Brisbane Infrastructure Projects:

A Buyers Agent’s guide to finding the next property hotspot!

Brisbane Buyer’s Agent, Matt Reeves investigates how new infrastructure projects are likely to impact the residential property market in Brisbane.

What effect does new infrastructure have on property prices?

Imagine owning an island property that is only accessible by boat. Then imagine that a bridge is constructed linking the island to the mainland. A rail-link is created making the island an easy to commute to a major city. A shopping centre, university and hospital are opened. The island is no longer isolated. It has improved access, amentity, and employment opportunities. This makes the island more desirable to a greater number of people. The demand for property increases and so to do property prices. This is the positive effect that infrastructure has on capital growth.

New infrastructure can have a similar effect on property prices in major cities too. The construction of new roads and public transport makes outlying suburbs more desirable to residents, who can spend less time in traffic and more time with the family (or the golf clubs!). Similarly, the expansion or construction of new hospitals, universities, sporting facilities, parks, retail and café precincts can increase demand for housing nearby, as people aspire to live close to where they work and relax. The more desirable a suburb becomes, the greater the demand for property. In turn this increased demand places upward pressure on property prices.

The savvy property investor should be aware of new infrastructure projects and the suburbs that are most likely to benefit. These suburbs may well be the next property hotspots!

Before getting too excited, Matt Reeves shares some words of caution:

  1. Living NEAR a new road or rail line is desirable. Living ON a new road or rail line (or having the property resumed!) can be disastrous. Research individual projects thoroughly before making a property purchase.
  2. Just because a project has been planned and announced does not mean it will actually go ahead. Investing in an area BEFORE construction begins should be thought of as a speculative investment.

Infrastructure Projects – Brisbane

There has been more money invested on infrastructure in Queensland than in any other state over the last 5years (see Figure 1, Source: Australian State and Territory Budget Papers). Much of this infrastructure will benefit Brisbane residents. Brisbane buyer’s agent Matt Reeves investigates some of the major road, public transport and health related infrastructure projects in Brisbane, to identify some of the suburbs that are most likely going to benefit.

Source: State and Territory Budget Papers. Image courtesy of Brisbane Marketing

Road Infrastructure

The Trans-Apex Project:

The Trans-Apex project is the largest urban road infrastructure project in Australia’s history. When complete it will act as a ring-road around Brisbane, drastically improving cross-city road travel, reducing traffic congestion, and improving access to major arterial roads and key growth areas.

The transport tunnels in Brisbane

Courtesy of the Courier Mail

The trans-Apex project is being constructed in a number of stages

1. Clem 7 Tunnel (Opened 2010)

A cross city tunnel which connects Woolloongabba (in the south) to Bowen Hills (in the north)

2. Go Between Bridge (opened 2010)

A cross city tunnel which connects South Brisbane and West End with Paddington, Milton and the city

3. Airport Link Tunnel (opened 2012);

A mostly underground road system which connects major arterial roads in Brisbane’s northern suburbs including:

– Clem Jones Tunnel

– Inner City Bypass (ICB) at Bowen Hills

– Gympie Road and Stafford Road at Kedron

– East West Arterial Road (servicing Brisbane Airport and the Australia Trade Coast)

The Airport Link tunnel improves access to Brisbane Airport, the northern suburbs, the City, Fortitude Valley, Southside, Gold Coast and Ipswich.

4. Northern Link (Legacy Way) (expected completion 2015)

Brisbane Airport Tunnel at night

Brisbane Airport Tunnel

A tunnel connecting the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass (ICB) at Kelvin Grove. For more information see: Legacy Way

5. Bus and Train Project (BaT) (investigations underway; proposed completion 2021)

Currently in early planning, the project will likely involve the construction of 5km tunnel under the CBD and Brisbane river between Dutton Park and Spring Hill. Underground stations are planned for Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street. The project is planned for delivery around 2021. For more information see: Bus and Train Project (BaT)

The Bus and Train Project replaces the previously proposed Cross River Rail Project.

6. Inner West Orbital Tunnel (investigations underway; proposed completion 2031).

A tunnel linking the inner-western suburb of Toowong with the Northern suburb of Everton Park

7. Everton Park to Kedron tunnel (investigations underway; construction time-frame – not yet released.

A tunnel beneath Stafford Road that will connect the Inner-West Orbital tunnel and Airport Link.

For more information see: TransApex Project

The Trans-Apex project will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects across the entire Brisbane region. Brisbane Buyer’s Agent, Matt Reeves has identified some of the suburbs likely to benefit most:

  • Northern Suburbs 5-10km from the Brisbane CBD will benefit significantly from the recently opened airport link tunnels. Hotspots to watch are the suburbs of Stafford, Kedron, Gordon Park (link to case study) and Nundah (link to case study). These suburbs are situated close to the major tunnel feeder roads. Residents in these areas are now enojoying a dramatically shorter commute to the city. Adjacent suburbs of Stafford Heights, Everton Park, Chermside, Wavell Heights and Northgate are also likely to benefit.
  • The Clem Jones Tunnel is especially likely to benefit residents in the Inner Southern suburbs (Woolloongabba, South Brisbane, East Brisbane) and Inner Northern suburbs (Bowen Hills, Herston, Windsor and Wilston). Hotspots to watch are Bowen Hills and Woolloongabba.
  • The Go-Between bridge will have its greatest impact on suburbs of West End and South Brisbane, with less effect on the inner northern suburbs of Paddington, and Milton.
  • The yet to be completed Legacy Way will undoubtedly lead to a number of hotspots in the Western suburbs, especially those 5-10km from the CBD. These suburbs include Toowong, Taringa, Indooroopilly, Bardon and Chapel Hill.
  • The inner-west orbital tunnel will improve access for northern and western suburbs especially those around 10 km from the CBD particulalry Everton Park, as well as Gaythorne, Enoggera, and Mitchelton.

Public Transport Infrastructure

There are several major Public Transport projects currently underway in Brisbane. The suburbs most likely to benefit from this infrastructure are those where the stations/terminals are to be constructed.

1. Eastern Busway

  • · The first 2 stages of the Eastern Busway are already open, and connect the eastern suburbs of Buranda, Stones Corner and Coorparoo with the Brisbane CBD and University of Queensland at St Lucia.
  • · Stage 3 of the Eastern Busway is currently in master planning and expected to be completed by 2026. When finished the busway will service the suburbs of Camp Hill, Carina, Carindale, Chandler and Capalaba
  • For more information see: Translink Eastern Busway

2. Northern Busway

  • The first 2 stages of the Northern Busway are complete, linking the Brisbane CBD and the Royal Childrens Hospital, Herston with the suburbs of Windsor, Lutwyche, and Kedron.
  • The third stage of the project is currently in master planning stage, with expected completion by 2026. When finished the busway will connect with the suburbs of Chermside, Aspley and Bracken Ridge.
  • For more information see: Translink Northern Busway

3. Brisbane Cross River Rail Project

Currently in early planning, the project will likely involve the construction of 2 tunnels under the CBD and Brisbane river between Yeerongpilly and Kelvin Grove. Underground stations are planned for Dutton Park, Woolloongabba and Brisbane City. The project is planned for delivery around 2020. For more information see: Cross River Rail Project

4. Moreton Bay Rail Link

Currently under construction and due for completion in 2016. The Moreton Bay Rail link will connect with the Caboolture Line at Petrie, with stations at Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill, Rothwell and Kippa-Ring. For more information see: Moreton Bay Rail Link

5. New City Cat Terminal

The contruction of a new CityCat Ferry terminal is currently underway for Park Road, Milton. The terminal is expected to be completed in December 2014. For more information see: CityCat Ferry Services

Health Infrastructure

There are a number of major hospital expansions/redevelopments planned for SouthEast Queensland. Hospitals are a major source of employment and can therefore increase the demand for property in surrounding suburbs. Projects to watch include:

1. Gold Coast University Hospital

The $1.76 billion Hospital opened in 2013. The hospital is on a massive 20 hectare site in Southport and provides 750 hospital beds. The entire Gold Coast region is likely to benefit from the influx of students and healthcare workers especially in the suburbs of Southport, Labrador, Ashmore and Surfers Paradise. For more information see: Gold Coast University Hospital

2. Queensland Children’s Hospital

Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane

Queensland Children’s Hospital

The $1.5 billion Lady Cilento Hospital opened in November 2014. The hospital will be a major employment centre and surrounding suburb including South Brisbane, Woolloongabba, West End, Highgate Hill, Kangaroo Point and East Brisbane will likely benefit. For more information see: Brisbane Children’s Hospital

3. Sunshine Coast University Hospital

Located on a 20 hectare ‘health precinct’ site in Kawana, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the hospital is currently under construction with stage 1 expected to be complete in 2016. The hospital will become a major employment centre on the Sunshine coasts and most workers will likely live in the surrounding areas of Kawana, Mountain Creek, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headlands and Mooloolabah. For more information see: Sunshine Coast University Hospital

Conclusion:

It is an exciting time to be living and investing in South-East Queensland. Massive new infrastructure projects will undoubtedly redefine Brisbane City and its suburbs as we know them. As investors we can use knowledge of planned infrastructure to identfy specific areas that will outperform the market in terms of capital growth and rental returns.

It is important to remember that buying in an area with new (or planned) infrastructure alone does not guarantee a ‘good investment’. Investors should also consider population growth and demographic trends to idenitify appropriate property types and areas to invest. They should have a good understanding of property prices and market conditions.

If you would like help with your next Queensland property purchase please Contact our Brisbane Buyer’s Agent Matt Reeves.

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