The Brisbane Metro will carry about 22,000 people around the city per hour. Photo: BCC

While once regarded as a big country town, Brisbane has come into its own with more than $10 billion of projects scheduled for completion by 2022. As the city transforms, there has been a surge in population and jobs growth adding to its attraction for interstate and local investors.

Domain data scientist Nicola Powell says Brisbane has experienced extensive growth across the CBD.

“It is going through huge amounts of change,” she says. “And while the transformation is appealing to buyers you also need to look at the price point. Compared to other major cities it is much more affordable for both owner-occupiers and investors. Interstate migration to Brisbane has been increasing since 2015 because of this.”


Brisbane airport is currently undergoing a $4 billion redevelopment, which will bring new jobs to the area. Photo: Chris Powell

A number of projects are contributing to the city’s transformation.

Brisbane Metro
The Brisbane Metro is a rapid transit system designed to cut travel times, reduce city bus congestion and improve services to the suburbs. Long-time Brisbane resident Raewyn Bailey says the new Metro is going to be a winner.

“It is a high-capacity, rapid transport connection that will go all around the inner city and surrounding suburbs,” she says. “It’ll carry around 22,000 people per hour and that is really going to make a difference to commuters.”

The Howard Smith Wharves redevelopment located under Brisbane’s Story Bridge will include a new events centre, parklands and repurposed heritage buildings..
The Howard Smith Wharves redevelopment located under Brisbane’s Story Bridge will include a new events centre, parklands and repurposed heritage buildings.. Photo: Tony Moore

The Metro will run over 21 kilometres linking Eight Mile Plains, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and University of Queensland Lakes busway stations and all busway stations in between.

Brisbane Airport Parallel Runway
One of Brisbane’s most significant developments is Brisbane Airport’s new $1.3 billion parallel runway. When the runway opens in 2020, it will give Brisbane one of the best runway systems in Australia, delivering a number of benefits including jobs.

“The new Brisbane runway will also make it more attractive for investors from interstate to get to and from the city,” Bailey says.


Mt Coot-tha is one of the most visited attractions in Brisbane and it’s undergoing a range of upgrades and developments. Photo: Ruth McCosker

Howard Smith Wharves redevelopment
Located under the Story Bridge, the $100 million development of Howard Smith Wharves will include a new events centre, parklands and repurposed heritage buildings. It will also include a 164-room Art Series Hotel.

Powell says developments such as these are adding greater appeal to the city. “Howard Smith Wharves will extend the CBD riverfront, adding more services and facilities for residents and visitors,” she says.

Queen’s Wharf casino and entertainment complex
The Queen’s Wharf precinct is a $3 billion precinct that will become a hub that connects the key attractions of the city, including the Botanic Gardens, Queen Street Mall, South Bank, the Cultural Precinct and Brisbane River.

The Spire has first-rate facilities including a rooftop pool, library, reading area, cinema, restaurant, personal training studio and a private dining room.

“Brisbane’s transformation is creating new hubs and communities,” Powell says. “It’s likely to attract both local and interstate buyers to the area, especially those that are finding the southern states too expensive.”

Bailey adds that even attractions located a few minutes out of the city are undergoing transformations.

“Mt Coot-tha is one of the most visited attractions in Brisbane and it’s undergoing a range of upgrades and developments including a zip line, new trails and pathways and picnic areas,” she says. “The zip line is going to be amazing and it’ll be Australia’s longest. Brisbane is becoming more and more a great and very livable city without the downsides you get in other cities, such as huge traffic jams.”

The Spire Residences development is located on the city’s Queen Street.

Spire Residences
Apartment buyers interested in Brisbane’s CBD are attracted to the Spire Residences development located at the city’s Queen Street. The 40-level residential apartment building comprises 340 one and two-bedroom apartments.

The executive chairman of the developer, Consolidated Properties, Don O’Rorke says the Brisbane apartment market is dramatically undersupplied.

“This year only 810 new apartments are being completed and next year there will only be 336,” he says. “These are minute numbers and point to chronic undersupply.”

The 40-level Spire Residential apartment building comprises 340 one and two-bedroom apartments.
The 40-level Spire Residential apartment building comprises 340 one and two-bedroom apartments. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones

He says Spire is a high-end project with all settled apartments fully leased and with a waiting list. “The rental apartments are showing a gross yield of 5.6 per cent and the highest priced apartment is $739,000, which is attractive compared with other capital cities,” he says. “We are getting inquiries from Sydney and Melbourne buyers who are seeing the value.”

O’Rorke says there are a lot of exciting things happening in the CBD.

“The scale is enormous,” he says. “And Spire is located right in the heart of it with its Queen Street address. It also has first-rate facilities such as a rooftop pool, library, reading area, cinema, restaurant, personal training studio and a private dining room.”

Brisbane Quarter
The $800 million Brisbane Quarter on the site of the former Supreme and District Court will consist of a 39-storey office building, a 32-storey W Brisbane Hotel and a residential tower.

“The skyline is continuing to grow with developments such as these,” Powell says. “The Brisbane Quarter will have a tower that is equal to the current highest in the city of 274 metres.”

Taking into account these large urban renewal projects, as well as continued development in the city’s residential sector, which remains a more affordable market than the southern capital cities, it’s no surprise that Queensland continues to see high levels of interstate migration.

GAYLE BRYANT APR 4, 2018. “Six things transforming Brisbane’s CBD that are attracting buyers”. Retrieved from
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