How Brisbane became Australia’s new property darling


ANALYSIS: ‘The Brown Snake’, ‘Brisvegas’ – for years locals jovially mocked Brisbane’s ‘backwardness’ compared to the haute Sydney and Melbourne.

But spicy cough lockdowns have dragged on – Melbourne has 220-plus days’ collective lockdown under its belt, and Sydney is now not far behind.

Brisbane is now looking like the hottest destination for southerners, suitcases or mobile phones in hand, ready to buy or bid in-person or virtually, and looking to get outta Dodge.

A new survey indicates 44% of property investors are looking to buy outside the state in which they live – up from 41% a year ago.

More than half now believe Queensland offers the ‘best’ investment potential – up from 36% last year.

John McGrath

John McGrath – What the Brisbane Olympics will do for home values

Brisbane under the hammer

Anecdotally, having attended upwards of 50 auctions in the past couple of months – virtually and in-person – a growing number of winning bids have been via phone, and a growing number of attendees are from either Sydney or Melbourne.

Don’t ask me why I’ve been to 50 auctions.

On a balmy afternoon in August, a couple next to me at an auction muttered among themselves, “I think that bloke [the auctioneer] has been on The Block” – he had.

It was for a rather dilapidated house in the (at-present) dilapidated suburb of Moorooka, about 10 kilometres south of the CBD – ripe for the picking.

In Sydney, 10km out puts you at about Burwood or Concord – well developed hives of their own – but Moorooka is still rather untouched apart from miles of car yards.

The hammer soon fell for $1.25 million, the property favoured for its large 810 sq m block and development potential.

The naive couple gasped – they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

house prices

Covid pushes Sydney, Brisbane house prices up by more than 20 per cent

SQM Research data below shows an uptick in homes scheduled for auction in the River City, minus the Christmas lull and COVID lockdown v1.0 hitting in April 2020.

A reminder – this is just scheduled auctions, not accounting for homes sold prior or those that have passed-in.

No matter how you swing a cat, Brisbane used to be like other second-tier Australian capitals where it was relatively uncommon to find a home selling under auction, but now the true Olympic City™ is becoming like its bigger brothers down south.