Something old, something new
If you’ve noticed your neighbours pacing up and down their yard lately there mightn’t be any need for concern! There’s a relatively new and growing trend for home owners who love their address but not their house: push it over and build another! Many of inner Brisbane’s houses were built prior to 1946 and they usually carry the Council’s character protection limitations. But now the suburbs that are home to those sexy boxes built in the 1950’s and 60’s are growing in appeal – and value – to the point where demolition and new construction is starting to pop up more regularly. Of course new homes on split blocks (1’s into 2’s) have been going up for years, but we’re now seeing single homes bulldozed for larger family dwellings. One savvy home-owner we spoke to recently has a brand new house in planning for his soon to be vacant Camp Hill block, and that’s a suburb where the trend is really taking hold, especially along ridgelines with city views.
A good move? It’s hard to make the case as an investment in the short to mid term, possibly replacing your ‘worst house best street’ with a ‘best by a mile house’, and the area’s median value dragging your price down. But from a lifestyle point of view a new home can make a lot of sense. You know the neighbourhood and there’s no surprises – and you needn’t commute to the outer burbs to have low maintenance, stylish living.
The most visible examples of rebuilding are in the CBD at the moment, with “Fridays” and the Black Ink office building in Eagle Street crumbling before our eyes, their former sizes deemed underutilization of prime real estate. Stockland’s Brisbane jewel, the Eagle Street Pier, will soon be levelled to make way for a 70 storey twin tower project, pulling the plug on some of our most popular riverside eateries. In high demand locations it’s a natural course of events, but in a city as young as Brisbane it’s still surprising to see.
There’s hope too for those who own older units and strata-titled property around the city. Developer Devine Group recently amalgamated a key piece of Alice Street by buying out dozens of apartment owners in adjoining buildings. One investor sold their $350,000 apartment to Devine for $800,000 – after owning it for just two years! The land overlooks the Botanical Gardens and its 8 storey buildings were less than 30 years old. An extreme example perhaps but it’s a solid sign that, in Brisbane’s inner city, rising values are yet to drive plenty more change in the property market.
Suddenly those tired old ‘six packs’ are looking just a bit more interesting!