To a very reassuring degree, the West End property market showed remarkable resilience as the median house price growth hit over 20% for the period from July 2020 to June 2021. In terms of property growth, West End demonstrates the strength of Brisbane’s property market as both house and unit sales continue to successfully weather the economic uncertainty that pandemic restrictions have wrought in the inner city and CBD.
House Price Growth
Data from Property Market Updates for the period of July 2020 to June 2021 indicated high growth for West End at 21.43 per cent, pulling the house median price from $1,050,00 to $1,275,000. Inventory sold at a brisk 43 days on the market with 50 properties snapped up during this period.
Most home buyers are families who need either a three or four-bedroom house with modern fittings to raise their children. Contrary to the popular perception that West End is home to unconventional and non-conforming bohemians, this locale is quite attractive to young families, professionals, and downsizers who still prefer the inner city life, where good schools and job opportunities abound.
Despite a growing inclination by buyers to ditch a busy city to look for lifestyle homes close to the beach, the river, or next to nature at the height of the pandemic and the lockdowns, sales activity has remained strong in West End’s housing market.
A three-level oasis on Hoogley Street with an open-air Japanese-inspired indoor centre garden sold the highest price for this period at $2,500,000. The architectural structure, located on a spot overlooking the Brisbane River via Orleigh Street, was built after the flooding in 2011. Its former owners loved staying at this residence for its proximity to the unique shops and the best schools in Brisbane. But as the children have grown, the owners have decided to downsize and let a new family have their dream house.
Unit Price Growth
West End’s unit market saw a modest decline of 2.96 per cent despite the sale of 552 properties within 77 days on market. This was partly because most of the sales were two-bedroom apartments, a segment of the market popular among downsizing couples and first-home buyers.
Aside from that, what has largely driven the unit median price down from $625,000 to $606,500 is an inventory oversupply, as new developments and construction continue to keep West End’s unit market in a constant state of flux. Tenant demand also dipped at the start of the pandemic as international students were unable to return to Australia and many workers lost their jobs.
Still, West End units haven’t lost their appeal for some savvy investors who are aware of the long-term prestige and value of the properties in this inner-city suburb. Proof of this is the six-bedroom riverside penthouse unit on Buchanan Street, which nabbed a $3,800,000 price tag, higher than the house sale. Set on top of a luxury development, this apartment is within West End’s famous cultural hub and very close to South Bank and the CBD.
About West End
While a densely populated suburb, West End offers heaps of conveniences for its residents with easy access to bike paths, buses, trains, and ferries. Established in the 1860s, this suburb has developed into one of the most progressive areas in Brisbane and has become a melting pot of cultures.
As a diversified community, West End has an abundance of quirky cafes, unique and interesting retail stores, and a hip and happening nightlife. Following the 2011 floods, this location has had a number of revilisation both in the residential and commercial or mixed-use market.
West End is surrounded by Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Queensland College of Art, and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Brisbane’s premier educational institution, Brisbane State High School, is also close by, along with West End State School and Somerville House.
“West End represents an alternative take on urban living. There is nothing like it in Australia, and few places like it in the world. Imagine. A place where your neighbours are your friends, and your friends are artists, builders, students, doctors, musicians, lawyers, yoga instructors, academics, bloggers, local business owners, and circus performers. You walk, skate or ride to work or study – just 20 minutes to the city or to Queensland’s major universities (unless you choose to laze it on the CityCat as it hums along the river). You walk 10 minutes to the best food, coffee and nightlife in Brisbane. On Saturday, you walk to the farmers market, where you catch up with your neighbours, listen to upcoming musicians, and purchase fresh fruit and veg. The residential streets are quiet and safe, and neighbours still say hello to each other. In the morning, you wake up to the sound of Kookaburras, chickens, and lorikeets. You meet your friends at the gym, the indoor climbing centre, yoga, Capoeira, and/or Latin Dance school.”Giddy
“Love living in West End. Plenty of excellent cafes, restaurants and fabulous pubs predominantly situated on Boundary Street. Great stretch of Asian restaurants all serving fab food with byo on Hardgrave Road. I also love the colourful, alternative vibe here that makes other Brisbane suburbs appear bland (trust me, I’ve lived in other suburbs!!). Great Saturday farmers markets and Friday night markets where you can eat yummy stall food. The ONLY downside however is the level of development work going on especially down by the river where we live.”LynnL
“West End is Brisbane’s Bohemian heart. It is easy to write Brisbane off as a collection of bland suburbs that stretch out forever from the city. But most locals will tell visitors that there are three exceptions: West End, New Farm and Paddington. Among those suburbs, West End is a diverse and artistic suburb. The coffee is brilliant, even if you might sit on a milk crate. The food is without par, and you won’t pay too much for it. The streets range from typical inner-city streets to quiet cul-de-sacs. This is the place where Brisbane’s more broad-minded live (if they are lucky) and play.”GeoffD