Part III: In our final piece focusing on the Brisbane real estate market, we take a look at what makes Newstead the city’s top investment district

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Just over a mile northeast of the CBD, Newstead is home to the AUD2 billion Newstead Riverpark masterplan regeneration scheme that is transforming a 42-acre space on the bank of the Brisbane River into a modern business and lifestyle hub for Brisbane’s Inner North district. Our last Brisbane project was located in this leading area of the city and we still consider this to be the city’s prime investment hotspot. 

Already a favourite residential area for the city’s young high-income professionals, Newstead is very much a “double income, no kids” part of the city. It has an average household income of 80% higher than the Australian national average and also boasts a robust rental market, with 50% of properties tenanted and a low vacancy rate of 2% over the past four years. 

The area has seen apartment prices climb significantly off the back of the rejuvenation work, with the Newstead median apartment price up 18% across 2013. Rents have also been climbing at a steady 2.4% per annum, which has contributed to consistently strong investor yields that are amongst the highest available across Australia. 

 Newstead’s population is currently increasing by 9.6% annually, with an additional 5,500 residents entering the district each year. Long-term projections expect this annual influx to rise to more than 22,000 by 2031. To cater to the increase in demand, more residential developments are in the pipeline, but the supply will remain inadequate over the medium term. 

Some of the population rise can be attributed to rising employment opportunities in the Newstead area. Its regeneration planning has included a significant focus on increasing the area’s capacity for commercial space. This is evidenced in the heritage listed Brisbane Gasworks. The precinct going up around this striking monument has been launched in three stages, the first of which was the AUD173 million Energex headquarters that opened in late 2013 as the new home for 1,700 of the companies’ employees. The following stages, the Gasometer 1 and 2 projects, opened for business this year. Between them they will house more than 430,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, 135,000 square feet of which forms the new headquarters for the Bank of Queensland. 

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This trend goes beyond the Newstead Riverpark and Gasworks regeneration however. Over the past seven years the emerging Inner North city fringe district has seen the development of over 1.6 million square feet of new office space. This reflects the appetite from Brisbane businesses to relocate outside of the traditional CBD to a fringe district that’s well equipped for modern living.