Expert spotlight on Brisbane: Rush in, or fear to tread

By Tim Neary 03 August 2018 | 1 minute read

With Melbourne and Sydney now properly off limits the smart investment money says all roads lead to Queensland and Brisbane, right? But do they? Before making your decision, this is the must-read Brissie breakdown: Hold ’em, or fold ‘em. 

brisbane aerial spi

Michael Beresford, director of investment services at Open Corp agrees that the smart money is on Brisbane, definitely.

“Most simply put, as I said, that gap between Sydney and Brisbane median house price has never been as big as what it is today,” he told Smart Property Investment.

“Brisbane as a function of the size of the population is creating jobs at a more rapid rate than any of the other four major capitals; Melbourne included, so the story is looking fairly strong in Brisbane.

“It hasn’t done much for a long time and we see that as being really good potential over the next three to five years.”

But Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology, suggests a more gently, gently approach to Brisbane.

He acknowledges that while Queensland might be appealing in the wake of the cooling Sydney and Melbourne, he also warns that Brisbane is no different now to what it was five years ago – a nice city.

“But nice doesn’t make things grow,” he added.

“There needs to be something different about it to really, really draw people there. [The] SunshineSunshine, NSW Sunshine, VIC Coast and Gold Coast [do] have attractions.

“Now whether that’s attractions to drag someone to live there, or whether that’s attractions to motivate people to create a different business, Brisbane hasn’t done anything to take advantage of it.”

Mr Pressley said that whether they admit it or not, a lot of property investors aren’t very creative.

“And just by default, they’ve been [like] ‘Where's the next biggest city?’”

Equally, he recognises that it’s not a flat-out poor investment destination, but points out that there is a “whole country out there” to look at.

“Don’t just adopt your default behaviour and pick Brisbane as the next opportunity up the road.”

Either way, a recently published investor survey by Place Research has found that apartments in Queensland are gaining ground on houses as investment preferences, while properties close to the Brisbane CBD with a pool are top of the list.

In 2017, it found that as many as 52 per cent of investors said they would prefer a house over the 20 per cent looking for an apartment. But in the first half of 2018 investors have shifted their preference, with 49 per cent opting for a home and 26 per cent preferencing a unit.

Proximity to the CBD was the most important driver for investment at 28 per cent, with access to public transport also a key priority at 20 per cent of respondents.

The survey also said investors believed a pool was the most attractive property asset, at 41 per cent of respondents, followed by no amenity at 19 per cent, and a gym at 15 per cent.

About the survey’s findings, executive chairman of Consolidated Properties Group, Don O’Rorke, said they echo his own rules for property investment.

“The first rule is to know who your market is – or in the case of property investors, who the likely tenant will be.

“Government projections indicate that by 2026, greater Brisbane’s population growth is likely to be led by the 20 to 24 year-old age group, as more young professionals move into the city to be educated and find work.

“This demographic is likely to either be renting or looking at taking a first step on to the property ladder, so an apartment makes sense in terms of securing a tenant or reselling to a younger buyer.”

He said that people look to rent or buy close to work.

“And given the billions of dollars in new infrastructure being delivered in the CBD, it’s no surprise that investors are lining up for inner city properties.

“The demand for facilities like a pool and gymnasium is as much about lifestyle as it [is] choosing a property that stands out from the crowd and will appeal to tenants.”



A tread is a term that describes the horizontal portion of a stair assembly.

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Expert spotlight on Brisbane: Rush in, or fear to tread
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