Why Brisbane’s a Safe Long Term Bet For Real Estate Values

Although Brisbane has enjoyed moderate growth over the last few years, real estate values have not increased as much as those of Melbourne and Sydney.

There are several reasons for this including changes in industry that have resulted in the loss of jobs, sluggish employment and low migration rates.

However, according to demographer Bernard Salt, several exciting planned and current developments make Brisbane’s 10-year outlook very optimistic.

Development of Brisbane’s central business district and entertainment precincts will play an important part in helping Brisbane gain the status of a major city.

Several projects are slated to bring in visitors, create jobs and make Brisbane a cultural and economic hub. These include expanding the airport to accommodate more air traffic, an exciting revitalisation project of the Howard Smith Wharves area, renovation of major hospitals and expansion and development of the CBD.

Brisbane Airport Expansion

Brisbane Airport is currently the second-largest employer in the region. Expansion of the airport will do several things, including create more jobs. Plans for expansion include building a second runway, expanding both the domestic and international terminals and developing the commercial district.

The terminals will feature new shopping facilities with specialty retailers and a food hall with restaurants and bars. Expansion of passenger facilities include adding more boarding zones and aerobridges and developing fast check-in facilities.

In addition, infrastructure will be enhanced by upgrading several major roads that lead into to the airport.

An expansion of Kingsford Smith Drive into a divided six-lane boulevard is already underway. The CBD is better connected to the airport via AirportLink tunnels.

The goal is to create an airport on par with major international airports such as Changi Airport in Singapore and Hong Kong International Airport.

When completed, the development will give Brisbane Airport the best runway system in Australia and expand flight capability from 227,000 flights to more than 360,000 each year.

This additional capacity will create approximately 7,800 new jobs in several industries, including tourism. The airport expansion will also improve wage growth.

Queen’s Wharf Project

One of the most exciting projects is the Queen’s Wharf Project in the CBD along the north bank of the Brisbane River. The visionary $3 billion project includes construction of five new hotels, three residential towers, a Skydeck with bars and restaurants and a moonlight theatre. The total public space equals 12 football fields.

The project will transform an under-utilised area of the CBD into a vibrant, active public area and is expected to bring an increase of $1.69 billion in tourist spending.

Parks, enhanced river frontage, family areas and gaming areas add to the entertainment facilities. New, upscale retail shops will offer both global and local brands.

Nine heritage sites within the project area will be protected, providing a glimpse into the historic development of this area of Brisbane. Construction will provide 2,000 jobs. Approximately 10,000 new jobs are anticipated after completion.

Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project

Another exciting project is the revitalisation of the Howard Smith Wharves. This $110 million redevelopment project in the CBD will include new parkland and restoration of historic buildings in an historically significant area of Brisbane.

It will connect the New Farm Riverwalk with the CBD and revitalise Petrie Bight. The goal is to create a vibrant, environmentally sustainable entertainment precinct that will create jobs and bring in both domestic and international visitors.

The project includes a new five-star hotel, new restaurants, shopping and tourism centres, a large exhibition area and stabilisation and enhancement of the cliff faces. Other elements include an underground car park and more bicycle spaces.

Approximately 80% of the area will be open public space. The cliffs will be stabilised and low-scale buildings will keep the focus on the cliff faces.

The wharves will be rehabilitated, and several important heritage buildings will be restored. The exhibition space will host festivals and other events.

The project will create jobs during the construction and development phase. It will also create new jobs for operation of the site. The goal is to create a world class, iconic space in the CBD that highlights Brisbane’s cultural and historical identity.

Expansion of Hospitals

Several of Brisbane’s hospitals are undergoing major revamping. Both the Mater and Princess Alexandra Hospitals have been upgraded and expanded to offer new services. Royal Brisbane Hospital is slated for a $1.1 billion upgrade.

Key to this project, called the Herston Quarter Project, is to add living space in adjacent quarters and create jobs both during and after construction.

The mixed-use residential sector would serve health care professionals, patients and visitors. This area would include retail space and public areas.

Jobs will be not only in construction but also in high-tech and bio-medical fields. Focus will be on creating a world-class health care facility with a bio-medical research component. Important elements of the project include developing child care facilities, a specialist care centre and retirement living and aged care facilities.

Miscellaneous Projects

Other projects for the area include a $2.9 billon redevelopment of the Brisbane Showgrounds, expansion of sectors of the rail and subway system and construction of two new schools.

In addition, the Brisbane Live project will provide a world-class entertainment venue that will be built above the Roma Street rail lines.

The $2 billion project will be on a par with New York City’s Madison Square Gardens and Melbourne’s Federation Square. The complex would include an arena to host live music, superstar performances and sports, an outdoor amphitheatre, rock club, cinemas and restaurants.

The project would create thousands of jobs and put Brisbane on the map as an important tourism destination.


These visionary projects will do several things for Brisbane including positioning it as a major destination hub for entertainment, shopping and dining. Enhanced cultural elements showcase the historic and modern sides of the city.

All the projects create thousands of new jobs across all sectors, resulting in more employment, higher wages and increased migration. The projects also expand the knowledge-based workforce. Influx of new people into the city will create a demand for housing in the areas under development and throughout the city.