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The suburbs around Australia where rents are cheaper than they were five years ago

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Despite rents generally soaring across the country over the last five years, there are still spots in most capital cities where it’s possible to find rents that have actually fallen since 2016 – and sometimes spectacularly.

Rents in one suburb of a city plunged by nearly half over the period, in another they fell by over one-third, and in another by over a quarter, according to the latest quarterly Domain Rent Report.

“COVID-19 has been a key driver of huge change across the country,” said Quentin Kilian, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory. “People are now looking for lifestyle changes, there’s new technology that wasn’t available a few years ago, and everything has changed.”

The disruption and economic changes have caused some rents to rise, and others to absolutely plummet. Those seeking the biggest bargains could do a lot worse than checking out houses in the city centre of Darwin, for instance, where rents are, on average, an astonishing 42.7 per cent cheaper than they were five years ago. Today, they sit at just $430 a week.

Nowhere else in Darwin comes close to such amazing falls. The city’s next biggest house rent fall, compared to 2016, was in Nightcliff in the north, where rents fell by 15 per cent to $510 a week. Malak was close behind with a fall of 13.6 per cent to $445.

There were some Darwin suburbs where unit rentals fell substantially, too. In Rapid Creek, rents fell 16.7 per cent to $127 a week, in Darwin city by 13.6 per cent to $475 – $45 more than a house rent there – and both Leanyer and Marrara by 12.5 per cent to $350 each.

These long-term falls have been the result of Darwin’s boom-or-bust economy, with the $40 billion Inpex gas project coming to a close and its 8000 workers leaving town.


The Darwin economy is boom and bust, and the end of the Inpex project meant rents plummeted in many areas. 

By contrast in these topsy-turvy times, in the last year alone, rents picked up on average across the whole of Darwin by a record 20.9 per cent for houses, and by 18.4 per cent for units, mostly from people now coming to live there as a COVID-19 safe haven.

“As a result of that, we’re now seeing record yields, with rents now increasing faster than prices for houses and units,” said Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell.

But the next city to endure such heart-warming – or heart-breaking – falls, depending on whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, is Sydney. Even though rents have hit dizzy levels in some suburbs, in others, they’ve hit rock bottom.

Units in Millers Point, for instance, in the newly bijou area of the city after Housing Commission tenants were moved on, have crashed by 33.8 per cent to $660 a week. In the south west’s Canterbury-Bankstown, Bass Hill rents have fallen by 29.1 per cent to $433, and in North Ryde on the Upper North Shore, they’re 29 per cent cheaper at $477.

Millers Point also had the biggest drop in house rents, of 20 per cent to $1000, while Ultimo on the city fringe dropped 15.2 per cent to $655 and Waverley in the east by 14.4 per cent to $1113.


Rents in some Perth suburbs have fallen sharply over the past five years. Photo: ZambeziShark 

Perth had the next biggest falls in the country, with North Coogee, in the city’s coastal south-west, seeing house rents down 27.7 per cent to $543 a week. Rents for houses in inner-city Northbridge also fell by 10.6 per cent to $1225 and in nearby Highgate by 9.5 per cent to $430.

Unit rents also softened considerably over the past five years in Burswood, home of the Perth Crown complex, by 13.8 per cent to $430, in Ellenbrook to the north east by 11.8 per cent to $300 and in Shoalwater to the south by 11.1 per cent to $240.

Melbourne’s Docklands and Southbank were the biggest losers in more ways than one over the past five years in terms of rental returns. Rents for Docklands units plunged by 24.5 per cent to $400 a week, while its houses delivered 22.5 per cent less than they did in 2016 to a weekly rent of $500.

Southbank endured the same size drop in unit rents, at 24.5 per cent to $390 while houses there fell by slightly less – 20 per cent – to $400. The size of the drop in rents for houses in Melbourne city were sandwiched between the two, at 22.2 per cent to $350, while unit rents in Caulfield East dropped 22.8 per cent to $285.


Rent prices in Fortitude Valley have slipped since 2016. Photo: Tammy Law 

Brisbane generally had fewer suburbs were rents fell compared to five years ago, and the drops weren’t quite as large. For houses, South Brisbane was the biggest downward mover at 16.1 per cent to a weekly rent of $470, Park Ridge in Brisbane’s west had a 15.2 per cent drop to $390 and Fortitude Valley to the north had a 12 per cent fall to $475.

The biggest drops in Brisbane’s units were in Brisbane City at 18.2 per cent, down to a weekly rent of $450, Rocklea in the west with a fall of 12.5 per cent to $280, and Spring Hill in the north, dropping 9.1 per cent to $400.

And those traditionally quiet achievers of the property market, Adelaide and Hobart, were both remarkable for not having a single suburb were rents fell compared to their level five years ago.


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Chelmer: Why locals won’t leave this riverside Brisbane suburb

Chelmer riverside

It’s a telling sign when families stay put in a certain place over multiple generations, where one’s childhood is made so complete, those who grow up there yearn to pass down this same upbringing to their own family.

This is certainly the case for Chelmer, a scenic suburb encased by the Brisbane River on three sides and known for its grand, quintessential Queenslander homes and laurel tree-lined streets.

According to Alex Jordan of McGrath Paddington, many locals in the area have been living in their homes for more than 40 years.

Often these homes are bought by the younger families who grew up in the area and are drawn back by the fond memories they hold.

“It’s very much a family-focused suburb; it’s the type of place where children still ride their bikes around the neighbourhood and families go for walks to simply admire the charming streets,” says Jordan.

Chelmer riverside

Median house prices in Chelmer have increased by 47.1 per cent year-on-year. Photo: Supplied

“The natural beauty, varied demographic, and desirable lifestyle are the key factors in Chelmer’s desirability, along with the great local schools and its own train station.”

Domain’s latest House Price Report reveals Chelmer’s median house price is $1.765 million, rising 47.1 per cent year-on-year.

In Jordan’s opinion, the suburb’s wonderful sense of community and growing amenities are what keep the buyers strong and unwavering.

“There are many restaurants and cafes to enjoy – such as Botellon Tapas & Wine Bar, Boucher French Bistro, Hunter & Scout Cafe – with most businesses being owned by locals who live in the area,” Jordan explains.

“The number of nice parks, including Graceville Memorial Park and ​​Gordon Thomson Park, leads many local families to become members of a variety of sporting clubs, ranging from cricket to rugby, which of course only adds to the area’s team spirit.”

Originally from country Victoria, Andrew Thomson has lived in Chelmer virtually all of his adult life, moving to the area 20 years ago, where he would buy a house and raise his family.

Having grown deep roots in the area since, Thomson is now the president of the local Australian rules football club – the Sherwood Magpies – a great hub for kids and adults alike, regardless of whether they play football.

“Chelmer’s strong sense of community is an integral part of this area, particularly during the devastation of the 2011 floods and the recent repeat of that on a lesser scale in 2022. When the clubhouse was threatened by rising floodwater, all it took was one quick post on social media and 100 people were there within 30 minutes ready to lend a hand,” recalls Thomson.

“It was amazing, though unsurprising to see, and it goes hand in hand with living in such a connected community and being part of a sporting club that sits at its heart.”

Given Chelmer’s abundance of green space and the clear separation thanks to the winding Brisbane River, Thomson notes how the area is akin to a peaceful peninsula, seemingly a world away from the city, but in reality, just a 10-minute drive from the Brisbane CBD.

“Ideal mornings may include a bike ride on the river loop or a stroll along the riverside, followed by a coffee stop at one of the many fantastic cafes,” says Thomson.

“Spring is particularly delightful, with great weather, the excitement of footy finals, and the smell of freshly cut lawns and suburban barbecues – it doesn’t get any better.”



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Developers to swoop on one of the largest sites in the Woolloongabba Olympic precinct

Developers to swoop on Woolloongabba Olympic precinct

A large development site in the heart of the Woolloongabba Olympic precinct is up for sale, with price expectations in excess of $45 million.

The 1.28-hectare rectangular shaped development site at 73 Ipswich Road in Woolloongabba is expected to attract apartment developers given its central location at the heart of the planned infrastructure in the precinct.

The site has three street frontages, to Ipswich Road and Henry Street and offers multiple development outcomes including residential, commercial, medical and hotel, subject to council approval.

Knight Frank agents Blake Goddard, Christian Sandstrom and Matt Barker in conjunction with Nathan Moore of Ray White Commercial Bayside on behalf of the vendor, a local private.

Goddard said the property was one of the largest privately owned infill sites within a two-kilometre radius of the Brisbane CBD and was expected to be hotly contested by buyers.

“We expect a wide range of developers to be interested in this site, including residential, commercial, mixed-use and build-to-rent developers, due to its flexible zoning allowances,” he said.

“It is one of the largest privately-owned properties situated in the heart of the Woolloongabba Olympic precinct, close to the Cross River Rail and the redevelopment of ‘the Gabba’ stadium, and one of the most significant development opportunities to have hit the market in the last few years.

“Quality development sites are sought after in the current market, but this site will be even more attractive to a wide range of buyers due to the rarity of size and location. The Gabba stadium and surrounding precinct is set to undergo major transformation in the coming years with over $1 billion allocated to the precinct.”

Moore said the property benefitted from its three-street frontage, easy access to major. arterial roads including Ipswich Road and the M1 Pacific Motorway, and the fact that a majority of it was undeveloped.

“The property is set to benefit from its prime location underpinned by exceptional future development opportunities in the area surrounding the 2032 Olympics,” he said.

The site is surrounded by nearby  amenity including The Gabba, the Logan Road dining precinct and the Cross River Rail station upon completion.

“The three-street frontage site enjoys a strategic location within Woolloongabba, offering unrivalled amenity along with extensive surrounding transport infrastructure and development,” he added.


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Residential Landscaping Ideas to Increase Your Brisbane Property Value

Residential Landscaping Ideas to Increase Your Property Value

One of the top trends in home renovations this year is to improve outdoor living – transforming spaces into inviting areas to maximise outdoor living and entertainment activities.  Residential landscaping, which can boost the value of a property in Australia, is one of those important transformations.

If done right, it can even increase the value of your real estate by up to 28%. From planting grass to creating a vegetable garden, there are several landscaping ideas that could make your backyard a delightful green oasis.

Residential Landscaping -Increase Your Brisbane Property Value

Well-Maintained Turf
A well-maintained landscape offers several benefits. It improves the curb appeal of a home and is pleasing to the eye.  In addition, it immediately increases the value of a home. Landscaping involves planting and maintaining grass on your lawn.  A manicured lawn is not only a sight for sore eyes, but it also enhances the overall appearance of a property.

However, before planting anything on your property, it is vital to prepare a coherent design and plan because a landscape that is assembled in piecemeal looks cluttered and unappealing. Hence, if you can afford to hire a professional landscape designer, do so because they can come up with a master plan that will make your yard look organized and beautiful.

It is also possible to do the landscaping yourself if you’re willing to do the extra work and effort. Even with a small budget, you can present a lovely landscape that looks well put together. Once you identify where to put your grass, ensure that it remains verdant and properly maintained.

Regular mowing, watering, weeding, and fertilisation are what it takes to keep your turf lush and green. Having the right type of grass also matters. For example, Buffalo and Couch are some types of grass that grow well in Australian conditions.

Trees and Shrubs
Second to a well-manicured lawn, potential buyers will also look at the maturity of a garden. Thus, plant trees and shrubs in strategic places, but before choosing the vegetation, ensure that you know which locations are sunny and shady in the garden. You can then choose the appropriate plants for those conditions. It’s also a good idea to opt for native plants.

They are easy to grow and are suitable for the challenging Australian climate. In addition, local plants support a healthy environment because you won’t need fertilisers and pesticides to keep them healthy, not to mention preserving biodiversity through a native garden.

Trees also make your home look fabulous in addition to providing shade, offering privacy, attracting bees, and creating shelter for birds. Consider planting a crepe myrtle, a hardy tree that gives stunning summer flowers and bright autumn foliage. It can be grown in the ground or pot.

Other species that will give a gorgeous vibe to your garden include the ornamental prunus, evergreen magnolias, frangipani, and blueberry ash. Don’t forget to make flower beds which can be a mixture of annuals and perennials to make your garden pop with colour.

Landscaping your property entails a concerted approach and effort to ensure a harmonious outcome. Maintaining a verdant lawn, planting trees and shrubs, and including flower beds are some ideas to improve the look of your outdoor space.

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