Brisbane’s inner, middle and outer

Despite a drop in sales activity, house prices throughout Brisbane continue to grow. The gap between house prices in the inner city and outer suburb is widening, with buyers now paying 66% more for inner-ring homes.

As affordability becomes more important to home buyers, the lower-priced suburbs are reaping the benefits of strong buyer interest and continued sales growth.

A new report by Colliers International residential research director Jonathan Rivera categorised the Brisbane housing market into three distinct precincts, Inner, Middle and Outer, based on proximity to the CBD, highlighting the differing characteristics and performance of the property markets.

"In March 2008 the median price for inner ring houses was 37.4 per cent higher than the greater Brisbane median, indicating the continued premium buyers are willing to pay for inner city dwellings," Mr Rivera said.

The median price sits at $680,000 at March 2008, an increase from the $387,000 in March 2003.

"Sales activity has fallen 6.4 per cent over the same time frame – an astonishing 24.6 per cent over the past twelve months," he said.

The report revealed West End to be the best performing suburb for the inner ring region.

"The trend of urban renewal and subsequent property growth within West End is a mirror of the Teneriffe experience," he said.

Property prices in Newstead have been increasing strongly for a decade, Mr Rivera said.

"This previously forgotten and undesirable neighbourhood is still boasting strong growth due to high demand for Woolstore apartments, new units and existing houses.

The middle ring suburbs recorded a median house price of $567,000 in March 2008.

"This translates to an average annual price growth of 11.8 per cent per annum over the past five years," Mr Rivera said.

This median price is 14.5 per cent higher than the greater Brisbane median of $495,000 – indicating that buyers are prepared to pay a reasonable premium for relative proximity to the city.

The report revealed the strongest performer in price growth in the middle ring is Rocklea, achieving a median house price of $347,500.

"The middle ring suburbs house much of Brisbane's industry, and it is partially industrial suburbs such as Rocklea and Salisbury that offer the best affordability in this region," he said.

The outer ring suburbs of Brisbane offer growth and affordability.

The median price for houses in the outer ring suburbs in March 2008 was recorded at $409,000 – an increase from $207,000 in March 2003.

"The outer suburb house prices are 17.4 per cent cheaper than the median house prices of those in the greater Brisbane area," Mr Rivera said.

Mr Rivera revealed that the outer ring suburbs have always been popular with young families looking for a large back yard and a house that won't ‘break the bank'.

"To find a suburb within 20 km of Brisbane's CBD with a median house price of under $300,000 seems nearly impossible in today's market. Yet, Inala sits within the price bracket, remaining the most affordable suburb of the inner, middle and outer ring suburbs over the past five years," he said.

Inala achieved 23.2 per cent price growth over the past five years, and 37.2 per cent price growth in the past 12 months alone.

Mr Rivera said with the possibility of housing affordability remaining an impediment for first home buyers, these areas will grow in popularity as they become the only option for an increasing number of buyers.