Ask a Brisbanite what they think of Logan and you’ll hear all sorts of responses. Traditionally, it’s not had the best reputation as a great place to live! Why then, over the past 6-12 months, have investors have been flocking to the Logan area in droves? Well, just to name a few things, there’s the fact that Logan area is just 20km from the Brisbane CBD, it’s well serviced by freeways, on a train line, had a university, large hospital, major shopping centre and you can still pick up houses here on good sized land for under $300k. In this article we’ll take a look at Logan with fresh eyes, putting on our investor goggles and seeing what the big deal is about Logan. As always I love to recommend great suburbs but do so with a disclaimer – not every suburb or every property or even every investing strategy will be the right one for you. So remember to look at your own investment goals first and ask yourself ‘what is it that I want to achieve and over what timeframe?’ Asking these questions first will help you to determine where and what you should be looking to buy.
is actually a fairly large council area made up of a group of suburbs located to the South of Brisbane, commencing around 19km out.For investors, the main areas of focus extend from Rochedale South in the North, following the train line and the suburbs surrounding the train line down through to Beenleigh, including:Underdood, Springwood, Rochedale, Rochedale South, Slacks Creek, Logan Central, Kingston, Loganlea, Marsden, Crestmead, Waterford, West, Edens Landing, Loganholme and Beenleigh – give or take a few others!
An important part of your due diligence in looking for a potential investment location is knowing the demographics of your target location. Knowing the location’s people, where they work, how they travel to work, etc. can help you decide whether the location is suited for your requirements and help you locate the type of property that has appeal to such demographics. Given that Logan City is quite large and encompasses a range of different suburbs and suburb types, we’re going to select one of the Logan ‘investor’ suburbs to analyse the demographics. We’re going to take a look at Marsden, an area that we have purchased several properties recently.
The 2011 Census data showed Marsden having a population of 11,278. Majority of the residents belong to the 0-19 age bracket. Median age in Marsden is 27 years old.
Marital Status and Family Composition
The majority of people were aged 15 and above in Marsden and were single (42%) followed closely by married people (41%). Families are composed of couples with children (47.8%), couple without children (25.4%) and one-parent family (25.1%).
Country of Birth
Around 65 per cent of residents in Marsden were born in Australia. Others were from New Zealand (10.5%), England (2.7%) and Samoa (2.1%).
The top industry of employment is Road Freight Transport, Cafes and Restaurants, and Supermarkets and Grocery Stores, with most people working in technical and trades roles or machinery operators and drivers.
Travel to Work
In Marsden the predominant method of transportation to work was by car as a driver or passenger with 75.4%. Only 6.5% use public transport.
Properties in Marsden are mostly separate houses (90.5%) with 3 bedrooms, followed by semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouses. Around 43% of these properties were rented whilst 39% were owned with a mortgage.
Let’s take a look at the numbers on the investment suburbs of Logan, specifically, housing in these areas:
There’s certainly no shortage of shopping options in Logan. With the huge Hyperdome shopping centre in Loganholme, The Logan Central Plaza in Logan Central, the Mega Centre Homemaker centre in Slacks Creek, the only IKEA in Brisbane (currently) as well as smaller suburban shopping centres in key suburbs such as Crestmead and Marsden.
The Logan Hospital is a 316 bed (which is a good sized hospital) public hospital located in Meadowbrook providing acute medical, surgical, rehabilitation, maternity and other specialist services to the surrounding community. Currently the Logan Hospital is also undergoing a $145M expansion project. From an investment perspective hospitals means jobs and tenants for your property – preferably tenants with jobs!
Transport wise, the Beenleigh line train runs through several suburbs including stations at Woodridge, Kingston, Loganlea. Bus services, tying in with shopping centres and train stations also cover the other suburb of Logan. The Logan suburbs are also very accessible to major freeways including the Logan Motorway and the Pacific Motorway. Access to Brisbane by car is around half an hour and just under an hour to the Gold Coast. Many primary and secondary schools lay throughout the Logan areas. Tertiary facilities include a large campus of Griffith University as well as the Metropolitan South Institute of Tafe, both in Meadowbrook close to the hospital.
The new Draft Logan City Planning Scheme is currently in a review phase following a major public consultation phase but indicates the area has plans to grow and develop over the coming years and focus will be put on specific areas. It’s a big and dry read if you are game to take it on at 1322 pages, but a skim over will given you some interesting points on the major character and uses of each suburb and the plans for those areas.
Traditionally Logan is a blue collar area and has some areas of government housing. The style of housing in the Logan suburbs includes older style high set weatherboard properties, low set brick and tile from the eighties as well as areas of newer properties and housing estates. Each of the suburbs has a main predominant style, usually based around the era it was built in. Some areas are definitely ‘rough around the edges’ and you do need to take care in terms of where you buy if you are looking at suburbs such as Woodridge, Logan Central and Kingston, particularly. Some pockets of these suburbs are not desirable areas. Houses can be very inexpensive with good yields but tenant issues as well as insurance costs may lead you to think the bargain isn’t quite the bargain you thought! My advice when looking to buy in these areas is to definitely visit the area, drive around and understand where the ‘no go’ streets might be or alternatively have someone, such as a buyer’s agent, purchase for you. In saying that, however, there are also some neat and tidy, family oriented spots that provide you with a great little property.
Here’s two examples of properties that we have purchased for a clients recently:
|Style:||Low set brick and tile, 2003 build, on 652m2 block|
|Features:||4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 car|
|Key Points:||Good land size, newer house, low maintenance, good depreciation, nice area|
|Estimated Cashflow:||Negative $60 per week at 100% LVR Customer purchased the property at 80% LVR which gave a cashflow of negative $8 per week|
|Style:||Low set brick and tile, 1992 build, on 660m2 block|
|Features:||3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 car|
|Key Points:||Good land size, was owner occupied, so very tidy and looked after. Add value potential with cosmetic renovation down the track, budget priced.|
|Estimated Cashflow:||Negative $26 per week at 100% LVR Positive $14pw if purchased at 80% LVR|
Logan has been sleeping for the past few years when it comes to price growth, but investors have definitely woken up in the last 12 months. It’s a location that is growing, is only 20km to the Brisbane CBD, has good transport links, a major hospital, major shopping facilities and university campus.
Despite it’s rough around the edges appearance in parts, this is great priced property that gives a decent rental return and has good reason for capital growth to feature in the region, indeed, looking at recent figures, it has and is doing so right now! It can be hit and miss when it comes to finding the right property in the right street so I’d recommend caution and an ‘on the ground’ approach or using a buyer’s agent. Buying ‘sight unseen’ here is risky. I’d also recommend getting a good property manager on board, this is the sort of area where you do want to really screen your tenants well and stay on top of any issues.
As long as you manage the purchase and the tenants well, this is a good spot currently for low budget investing with good potential.