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While renters in southern capitals such as Sydney and Melbourne worry about how to pay each week – let alone how to save a home deposit – Brisbane tenants can affordably rent within cooee of the city.
Domain Group data shows that there are 14 suburbs in the Brisbane City Council area with median rental prices of just $400 per week.
And it’s not just for units – half of the suburbs have median weekly rental prices for houses of $400.
While renting an affordable unit can see you living within a couple of kilometres of the CBD, middle-ring houses in suburbs such as Upper Mount Gravatt and Oxley can also be leased affordably, according to the data.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella said Brisbane offered tenants the “best of both worlds” due to the affordability of desirable rental locations.
“Probably one of the strongest benefits is that you don’t have to go very far from the CBD to reach an affordable price point,” she said.
“Suburbs such as Bowen Hills, Cannon Hill, Kelvin Grove, Morningside and New Farm are all well serviced by public transport and are all within five kilometres of the CBD – you would never get that in Sydney or Melbourne.”
Some of the suburbs have more than just proximity to the city to offer, she said.
Kelvin Grove has some of Brisbane’s best schools and is very well serviced with public transport options, Ms Mercorella said.
“Springfield Lakes is one of the most popular new areas, and at the last Census was one of our fastest growing regions in Australia,” she said.
“It is a master-planned community that offers families a lifestyle option – lakefront living with a community feel.
“Morningside is a suburb in transformation, with a number of new small-lot developments renewing the area. It is also a suburb in close proximity to the prestige Hawthorne and Bulimba pocket at more affordable prices.”
Ray White New Farm’s Haesley Cush said inner-city tenant demand continued to grow strongly, with unit rental prices softer due to the ample supply of new apartments that had hit the market.
“Developers were so intent on letting out their properties because they had rental guarantees … that incentives came into the rental market for residential property for the first time in as long as I can remember,” he said.
“That put downward pressure on mum and dad investors with older units to compete with a brand-new unit where the developer not only has a better product in a lot of ways, but they were also offering incentives.”
Mr Cush said the new competition resulted in rents falling by about 30 per cent in New Farm. Lower interest rates were lessening the financial impact on landlords, however.
With supply of new units still high, most landlords were opting to retain their existing tenants and slowly increase the rent over time rather than take a punt on the open market, he said.
Mr Cush said southern buyers and renters were starting to stake their claim on the Brisbane rental and sales markets.
“I do think they won’t return once they get up here. The weather is better, school fees are cheaper, and it’s not the compromise in lifestyle for the difference in price,” he said.
“It does have less people, you don’t get as good a meal on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and you can’t dine after 9.30pm still in most places, but for what is in some cases half the rent and sales price, we’re not talking about half the lifestyle.”