Brisbane’s best performing suburbs over the past decade years have been revealed, with those topping the list having grown by nearly 80 per cent.
Despite a GFC, floods and a mining downturn, Brisbane’s housing market between 2008 and 2018 proved its strength and resilience, with the latest data from the Domain Group showing some suburbs achieved phenomenal growth during that time.
Inner-city favourite New Farm took out the No.1 spot — its median house price, which was $900,000 in 2008, grew by a whopping 76.2 per cent in the past 10 years and now sits at $1.586 million.
Close behind was Bulimba, where the median house price in 2008 was a paltry $732,500. It’s grown by 74 per cent, and the median price is now $1.275 million.
In Auchenflower, a house purchased at the median price would have set you back only $660,000 — now, after 73.5 per cent growth, the median is $1.145 million.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for some will be Wishart, a middle-ring suburb 14 kilometres southeast of the CBD, which came in fourth place. House prices there have grown by 65 per cent over the decade, from a median of $430,000 in 2008 to a median of $710,000 in 2018.
Matt Lancashire of Ray White New Farm said the Brisbane property market had proved its strength and reliability over the past 10 years.
“A decade is a really good snapshot of time for us to look at because it shows how Brisbane coped coming out of a recession, or the GFC, right up to now, and everything in between,” he said.
“Essentially prices were impacted quite significantly at the beginning of the decade, probably up to about 2009. Throughout New Farm, Teneriffe and Newstead, things lagged for a while. I’d say 70 per cent of that growth has probably taken place in the past five years.”
Mr Lancashire said the urban renewal process that precipitated key precincts like James Street and the Gasworks at Newstead, followed by the Brisbane River boardwalk, had completely changed the face of New Farm and its surrounds.
More recent projects like the Howard Smith Wharves created another seismic shift in demand for real estate in the area.
“Access to the city has been one of the driving factors. Today you can walk from Hamilton harbour all the way through to New Farm and into the Howard Smith Wharves and the CBD,” he said.
“Of course, the other lifestyle attributes of New Farm like the bars, restaurants, breweries and shops; all these things just keep popping up and making it even better. If buyers are coming from Sydney or Melbourne, this suburb is top of their list every time. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
In Bulimba, local McGrath agent and life-long resident Paul Shelton has witnessed his suburb continue to evolve and cement its status as the most desirable suburb south of the Brisbane River.
“The thing I see most as having changed in Bulimba in the last 10 years is just how many families live here,” he said.
“This is a place where everyone wants to be in that Bulimba/Hawthorne ‘bubble’ and they’re willing to pay millions to get in here and then stay put for 20, 30 years. Everyone’s taking a long-term view.
“I joke to people that when you sell your house here, you should be throwing a pram in with it. That’s how prolific the family buyers are here.”
Hawthorne was also one of the top performing suburbs over the decade, with the median increasing from $707,500 to $1.15 million.
In Wishart, where the housing ranges from post-war and 1970s brick to the more sprawling brick homes of the ’80s and ’90s, the past decade has seen demand soar.
Henry Wong of Remax United Vision said a lot of Wishart’s growth could be attributed to the local school catchments.
“A few years ago Mansfield High became the No.3 state high school in Brisbane. Now it’s No.2. That’s had a massive impact on demand and house prices in the area,” he said.
“We all know State High is the No.1 state high school but the majority of people can’t afford $1 million for an entry-level house in that catchment. In Wishart, you can get a family home for $650,000.”
Mr Wong said the flow-on effect of Mansfield High’s success had been the interest from Chinese buyers, who now make up more than two-thirds of his buyers.
“Wishart isn’t too far from Sunnybank. I sell to a lot of Chinese buyers who value education and can see the capital gains here,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Sunnybank was also one of the top performers of the decade, with its median house price increasing by 64 per cent from $492,000 in 2008 to $800,000 in 2018.
Hendra and Grange also achieved exceptional growth — both suburbs have seen significant changes impact the demand for housing in the area.
In Grange, our love affair for dogs has underpinned a remarkable shift in demand for properties close to the Kedron Brook, according to local resident and Ray White Ascot agent Ian Cuneo.
“That’s the way life has gone — dogs are a real part of the family now and a real consideration for buyers when looking for a home. It wasn’t relevant 10 years ago but it is today,” he said.
“I can pitch a home to people and they’ll say it’s not close enough to the Kedron Brook.”
Kedron Brook is an urban creek that flows through the northern suburbs of Brisbane and is lined with a number of dog parks, playgrounds and sporting facilities.
“People love walking their dogs along there, it’s a real meeting place,” Mr Cuneo said. “So that’s certainly something that’s brought Grange into the spotlight over the past decade.
“It flew under the radar for a while, it was in the shadow of Wilston but these days that’s not the case at all. Now, Gordon Park is that next suburb where people are looking to buy — but only if it’s near Kedron Brook.”
In Hendra, the closure of many of the stables connected to Doomben Racecourse opened up new land for people to build luxury homes in a suburb mainly dominated by character properties.
Local resident and agent Jon Finney of Ray White Albion said the past decade had seen the “wall” between Hendra and neighbouring blue-chip suburb Ascot broken down.
“There was certainly that reluctance for buyers to cross the train line from Ascot but that barrier has come down between the two suburbs — and now we have people saying they want to come here [to Hendra] first,” he said.
“They’re coming here because there’s bigger blocks of land, wider streets and no units. It has a lovely residential feel, your kids can play footy in their street and feel safe … it’s like the old days.”
The potential to renovate Queenslanders has seen demand particularly from young couples and families, he said.
“I’m often amazed at the young people who can afford to pay $1 million on a property here and then another $600,000 renovating it,” he said.
“That’s something that’s really taken off in the past five to 10 years and it shows the confidence people have in this area.”
In suburbs like Camp Hill, in Brisbane’s inner east, the exceptional growth of the past decade was to be expected, said local Place agent Denis Najzar.
“Geographically, it was expected for Camp Hill to have that sort of capital gain,” Mr Najzar said.
“There’s been a lot of new builds go up and a lot of renovating that has happened, with people raising the bar on construction quality year by year which, consequently if you put it back on the market, translates to a higher sale price.”
Mr Najzar said the quality of the housing and renovations would now compare with other high net-worth inner-eastern suburbs like Bulimba and Hawthorne.
“The land component is still more affordable but the quality of the build is there,” he said.
“So Camp Hill’s growth was expected but I would say we weren’t expecting it to increase as high as it did. It’s incredibly sought-after.
“Another thing is the amenities. If you look at what Samuel Street Village looked like 10 years ago, it was just a little row of shops. Now it’s an incredible marketplace that has expanded into a destination.”