If South-East Queensland is the next property hotspot where are the best places to buy?
Last year McGrath Estate Agents chief executive John McGrath named the area, particularly Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as his top pick for buying in Australasia.
“I’d be hard pushed to find anywhere better to invest than the south east of Queensland in the next three-to-five years for capital growth,” he said at the 2015 Australasia Real Estate Conference.
One of the region’s biggest drawcards is affordability. Prices are experiencing steady growth and rental yields are comparatively strong. So what are the best prospects within the Golden Triangle?
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella says that while the city’s median house price reached a record of $615,000 last year, it’s still quite affordable, with the price differential between Brisbane and Sydney now more than 40 per cent.
“Being able to pick up a house for that sort of price is really extraordinary, especially when you compare what it would get you in Sydney or Melbourne,” she says.
There are major new projects in Brisbane, including the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Casino, international brands such as fashion chain H&M and homewares retailer Pottery Barn are setting up shop and a sophisticated laneway culture is emerging, adds Mercorella.
At last year’s Australasia Real Estate Conference, McGrath said inner Brisbane property close to the river will always perform well, and he’s picked the blue-chip suburb of Paddington as undervalued. He also named Everton Park in the north and the semi-industrial suburb of Murarrie as his top places to buy.
PRD Nationwide’s national research manager Diaswati Mardiasmo says there are double-digit growth suburbs in all corners of Brisbane. Rochedale, in the city’s south, was the best performer over 2015, with the price of units in the suburb rising by 28 per cent.
While some experts have warned of an apartment oversupply in inner Brisbane leading to higher vacancy rates and lower rents, Mercorella says there’s no sign of a “glut”. Supply will eventually be absorbed due to growing demand, she says, with net migration into Queensland still positive.
The Gold Coast is one of the strongest performers in the Golden Triangle, with house prices rising by 4.7 per cent during 2015, according to PRDnationwide.
The upcoming Commonwealth Games are considered to be a boon for the area, but Mardiasmo says there’s plenty of development to sustain growth beyond 2018.
Development underway includes stage two of the light-rail project and two major residential projects in Surfers Paradise: the $900 million Jewel and the $1.2 billion Forise tower which, at 88 storeys, will be the tallest on the Gold Coast.
The region’s population is also expected to double to 1.2 million people by 2050.
Many suburbs in the growing northern corridor performed well during 2015, with PRDnationwide figures showing houses in Hollywell and units in Upper Coomera and Hope Island experienced growth of between 12 and 28 per cent.
“When people go to the Gold Coast they think of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, but there is much more to it than that,” Mardiasmo says.
McGrath names Paradise Point as a top pick due to its growing café scene and affordability, with houses just 200 metres from the water priced at about $700,000.
The Sunshine Coast is firmly in recovery mode, with major projects in the pipeline set to ignite growth. The biggest is the $2 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Kawana – areas close to this are expected to perform well, with McGrath’s top pick being Birtinya.
Mercorella points to perennial favourites such as Buderim and Noosa, but Bli Bli has also emerged as an area ripe for growth, with more than $500 million in infrastructure investment planned over the next decade.
While it’s often thought of as a mining town, Toowoomba has plenty going for it beyond resources. Mercorella says there’s a lot of buzz in the town due to two major projects: the Second Range Crossing bypass and a new airport.
There’s also a multimillion-dollar abattoir planned and a $500 million refurbishment of the town’s Grand Central Shopping Centre by developer QIC.
Have you invested in property in the Golden Triangle? What is your experience of this emerging hot spot? Tell us in the comments below.