Living in Brisbane

by | Dec 31, 2021 | Building new, ultimate guide, Where to build


Thinking of moving to Brisbane? The Global Liveability Index 2021 has ranked Brisbane as one of the top ten liveable cities in the world, so there’s never been a better time to be a part of the Sunshine State. In this article, we’re going to discuss living in Brisbane and look at what Queensland’s capital city has to offer. We’ll compare property prices in Brisbane to those of other major cities in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne in particular). Also, we’ll have a look at everything Brisbane offers, including a more relaxed lifestyle, plenty of attractions, education, and the chance to own your own block at a more affordable price.

Read our guide on why living in a Post Covid Brisbane is becoming increasingly popular.

Brisbane city has a reputation as being a big country town, both due to its origins and the sense of community among the people. Queensland’s capital has grown to become one of the most liveable cities in the world, with attractions that draw people from around the globe. For those in Melbourne and Sydney, living in Brisbane is a way to stay on the east coast at a fraction of the price. With some of the most beautiful beaches and rainforests in the world on your doorstep (not to mention the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast both an hour’s drive away), moving to Brisbane looks to be great value.

Before we jump into looking at housing, cost of living, transport and the environment – given the huge impact COVID-19 had, and is still having on the nation, let’s start here…

Better Lockdown Laws Than other states

While Queensland has had its share of lockdowns, they haven’t been anywhere near as severe as those experienced in other Australian states, particularly New South Wales and Victoria. Outbreaks in Queensland haven’t reached the proportions they have elsewhere. For the most part, Brisbane residents have been able to continue to work and live their day to day lives during these challenging times.

Border restrictions are set to ease when vaccination rates hit 80% which is currently predicted to happen by 17 December 2021.

Housing & property prices in Brisbane vs the other states

Property Prices

The median house price for Brisbane at the time of writing is $701,000. This is under half the median price in Sydney $1,499,126 (up 30.4 per cent from last year)! In Melbourne, the median house price is $1,037,923 (rising by $13,000 in August 2021).

To help add perspective to these prices, the combined median of all Australian capital cities is $994,579. The fact Brisbane’s median is below the national average (by nearly $300,000) is a good incentive for homebuyers to consider the Sunshine State. This is also especially encouraging to first home buyers or families looking for a bigger home.

It’s also worth noting that renting is much higher in Sydney and Melbourne than it is in Brisbane. Brisbane could provide a chance for those looking to get out of renting and into their own home.

Looking to buy your first home in Brisbane? Click here to read our ultimate guide for first time buyers looking to buy a house in QLD!

Most Expensive Suburbs in Brisbane

Rather than thinking of Brisbane as a whole, it’s best to think of the city as a collection of mini-property markets, as different suburbs will command different prices. Within Brisbane, the suburb with the highest median price is Teneriffe, with the Median house price coming in at 2.45 million. While this sounds like a lot, the top ten priciest suburbs in Sydney all have higher median prices, with Darling Point coming in at 7.06 million. Also in the running for Brisbane’s most expensive suburb are:

  • New Farm ($2.12m)
  • Chandler ($1.6m)
  • Ascot ($1.6m)
  • Hamilton ($1.56m)

Brisbane’s Most Expensive Suburbs

Melbourne’s Most Expensive Suburbs

Sydney’s Most Expensive Suburbs

Most Affordable Suburbs in Brisbane

Suburbs close to the city centre or in Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD) are going to attract higher prices than those further out. This could be an added bonus to those looking to live in the suburbs.

The Brisbane suburb with the lowest median for a house is Russel Island with a median price of just $221,136. Other suburbs that are affordable options include:

  • Acacia Ridge – Median Price $469,508 – 13km from CBD
  • Camira – Median Price $469,917 – 21km from CBD
  • Bald Hills – Median Price $549,648 – 17km from CBD
  • Capalaba – Meidan Price $582,573 – 19km from CBD
Aerial view of Chermside West

When it comes to entry properties: both Chermside West and Keperra are good options for your new Brisbane home. Why? It’s possible to buy a home between $500,000-650,000, and both suburbs are expected to rise in value.

A question a lot of home buyers and property owners will be asking is the effect of the 2032 Olympics on the Brisbane Region. While some are predicting land value to go through the roof (especially near the Brisbane CBD and in the eastern suburbs), others are more cautious in their estimations. Brisbane plans to use a lot of pre-existing infrastructures compared to previous Olympic games (including the Sydney Games in 2000). What ultimately determines the price of land is supply and demand. Whether or not the Olympics will influence this is yet to be seen, however, there are numerous other considerations to take into account.

Looking to get the most out of your building experience in Brisbane? Want someone impartial, who knows the area and can help you find the right builder for your dream home? Contact Buildi today for a free consultation!

Brisbane’s most popular suburbs

Where you should be living in Brisbane will depend on your lifestyle and what your priorities are. For example, a young couple who are starting their careers and want to enjoy concerts and cultural events on the weekends will be better suited to a different suburb than a growing family with a couple of dogs.

The following list is the ranking of suburbs in three categories: livability, work and fun.

While you’ll obviously need to consider budget and other factors, we’ve included this table as a way of demonstrating what to think about when choosing a location best suited for your needs. For example, an apartment in the middle of the city will do wonders for your work commute, but might not be so great for your family.

If you’re looking to invest in Brisbane city, here are some of the best suburbs for capital growth (Median house prices included in brackets):

  1. New Farm ($1,827,500)
  2. Ascot ($1,597,00)
  3. Highgate Hill ($1,272,500)
  4. Wilston ($1,162,500)
  5. Ashgrove ($1,105,000)
  6. Taringa ($1,000,000)
  7. Tarragindi ($863,000)
  8. Holland Park ($826,000)
  9. Cannon Hill ($812,000)
  10. Wavell Heights ($762,000)
  11. Mansfield ($727,500)
  12. Stafford ($670,000)
  13. Stafford Heights ($652,125)
  14. Chermside West ($637,000)
  15. Keperra ($570,000)

There are options in the outer suburbs, known as the Greater Brisbane Area. This includes regions such as Ipswich, Moreton Bay. Here are the median prices for suburbs in each direction:

Northern Suburbs – $605,000

Eastern Suburbs – $550,000

South -$665,000

West – $703,322

For those who want to be near Brisbane but don’t need to be there every day, the Sunshine Coast region is also a great option.

When looking at suburbs that have boomed in the last 20 years, data shows they have some or all of the following traits in common:

  1. They’re close to the CBD, usually within 10km
  2. Good public transport, specifically they’re near a train station.
  3. In a highly desirable school catchment
  4. The average incomes in these suburbs are well over the QLD average.

Avoid Making Mistakes Made When Buying! Click here to book a Free Consultation with Buildi!

With stories of cheap properties that will skyrocket in price, a lot of investors are interested in buying in Brisbane. However, a lot are purchasing properties based on photographs and aren’t actually inspecting the properties themselves. You’d be surprised how misleading a dishonest seller can be with a few creative photographs. Some buy properties based on price, without researching the reputation of the suburb they’re purchasing in!

The lesson here is that buying in Brisbane could be a great opportunity, as a place to live, an investment or both, but you can’t buy blind. Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so why not get some guidance from someone who knows the building process? Buildi knows Brisbane and is here to help you build your perfect home.

Get in touch today for a free consult!

Working in Brisbane

The pandemic has had a huge effect on both the economy and the working lives of everyday Australians. The good news with restrictions easing and borders opening again, Brisbane has seen a surge in the number of job advertisements.

A quick google search of the average wage in Brisbane is $110,897. While this sounds amazing to a lot of us, it is not reflective of what most people actually make. The typical wage of $66,695 is closer to what a full-time worker may get in Brisbane. Like any city, your occupation will play a big part in this.

The most common positions in Brisbane

Professionals (22.9%)

Admin and clerical workers (14.8%)

Technicians and Trade Workers (13.0%)

In-Demand Positions

Wondering what jobs are available in Brisbane? Here are some of the most in-demand positions in Brissy:

Healthcare and Medicine: Doctors and nurses are always wanted, but the pandemic has increased the demand for healthcare professionals everywhere.

Aged care and social assistance: These areas are always in-demand. A quick look on Seek or Indeed shows a lot of positions in aged care around the Brisbane area.

Construction: Construction is the state’s second-largest employer. The pandemic has led to builders and tradespeople being more in demand than ever. Also with Brisbane securing the Olympic games, chances are the demand will only increase.

Tourism and hospitality: A favourite tourist destination for domestic and international travellers, the Queensland tourism industry has really suffered because of the pandemic. However, with the borders being ready to open and the Queensland Government will be pushing to boost tourism.

Innovation and Technology: With technology, a part of our lives, jobs in IT, software and cybersecurity are only becoming more and more in demand.

Transport in Brisbane

Looking to avoid peak-hour traffic jams synonymous with big cities? Brisbane offers a number of public transport options including buses, the citycat ferry and trains. Like any city, the price of parking can add up, so public transport may be the better option for your pocket (and the environment). The TransLink network can also get you to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast and can take you as far north as Gympie.

The closer you are to Brisbane’s central business district (known as the CBD), the better the public transport will be.

If using Translink, make sure you get a Go Card as the ticket prices will be at least 30% cheaper than if you pay for a paper ticket. Also, prices are cheaper during non-peak hour times, so that’s also something to keep in mind. According to the Translink website the following people can travel with a 50% discount:

  • Children (5-14 years and using a child go card )
  • Secondary students (15+ years and using a green concession go card)
  • Pensioner and seniors (using a concession or senior go card)
  • Tertiary/post-secondary students (using an adult go card)
  • Job seekers (using an adult go card or apply for a regional concession card)
  • Asylum seekers (using an adult go card)

A lot of popular attractions throughout Brisbane are accessible through public transport, taking some of the stress out of a day out in Sunny Brisbane.

Culture & Nature in Brisbane

South-East Queensland is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, people travel from the other side of the world to see these places. Those living in Brisbane have the benefits of the tropical climate, meaning less cold days than you’re used in the Southern States!

History & Art

South Bank

Since hosting the World Expo in 1988, South Bank has become a cultural precinct of Brisbane. The Queensland Cultural Centre is home to the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (better known as QPAC). There are also a number of theatres in the area for those who love a play and a beautiful walkway by the riverside. It’s a great place to spend the day, getting a mixture of culture, sun and food.


The Queensland Performing Arts Centre has a wide variety of entertainment and art all year round, ranging from plays, musicals, stand-up comedy, ballet, and live music.

Queensland Museum

Located in South Brisbane, the Queensland Museum is a fun, educational day out. General admittance is free with no need to pre-book. Whether you’re interested in science, culture or natural history (or all the above), the Museum has a range of exhibits to please everyone.

The Botanic Gardens

On the other side of the Brisbane river, you have the City Botanic Gardens. This provides Brisbane residents with the best of both worlds with beautiful gardens to walk through, while the Riverstage is a popular location for concerts for both local and international acts.

Live Music

Brisbane is a great city for music lovers and those who love the nightlife. Fortitude-Valley is great for clubbing and has a variety of live music venues including the Trivoli, the Zoo, Fortitude Music Hall and the Brightside Brisbane. Outside of Fortitude Valley, there’s also the Triffid, QPAC (see above), the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and even Suncorp Stadium for bigger acts.

Brisbane Powerhouse

As the name suggests, the Brisbane Powerhouse, located in New Farm, is indeed a former power station. It has since been transformed into a cultural hub having over 1,200 performances every year, including concerts and plays.

City Life

Brisbane residents don’t have to wait until nightfall to enjoy the city. The Brisbane CBD is great for shopping and South Bank is full of attractions and restaurants for the whole family.

Close routes to rainforests, scenery & beaches

Queensland has some of the best beaches in Australia, and the great weather means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to visit the many beautiful places. Living in Brisbane means you’re only a one hour drive from the Sunshine Coast (heading north), and the Gold Coast (heading South). Even closer is Redcliffe or Bribie Island. For those days where you don’t want to make the drive, there’s also a beach at South Bank in the centre of the city.

Springwood Conservation Park is just one of the many beautiful hiking areas in the Brisbane area.

Healthcare in Brisbane

Living in Brisbane, you’ll have access to a variety of public and private healthcare options including hospitals, general practitioners, dentists and other healthcare professionals. With the COVID infections being kept to a minimum, the strain of the pandemic has been minor compared to other states. In the liveability report, Brisbane scored 100 for its healthcare which is the highest rating possible!

The major hospitals in Brisbane are:

  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital – Queensland’s largest hospital.
  • The Wesley Hospital
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • The Mater Hospital

Education in Brisbane

In the Global Liveability Index 2021, Brisbane got top marks of 100.0 in Education. Brisbane is home to around 544 schools, with approximately 2/3 of those being public schools.

Brisbane is home to several top universities, including three of the highest-ranked universities in the world (according to the World University Rankings):

  1. University of Queensland – Specialties include Law, Governance, Science, Arts, Humanities, Veterinary Science and Public Service.
  2. Queensland University of Technology – Specialties include Education, Health, Science, Engineering, Business and Creative Industries.
  3. Griffith Univerisity – Specialties include Nursing, IT, Digital Media, Commerce, International Business, Public Relations, Design and Exercise Science.

There are also many TAFEs and community colleges available for those looking to start careers in trades and hospitality.

In terms of property prices, school zones make a difference. Parents want to send their children to good schools, therefore houses in both primary and secondary school catchments tend to outperform homes that aren’t when it comes to the market. For those looking at living in Brisbane, this is something to keep in mind.

Cost of living in Brisbane

As Australia’s third-largest city, Brisbane is more affordable than both Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, and Melbourne isn’t far behind it.

The average cost for a person to live comfortably in Brisbane is between $400-750. Obviously, this will vary depending on your needs, lifestyle, and where exactly where you’re living in Brisbane.

The average family living in Brisbane spends $152 per week for groceries, which is $608 per month or 7,296 per year.

Investment companies who hold seminars will pressure sell properties to buyers, telling them they must invest now or miss out. They’ll then talk to builders and end up giving the buyer cheap land and pocketing up to 50 grand themselves. Don’t be caught out by investment seminars. Talk to Buildi for a free impartial consultation. We’re local to the Brisbane area, know the suburbs and can find the right builder for you.

Thinking of living in Brisbane?

If you’re thinking about buying some land in the Sunshine State’s capital city, you’ve come to the right place! At Buildi, we’re here to help build your future on solid rock. With thousands of vacant lots in Brisbane, it’s good to have experience on your side when deciding. Here’s how we do the heavy lifting:

  1. Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
  2. Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
  3. Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
  4. Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
  5. Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
  6. Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.

Click here to Book a free Consultation today!


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