Things to know before you buy in Brisbane – Shannon Davis

Things to know before you buy in Brisbane – Shannon Davis

As we look to bring you another “Buy In Brisbane” episode – our very popular vlog with Shannon Davis – I am out to answer a question from Cheryl and her husband Neil who ask what they should be considering if they are looking at buying in Brisbane.  Shannon tells us about a few areas you should consider carefully.


Kevin:  As you know, we’re great supporters of property generally, but we have a major focus also on the Brisbane market, hence our special vlog that comes out every fortnight that we produce with Shannon Davis, and that is Buy in Brisbane. Shannon joins me.

Brisbane, of course, has been highlighted as a very livable city and a city that’s had fairly steady growth for actually quite a few decades now, Shannon, but local knowledge, you can’t beat it. You’re the man on the ground. What are some of the considerations people need to know or bear in mind if they’re going to buy property in Brisbane?

Shannon:  I think first off, Kevin, it’s north versus south. People tend to stay put and rarely visit the other side as much, so be aware of this little idiosyncrasy.

Kevin:  How can that impact investors?

Shannon:  The northern suburbs have historically been worth more. It has the airport and the CBD on its side of the river. They’re the two major employers, and probably the biggest advantage, more proven than some of the south side suburbs.

But on the south side, it has more upside I think. It’s benefiting from young families moving in, and there has been really rapid price growth in the inner and middle suburbs, and there’s probably better infrastructure and it’s closer to hubs like the Logan and the Gold Coast.

Kevin:  Yes, I was going to mention the Gold Coast. That’s probably one of the big pluses on the south side. But I guess also on the north side you have access on to the Sunshine Coast, so in another sense, I guess Brisbane really benefits from having those two major coastal centers, north and south, doesn’t it?

Shannon:  Yes, it does. But the southern infrastructure is probably a little bit better given the Logan motorway, Ipswich motorway, and more lanes for the M1. So, in that sense, it probably has a little bit of an advantage.

Kevin:  What are some of the other things we need to bear in mind if we’re comparing Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne?

Shannon:  I think outdoor living is a necessity, a bit of a deal-breaker for us, and it needs to have cover. For example, my family eats outside and swims for about ten months of the year. So, when you’re looking to investing into Brisbane, I think if it’s an apartment, it needs a covered balcony, if it’s a house, it needs a patio or a deck, and for me, it’s a bit of a deal-breaker if it doesn’t have that.

Kevin:  Okay, outdoor living. Anything else we need to consider?

Shannon:  Yes, flood zones. Living through the 1974 and 2011 floods, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Not all sites are affected, but even such things as overland flow is critical if you’re considering a value-add strategy.

Kevin:  Yes, because the council did send out notices to everyone, I understand, in Brisbane about overland flow. A lot of people got very scared about it. How high does that flooding have to be before it adversely affects the value of the property, Shannon?

Shannon:  If it’s had damage and water through the property, it’s going to be put-off for buyers, and anything that is limiting your market depth is going to have a bit of a brake on capital growth. There will be periods where people forget about flooding issues, but for me, it’s first and center, and it’s not one recommendation that I’d make if a property has been adversely affected by floods.

Kevin:  Of course, it’s very easy to get around Brisbane as well, lots of good infrastructure. How important is it to be close to some of those hubs, both north and south, and being able to get around through tunnels and so on?

Shannon:  I think it adds value in the fact that infrastructure is a gift from the taxpayers mainly, and if you have access to that and it’s reducing your traffic lights and your commute, it’s something that we have to look for and probably a way to future-proof your investment, because you could probably add in the next 10 to 15 years another 500,000 cars to the roads.

Kevin:  Shannon, I often think about Brisbane as not being as busy as Sydney and Melbourne. How important is off-street parking?

Shannon:  Off-street parking is really important. We wouldn’t consider an investment without off-street parking at the moment, because there’s more of a love affair for Queenslanders and their cars, and there’s not as much traffic in the commute to the coast and things like that. So, if you can find one or two off-street parking, all the better.

Kevin:  Yes, off-street parking, we’re talking about that. Some of those higher density areas where they’re putting in a lot of units, you go around the streets and there’s not much parking left. It becomes a real problem, doesn’t it?

Shannon:  Yes. I was recently in Sydney too, and there are lots of places that are offered without parking. It’s probably something that may be up to the future but not quite here.

I think also, Kevin, that Brisbane is more of a buyer-friendly place. Private treaty is the preferred mode of sale, and even auction properties tend to go prior to sale or after sale. They have a lower clearance rate. I think that’s a little bit more buyer-friendly, and we can all of course have a cooling-off period and get building and pest and things like that. So, when we’re working with buyers in Brisbane, they often report how it’s a little bit better for the buyer.

The other thing is timber and tin in the southern states can sometimes have a bit of a stigma about it; it’s considered in the lower socio-economic areas. But in Brisbane, some of their most prestigious houses are made of timber and tin, and there’s a big market depth for it, huge owner-occupier appeal, and they can be very flexible with the value-add strategies that you suggest.

Then finally, Kevin, there’s Brisbane and then there’s Greater Brisbane. I think sometimes people without the local knowledge think they’re buying Brisbane but what they’re really buying into is the Gold Coast, Logan City, Ipswich City, or even Moreton Bay regions. I think that’s often described as Greater Brisbane and they haven’t really been told the full facts there.

Brisbane comprises of 190 suburbs and has a far different demographic profile than some of those other regions that I mentioned before.

Kevin:  A really great insight there for you about the Brisbane market. I guess it would be fair to say that any market really needs some sort of in-depth knowledge, which is really the message in this interview with Shannon, and that is make sure that if you’re going to buy in an area that you get some of that local knowledge, which of course, you’re going to get from buyer’s agents like Shannon.

You can contact Shannon through our vlog, which comes out every fortnight. Have a look for that, giving you a great insight into the Brisbane market with Shannon Davis from Metropole Properties in Brisbane.

Shannon, thanks for your time.

Shannon:  No worries, Kevin. Thank you.

Kevin Turner
  • steve weingarth
    Posted at 12:51h, 07 January Reply

    What about the still affordable Southern areas-Victoria Point and Redland Bay-where 4 bedders are still available for mid 500 K returning solid rental yields. When are these expected to increase given you pay this for a tiny 1 bedroom or studio units in outer Sydney suburbs. These Brisbane housing areas look undervalued for investors or Sydney Melbourne home buyers who can’t afford million dollar plus similar land and house sizes. These look like the bargain areas of any city in Australia now and realistically the houses should go up in the next few years as they have been quiet for the last few unlike Sydney and Melbourne. What do you think is happening there and in the future for home buyers?.

    • Kevin Turner
      Posted at 07:19h, 27 July Reply

      Steve. Those areas could be under-valued or the comparable properties in Sydney and Melbourne could be over-priced. Affordability will be a big plus for South East Queensland. Kevin

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