concentric circles of growth throughout the city’s history.

And so, the adage about location rings true. Traditionally, the old rule of property economics has broadly applied – if all else is equal, then the closer a suburb is to the CBD, the more valuable its land per square metre.

Moving beyond this measure and there are other fundamental factors to consider.

Proximity to the river works as well – especially if you have a frontage or a view.

That said, school zones have certainly become a key drawcard too. Ask anyone who’s tried to buy in the catchment for Brisbane State High School in the past few years.

While excellent public schools help drive price growth, private schools play their part as well. School-centric communities can become, in some instances, a family lifestyle choice where the parents and friends you come to know from the drop-off zone are the neighbours you might invite to a barbecue after Saturday’s rugby match.

Speaking of lifestyle, café hubs are excellent indicators of desirable suburbs. The key metric is often within five minute’s walk of a decent cuppa. It can be very satisfying for residents to stroll down to their favourite barista while watching those who are living further away hunt for one of the hotly contested car spaces in these magnetic clusters of urban retail and restaurants.

With these fundamentals ringing in our ears, let’s see what the various local buyer types might rate as essential in Brisbane.

Our real estate is regarded as relatively affordable by large capital city standards. As such, our first home buyers, including hip youngster homeowners, new families and first-time investors, have a reasonably wide choice available. That said, they are still cost-conscious and this will be the overriding determinant in property selection when it comes to dwelling, unit or townhouse, and whether they buy old or new.

First home family buyers will want everything on their bucket list for as cheap as possible of course, but will compromise on the fixable things as opposed to location – more often than not their choice will be a fairly modern home but of modest size on a smallish block in their suburb of choice. The other option might be a two-plus bedroom townhouse.

Many are seeking new housing estates with comprehensive facilities as well. There will be affordable housing available and with plenty of shopping and transport, their family needs are well looked after.

Single-person households will typically look at small two-bedroom dwellings, two-bedroom townhouses or one-bedroom units in great locations with plenty of lifestyle on offer.

Stepping toward the upgraders market and it can be a little more difficult to pin down exactly what elements appeal as fundamentals, and that’s because this cohort has a variety of different wants.

Most will want a bit more room – both in terms of land and house – but many like to buy near their first home as well. It’s not surprising really. As a resident, you become familiar with an area.

If they do move away when upgrading, the majority in Brisbane will gravitate closer to the CBD rather than further out. This often means purchasing at a higher price point for a lesser home.

The upgrader market is also the demographic most attracted to great school zones along with proximity to amenities including public transport, parks and hospitals.

Fundamentals for the prestige buyers will be about prime real estate in a prime location. Typically, proximity to the CBD is on the tick list, however, some will seek acreage in the city’s rural residential enclaves or a bayside lifestyle.

For those spending a bit more, views of the CBD, Brisbane River or Moreton Bay are a great attraction – even better if you can get frontage to a shoreline or river bank.

If the buyer is inclined to a rural residential parcel, comprehensive ancillaries such as pool and tennis court along with enough room to run a horse will be convincing additions.

Some great examples of grand homes of an extensive nature with high-end finishes and all the modern conveniences include the following:

Inner-city dwellings with river frontage – 39 Griffith Street, New Farm sold for $7.75 million (March 2019), 65 Longman Terrace, Chelmer sold for $6.6 million (under contract), 30 Wendell Street, Norman Park sold for $6 million (March 2019).

Inner-City Apartments – 5/81 Moray Street, New Farm sold for $6.5 million (February 2018), 3501/141 Alice St, Brisbane CBD sold for $4.5 million (November 2018), 5/2 Scott Street, Kangaroo Point sold for $4.5 million (December 2018), 6/2 Scott Street, Kangaroo Point sold for $4.5 million (under contract), 801 (Lot 901)/8 Kyabra Street, Newstead sold for $4.325 million (January 2019).

Prestige acreage – 58 Retreat Street, Bridgeman Downs sold for $4.1175 million (under contract), 9 Royston Street, Brookfield sold for $4.1 million (February 2019)

As you can see, our city has plenty of property with the right fundamentals to attract all buyer types.

Speak with a Brisbane Mortgage Broker today.