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Woolloongabba leads ranking of best places to invest

Main Street of Woolloongabba, Queensland
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Woolloongabba features a big range of highly-rated restaurants and bars, as well as the iconic Gabba sporting ground, which will be redeveloped to host the 2032 Olympic Games. Photo: Brisbane City Council

Woolloongabba leads ranking of best places to invest

Brisbane’s inner eastern suburb of Woolloongabba has been named Australia’s best location for residential investment as the nation emerges from the pandemic.

Brisbane’s inner eastern suburb of Woolloongabba has been named Australia’s best location for residential investment as the nation emerges from the pandemic.

Research commissioned by ME Bank revealed the top 20 best places for investors heading into 2022, ranking locations on a wide range of qualitative and quantitative criteria.

Factors assessed include transport infrastructure spending, average rental yields, recent population growth, median house prices, average rental prices and lifestyle appeal.

Director of planning and urban economics consultancy Ethos Urban, Chris McNeill, who conducted the research on behalf of ME, said a common theme among the top 20 locations was transport infrastructure spending creating investment opportunities.

“Woolloongabba, for example, is already serviced by two train stations and the new Cross City Rail Project will provide a new line running directly under the suburb, increasing connectivity and changing the way people use the area,” Mr McNeill said.

“This will only be bolstered in the coming years as Brisbane prepares its infrastructure for the 2032 Olympics.

“Add to this the exciting atmosphere in Logan Street, its rapid population growth and steady house price growth, it really does offer a unique opportunity for those looking to invest in the property market.”

While Queensland took out the top two positions with Woolloongabba and Burleigh Heads, locations in New South Wales were most predominant across the top 20.

A total of nine suburbs in NSW were included in the rankings, with Five Dock, Rozelle, Parramatta and Crows Nest all featuring in the top 10.

Other NSW suburbs highlighted for investment potential included Waterloo, Coffs Harbour, North Sydney, Pyrmont and Concord.

“Key transport infrastructure projects like the Sydney Metro South West Project will enhance connectivity to the CBD from areas including North Sydney and Crows Nest, bolstering the already well-established apartment market and coffee scene,” Mr McNeill said. 

“Five Dock, Rozelle, Parramatta, Pyrmont and Concord will significantly benefit from the high-speed, high-frequency metro line connecting them to the Sydney CBD. 

“This adds to their appeal for investors following recent growth in rental prices, median house prices and change in white-collar workers.”

In Victoria, three suburbs were ranked in the top 10, comprising North Melbourne, Preston and South Melbourne.

Mr McNeill said the North Melbourne underground rail link was a big factor in the suburb’s top four ranking, with new connections to Melbourne Central, Melbourne University and Flinders Street boosting its investment potential.

“The Andrews Government’s investment in removing level crossings is creating change around Victoria. For instance, upgrades to safety and amenities in Preston, have significantly improved the investment prospects for the north Melbourne suburb,” Mr McNeill said.

“The Melbourne Metro upgrade will also see the already booming South Melbourne be the perfect spot for apartment investing.

"With connectivity to Albert Park, good investment returns and capital growth, and lively coffee culture, what’s not to love.” 

Across the Nullarbor, Western Australia laid claim to three positions in the top 20, ranging from Perth’s eastern outskirts, to coastal suburbs in the west, as well as a prestigious western suburb considered prime for apartment investing.

“The new growth area of Ellenbrook, with its wineries and masterplan estate took out sixth place thanks to WA’s investment in the Ellenbrook Rail Extension, connecting more than five suburbs,” Mr McNeill said.  

Yanchep’s beautiful beaches and coastal township is also set to benefit from the Yanchep Rail Extension, making the journey to Joondalup just a 30-minute commute, while Claremont in Perth’s leafy western suburbs will benefit from the Claremont station upgrade, making it a perfect residential apartment investment opportunity.”   

No suburbs in the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory were ranked in the top 20.

Mr McNeill said that wasn’t due to a lack of investment prospects, rather the infrastructure spending under way in Queensland, NSW and WA was more impactful.

For example, the focus on transport projects as a means for identifying hotspots has drawn a larger number of suburbs from New South Wales and Victoria compared to other states,” Mr McNeill said.

“In addition, this focus has also meant suburbs in these states would benefit from higher scores in criteria related to transport infrastructure, such as the impact from transport infrastructure, in both the immediate score, and the weighting of the criteria.

“Smaller states such as the ACT, South Australia and the Northern Territory, have lower populations, smaller government budgets and perhaps less need of large transport infrastructure projects (particularly rail-based infrastructure), leading to fewer suburbs on this list.”

ME Bank’s top 20 locations for property investors

  1. Woolloongabba, Queensland
  2. Burleigh Heads, Queensland
  3. Five Dock, NSW
  4. North Melbourne, Victoria
  5. Rozelle, NSW
  6. Ellenbrook, WA
  7. Parramatta, NSW
  8. Crows Nest, NSW
  9. Preston, Victoria
  10. South Melbourne, Victoria
  11. Yanchep, WA
  12. Waterloo, NSW
  13. Coffs Harbour, NSW
  14. North Sydney, NSW
  15. Pyrmont, NSW
  16. Claremont, WA
  17. Mermaid Beach, Queensland
  18. Miami, Queensland
  19. Concord, NSW
  20. Fairfield, Queensland

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