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By Chris Pullen, Blue Wave Property Strategies

 

Did you know that in the financial year ending 2019, about 16,000 people shifted to Brisbane from other parts of Australia?

Some of the new residents came from within the Sunshine State, but plenty came from Sydney and Melbourne, too.

Overall, Queensland welcomed nearly 22,500 new locals during that financial year period.

Of course, these figures were from way before the coronavirus darkened all of our doors, so we can expect these numbers to soar when the next round of official data is released next year.

Strong interstate migration has always played a key role in market conditions, as more people arrive and buy or rent homes, which helps to drive up prices.

This has already been happening pre-pandemic, with the median house price in Brisbane increasing by 2.9% to $700,000 over the year ending June, according to the REIQ.

Affordable alternative

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Brisbane’s inner and middle rings are always in the hottest demand from buyers.

In fact, nine of the top 10 property searches in Brisbane were for middle-ring suburbs such as Carina Heights.

But with house prices often edging close to $1 million in many locations, most buyers give up ever owning real estate there.

Sometimes, they opt for a new unit instead, and then come up against an oversupply situation, which drags on capital growth as well as rental income.

The thing is, there is an alternative to both of these options – and they’re called townhouses!

Not only are townhouses more affordable, they often offer similar-sized floor plans to houses, but without the added burden of mowing your lawn or spending every weekend weeding the garden.

Architecturally designed townhouses also boast all the mod cons as well as fixtures and fittings, while also being located in some of the city’s most desirable locations.

In Brisbane, townhouse design has also become more exclusive due to a temporary two-year council Protection Order against “cookie-cutter” developments in low density residential suburbs.

The Order means that fewer townhouses are being built in inner and middle-ring suburbs, which will reduce supply and underpin future price growth.

Low ongoing costs

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Some buyers are initially hesitant to invest in a townhouse because they are worried about body corporate costs.

The reality is that most townhouse developments have very moderate body corporate fees because they are low-rise developments that generally don’t have extravagant common property such as lifts or pools.

Body corporate fees also include building insurance as well as all external maintenance and repairs, which means that the outside of the complex will be regularly refreshed out of strata funds rather than your own back pocket.

Also, the body corporate fees are off-set by lower council rates, which often means that your outgoing fees each quarter are very similar regardless of whether you own a house or a townhouse.

We currently have brand-new townhouses available in the Brisbane middle-ring suburbs of McDowall, Sunnybank, Bridgeman Downs and Carina from $500,000, which present spectacular opportunities for savvy investors keen to stake their claim before all those southerners turn up and fire a rocket under property prices!