Brisbane’s big noise

By Staff Reporter

A new study has assessed the impact of aircraft noise on home values, as property owners in Brisbane’s blue-chip suburbs brace for a future increase in air traffic.

An analysis by the Queensland University of Technology, which involved studying 26 years of property performance metrics, has found that aircraft noise has “minimal, if any” impact on Brisbane property prices.

The analysis, from QUT’s School of Engineering and Built Environment and the QUT Air Transport Innovation Centre analysed price, saleability, investment performance and capital growth from 1988 to 2014 in 40 Brisbane suburbs near the city’s airport or under a flight path.

According to study co-author Professor Chris Eves, the analysis is the most “detailed and comprehensive” of its kind.

"In total we looked at more than 180,000 sales transactions in 40 suburbs ranging from those whose residents recorded the highest number of noise complaints to those which reported minimal or no aircraft noise,” he explained.

The results indicated buyers and tenants prioritise infrastructure over peace and quiet, according to the study's authors. 

"Our findings suggest that factors such as proximity to transport, the Brisbane CBD, schools, recreation facilities, the airport and other services, far outweigh any negative impact experienced as a consequence of being under a flight path or from aircraft noise,” Professor Eves said.

The analysis categorised the 40 suburbs into high, moderate and minimal groups – based on the number of noise complaints received.

"Our analysis shows very little difference in growth of house prices across high-value suburbs regardless of where they were situated or their exposure to aircraft noise.

"For example, Bulimba, which is under an existing flight path and records moderate noise complaints, has capital returns slightly higher than New Farm, which is not subject to any noise complaints.

"The capital returns for Ascot and Balmoral, which are currently not under a flight path, are less than the capital returns for Bulimba."

Professor Eves added that rental income has not been affected by exposure to aircraft noise either.

"Rental properties under the existing main southern flight path, which attracts the highest level of noise complaints, have a rental market increasing at the same percentage as properties not located under an existing flight path," Professor Eves said.

Over the 26 years, units and townhouses in the high noise complaint suburbs showed an average annual capital return of 7.66 per cent, which is higher than the capital returns in the moderate noise complaint suburbs of 7.40 per cent, but slightly lower than capital return for no noise complaint suburbs.

It should be noted that the study was commissioned by Brisbane Airport Corporation, the operator of Brisbane Airport.

New flight paths are expected to open following the completion of a parallel runway at Brisbane airport in 2020 – with several blue-chip suburbs covered by the analysis, including Ascot, Hamilton, Clayfield, Bulimba, Hawthorne, New Farm and Newstead, predicted to experience a noticeable difference in flight traffic.

Listen in to The Smart Property Investment Show discuss this and more in the latest podcast.

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