How local cafe culture affects local property prices in Queensland

There’s a new pull factor that draws people to certain suburbs in the Sunshine State.

No, it’s not proximity to the CBD, or great schools, or beachside luxury – it’s coffee!

The growing café culture in Brisbane is adding fuel to the fire when it comes to the property market, as people seek not just a home, but a lifestyle. Coffee

While the inner ring suburbs have been the traditional top performers in Queensland’s property market, it now appears more distant locales with a village atmosphere are the “Next Big Thing” for the Brisbane property market.

Middle-ring areas such as Nundah, Upper Mount Gravatt and Kelvin Grove are touted as burgeoning village communities in their own right, while spots such as Fortitude Valley and Coorparoo are coveted lifestyle hubs for inner-city dwellers.

A thriving entertainment and dining precinct can make or break a suburb, and along with bars and restaurants, quality cafés in walking distance are on top of many buyers’ wish lists.

And with local real estate agents reporting that buyers are prepared to pay up to $50,000 more for suburbs with good lifestyle offerings, it makes sense for investors to consider properties in areas that have these amenities.

From big blocks to café culture

It’s known to insiders as “the Starbuck’s Effect”, as studies in the US and Europe have shown that the value of homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks rise faster than those that aren’t.

We already know that the Melbourne property market has caffeine and craft beer flowing through its veins.  

Just look at areas like St Kilda and Footscray – first came the quirky cafés, hipster bars and art installations, and soon property prices boomed and experts were declaring gentrification was transforming these previously lacklustre suburbs.

In Brisbane, New Farm, Teneriffe and Bulimba are already mimicking this trend, with spots such as Sunnybank, Carina, Chermside and Albion set to follow suit in the coming years.

The swing from the quarter-acre block with a white picket fence to the lock-and-leave mentality could boil down to the fact that many first homebuyers these days are childless, professional couples who value easy commutes and lazy lunches over access to schools and parks.

Renters, too, have the same low-maintenance desires, ensuring that well-located homes near modern amenities continue to be in high demand.

It’s not just cafés, but also hip burger joints, artisan bakeries and organic markets that see prospective buyers and renters flocking to these areas.

All these outlets signal that gentrification (and subsequent property price rises) is imminent.

Walkability is key

Property buyers and renters of today want to be able to toddle along in their active-wear for their smashed avo every Saturday, and leave the car at home.

This demographic change also marks the end of the days of the McMansion, where mass-consumption of tacky goods dominated – such as during the peak of the mining boom.

Cafe 569349 1920

In 2018, its sustainability, wholefoods and alternative health services that motivate the younger population, with a return to the local Main Street shopping strip preferred over a crowded and homogenous Westfield.

If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the current For Sale listings in the suburbs listed above – we guarantee you’ll see the words “close to cafés and restaurants” or “five minute walk to [trendy street] shops” on almost all of them.

A property in an area with a flourishing café culture is more saleable and marketable, and can certainly command a higher price.

So when you’re searching for your next property investment, it might pay to suss out the suburb’s best latte or affogato first – as the sought-after property locations are sure to be in the vicinity!


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Brett Warren


Brett Warren is Director of Metropole Properties Brisbane and uses his 13 plus years property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their build their wealth through property. Visit: Metropole Brisbane

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