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A tale of four cities: How Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine coasts and Ipswich differ



A tale of four cities: How Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine coasts and Ipswich differ Read more: Follow us: @brisbanetimes on Twitter | brisbanetimes on Facebook

A tale of four cities: How Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine coasts and Ipswich differ Read more: Follow us: @brisbanetimes on Twitter | brisbanetimes on Facebook

How expensive are houses in Brisbane compared with Ipswich? Which south-east Queensland region has the lowest crime rate? What are the biggest industries in each region?

The Queensland government statistician’s office has released the latest regional profiles for the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast, revealing what makes each region unique.


Brisbane City Council, as expected, had the highest population, at more than 1,140,000, followed by the Gold Coast at 546,067, Sunshine Coast at 282,822 and Ipswich at 188,047

Sunshine Coast had the largest percentage of over 65s, and also had the highest median age at 42.1 years, followed by Brisbane at 34.5, which had the largest amount of aged-care facilities.

The youngest median age out of all four regions was Ipswich at 32.1 years, which was also projected to have the largest population increase, by 4.6 per cent, over twice that of the Gold Coast at 1.9 per cent.

While projected population growth was expected to soar at Ipswich, babies abounded in Brisbane with more than 14,000 new faces welcomed into the world in 2014.

There was a higher percentage of indigenous Australians in Ipswich, 3.8 per cent, than the other three regions.

More than a quarter of Brisbane’s population was born overseas, with more than half the population speaking a language at home other than English, most likely to be “Chinese”.

Christianity was the most popular religious affiliation across the four regions, with 65 per cent of the population at Ipswich affiliated with a Christian religion.

A tale of four cities: How Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine coasts and Ipswich differ Read more: Follow us: @brisbanetimes on Twitter | brisbanetimes on Facebook


A greater percentage of Sunshine Coast residents owned their own homes compared with the other three regions.

Brisbane broke the rules with number of cars per home, with one vehicle per residence the norm compared with the coastal regions and Ipswich, which all had a higher percentage of two cars per dwelling.

Internet connection also varied, with the Brisbane and the Gold Coast having the biggest percentage of homes with internet connection, 83 per cent and 81.2 per cent respectively, followed by the Sunshine Coast (79.6 per cent) and Ipswich (77.7 per cent).

Brisbane real estate was the most costly out of the four regions, with the median sale price of a house at $519,288. Ipswich homes were the most affordable, with a median sale price of $319,000.

Gold Coast rental property prices creeped above Brisbane, with a three-bedroom house in 2015 going for a median price of $450/week compared with $420/week.

Gold Coast also scraped through ahead of Brisbane in terms of new housing approvals at 2938 compared with Brisbane’s 2909 for 2015, however Brisbane had double the amount of residential lot registrations compared to that of the Gold Coast.


Roughly half the population across Gold Coast, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast had completed Year 11 or 12, with Brisbane’s percentage slightly higher at 69.4 per cent.

Brisbane also had the largest number of schools, 313, followed by the Gold Coast at 104, Sunshine Coast at 73 and Ipswich at 67.

Brisbane was ahead the other three regions in terms of out of school qualifications; degrees, diplomas and/or certificates.

The most popular field of study was management and commerce across the regions, except on the Sunshine Coast where engineering and related technologies was preferred.
A tale of four cities: How Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine coasts and Ipswich differ Read more: Follow us: @brisbanetimes on Twitter | brisbanetimes on Facebook


Over a third of Ipswich residents were socio-economically disadvantaged which was measured in terms of income, education attainment, employment and vehicle ownership.

Brisbane’s residents were the least disadvantaged in terms of socio-economic factors.

The Sunshine Coast had the lowest median personal income at $522/week, followed by Gold Coast residents at $571/week, Ipswich residents at $592/week and Brisbane residents at a whopping $696/week.

The unemployment rate was highest on the Sunshine Coast, followed closely by Ipswich, both over 6 per cent.

Retail and construction were the top two industries on the Gold Coast while manufacturing was Ipswich’s largest industry, followed by healthcare and social assistance, which were Brisbane and Sunshine Coast’s biggest industries.


Ipswich had the highest rate of crime, with 9848 offences reported per 100,000 persons. Gold Coast came in second at 9222 offences then Brisbane at 7901 offences and Sunshine Coast at 6855.

In each region, offences relating to property were higher than those relating to people.
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Queensland is the next property hotspot, experts say



Queensland is the next property hotspot, experts say

As New South Wales and Victoria continue to experience weakness. Queensland is expected to take the lead, a National Australia Bank (NAB) poll of property professionals revealed.

According to the survey, industry experts project house prices in Queensland to increase by 0.7% next year and 1.3% in two years.

Some areas seen to perform strongly over the next year include Brisbane, Cairns, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. Out of the suburbs, Coomera and New Farm are expected to realize robust gains.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s rental market is also poised to enjoy an upward boost, growing by 1.3% next year and 1.9% in two years. This is despite the stricter rules on housing investment.

The respondents of the survey also expect Queensland to retain foreign buyer interest. In fact, the share of foreign sales hit a four-year high of 22.8% over the previous quarter.

The results of the survey go against NAB’s own projection of the market. For instance, the bank expects house prices to remain flat in Brisbane over the next three years. Unit prices, on the other hand, is seen to fall by 4.5% over the next year.

NAB chief economist Alan Oster said Brisbane’s housing market seemed to be going sideways and its unit market still creates concern.

“It hasn’t peaked yet, so that’s good. We’re seeing quite strong economic activity in Queensland, so that always helps,” Oster said, as quoted by The Courier-Mail.


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Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland



Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland

The Gold Coast has recorded the strongest growth in house prices in Queensland over the past 12 months.

GOLD Coast house prices are leading the way in Queensland, up six per cent in the past 12 months to an average $620,000.

The latest figures by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland show homes on the Glitter Strip are $35,000 more on the same time last year.

Unit prices are up 1.9 per cent to $428,000.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
REIQ data reveals houses on the Glitter Strip are worth $35,000 on the same time last year.

REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor for March said the strong population growth came on the back of infrastructure projects such as the $550 million Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct and M1 upgrades.

“The property market has been one of the big winners from the sporting event as the $1.5 billion infrastructure investment has boosted confidence and demand for housing in the region,” the report stated.

“We expect house prices will show an upward path in 2018. However, this growth will most likely be more moderate.”

A quiet real estate period leading up to, and during, the Commonwealth Games likely contributed to a slight drop (-0.3 per cent) in the March quarterly median sales price, the report reveals.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
Andrew Henderson says a growing population and employment opportunities were contributing to a strong property market. Picture: Jerad Williams

REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said he expected interstate migration to continue to benefit the city.

“I expect the market to remain strong,” he said.

“There is a heavy amount of interstate buyers moving here.

“I was at an auction recently where the winning bidder was from Sydney and the underbidder was from Melbourne.”

Mr Henderson said growing employment opportunities were also attracting homebuyers to the city.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
The Gold Coast property market is expected to remain strong.

“We have some of the best health facilities in the country and our universities are world recognised.

“Those two things alone complement the tourism industry and the lifestyle aspects that the Coast offers.”

The report found the fastest-selling suburbs on the Coast included Worongary, Merrimac, Highland Park, Mudgeeraba and Carrara.

It also revealed the rental vacancy held tight throughout the first quarter of the year at 1.1 per cent.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
Andrew Bell says the Coast had evolved from a tourist town into a vibrant city with an expanding economy. Picture Mike Batterham

Ray White Surfers Paradise Group CEO Andrew Bell said the Games heralded the next chapter for the Coast, as it evolved from a tourist town into a vibrant city with an expanding economy.

“The city’s property market is riding the irreversible momentum that has now come to the Gold Coast in terms of economic diversity and with more employment options we will need more housing options for people,” Mr Bell said.

“We are no longer going to be subject to tourism upsides and downsides as we were in the past because our economy has well and truly diversified beyond just tourism.”


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Australia’s golden triangle of opportunity



Australia's golden triangle of opportunity

It was great to be back on the Gold Coast for the 21st annual Australasian Real Estate Conference (AREC), attended by over 4,000 of Australia’s best industry professionals.  While I was there I was once again reminded of how much potential the South-East Queensland property market is offering both sea changers and investors at this stage in its market cycle.

In my view, Brisbane is the best market in Australia currently for short to medium term price growth, with the value gap between it and the other big East Coast capitals as large as I’ve seen it in many years.

When you factor in the key drivers for future growth – liveability, affordability, scale and future economic prospects, they all suggest that Brisbane is a market to invest in.  Check out the latest statistics from CoreLogic below.

Value gap – median house prices 

Brisbane $536,286

Melbourne $821,006

Sydney $1,019,093

Value gap – median apartment prices

Brisbane $385,121

Melbourne $573,673

Sydney $749,765

I’ve been bullish on Brisbane for many years and in hindsight, I called its next growth phase a couple of years too early. It’s had some growth in recent years but there is a lot more to come over the next few years.

According to McGrath’s top prestige agent in Brisbane, Alex Jordan, one of the dominant trends today is downsizers buying up luxury apartments.

Alex says: “Despite the reported oversupply in Brisbane’s inner city apartment market, we are seeing great strength in the prestige apartment sector.

“The luxury apartment market ($1M+) is driven by owner occupiers, particularly baby boomers and empty nesters, who are attracted to less maintenance and better accessibility.

“Popular suburbs include New Farm, Newstead, Teneriffe, Kangaroo Point, South Brisbane, St Lucia, Paddington and the Brisbane CBD. These areas offer a desirable lifestyle with an abundance of shopping, dining and entertaining precincts at their doorstep.”

South East Queensland has so many options for asset-rich, cash-poor southerners. Many of our customers in Sydney and Melbourne are looking closely at South East Queensland both for investment and a potential sea change. I believe its affordability will continue to attract record levels of interstate migration.

If you live in Sydney or Melbourne and you’re struggling with the mortgage and cost of living, Brisbane is a fantastic alternative. It offers big city job opportunities, high quality education options and the chance to transform your financial future.

The boom delivered Sydney and Melbourne home owners a capital gain of up to 75% – that’s enormous new equity that could be cashed in to fund an amazing new lifestyle with far less mortgage stress up north. Plus, you’d be buying in just before Brisbane’s next wave of price growth. It’s the perfect scenario.

I believe the area from the Gold Coast to Toowoomba and up to the Sunshine Coast is Australia’s golden triangle right now.

Toowoomba, with its expanded airport facilities which have opened up easy access to the south, is the perfect and affordable treechange destination. Known as Queensland’s Garden City, about 2,300 people moved here from Brisbane last year for its cheaper house prices and enjoyable regional city lifestyle.

Both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are also appealing sea change options benefitting from a raft of new infrastructure that will drive further population growth and generate more local jobs.

Brisbane is one of the world’s great cities but I don’t think this is fully realised as yet. If you haven’t been to Brisbane for a number of years, get on a plane. This is a thriving city that offers many of the lifestyle amenities you love about the southern capitals but at a much cheaper price.

I think Brisbane will also become very attractive to migration and investment from Asia in the years ahead.

South East Queensland is offering opportunity everywhere for both owner occupiers and investors alike. Now’s the time to consider what Australia’s premier lifestyle market can do for you!


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