8 Important Things Property Investors Should Know Before Investing In Brisbane

With the vast majority of Australia’s investment property advice focusing primarily on the Sydney and Melbourne markets, the differences seen in other states are left unknown. But, with Brisbane becoming increasingly a more attractive market for investment than its southern counterparts, it is important to understand the differences in the Brisbane market.

To help investors we have found the top 7 things property investors new to the Brisbane market should be aware of.

1. Flood zones

The Brisbane River is a major influencer on the city. From influencing its layout to its culture (more on that later), we have a close relationship with our river. However, the river does have a negative side that rears its head every 30 to 40 years.

Floods, while generally uncommon, are an important element to consider when buying an investment property in Brisbane, as when it does flood, it floods a lot. In 1974 and 2011 there were major floods which left many homes built on at risk areas underwater, literally. So to help out Brisbane City Council has freely accessible flood maps which you should consult before purchasing a property. Fortunately, there are plenty of great potential investments not built in these flood prone areas.  

2. Brisbane lifestyle

The Brisbane lifestyle is different from that of its southern counterparts. Brisbane is a more laid back city, with less bustle, and less sprawl than Melbourne or Sydney. When it comes to homes, we place our focus on different things. While a lock-up garage is a must have in Melbourne and Sydney, it is more a nice to have in Brisbane, which is why you will find carports on many homes across the city. On the other hand, air conditioning is a must have as summers get hot and humid.

You also need to consider the climate and its effect on the home when purchasing it. Due to the hot humid climate, many of the older period homes require more maintenance with the weather wearing on the building materials.  

3. The importance of the river and city proximity

Something Melbourne and Sydney have in common is their east-west divides. With the west and east in each city holding certain stigmas, and with it, desirability differences. Brisbane however is different. Due to our love of the river, and the way it runs through the city from east to west, Brisbane does not have an east-west divide. Instead you will find beautiful suburbs with high liveability on both sides of the city. Brisbane is instead divided on proximity to the city and river, with suburbs further away from the city and river being less desirable.

This has a big effect on the city’s culture, with many of our favourite places to visit, spend time with friends, or go for a bite to eat, being along the river or closer to the city. Of course, like any city, there are exceptions to the rules, but the general rule is good to keep in mind.

4. Don’t focus on the beach lifestyle of southern cities

Due to the islands off the coast of Brisbane shielding the surf from coming in, Brisbane does not have any real beaches. Most coastal areas are mudflats. So, Brisbane itself has less of a beach culture than Melbourne and Sydney. Instead the focus is on heading north to the Sunshine Coast, or south to the Gold Coast on the weekends. This is where you find the real beaches near Brisbane.

So, while Sydney is about the beach lifestyle, Brisbane is about proximity to major transport links to these beaches. So, proximity to the M1 and Bruce highway for a quick trip up to the beach on the weekend is highly desirable.   

5. Brisbane loves its hills

Brisbane is a very hilly city, and we love it. While few will admit so when climbing them, when we do get out on the veranda of our hilltop home, feeling the cool breeze whisk away the summer heat, and the gorgeous view in front of us, that is considered paradise. We love our hills, we love the breeze, and we love the weather. Just avoid westerly facing properties as the afternoon sun is intense, and these tend to be less desirable.

6. The local councils

Unlike its southern counterparts Brisbane is in one big council area. In fact, it is the largest council area by population in Australia. Because of this, rules tend to be consistent across the city, instead of on a suburb by suburb basis. This makes it easier to take advantage of opportunities to improve the value of the property should you want to renovate.

7. Infrastructure projects

The sheer scale of investment into infrastructure in Brisbane that is set to be completed by the mid-2020s blows most states in Australia out of the water. Brisbane has set about changing its image, with successive state governments and local governments across party lines pushing ahead on a new vision of Brisbane to make it more fun, encourage cultural development, and ultimately bring in more tourists.

With Queens wharf, Eagle street pier redevelopment, Brisbane Live, Brisbane metro, Cross river rail, the new airport runway, new green bridges, Woolloongabba redevelopment, QPAC extension, and more, Brisbane has a lot on the pipeline. Those projects listed are just some of the developments reshaping the city and surrounding suburb across the next decade.

So, when investing in Brisbane it is important to keep in mind these new developments, as people will want to be close to many of them to take advantage of the fun they offer. Brisbane is, after all, shaking off its boring image to become a great, fun place to live.

8. Think about the schools

School catchment areas rule for many in Brisbane. As the city is very family focused, there are many families looking to rent in a great school catchment area, a lot of these coming from interstate migration. You should look at school catchment area maps of the city to ensure your property lies within those of good schools, especially if you are targeting families as tenants.

Conclusion

Brisbane is becoming increasingly more attractive for investors. A major part of that has been due to the low property prices compared with Sydney and Melbourne. This has lead to many interstate investors who are looking to build their property portfolio but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get similar, or worse results in Sydney or Melbourne.

One key thing to remember for any investor is that it is important to have someone on your side who knows the market, has experiencing managing rental properties and is actively looking to help you get the best return on investment. We have helped many investors manage their rental properties, helping them reap the benefits of the Brisbane market. Contact us and see how we can help you.