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New Queensland hotspots highlight lifestyle, affordability

In a recent report, McGrath Estate Agents found that, while other capital cities struggle to regain their footing after being hit by the pandemic, Brisbane endured, thanks to tighter border controls and fewer virus cases that ultimately protected home values.

Once the virus struck, Brisbane’s home values moderated rather than faltered, with median house prices up 4.9 per cent to $557,265 and apartment values rising by 1.8 per cent to $387,420, its strongest growth in three years, according to CoreLogic figures.

By September 2020, first home buyer activity had almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, with lending trending up since April due to grants such as the First Home Owner Rebate scheme.

Even prestige sales continued strongly during winter, particularly for luxury inner-city apartments, bayside mansions and premium residences in tightly held blue ribbon suburbs such as Paddington, New Farm and Hamilton. Over the first weekend of spring, Brisbane’s 10 highest sales totalled more than $34 million.

Tech entrepreneurs have also found a hub in the Gold Coast since the Gold Coast Innovation Hub launched in 2017, with $60 million in funding to help drive a new digital economy.


Moving forward, the company expects Brisbane and the rest of Queensland to derive its growth from new infrastructure, ushered by the likes of the $3.6 million integrated resort Queen’s Wharf, which is expected to create 8,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the state’s economy on completion in 2022.

Stage 3 of the Gold Coast Light Rail is expected to commence in 2021. The 6.7km link will connect Broadbeach South and Burleigh Heads via eight new stations at locations including Miami, Nobby Beach and Mermaid Beach. Completion is expected in late 2023 or early 2024.

The tourism industry will also be critical, especially after sporting teams relocated during the pandemic, including the Melbourne Storm NRL team, several interstate AFL teams and the entire Super Netball series. Games are now being played in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Further, universities such as Griffith, Bond and Southern Cross will also drive growth in surrounding suburbs.

According to the report: “As the East Coast’s favourite seachange destination, Queensland is likely to benefit most from the increasingly permanent work-from-home trend. The irresistible combination of new work flexibility, the best lifestyle in Australia and affordable housing makes Queensland more enticing than ever as a prime interstate migration destination.”

McGrath Real Estate’s founder and executive director, John McGrath, listed areas that are most likely to benefit from the exceptional lifestyle and significant affordability in Queensland:

Redland Bay

Located in Brisbane’s bayside area, about 45km by car from the CBD, Redland Bay boasts a country town vibe with city amenities. The suburb, where bayside houses typically sell for about $550,000, is also just 10 minutes to Victoria Point Shopping Centre and near the Redland Bay State School as well as the waterfront and jetty.

“New infrastructure improvements have begun following approval of Lendlease’s multibillion-dollar Shoreline residential community. A new marina is also being considered as part of the redevelopment of Redland Bay’s Weinam Creek,” according to Mr McGrath.

The quiet, family-friendly suburb appeals for its big blocks of 600 sq m to 1,000 sq m and median house price of $527,500, as well as its modern playgrounds, open green spaces and close proximity to Redeemer Lutheran College and Rochedale State School. There is also easy access to Springwood, Sunnybank, Garden City, Carindale and Brisbane CBD via the Gateway, Pacific and Logan Motorways.

Like most of Queensland’s hotspots, this inner west suburb located less than 5km from Brisbane’s CBD features a blend of convenience and neighbourhood friendliness, Mr McGrath noted.

“Popular among those who want less commuting in their lives, its diverse range of housing means it appeals to both young and mature buyers.”

A new $64 million school planned in the area is expected alleviate overcrowding at Toowong Primary School, while plans for a new $450 million town centre modelled on The Grove in Los Angeles could modernise the suburb while generating new jobs and services.

Sunrise Beach – Sunshine Coast

While lesser known than its neighbouring Sunshine Beach, with a median house price about 45 per cent cheaper at $975,000, Sunrise Beach boasts original beach houses being renovated and sold quickly.

According to Mr McGrath, new listings are becoming scarce due to its relative affordability and the appeal of its comfortable beach lifestyle, surf scene and proximity to Noosa National Park.

Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast

Major developments have already been earmarked, and the appetite for beautifully designed luxury residences has seen off-the-plan launches snapped up by eager buyers. In fact, a 33-apartment luxury residential tower released in March 2020 was 80 per cent sold on its first day, with prices starting from $1.85 million.

“I think the authenticity of Burleigh Heads is a thing of beauty. But change is inevitable, and as the modernisation of the Gold Coast beachfront naturally creeps further south, this laid-back coastal hub is next in line for a growth spurt,” Mr McGrath highlighted.


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