Jonathan Chancellor | 24 January 2013

The top five 2013 price growth suburbs - and the price drivers behind them

New Farm, Queensland tops the list of five suburbs that BRW has pinpointed as being set to achieve better than average price growth in 2013.

The list was prepared by BRW Rich 200 list editor Andrew Heathcote in collaboration with Dr Andrew Wilson from Australian Property Monitors who warns that buy in the wrong part of town will be especially costly in 2013 as APM expects rises of 3% to 5%, but varying widely across the country.

Wilson suggests that buyers will need to "analyse the market in terms of local (price) drivers."


New Farm, Queensland

Median price: $900,000

Highest price in past 12 months: $3.8 million

Long term trend: 7.1%


Although New Farm property prices are unlikely to set records this year, they are tipped by the BRW analysis to grow solidly in a difficult market. New Farm is 2km from the central business district on the banks of the Brisbane River with its tree-lined streets containing period cottages that hold their value well. Its limited supplies of apartments are also apparently in demand. The BRW columnist notes the Brisbane property market had a difficult 2012 but it was showing signs of improvement already. New Farm and neighbouring suburbs stand to do better than most from a rise in buyer sentiment. Property Observer scoured the recent listings and found a rumoured $4.5 million riverfront sale.


Fannie Bay, Northern Territory

Median price: $698,000

Highest price paid in past 12 months: $3.4 million

Long-term trend: 11.2%


After a strong end to 2012, Darwin property is set for more growth in 2013, the report proclaims. Work on the $34 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas project due to start in May and production is expected to start in 2016 providing the place with a fillip. Darwin will be home for the plant and the many people required to run it, he says. Not unexpectedly wealthy new workers are likely to look to high-end suburbs such as Fannie Bay, which is already home to the Paspaleys et al. Its deemed highly desirable because of its proximity to the central business district and waterfront. Established properties are in short-supply so tend to sell quickly.



Hawthorn, Victoria

Median price: $1.2m

Highest price paid in the past 12 months: $8.8 million

Long-term trend: 9.2 per cent


The two Andrews, the Melbourne based Andrew Heathcote and the Sydney-based Andrew Wilson rip into Toorak addresses as no longer "the be all and end all" for the ultra-wealthy, with many choosing nearby suburbs such as Hawthorn and Brighton. He reports Hawthorn has always been popular but its stocks have risen "in recent years." Known for its wide and leafy streets, it is popular with international buyers and rich Melbournians. And speaking with some expertise Heathcote noted Hawthorn and Hawthorn East were two of the five most popular suburbs for members of the latest BRW Young Rich. He did slip up with his suggestion that $8.8 million was the year's top price as Property Observer did report in October that the low-key off-market 2012 Easter $12 million-plus sale on Kooyongkoot Road, Hawthorn had been settled. It was an remarkably private sale, so barely more than Marshall White agent Marcus Chiminello initially knew anything about the details. It was sold by Craig Parsell, a veteran executive partner in the technology services company Accenture, for $12,588,000 to company director Juhne Liu.



Potts Point, NSW

Median price: $825,000

Highest price paid in the past 12 months: $12.5 million

Long-term trend: 4.3%

While Sydney property is unlikely to boom in 2013, high-end suburbs such as Potts Point appear the safest bet in the long-term, the report suggests.

Potts Point is three kilometres east of the city centre. Heritage buildings in the highly populated areas hold their value well and the gentrification of nearby Kings Cross also provides a boost to house prices. Apparently an eclectic group of white collar workers are attracted to Potts Points for its location and status. Heathcote also notes that last year, Potts Point was named as Australia’s hardest working suburb; residents spend 41.9 hours on average at work, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, although this writer wasn't at home to fill in the survey. The trend for owners of big properties in Mosman and Bellevue Hill to downsize to apartments in Potts Point will also assist prices, BRW added. Ofcourse given some things are very hush hush, BRW understated the year's highest sale in Potts Point. No point asking the players for details as those who've done so are hit fierce denials, but the street is awash with word of an estimated $17 million or so paid for the Pomeroy penthouse by a downsizing Point Piper couple. Its consolidation in 2005 cost $13.25 million.



Rivervale, Western Australia

Median price: $535,000

Highest price paid in the past 12 months: $980,000

Long-term trend: 9.5%

Perth has become a gateway for many workers seeking access to Western Australia’s mining towns so many are choosing to keep home bases in Perth. The rezoning of some light industrial land has opened up new opportunities for residential developers near the centre of Perth but top residential properties remain tightly held. Bordering the Swan River, Rivervale is situated between the city and airport. Its location has lead to significant capital improvements at many properties. High rents make it popular with investors. The data was from Australian Property Monitors for 12 months to October 2012.

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