Article posted today by Kell Anderson on Domain.com.au looking at Bridgeman Downs in QLD, which was also recently rated in the top 10 suburbs for growth.
KELL ANDERSEN FEB 18, 2020 – Domain.com.au
When most Brisbanites think of Bridgeman Downs, an image forms in their head: expansive green estates, long driveways and huge mansions. But the shape of the northern suburb has been slowly changing in recent years, and so has the demographic of people buying there.
The leafy area is now home to a burgeoning market of boutique housing estates. What’s more, those estates are increasingly attracting the attention of investors, representing a marked shift away from the typical owner-occupiers usually buying in the suburb.
Richard Crabb, managing director of Aspire Property Advisor Network, has been keeping an eye on the area in recent years and says the reason investors are pouncing is the fantastic value on offer.
“Bridgeman Downs is a bit of a hidden gem,” he said. “Some of these high-quality townhouse products [and] boutique developments are representing exceptional value and return.
“Around the $500,000 price point, you can get a very high-quality, large floor plan, three-bedroom, two-bathroom, one-garage property, with one or two car spaces in front of it [and] high-end fittings and appliances.”
Mr Crabb said these properties generally brought in roughly $500 or more in weekly rent, placing them well above 5 per cent rental yield. He was so confident in their investment potential that he himself purchased a property in one of the new housing developments.
The sprawling 20 Priestley Road, Bridgeman Downs sold for $4.9 million. Photo: Place Estate Agents Aspley
“[These] properties are basically returning better than cash,” he said. “They’re also going to appreciate over time as well. Providing that upfront yield now and also long term growth.”
Data from the Domain House Price Report shows Bridgeman Downs has had some of the best growth in Brisbane recently, placing it in the top 10 suburbs for 2019. With the median house price currently sitting at $775,000, this represents a 7.3 per cent increase year-on-year.
JSF Property is a Bridgeman Downs-based developer with two large estates in the area, Emerald Park and Gardenia, representing over 250 homes. At the time of writing, there are zero vacancies across the two developments.
“I’ve already signed up people, signed and paid, to move in the first week of April, and it’s February,” Michael Stephens, leasing and marketing manager with JSF Property, said. “I’m renting properties that are not even vacant yet.”
Mr Stephens said the vast majority of people renting in the area were singles or couples, with no children.2 Aldritt Place, Bridgeman Downs QLD 40355Beds2Baths2Parking
“They’re leaving the city apartment because they have a dog, and they need green space,” he said. “That’s where people have to head now if they want a townhouse with a decent back yard – it’s Bridgeman Downs.
“A lot of them come from West End, Fortitude Valley, or even Queen Street, Brisbane City. They want a tree change. The city’s exciting when you’re in your early 20s, [but] when you hit 30-plus, it’s not that exciting any more. You want somewhere quieter.”
The stats JSF Property see in their developments show an even more unusual trend: the renters in the area are largely higher-income earners. Their average wage is $112,387, and most of the houses have just two occupants with one or two cars.
Estates in the area are now being built to service the needs of both these busy renters, and the investors themselves. For instance, landlords of JSF Property homes pay a small fee so the gardens on their properties are professionally maintained.
“The busy individual no longer mows lawns, so we take care of everything,” Mr Stephens said. “A lot of our people are in the army, so they go away for months at a time on deployment. We’re there doing all the gardens for them. It keeps the complexes looking uniform.”
Despite the change, the essence of Bridgeman Downs still remains – more than 80 per cent of the suburb is owner-occupier.
Sonya Treloar, of Ray White Bridgeman Downs, has worked in the area for a number of years and says while says its demographic is diversifying, what makes the suburb so popular has not changed.
“There’s great parks, bikeways, it’s a very friendly suburb and family-orientated,” she said. “It’s close to public transport, rail, and bus. It’s at the centre of all the big major shopping centres. It’s very close to schools as well.
“It’s very diverse now. It’s not just beautiful big acreages and big homes on large blocks.”