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Nundah: Why it’s a property hotspot for Brisbane singles

In Aboriginal, Nundah means “chain of water holes” and there sure were watering holes aplenty as I drove down its impressive high street recently.

There were so many, in fact, that even though I missed the turn-off to Sandgate Road from the Airport Link, I found myself gawking left and right at the myriad upmarket retail offerings on either side of the road.

On one side of the street there were trendy barista coffee and gelato shops, and on the other hip bars like The Village Social as well as stylish interior decorating stores.

Nearly half the population in Nundah is single, according to census data — that’s significantly higher than the national and Queensland averages — and it’s easy to see why the unattached are so drawn to the area.

Nundah’s vibrant village vibe with bars, cafes and shops makes it the perfect place to socialise, live and work and the big clincher: it’s also still mainly affordable.

Ray O’Brien, principal of LJ Hooker Lutwyche, has witnessed the once working-class suburb gentrify over the past decade in particular.

Nundah: Why it’s a Property Hotspot for Brisbane Singles - Investors Advisors
Nundah’s vibrant and trendy high street is popular with locals but still easily accessible. Photo: Nicola McDougall

It all started when through traffic from busy Sandgate Road was diverted via a bypass tunnel in the early 2000s and then continued apace when the suburb was selected for urban renewal.

“The council basically did some social engineering,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The reason is because of the infrastructure that’s already here – you’ve got tunnels, train, and easy access to the airport, which is like a mini-city so there are a lot of people who work there.

“The vibe has changed. It’s a bit more of a village now.”

Over the past five years, the suburb has seen a sharp increase in commercial offerings in its retail strip as well as unit developments, which has temporarily impacted prices.  

According to Domain Group data, the median unit price in Nundah fell by 7.1 per cent to $395,000 over 2018, which makes unit buying a very attractive (and affordable) way to get into the property market.

Nundah: Why it’s a Property Hotspot for Brisbane Singles - Investors Advisors
Houses like 46 Jenner Street are the kind of houses you can pick up for around the median house price in Nundah. Photo: Alma Clark Real Estate

Houses are also still great value. The median price grew by 2.2 per cent last year to $685,000 — that’s a whopping $455,000 less than houses at neighbouring suburb Clayfield, where the median price is $1.14 million.

Nundah’s population also increased 16 per cent from 2011 to 2016, with an enviable median age of its 12,000-plus residents of 33, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Mr O’Brien said first-home buyers were targeting units while upgrading young couples or families were competing strongly for the dwindling number of timber and tin houses, often choosing to renovate them.

Buyers and renters were also selecting Nundah as their location of first choice these days – compared to the suburb playing second fiddle to locations closer to the city – especially if they were new migrants, he said.   

“They don’t know that Hamilton or Ascot is a better suburb,” he said.

Brisbane investor Noel Herbert bought a unit in Nundah in 2011 for $250,000 because of the suburb’s proximity to the city and airport as well as its shopping village precinct.

Nundah: Why it’s a Property Hotspot for Brisbane Singles - Investors Advisors
Units at Nundah have fallen in price, so they offer an incredibly affordable entry into the market for young buyers. Photo: Ray White Spring Hill

Not only has he witnessed its many positive changes in the past seven years, his unit also has been rented by the same couple the entire time.

“There has been an expansion of the village and the reinvigoration of the area due to the increased unit development and business activity associated with this,” he said.

“Nundah should progress nicely as a transport hub as well as the second runway adding value to the suburb with more workers wanting to live in the local area. 

“The tenants have remained over the years and have always treated it like their home, which it is. They have always paid on time and kept the place immaculate and hence we have replaced fixtures to update the unit for them. It’s all about mutual respect.”

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