Brisbane July 2018

The month in review: Brisbane

By Herron Todd White
July 2018

There are residents in other capital cities (mostly south of the border) who consider $500,000 for property to be a pittance! A paltry sum that would scarcely land you a decent inner-city parking spot, let alone a liveable abode where you can lay claim to home ownership.

Well it certainly doesn’t stretch as far as it used to in Brisbane, but if you’ve got your wits about you, there are some exciting possibilities for those with a half a million on hand.

For detached housing within the Brisbane City boundaries it’s tough, but not impossible, to find an excellent opportunity under this magic mark.

Shooting for lowest-priced, closer-in suburbs can be a good basic strategy if you believe that as a market strengthens, the bottom range is brought along for the ride. ‘A rising tide floats all boats’ if the oft used catchphrase.

Our cheapest near-to-the-city suburbs are probably those that include some lighter industrial uses in the south; think Rocklea and Acacia Ridge. For $500,000 you’ll be spoiled for choice with some excellent transport, convenience and community facilities on hand. In fact, you can spend substantially less than half a million here and still end up with a decent, long-term holding. Just make sure you look for good fundamentals, such as homes that were well above the 2011 flood line; have decent sized allotments; aren’t on main roads; and are well away from the industrial sheds.

If you’d rather be a bit closer to town you’ll find a couple of options in an area like Moorooka too. The homes will definitely need some work and you might have to compromise a little on position at this price, but they’re worth a look.

Middle ring suburbs with renovation potential probably offer the most exciting upside for buyers. Chamferboard homes in Mitchelton and out to Keperra are a possibility. If you can add a few touches for a reasonable budget you will also end up with a very comfortable dwelling that’s smack bang in a location chock-a-block with retail, commercial and lifestyle facilities including parks and transport options. Look again for great fundamentals and not too much work beyond some cosmetic renovation.

Stepping a little further afield and you are absolutely spoiled for choice at the $500,000 property mark in the suburban fringe. In the north, check out Bald Hills, Bracken Ridge and Taigum. There is plethora of options with some decent quality, lowset brick dwellings as well as highset weatherboard homes. Facilities in these suburbs are strong, there’s easy access to the train and Bruce Highway, and the affordable buy-in price bodes well for future value rises.

In our more satellite locations such as the western corridor, there will be some nice near-new homes available for under the $500,000. Springfield Lakes offers options as long as you look for a trade-off between house size, condition and land size. Our pick would be to steer away from the brand-new stock and look for something that’s around 12-months old.

If you’d like to go all the way to Ipswich, you’ll find some beautiful older housing throughout the council area that will fall well within budget. For investors, there’s also strong demand from tenants too. Ipswich has seen excellent growth in lifestyle facilities and employment options, and the train line makes for an easy commute into Brisbane’s CBD.

In fact, pretty much beyond the 20 kilometres radius from the Brisbane CBD there’ll be a heap of options for purchasing under $500k.

Our tip for housing in this price bracket is to stay as close to town as possible. Your trade-off for saving money shouldn’t be about compromising on valuedriving fundamentals, but rather on those things you can correct or improve.

Looking at Brisbane’s unit market and $500,000 is a lot of coin to splash around.

Our problems with inner city unit oversupply are well documented. That said, apartments built specifically for owner occupiers have been enjoying decent demand as downsizers look to help promote the inner-urban lifestyle of out city.

If you want more than 2- bedrooms and a decent, useable floor area, then look for something that isn’t brand spanking new. You might be surprised about the sort of hard bargain you can drive at the moment. Just don’t expect booming capital growth with these. If you do buy a unit with owner occupier appeal and a car space, be prepared to hold it in your portfolio for quite a while.

What might produce a better result is spending a little less and buy an older unit within walking distance of the CBD. Think Auchenflower, Milton or Paddington in a three-story walk-up complex. These can be renovated, usually come with a decent floor area and the body corporate is kept very reasonable too. Prices can be around the $380,000 to $420,000 mark. Yields for investors are pretty good with these but, again, keep this for the long term because there’s no indications these will be rising in value soon.

Some of our choices for detached housing from July 2017 last year included Kedron, Wavell Heights and Aspley in the north. That northern cluster of suburbs has done fairly well over the course of the year with reasonable quality homes finding good demand. In fact, getting in under $500,000 will be a chore with most listing looking for “offers over $499,000” on the major listing portals. Unless you score some luck, you might have to step further away from these markets.

In the south we suggested Runcorn, Calamvale and Parkinson. Again, options for detached, decent quality homes in these suburbs have fairly much dried up over the past 12-months.

All in all, Brisbane will be on the radar for sub- $500,000 buyers. It’s a sector that shows a lot of promise as we see net interstate migration numbers and employment statistics improve in our river city.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.