For many investors proximity to the CBD is a big factor in selecting an investment property.  The issue that we face when trying to secure a property that is close to the CBD is higher pricing.  One of the most attractive things about Brisbane for investors currently is its affordability in comparison to other major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.  Zillmere is a small suburb just 14 kilometres from Brisbane Central Business District. It’s an older suburb where the government built prefabricated houses here under the Housing Commission in the 1950s post World War II. These old houses still exist in the area and Zillmere has had a bit of patchy past, has made investors reluctant to invest here.

Over recent years, as pricing in neighbouring suburbs has increased, we have seen home owners, investors and developers moving into Zillmere.  This has seen the suburb’s reputation of not being safe be diminished and regentrification of this area is well underway. Over the last few years as more families and educated, working couples have moved in to the suburb owing to these relatively cheaper houses, the space for anti-social elements to thrive has significantly gone down.

With good proximity to the CBD, affordability, new units, transport (including a train station), schools, shops and an ever-improving community, Zillmere is continuing to gain the interest of investors.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at Zillmere from a demographic, housing and facilities perspective as well as present a recent case study of two purchases we have made in this area.  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.

The Location

The demographics

Next to location, the next important part in your due diligence in looking for a potential investment spot is knowing who lives in the area—where they work, how they travel to work, their family composition. Knowing the location’s demographics will help you decide which property caters to certain population type.   Let’s take a look at Zillmere’s demographics.


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Zillmere has a young population with majority of residents belong to the 25-29 years age group. Median age in Zillmere was 34 years.

Zillmere-marital-statusMarital Status and Family Composition

In Zillmere, majority of residents aged 15 and above were single (41%). Around 37% were married and 14.9% were either divorced or separated.

Of those couples, 38.9% were without children whilst 33.9% have children.

Country of Birth

Sixty-seven percent of people in Zillmere were born in Australia. Common residents in the area came from New Zealand, India, England, and Philippines.


Most people employed in Zillmere worked in clerical and administrative jobs (17.8%). These were followed by professionals (16.9%), technicians and trades workers (14%), and labourers (12.6%).

Travel to Work

People who work travel by car (59.7%) whilst 19.7% use public transport in Zillmere.


Most properties in Zillmere are standalone houses (71.8%). Around 19% were semi-detached or townhouses.  There are a high proportion of rental properties here with 47.8% compared to the state statistics of 33%.


Mortgage and Rental Payments

The median weekly rent in Zillmere is $365, higher than that of the state average, which is $300, though lower than many Brisbane suburbs.   Median mortgage repayments were slightly higher at $1800 per month compared to that of state average of mortgage repayments in Queensland at $1850, but once again, lower than many Brisbane Suburbs.  Having been a traditionally ‘blue collar’ area we are seeing a shift in Zillmere to more of a ‘white collar’ area over recent years.

The Numbers

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Zillmere is conveniently connected Brisbane with its own railway station. It has a busy local shopping centre adjacent to the railway with four other shopping centers within a 5 kilometer radius. Zillmere also has good air connection, with the Brisbane Airport being only 15 minutes away. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are also easily accessible via the Gateway Motorway.

Zillmere has a government school, the Zillmere State School established in 1877, as well as a parish school along with a number of churches. It boasts 2 football clubs, the North Star Football Club which plays in the Brisbane Premier League and Zillmere Eagles Australian Football Club.

Zillmere hosts a multicultural festival known as Zillfest which is an annual event of performing arts, crafts, and delicacies and traditions of local cultural groups. Regular musical and stage shows are close by at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondall.


The Brisbane City Council is planning extensive urban renewal of the public areas within the suburb. Chermside offers Zillmere residents access to two hospitals (Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital and The Prince Charles Hospital) and Westfield Chermside, the largest shopping centre in all of Queensland, featuring all major retailers, restaurants, a 16-screen cinema complex and a 26-lane Hyperbowl Bowling Centre. Zillmere has a council library. Small and large beautiful parks dot the peaceful suburb equipped with barbecue, picnic and children’s play areas.

Major roads such as Gympie Road or Sandgate Road cut down the commuting time to Brisbane city to about 25 minutes.

A significant portion of Zillmere’s residential properties reside on land that is suitable for further development into units and townhouses and this has seen an influx of developers of recent years with many new apartment blocks.

The Property

Predominantly a post war suburb, this area houses many weatherboard, low set homes and high set homes.  Fibro asbestos is common, internally and externally in this area (as with many other post war areas of Brisbane).  Block sizes are generous in this older style area with many blocks over 600m2.  Many newer style apartment buildings are also present.


With a host of pros weighting in for this superb locality and its development potential, it is bound to become popular very fast with the younger investors and house buyers. Its previous reputation is being lost over time as more and more working couples and educated people move in to quickly occupy the new units being built in the area. Let’s quickly review the pros and cons of this suburb.


  • Close to Brisbane CBD
  • Good value for money with potential for capital growth
  • Multiple transport options and routes
  • Development opportunities


  • Previous reputation
  • Still some untidy patches here and there, often associated with government housing, which still remains in the area.

In Part 2 of this Zillmere suburb review we will be presenting a case study of the recent purchases we’ve made in the area.