(As promised, we are sharing the article we wrote for February-March 2014 edition of Property Wise Magazine. We are dividing the published article into two parts; this first part is all about the featured suburb’s profile.)
As an investment location, Brisbane is certainly heating up right now. Over the past 6 months or so we’ve seen the signs but it’s in this last 3 months or so that things have really started to move. Working as a buyer’s agent I often get asked the question ‘Where should I invest?’ The answer to which is most frequently, ‘What is it you are trying to achieve?’ After all, when it comes to choosing a location for your investment property many of the important factors you must take into account are really based on you – your long term goal, your investment strategy, the purpose of this property in your portfolio.
In this article, I’m going to be talking about Stafford, a Brisbane suburb that is presenting some great opportunities for property investors at present. I love to recommend great suburbs, but always do so with a disclaimer – not every suburb or ever property or every strategy will be for you. So remember to ask yourself the hard questions first – ‘What is it that I am looking to achieve and over what timeframe?’ This will help you to determine where it is that you should be looking to buy!
Now, onto our suburb in the spotlight, Stafford. We’re going to take a closer look at the location, demographics, the numbers and the property here, using a case study property to assess the investment opportunities that exist in this location. Let’s get cracking!
Stafford is a northern suburb of Brisbane, located approximately 7km from the CBD. It is surrounded by the following suburbs: Alderly, Gordon Park, Enoggera, Kedron, and Grange.
An important, yet often neglected, part of the research you should undertake when investing in property is to investigate and understand your target market. After all, the property you own is actually a product. Whether you are selling a property or renting it out, you are marketing your product to an audience, so it pays to spend some time to understand your audience before you purchase.
This will help you to make smarter decisions about the property you purchase and any potential changes you may look at making to that property to maximise it’s appeal to the target audience. So let’s take a look at the demographics of Stafford.
Stafford has a population of 6.041 (Census 2011), which has increased only slightly since the 2006 census figures.
Being a predominantly younger population, the number of people who are single (44%) are higher than those who were married (36%).
Families are comprised of couples without children (38%) and couples with children (34.8). Most households are composed of dual income with no kids.
Of those who are currently in education, a quarter of people studying in Stafford are attending primary education (25%). This is followed by those who attend a University (20.9%).
Country of Birth
Around 70% of people living in Stafford were born in Australian. Most common residents of this suburb were from the following countries: New Zealand (3%), Engalnd (2.3%), Philippines (1.4%), India (.9%) and Italy (.6%)
Being close to the CDB and also close to a major hospital, most of workers in Stafford are employed as professionals (26.8%) with healthcare as top industry of employment (6.2%).
Travel to Work
As in the rest of Australia, majority of employed people travel to work by car (53.6%) whilst 17.4% use public transport.
Type of Houses
Dwellings in Stafford are mostly standalone houses (77%) with 3 bedrooms, followed by units/apartments (17%). There is a mix of low set and high set, mostly weatherboard homes.
Nearly half of occupied private dwellings in Stafford are rented properties, presenting a good opportunity for investors here without it being too rental focused.
Mortgage and Rental Payments
The median weekly rent in Stafford, QLD was $400 and median mortgage repayments were $2162—higher compared to the state average.
Looking at our demographics, it seems that purchasing a 3 bedroom home in Stafford aimed at young couples or couples with young children might be the way to go.
So now we have an idea of who our audience may be and what sort of property we may be looking for, let’s look at the property numbers for Stafford.
The longer term growth has been modest at 5.3%, but you will see from the heatmap below that Stafford sits on a the fringe of suburbs far more expensive. This is something that we look for when assessing locations, hoping to pick up on the ‘ripple’ effect we see as prices increase in an outward motion from the CBD.
Stafford City Shopping Centre has over 80 specialty stores as well as a Big W, Woolworths and a Hoyts cinema complex. There is also strip shopping on Stafford Rd and Westfield Chermside is a 10 minute drive.
Stafford has quite a few parks scattered throughout—Bilston Street Park, Boles Street Park (has playground and sporting field), Gibson Park (has barbecue and sporting facilities), Hickey Park (with fenced playground).
The nearest hospital from Stafford is North West Private Hospital in Everton Park (4.5kms) and Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside (4 kms).
There are a number of primary schools in Stafford and many of the surrounding suburbs have high schools, including several private schools in the Kedron area.
Sitting between the train lines, the predominant form of public transport in Stafford is the bus network. A number of major routes come through here, including buses that go to Stafford City Shopping centre, Chermside Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Hospital and the Brisbane CBD.
Freeway access is a fantastic, with Stafford Rd the major freeway entrance points that allow you to access Airport Link, the Inner City Bypass and Clem 7. From Stafford it’s quite simple to get to the city, to the Gateway motorway if you’re heading to the Gold Coast, to the Bruce Highway if you’re heading to the Sunshine Coast or you can bypass the city via the freeway network and heading to the Pacific Highway or Ipswich.