THEY are the “upsizers” — an emerging market of aspirational home hunters with growing families, healthy bank balances and big dreams for the future.
And property experts are urging them to “act now or miss out” on securing their forever homes while southeast Queensland’s housing market is in a sweet spot.
RiskWise Property Research has run the numbers and identified the 10 best suburbs for buyers looking to upgrade to a bigger or better property.
The top three — Albion, Wavell Heights and Stafford — are all on Brisbane’s northside and within 10km of the CBD, while half are on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.
RiskWise Property Research chief executive Doron Peleg said southeast Queensland’s housing market had the perfect fundamentals for medium to long-term investment — relative affordability, population growth, an improving economy and modest capital growth.
“There’s a good selection of suburbs in southeast Queensland that provide the desired quality and location without the million-dollar price tag and with the second benefit that it is likely to enjoy long-term capital growth.”
According to Knight Frank’s Australian head of residential research, Michelle Ciesielski, the Brisbane market saw more buyers upsizing in the past year to take advantage of green shoots appearing in the prestige market.
“This was from those already placed in the local market and those relocating from interstate with a desire to make their money go further than what could be purchased in other east coast cities,” Ms Ciesielski said.
“We see this trend continuing into 2019.
“Price growth will continue to follow this trend, with a sustainable annual growth of 3-5 per cent by year’s end.”
Mr Peleg said there were two types of upgraders — those living in a house and wanting to move to a bigger one or a better location, and those living in a unit and looking to buy a house.
He said upsizers in southeast Queensland needed to factor in an extra $200,000 to $300,000 — less than the $400,000 to $500,000 needed to upgrade in Sydney.
“They are key drivers in comparison to Sydney, where the market is declining, you need to add far more money to upgrade and investor activity is actually going down,” Mr Peleg said.
In compiling the research, RiskWise considered only houses with a median price of $600,000 to $800,000 to appeal to a broader audience.
“Another consideration was that from a value-for-money perspective, these suburbs present great lifestyle, education and opportunity in comparison to other suburbs in southeast Queensland as well as strong internal migration and affordability,” Mr Peleg said.
”They also enjoy future projected and strong long-term demand but have also enjoyed good capital growth in recent years and are already considered very popular among upgraders.”
Will and Misty Barsby are looking to upgrade to a bigger house closer to the city and have their heart set on Wavell Heights.
“We’re looking for our ‘forever home’, as my wife calls it,” Mr Barsby said.
The couple and their two young children currently live in Burpengary, but would ideally like to move in to a renovated character home with at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms and on a minimum 600 sqm block.
“We’ve done a bit of research, but what we really liked about Wavell Heights was the accessibility,” Mr Barsby said.
“It’s in between the Sandgate Road and Gympie Road rat runs, close to the city and it has lots of options in terms of public and private schools.
“It’s also reasonably affordable at the moment in terms of family homes and decent sized blocks.
“It feels like an opportune time for us to get the right home for the right price.”
John Andrew of Place Nundah said Wavell Heights had become an appealing suburb for families because it was predominantly residential, had good public and private schools and didn’t have density issues like nearby Chermside.
Mr Andrew said values had risen in the area, but it was still relatively affordable.
“We see people decide; ‘OK I can get a small lot in Clayfield or a bigger house in nearby Wavell,” Mr Andrew said.
“If you bought a simple post war home for $600,000 and put $250,000 to $300,000 into it, you’re not going to overcapitalise.”
TOP 10 SUBURBS FOR UPGRADERS IN SOUTHEAST QLD
Suburb Median house price Change in 12 mths Change in 5 years
1. Albion $769,764 9% 33.1%
2. Wavell Heights $695,010 6.5% 34.3%
3. Stafford $605,605 7.2% 34.3%
4. Sunnybank $779,523 7.8% 47.4%
5. Murrarie $638,691 8.5% 44%
6. Hope Island $794,422 7.1% 40.7%
7. Miami $768,991 11.1% 63.3%
8. Palm Beach $794,321 8.6% 57.9%
9. Mooloolaba $778,620 13.8% 48.7%
10. Coolum Beach $638,648 10.8% 45.6%
(Source: RiskWise Property Research, CoreLogic)