Australia’s Sunshine State has always been famous for its warm climate, stunning beaches, and laid-back charm. A favourite destination for holiday-makers, these days it’s not just the getaway to Noosa or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef that’s got people from other states talking — it’s that Queensland is now one of the country’s hottest property markets too.
Back in September 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released data that showed Queensland dramatically eclipsed every other state when it came to internal migration. Year to date, the Sunshine state gained almost 20,000 people moving in from elsewhere in the country — mostly to Brisbane at the expense of the nation’s largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.
The question is: what’s driving this boom in popularity for Queensland?
Frasers Property Australia’s State Sales Manager for Queensland, Mary McCabe-Gray, says that some of the demand has been driven by people taking stock after the challenges of 2020 and deciding that lifestyle in the north trumps lockdown in the south. “I think COVID-19 did accelerate a lot of people’s thinking,” says Mary. “We’ve had lots of conversations with people from Melbourne and Sydney who just felt that if lockdowns and working from home was going to remain a part of their immediate future, then they wanted to be somewhere sunny and warm. They wanted to be able to still feel the freedom of being outdoors in a beautiful climate or go to the beach with the kids.”
With that said, the attractiveness of Brisbane had been a talking point long before the pandemic hit. With massive infrastructure projects and exciting urban renewal, Brisbane feels like a city undergoing a stunning transformation from sleepy caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. “It’s an incredibly exciting time,” agrees Mary. “Brisbane’s got the $3.6 billion Queens Wharf redevelopment, the Cross River Rail, the Brisbane Metro, expansion of the Brisbane Airport — there’s a real sense of momentum in the city. Plus, the development that’s gone on in recent years around the Howard Smith Wharves and Southbank have really put Brisbane’s restaurant, theatre, and night-life scene on the map.”
All that investment has had an appreciable impact on the economy of the state, with Queensland Treasury reporting that the state is forecast to grow by more than 3% next year.
The flow-on effect to the property market is clear: Westpac and CoreLogic have tipped Brisbane prices to surge by 20% by 2023, far outstripping forecast gains in any other capital city.
Living on the sunny side of the street
For those contemplating the move to sunnier climates, Frasers Property QLD Sales and Marketing Manager Mary McCabe gives us her inside track on what each Frasers Property community brings to the table:
Brookhaven, Bahrs ScrubMary: Brookhaven is one of those communities that really developed a life of its own. Because of its location — halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast — and its affordability, it really ticked all the boxes for first home buyers in those early years of the project. But these days, it’s got the feel of a much more mature suburb and has really evolved into this lovely close-knit community.
So now what we’re seeing is that it’s attracting upgraders and downsizers — effectively the parents and the grandparent who want to live there as well. I think that diversity is what makes it an amazing community.
Cova, Hope IslandMary: Cova has really been one of the jewels in the crown and just a great addition to the Gold Coast. We just sold out our final precinct here around the marina and overlooking the water, and we’re obviously really proud of the amenity we’ve created here with Club Cova and the Boathouse. It’s just a fantastic place to live with a tight-knit community that’s very proud of their neighbourhood. You can’t ask for more than that.
Minnippi Quarter, CarinaMary: Oh, I wish we had ten more Minnippi Quarters! It’s easily been one of our most popular communities in many years. It sold out completely 12 months ahead of schedule. I think that’s a real testament to its location already being very established and right next to the Minnippi Parkland, which is like having this enormous play space as your backyard. With the residents recreation centre at the heart of the community, it’s going to be one of the best addresses in Carina.
Hamilton Reach, HamiltonMary: I think part of the reason why Hamilton Reach is so special is the location. It’s very private; it’s very quiet. You drive down there, and you’re just struck by the sense of calm and tranquillity that comes from this part of the [Brisbane] river. We’ve taken great care to honour that with the design for the project and the diversity of architecture that’s there. Nothing is cookie-cutter and there’s a very distinct riverside identity that’s very purposeful and deliberate. Our final collection of freehold riverfront homes is now available, and they are simply stunning in the way they incorporate natural materials, lots of light, and beautiful viewlines to the water. There’s nothing else like this along the Brisbane river; it’s just that rare and special.
New community coming soon, KeperraMary: I am so excited to unveil this project to the market later this year. It’s totally unique and it offers this really rare commodity: elevated homes a hundred plus metres above sea level that just don’t come along every day. The transformation plans for this site, which used to be a working quarry, are just breathtaking. Landscaping will be a key feature and will be used to soften all the hard edges and create this cool oasis built into the side of Enoggera Hill in Keperra. It’s going to be pretty iconic.