24 January 2019 Region spotlight: Ipswich

Take note, property investors: boom time has officially arrived in Ipswich, and the outlook for this fast-growing corner of south-east Queensland looks exceedingly bright for 2019 and beyond.

In recent months, the Ipswich local government area – located about 40 kilometres south-west of Brisbane’s CBD – and its surrounding suburbs have emerged as Greater Brisbane’s most promising pocket. The figures speak for themselves: Ipswich’s population is growing faster than any other LGA in south-east Queensland, at 3.2 per cent in the year to June 2017.

Ipswich’s median house price is investor-friendly at $385,000 and is currently rising at a robust rate of 5.5 per cent a year, according to Domain – well ahead of the Brisbane-wide average of 2.2 per cent. And while price growth for units may be modest, at 0.3 per cent in 2018, rental yields are sitting at an impressive 5.83 per cent. Rental yields for houses are also strong, at 5.14 per cent, well ahead of greater Brisbane’s 4.63 per cent.

Experts say three factors – interstate migration, cheap land for development, and considerable local spending on business and infrastructure projects – turbocharged Ipswich in 2018. These same factors look set to propel the area even further ahead of its rivals in 2019.

“Ipswich has been a significant beneficiary of interstate migration to south-east Queensland,” says Simon Pressley, Propertyology’s head of property market research and three-time Real Estate Institute of Australia Buyer’s Agent of the Year. “In fact, population growth in Ipswich has consistently been among the highest in Australia. That’s partly because housing here is still very affordable.”

Indeed, with a median house price some $70,000 less than the Brisbane region as a whole, Ipswich is an appealing choice for both owner-occupiers and investors hoping to get onto the Queensland property ladder.

“It’s still got the most affordable real estate in the Brisbane metro area,” says Terry Ryder, founder and managing director of Hotspotting.com.au, which issues detailed market reports about where to invest. “There are a number of suburbs within Ipswich with median prices in the $200,000s, and there are plenty in the $300,000s.”

Buyers with $400,000 to $550,000 to spend can purchase high-quality properties in Ipswich, some $100,000 less than nearby suburbs.

Of course, affordable houses and apartments don’t automatically make an area a safe bet for investors – or, indeed, a pleasant place to live. But Ipswich has other strong fundamentals in its favour.

Historically, the region attracted manufacturing businesses that appreciated its proximity to Brisbane and its cheap land prices. Today, as commercial land elsewhere in Brisbane becomes more expensive, Ipswich is looking more attractive to companies than ever.

“A lot of businesses are heading out towards Ipswich,” Ryder says. “It’s affordable and logistically sensible to set up there. That creates jobs, and research shows that people want to buy or rent a home that’s (1) affordable and (2) close to where they work. Job zones are really important drivers of property markets and will support Ipswich real estate moving forward.”

The expansion of the Amberley RAAF base and the $5 billion Land 400 contract (to supply combat vehicles to the Australian Army), recently awarded to manufacturer Rheinmetall, are just two of the projects that will pump money into the Ipswich economy in the months and years ahead.

Meanwhile, Ipswich residents enjoy an enviable quality of life, with plenty of green space and easy access to shops and amenities. The $400 million Ipswich Motorway upgrade, coupled with the existing rail to Brisbane’s CBD, should enable the area to keep growing without feeling the strain.

“I think it’s true almost everywhere in Australia that infrastructure is chasing population growth,” Ryder says. “And it’s reasonably in tandem in the Ipswich area. It’s a place that ticks a lot of boxes.”

Take a look at DHA properties available now in Ipswich.

The advice contained in this article is for general information only and should not be taken as financial advice. Investment is subject to DHA’s lease terms and conditions of sale. Investors retain some responsibilities and risks including property market fluctuations. Prospective investors should seek independent advice.