Where Infrastructure Goes, Population Flows and Capital Growth Follows

Where Infrastructure Goes, Population Flows and Capital Growth Follows

Urban renewal will continue to play a leading role in shaping modern Brisbane’s standing as Australia’s ‘New World City’.

For all those involved in the Brisbane development industry, the challenge is being closely engaged with this ongoing renewal. First, we shape our environment and then our environment shapes us. So be actively involved in creating your environment because thereafter your environment will be passively influencing you.

In Brisbane, there is a compelling case for investors and developers to stick to the popular locations and buy in the path of progress. The smart money is already invested in the locations seen to have the strongest growth prospects, and the future property buyers and tenants will be in these neighbouring streets and suburbs.

Keep a close eye on infrastructure as it is the key indicator in identifying new urban renewal investment and development opportunities. Existing and emerging infrastructure, particularly transport and community amenities, leads to population growth and then capital growth follows.

There is little doubt that Brisbane is heading up a new peak of development activity – there will be more concrete poured across the city in the next year than in the past year. The Brisbane CBD is naturally constrained by the river on two sides and the topography of Spring Hill to the west, but the development industry is responding with record height in its new wave of projects.

Hotel accommodation is also a major focus. Brisbane experienced a decade of no new hotels and now there are six underway, with further planned. Infill development opportunities of every scale abound right across the city, in particular on the northern and southern fringes.

Other key trends shaping Brisbane’s development include: 

  • An influx of Asian capital
  • People choosing apartments over houses
  • A preference for inner suburbs over outer suburbs
  • The continued growth and influence of migrant buyers
  • Student accommodation
  • Retirement and aged care living
  • Residential as a stand-alone investment class 


The avalanche of Asian capital being invested in Brisbane development sites, particularly from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore, is a driving force in the market.

The focus is strongly on the development of new residential accommodation. However, there is also interest in student accommodation uses which has been further boosted by the incentive of the Brisbane City Council’s recent reduction in infrastructure charges.

There is also a rising trend towards residential being viewed as a stand-alone investment play for large-scale private and public capital. Whereas, traditionally, significant investment in residential was through ownership in niche property sectors such as student accommodation, retirement and aged care living, and hotels.

The combination of a low interest rate environment and the increasing acceptance of larger residential properties by investors, financiers and valuers is likely to see this trend continuing.

Video Links: 

  • Brief highlights of UDIA Brisbane Urban Renewal Opportunities can be viewed here
  • Robert Dunne’s presentation at UDIA Brisbane Urban Renewal Opportunities can be viewed here 

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The team at Savills are experts in their respective fields, with extensive experience backed by 150 years of Savills industry knowledge. This makes us well placed to provide you with the most informed view of current trends as well as helpful guides and top tips across the commercial and residential property sectors.

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