By Diane Leow
Monday, 18 November 2013

Ipswich, an urban centre in Southeast Queensland, is located about 40 kilometres west from the Brisbane CBD. Flanking the Bremer River Valley, it has been the victim of flooding in the last few years, rendering it less-than-ideal for property investment in the eyes of many.

However, it has recently been put back in the spotlight as an investor’s playground. This can be attributed to an abundance of properties in the entry-level market.

Australian Property Monitor’s senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson told Property Observer he expects to see “some growth” in the Ipswich market in the next year.
“Ipswich is starting to pick up, in line with the Brisbane economy. It is one of those markets that appeals to entry-level buyers,” he said.

wHeregroup director and location researcher, Todd Hunter, agrees that the property market there is “fairly warm” at the moment.
He picks out Springfield and Springfield Lakes as the top suburbs in the area, for both proximity to the CBD as well as the new Springfield train line due to open later this month.

However, he notes that investors who got in early have already snapped up many great properties, perhaps leaving the pickings a little thin.

“There’s still money to be made, but not as good as it would’ve been 12 to 24 months ago,” he said.
Infrastructure in place, including the upgrade of the Centenary Motorway, makes Ipswich an accessible area as well.
Hunter added that Ipswich will see a change of demographics in the coming years.

“A lot more people will be forced out of the CBD, and looking for lifestyle and affordability. The incomes will be higher, the whole area will start changing,” he said.

Personally, he began purchasing properties in the Ipswich area from 2010 to late 2012, with the exception of a gap when the flood occurred and insurance companies placed an embargo on house insurance for flood-prone areas.
“There were some really good bargains where properties had previously been sold between $370,000 to $420,000 in the boom at the end of 2006 to 2007; we were picking those properties up at $285,000 to $290,000. Those same properties now would be worth about $310,000 to $320,000, and I think the market will keep increasing,” he said.

He added that the most popular style of home in the area is one with four-bedrooms and two-bathrooms.
Additionally, he warns against suburbs that have been previously hit by the floods as insurance will be very expensive. These include riverside suburbs such as Goodna, Brassall and Barrellan Point.

Overall, he believes the property market in Ipswich will remain profitable.

“It’s in its early stages, in a really good upcycle. I see very good times probably around the next 18-24 months,” he said.

An increase in investor activity can lead to a great rental market as well. Kelly Higgins, state manager for MPM Property, told Property Observer they have seen “the Ipswich region have significant rent increases across key suburbs throughout 2013.”

“We have achieved averaged rent increases between 3% to 6% in suburbs of high demand including; Brassall, Redbank, Raceview and Springfield,” she said.

She also mentioned that the most sought after homes are newly-constructed four-bedroom two-bathroom double lock ups to accommodate families.

“The Ipswich area attracts families that are seeking an affordable housing option, whilst still being close to Brisbane suburbs and major public transport and infrastructure,” she added.

“We see this as a brilliant result for current investors and the opportunity for other investor to consider the Ipswich market. We see this as ideal time to invest in the Ipswich region with ample affordable property options currently on the market or house & land package options which are also available,” she said.

She also anticipates the rental market to remain “buoyant” as a result of stability and steady returns across the rental market, as well as ongoing growth, affordability, proximity, and infrastructure enhancements across the city region.

Source: The Property Observer – Dianne Leow DLeow@propertyobserver.com.au

http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/queensland/suburb-spotlight-ipswich-picks-up/2013111766395