Property News, Insights & Education

Brisbane’s best and worst-performing suburbs

  • Brisbane’s fastest-growing suburbs for value growth in both the unit and house market tend to be in affordable areas, where prices are below the city-wide medians
  • Houses in Logan Central have increased 7.8% in value in just three months, while units in nearby Bethania have grown an astounding 19.4% in the quarter
  • The Logan-Beaudesert area in Brisbane’s outer south has seen some of the fastest growth in house and unit values
  • Some expensive markets in inner Brisbane have seen recent value declines as potential buyers look further afield

After several years of extraordinary growth, Brisbane has re-claimed the title of Australia’s second most expensive property market—a position it hasn’t held in more than 25 years.


According to CoreLogic’s monthly Home Value Index, in May 2024, Brisbane overtook Canberra as the city with the second-highest median dwelling value at $843,231.


But if you dig into the CoreLogic data, it’s an uneven picture across the Queensland capital, with price growth skyrocketing in affordable suburbs, with much smaller gains—and even some recent losses—in more affluent areas.


The background


Before the pandemic, Melbourne’s median dwelling value was around 37% greater than Brisbane’s, while Canberra’s median was approximately 24% higher.


However, since early 2020, home values in Brisbane have increased more than five times the pace of Melbourne—a 59.8% jump in just over four years, while Melbourne has managed just 11.2%.


In the year to May 31st, 2024, CoreLogic says home values in Brisbane increased by 16.3%, only surpassed by booming Perth.


Brisbane values grew 1.4% in May and 3.9% for the quarter.


However, there are some suburbs in Brisbane where apartments are growing at nearly five times that quarterly rate, while house prices in some of the city's more exclusive inner-city enclaves are actually going backwards.

Brisbane’s best and worst performing suburbs - Houses


According to CoreLogic, Logan Central in Brisbane’s sprawling outer south is the city’s top-performing suburb for houses. Values have grown 7.8% in just the last three months and 29.3% in the previous year, adding more than $138,000 to the price of the median house, which now sits at $610,386.


Three suburbs around and including Chermside in Brisbane’s north—served by the large Chermside Shopping Centre, good transport links and plenty of economic activity—filled the second, third and fourth places for quarterly house price growth.


Houses in this area have appreciated nearly $200,000 in value in just the last year.


Only three suburbs in the Top 20 “strongest” list—Wilston, Toowong, and Clayfield—are classified as Inner Cities.


However, at least seven Inner City areas are on the list of the 20 weakest quarterly value growth suburbs.


That list is topped by St Lucia, technically described as Brisbane-West, but which is just over 7 km from the CBD.


Bounded on three sides by the Brisbane River, home to the University of Queensland and excellent sporting facilities—including one of the city’s best golf courses—house values in St Lucia surged more than 16% in a year before easing 1.7% in the last three months, as high prices (the suburb median house price is $1,873,226) sent many upmarket buyers looking elsewhere.     


Nevertheless, houses in St Lucia have appreciated 14.9% in the past year, adding nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the price of a median house.


It’s been a different story in some inner-city suburbs.


As Brisbane boomed around it, ritzy Ascot—located near Eagle Farm racecourse—has seen buyers baulk at the high asking price for homes.


Values eased 0.7% to a median of $2,427,482 over the last quarter and have only increased 3.3% over the past year.


What’s interesting about Brisbane’s Top 20 fastest-growing suburbs list is that seven had median house prices well below the city-wide median of $937,479. This suggests intense competition for properties at the rapidly appreciating but still “affordable” end of the Brisbane house market.    


That competition for “affordable” homes is even more stunning when it comes to units.

Brisbane’s best and worst performing suburbs - Units


No less than 11 of Brisbane’s top-performing unit markets are in the Logan-Beaudesert area, led by Bethania. Over the past year, this market has seen extraordinary quarterly value growth of 19.7% for the median unit and 37% annually, or $119,475. 


The key to this list is affordability, with 13 of the Top 20 fastest-growing unit markets offering median unit prices less than the city-wide median.  


One of Brisbane's main housing challenges is a dire shortage of apartments, and this shortfall won’t be fixed anytime soon.


According to the Property Council of Queensland, less than 3000 apartments are under construction this year, and that number is expected to halve next year.


“If all the projects under construction proceed, it will only bring 4,356 dwellings to market, well short of the 7,500 attached dwellings needed for Brisbane each year according to the (state) government’s South East Queensland Regional Plan,” says Executive Director Jess Caire.


What’s driving this insatiable demand for housing, particularly units, in “Brisvegas”? 


In one word, population.


KPMG urban economist Terry Rawnsley says that in 2023, net overseas migration (the number of people arriving from overseas minus the number of people leaving) was the most significant contributor to Brisbane's overall population growth, at 51,800.


Brisbane and Perth were the only two major capital cities with a net inflow of people from the rest of the country.


In Brisbane’s case, net interstate migration was 15,300.


“That’s reflective of the affordability paradigm that Brisbane has,” he says, “and a really strong jobs market.”


However, that inflow of people comes at a time when the Queensland capital’s housing market is already overstretched.


According to CoreLogic, the number of homes for sale in Brisbane in May 2024 was 34% below the five-year average, while Brisbane’s rental vacancy rate in April was only 1% - only a slight improvement after dropping as low as 0.7% in June 2022.


“We’re still in a position where the shortage of supply is driving the market, and we’re lacking the housing diversity we need for everyone in our community,” says Antonia Mercorella, the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. 


“The critical gap, of course, is at the affordable end of the market,” she says.


The CoreLogic individual suburb growth data clearly shows the “affordable end” is also where the greatest demand is.


With moves by the Queensland government to increase the Stamp-Duty free threshold to $700,000 for First Home Buyers, expect this segment of the market to see even more demand.