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Affordable havens: The sub $300,000 suburbs on the verge of extinction in Brisbane


Riverview resident Telita Webb with two of her children, Margaret (5) and MJ (7). Picture: AAP/David Clark.

SUBURBS with a median house price of $300,000 or less are on the verge of extinction across Brisbane.

Figures from property researcher CoreLogic show house prices in some of the city’s most affordable postcodes experienced above average growth over the past year, leading to a drop in sales at lower price points.

Only 1.7 per cent of properties in Brisbane changed hands for less than $200,000 in 2018.

In 2019, there are no longer any suburbs in the Brisbane local government area with a median house price of $300,000 or less.

RELATED: Brisbane’s affordability on the rise

This two-bedroom house at 21 Sinclair St, Ellen Grove, recently sold for just $222,000.

Across Greater Brisbane, there are now only 19 mainland suburbs with a median house price under $300,000, whereas there were double that number a decade ago.

The last affordable havens can be found in the Ipswich suburbs of Riverview, Dinmore and One Mile, in the Logan locations of Kingston, Logan Central and Woodridge and in Caboolture South in Moreton Bay.

The median house price in Greater Brisbane is now $532,000, according to CoreLogic.

More than a third of sales in Brisbane during 2018 were between $400,000 and $600,000, while 7.8 per cent were at $1 million or more.

CoreLogic senior analyst Cameron Kusher said that was a drastic change from the state of affairs over the past couple of decades, with the majority of sales in 1993 and 1998 coming in below $200,000.

“Over time, there has been a steady climb in the share of sales across the more expensive price points,” Mr Kusher said.

“While you’d expect this in the markets that have seen strong value growth such as Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, we have also seen it across markets where value growth has been much weaker.”


CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher. Picture: David Clark.

Mr Kusher said that even though he expected slightly more sales to occur at lower price points over the next year, he did not expect any material change in the share of sales under $200,000 — in fact they may reduce even further.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said Brisbane still had plenty of affordable suburbs with good quality housing compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

“We have so many affordable options in really high growth suburbs,” Ms Mercorella said.

“They’re not going to run out tomorrow.

“And many are still within a 12km to 15km radius of the city, which is pretty mind-blowing compared with Sydney and Melbourne.”


REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella. Photo: Claudia Baxter.

Ms Mercorella said Brisbane’s affordable havens provided great opportunities for entry level property buyers.

“Many people assume a $300,000 house must be a dump, but that’s just not the case in the southeast corner,” she said.

“Low price does not mean low quality.”

Nick Kruger, principal of Your Haven Realty, said there were still plenty of opportunities for first home buyers to get a foot on the property ladder in Riverview, which has the cheapest median house price in Greater Brisbane.

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Mr Kruger said that he had noticed a shift in the buyer profile in the market as a result of the banks cracking down on lending.

“Predominantly, in the past, investors were snapping up these properties for their SMSF because of the good rental returns,” Mr Kruger said.

“Now the banks have cracked down, that’s incentivising a market change.

“It’s better for owner-occupiers now, because they have a chance to get it over investors.

“But in time, obviously these prices will jump so the sooner you can get in, the better.”

This house at 57 Price St, Riverview, is on the market for offers over $245,000.

He is marketing a three-bedroom house at 57 Price St, Riverview, which is currently leased for $290 a week and is on the market for offers over $245,000.

“That’s a good figure for an investor,” Mr Kruger said.

“At that price point, for a three-bedder on a 600 sqm plus block so close to Redbank Plaza and within 5 minutes walk of sought-after schools, I definitely it’s ideal for first home buyers or young families.”

Single parent Telita Webb has rented the home with three of her children for the past year, but would love to buy the property if she could afford the deposit.

“I love the place; Riverview’s my home,” Ms Webb said.

Chris and Tiffany Campbell live in Bundamba, which is one of greater Brisbane’s last affordable havens — just scraping in with a median house price of $292,752.

The couple are renovating a turn-of-the-century Queenslander, which they recently bought for $315,000.

“Bundamba has a bad wrap; I’m not sure why,” Mrs Campbell said.

“The street we live in is so quiet and full of beautiful, old Queenslanders, and you can see the growth potential.

“I think it is one of those places a lot of people forget about.”

They sold another property last year that they had bought and renovated two years earlier in North Ipswich and made more than $100,000 in profit.

we knew going into it and paying price we did in an up andcoming suburb it was going to be a good investment

DIY renovations

Chris and Tiffany Campbell have owned a number of homes across Brisbane’s affordable havens. They have renovated them and sold for a profit. Picture: AAP/David Clark.

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said Ipswich was becoming a popular location for property investors because of its affordability, solid rental yields and good infrastructure.

But Mr Pressley said he was not convinced the region had the ability to create the volume of jobs required to put pressure on the local labour market and drive property prices significantly higher.

“One could do worse than investing in Ipswich, however, my overall rating of the Ipswich property market is a middle-of-the-road performer for the feasible future,” Mr Pressley said.


Suburb Region Median house Change in median Change in median

price Mar 2019 12 mths to Nov 2018 5yrs

1. Riverview Ipswich $256,787 -2.3% 13.7%

2. Dinmore Ipswich $259,481 9.0% 35.2%

3. One Mile Ipswich $260,181 0.0% 15.9%

4. Leichhardt Ipswich $264,565 2.1% 22.5%

5. Rosewood Ipswich $273,359 6.9% 19.2%

6. Logan Central Logan $273,541 -3.4% 26.1%

7. Woodridge Logan $274,352 -1.3% 28.1%

8. Basin Pocket Ipswich $275,769 -4.6% 25.6%

9. Ebbw Vale Ipswich $276,599 -6.1% 20.3%

10. Kingston Logan $285,032 -2.4% 24.2%

11. Goodna Ipswich $285,329 -4.1% 10.8%

12. Tivoli Ipswich $292,168 -2.7% 8.6%

13. Bundamba Ipswich $292,752 4% 14.4%

14. North Booval Ipswich $293,058 4.6% 17.9%

15. Caboolture South Moreton Bay $293,517 0.6% 16.2%

16. Gailes Ipswich $293,572 0.7% 11.8%

17. Churchill Ipswich $295,020 1.1% 7.2%

18. East Ipswich Ipswich $297,405 13% 27.1%

19. Wulkaraka Ipswich $299,733 6% 2.6%

(Source: CoreLogic)

This article was first published in www.realestate.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.realestate.com.au/news/affordable-havens-the-sub-300000-suburbs-on-the-verge-of-extinction-in-brisbane/

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Escape to Penguin, Tasmania: ‘Come and spend a weekend – you won’t want to move back’

It’s hard to think of a town with a cuter name with Penguin, Tasmania, named for a local penguin colony spotted by botanist Robert Campbell Gunn in 1861.

The small seaside locale on Tasmania’s north coast has embraced its name; a Big Penguin statue draws onlookers along the esplanade and smaller motifs are scattered throughout.

But there’s more to the town than birdlife. Late last year Penguin received a boost with the Seven Day Makeover project, where residents worked together, building and painting civic projects.

Funded by Creative Communities, a place-making organisation, decks and a stage were installed for musicians to perform on along the esplanade, and a penguin adventure trail was developed to help much-welcomed visitors find all the local landmarks.

David Engwich, Creative Communities’ director, was “stunned and delighted” by the way the community had rode the wave of momentum after the initial makeover.

The Big Penguin in Penguin, Tasmania.
The Big Penguin in Penguin, Tasmania – but there’s more to the town than the statue. Photo: Diane Reed

“Now the community has started raising its own funds,” he said. “We think the Penguin community is setting the gold standard for other communities.”

Local resident Ross Hartley said the makeover had had “a profound impact on the town”.

“People came out of the woodwork to make that happen,” he said.


Population: 3849, as of the 2016 census. Apart from the attractions along the water, Penguin is also home to two beautiful historic churches and a replica Dutch windmill, presented to the town in 1988, a swathe of new sporting facilities, and the heritage-listed Penguin General Cemetery.

Who lives here?

Mr Hartley said Penguin appealed to families – with the local school slated for a $20 million redevelopment to be completed in 2022 – as well as some professionals.

“We have the UTAS Burnie campus just up the road,” he said. Some of the university’s academics also live close by.

Penguin, Tasmania.
Penguin, Tasmania. Photo: Creative Communities International/YouTube

Leah Morrow, from Avalon Body Boutique on Penguin’s main street, has seen an influx of people from other parts of Tasmania, and also the mainland, and they are sticking around.

“I’ve been living here 14 years; I don’t see myself moving from here,” she explained. “There’s a lot of people moving to the area.”

This is supported by the median house price of the town – a modest $285,000 compared to the cities, but with 9.8 per cent growth year-on-year, and 15.2 per cent growth over the past five years.

What happens here?

The new decks along the waterfront have encouraged the local music scene, said Ms Morrow, and several local cafes and restaurants hold regular live music nights.

“Naturally the markets every Sunday; they are always a drawcard,” she added. “With the beautiful weather that we’ve been having, and the live music, it’s really been attracting people just walking along and enjoying it.”

Mr Hartley pointed to the many outdoor activities on offer around the area.

“You can go bushwalking just behind town, [or] you can walk from Penguin to Cradle Mountain. For a little place, we do have a lot of stuff,” he said.

Penguin, Tasmania.
Penguin, Tasmania.

What’s life like?

Ms Morrow described Penguin as a community-minded place. “When people are ill, we rally around,” she said. “I think, as far as being a tight-knit community, I don’t think you could get any tighter. But people are given space as well.

“In the major cities, it takes you three hours to do your shopping, just because of the traffic. But here in Penguin it can take three hours because you’re chatting to people, having a coffee, and enjoying the beautiful weather.”

Mr Hartley agreed that the weather was better than in much of Tasmania.

“Because it’s near the beach, it’s a nice climate,” he said. “We rarely get a frost here in Penguin, and the lowest temperature would be five or six degrees in winter.”

What about work?

Tourism was a strong economic driver within the town, and both Ms Morrow and  Mr Hartley said tourists were still arriving in droves despite summer ending.

But with Burnie and Devonport so close — both less than half an hour’s drive — it was easy for residents to commute there for work, said Mr Hartley.  “You can practically walk to Ulverstone,” he added.

Why move here?

As Ms Morrow says, it’s just the feeling of the place.

“It’s a really nice vibe,” she said. ” I would just say come and spend a weekend – you won’t want to move back. That is basically what I did.”

Diane Reed set up a Facebook group to help keen future Tasmanians navigate their move south, having made the move herself from Victoria. She regards herself as the “luckiest woman alive” by calling Penguin home.

“We chose Penguin mostly because of its natural beauty and awesome community feel,” she said. “People here actually care about each other.”

She said aside from services in the nearby cities, the town itself had two doctors, three supermarkets, an “awesome bakery”, post office, bank, and an assortment of small shops.

“With three and half thousand people, it’s got a village atmosphere and the main street is right on the beach,” Mr Hartley said.  “There’s not too many places that have that.”

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/escape-to-penguin-tasmania-come-and-spend-a-weekend-you-wont-want-to-move-back-810337/

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Sydney first-home buyer stamp duty exemptions and concessions on the decline


Sydney properties are becoming more affordable as prices fall, but the number of first-home buyer stamp duty exemptions and concessions have taken a sizeable drop of more than 20 per cent in the past year, new data shows.

About 6200 exemptions and concessions were granted to first-home buyers in NSW over summer, data from Revenue NSW shows. There were 7940 issued over the same period last year.

“We have seen a bit of a drop-off in first-home buyers in the past few months,” said Domain research analyst Eliza Owen. “Even though property prices have become cheaper, in some ways it has become harder to get a mortgage [due to tighter lending restrictions].”

Last month, 1961 exemptions were granted, the lowest monthly number since July 2017, when the threshold lifted from $550,000 to $650,000 while the concession cap increased from $650,000 to $800,000.

The change boosted first-home buyer activity, Ms Owen said, prolonging price growth at the lower end of the market as the downturn took hold.

“Those who could afford to may have already utilised the policy and now we’re seeing that … drop-off,” she said.

“[But] even when we talked about a surge in first-home buyers, once investors started dropping out of the market, it was still at a relatively low level compared to some of the previous peaks we’ve seen.”

Monthly lending to first-home buyers peaked last April and has been on the decline since, the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows. But the proportion of first-home buyers in the owner-occupier market is still growing, with first-home buyers responsible for almost one-quarter of loans.

The number of grants issued for new homes is also in decline, with about 1770 issued over the past three months —  3.8 per cent less than the previous summer.

First-home buyer couple Stephanie Nowicki and Mervin Sayseng
First-home buyer couple Stephanie Nowicki and Mervin Sayseng are buying a house and land package in Riverstone in north west Sydney.

Among those looking to make the plunge are Mervin Sayseng and Stephanie Nowicki, who are buying a house and land package in Riverstone – about 48 kilometres north-west of the central business district.

“I don’t think that prices will go down much more, at least in our range,” Mr Sayseng said. “We’ve kept our budget at $650,000 … due to stamp duty concessions and how much we had saved. For established homes, [the threshold], it’s very limiting.”

Where are first-home owners buying? (March 2018 to February 2019)
SuburbPostcodeNumber of first-home owner grantsNumber of first-home duty exemptions or concessionsTotal benefits
Spring Farm2570369427$9,482,673
The most common suburb or town for the postcode has been shown. Source: Revenue NSW.

In the past year, $6.6 million was given to first-home buyers in Riverstone. The most benefits were cashed in in Liverpool, followed by postcodes covering Campbelltown, Westmead and Werrington. Of the top 20 areas, postcode 2205 — covering Arncliffe, Wolli Creek and Turella — was the closest area to the CBD.

First Home Buyers Australia director Taj Singh said most of his clients using benefits were buying entry-level apartments far from the city.

“We need these thresholds looked at. They’re so out of date in terms of the dollar value,” he said. “Even 20 to 30 kilometres out of the city, prices are well over the [stamp duty exemption] mark.”

Mr Sayseng said if the stamp duty exemption cutoff had been $50,000 higher it would have made a big difference.

“Increasing the exemption would be nice, when we were looking at housing — even around Plumpton and areas like that — if we could spend $50,000 more it was a major step up in what we could buy.”

Though house prices are falling, the average loan size to first-home buyers has been relatively flat, said Commonwealth Bank senior economist Gareth Aird.

“They’ve still got the appetite to borrow the same dollar amount,” Mr Aird said. “They’re just getting a better property now, for no more money. “

The overall appetite for finance has changed, with an ever-growing number of prospective buyers waiting to see if prices fall further.

“We as a bank are approving the same proportion of loans … the average size is the same and the approval rate is about the same. That implies the number of applications is just down,” Mr Aird said.

“All things being equal, you’d expect the number [of first-home buyer benefits] to go up, because more properties are selling under the threshold, but demand is weakening so that’s just not happening.”

Grattan Institute fellow Brendan Coates said first-home buyer benefits were an ineffective way of improving affordability because they tended to inflate prices.

“The fewer of these things being giving out is probably the better. There’s certainly no case for lifting the threshold and it would better if they were abolished entirely,” Mr Coates said.

While grants and exemptions could bring forward first-home buyer purchases and help them pull together a deposit quicker, Mr Coates said, they did not make housing cheaper.

He said it would be better if the state government abolished stamp duty for a broad-based land tax, which could boost turnover, and increased the supply of property in inner and middle-ring suburbs.

“It just takes a government that’s willing to take the risk … which neither side of politics was heading into the election.”

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/stamp-duty-exemptions-and-concessions-on-the-decline-811836/