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Brisbane has proven itself to be one of the cheapest capital cities to rent a house or unit in Australia but where exactly are these bargain properties?
When it comes to units, you can be as close as three kilometres from the CBD and paying some of the lowest rents in Brisbane, new data from Domain Group shows.
The inner northern suburb of Grange is the most affordable for units, with a median weekly rent of $295 a week. Other inner city bargain spots include Bardon, at $305 a week, Gordon Park, at $325 a week and Newmarket, at $328 a week.
Red Hill, only three kilometres from the CBD, has a median weekly rent of $320 week for units.
On the south side, renting a unit in Camp Hill has a median price of $330 a week, while blue chip Clayfield and Wooloowin will set you back $330 a week.
Place Advisory director Lachlan Walker says he’s not surprised by the results, noting that those suburbs had a higher proportion of older apartment buildings.
“Renters have got so much choice when it comes to apartments in Brisbane now, so they can afford to be picky,” he said.
“They all want the shiny building with the pool and strong amenities. They want to walk to restaurants and bars, they want to be as close to the city as possible.
“So because there’s so much selection now — and a lot of the developers in those city locations are very competitive offering incentives — some of the units in the suburbs have suffered.
“It’s the old brick walk-ups, the smaller, older buildings with no facilities that have had to lower their prices to compete with the newer developments.”
Rents in Gordon Park fell by three per cent over the past year, as did rents in Grange (down 1.7 per cent), Newmarket (down 0.8 per cent) and Bardon (down 4.7 per cent).
Domain Group data scientist Nicola Powell said the variety of apartments was also likely limited in these suburbs.
“It’s probably fair to say that these suburbs a little further out have less variety than those areas saturated with new developments, where you can get a big range of units from one-bedders to four-bedroom penthouses,” she said.
“If somewhere like Grange has a smaller choice of older one and two-bedroom units, that can also make a difference to the median weekly rent.”
Over the past 12 months, 50 units were rented in Grange, compared with the 1246 units rented in Brisbane City.
Mr Walker said the flood of new units to Brisbane’s apartment market had not only changed renters expectations, but also investors.
“It’s interesting watching that evolution of what people expect. Five years ago, investors just wanted whatever was cheapest and going to get them the most rent,” he said.
“Now, they want those locational benefits as well as building quality and amenities like pools because that’s what tenants expect and what they want to rent.”
Recent Place Advisory research also found properties close to the CBD with a pool were top of the list for investors, with 41 per cent believing a pool was the most attractive property asset.
Executive chairman of Consolidated Properties Group, Don O’Rorke, said the results of the survey echoed his own rules for property investment.
“The first rule is to know who your market is — or in the case of property investors, who the likely tenant will be,” he said.
“Anecdotally we know that people look to rent or buy close to work, and given the billions of dollars in new infrastructure being delivered in the CBD, it’s no surprise that investors are lining up for inner city properties.
“The demand for facilities like a pool is as much about lifestyle as it choosing a property that stands out from the crowd and will appeal to tenants.
“It’s one of the reasons we built a rooftop pool on level 40 of our CBD-located Spire Residences — we wanted to add that wow factor so even in a competitive rental market there’s still a waitlist from potential tenants.”
The 10 cheapest suburbs to rent a unit in Brisbane:
(Based on median weekly rent data over the past 12 months)
Red Hill: $320
Gordon Park: $325
Camp Hill: $330
Source: Domain Group