Canberra’s ‘Up and Comer’ suburbs

foxygeek 7 August 2009 72

Hey guys,

I’m fairly new to Canberra and would like to get people’s views on good value suburbs for real estate.  Would also be interested in not only the ‘cheap’ suburbs but what they are like in general.  We all know that cheap suburbs are cheap for a reason, but I’m more interested in those suburbs that present good value (i.e. relatively cheap now, but likely to be sought after in the next 10 years or so…).  I’m from Brisbane and I remember in the 90s, the suburbs surround Fortitude Valley over there such as Newfarm, were looked down upon… but now it’s become very much sought after and property has skyrocketed, even despite the recent downturn.

The March 09 issue of AFR Smart Investor lists the following Canberra suburbs as the top 10 best value for money suburbs:

  1. Conder
  2. Wanniassa
  3. Forde
  4. Higgins
  5. Calwell
  6. Charnwood
  7. Ngunnawal
  8. Banks
  9. Macgregor
  10. Holt

Would be interested in your thoughts…


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72 Responses to Canberra’s ‘Up and Comer’ suburbs
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Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:08 pm 16 May 11

sasha17 said :

1.Chrisholm
2.Dunlop
3.Banks
4.Page
5.Charnwood
6.Wanniassa
7.Chisholm
8.Higgins/quote]

From those options, Page, hands down IMO.

Close to Belconnen, not too far from the city, either and relatively easy access to Woden.

Can’t see any reason why it would be “cheap”.

sasha17 sasha17 11:51 am 16 May 11

Im planning to buy a house in a couple of months.i noticed that for the same price as the new suburbs you can buy a house with a larger land size in some of the old suburbs…..What i want to know is why are the following suburbs cheap? what is wrong with them?( public houses,drugs,crime,theft etc or distance to city)?

Why i want to know is i want to avoid any unsafe location at all costs but if the cheap price is because of the distance only then i would like to buy it now and sell later(maybe after 5 years).I want to buy a 3/4 bedroom but in a big block of land . >800 meter sq.

1.Chrisholm
2.Dunlop
3.Banks
4.Page
5.Charnwood
6.Wanniassa
7.Chisholm
8.Higgins

Ps- I have been in canberra for only 6 months but both my partner and myself have permanant jobs so planning to stay here for atleast 5/6 years.

sniper sniper 11:27 am 23 Sep 09

2604 said :

busgirl said :

I reckon Kambah (near the Village)is good value for money. The block sizes are big and it is central to both Woden and Tuggeranong. And the Parkway makes Civic only a hop, skip and a jump away.

On the Northside, everything is quite dear. But I shake my head at ppl paying $440-450,000 for partially renovated, 30 year old houses in places like Scullin, Higgins and Holt when you can pay the same and get a four bedroom, ensuite house in West Macgregor, less than five minutes away, for the same price.

fair enough comments regarding the older houses. However the cheaper end of those houses mentioned in MacGregor (i.e. those under 500k) are on fairly small blocks. The older (20-30yr) houses that you mention in Higgins, Holt are generally on at least an 800sqm block, with established gardens. This is ofcourse a factor for families. Also, be wary of the ‘quality’ of the mass produced new houses too. I’ve lived in 2 brand new rentals over the last 6 years… and the workmanship in some areas was shocking (toilets uneven, tiles poorly placed, poor joinery, walls only have one coat of paint, etc.) My mate lives in a brand new rental in Bruce right now and same deal for him… including leaky roof after last night’s downpour.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:29 am 23 Sep 09

I’d half agree with 2604, in that rental yield is really important for viable long term property investments.

However, it is also possible to get good yield (and yield growth) AND reasonable longer term capital growth if you buy in the right location. For example, buying a suburb that is cheaper than those around it for no good reason is a good way to achieve this. These market inefficiencies are where I believe the really good investment properties can be found.

2604 2604 9:55 pm 22 Sep 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

busgirl said :

An old house can be replaced…the land is what is important if you’re looking for a good, long-term investment.

Anyway, there is a reason why that saying goes ‘location, location, location’ and not ‘house, house, house’…

Depends on what is on the land. For houses, you are absolutely correct, but for units it can be a different story.

Rental yield is the only reliable measure of a good, long-term investment property. Anyone who’s relying upon capital gain to make an investment worthwhile is just speculating.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 4:34 pm 22 Sep 09

busgirl said :

An old house can be replaced…the land is what is important if you’re looking for a good, long-term investment.

Anyway, there is a reason why that saying goes ‘location, location, location’ and not ‘house, house, house’…

Depends on what is on the land. For houses, you are absolutely correct, but for units it can be a different story.

busgirl busgirl 2:15 pm 22 Sep 09

I do agree there are alot of old houses in Kambah with poor insulation…yada, yada…but some, like my place, are north-facing, come with gorgeous polished floor boards, and have a backyard big enough to fit another house in 🙂

An old house can be replaced…the land is what is important if you’re looking for a good, long-term investment.

Anyway, there is a reason why that saying goes ‘location, location, location’ and not ‘house, house, house’…

Clown Killer Clown Killer 12:46 pm 22 Sep 09

A properly working keyboard helps too …

Clown Killer Clown Killer 12:24 pm 22 Sep 09

Plus they also may have asbestos in the laundry, bathroom and garage, making renovations risky.

Any houe buit in Australia prir to 1987 is likely to have asbestos cement sheet somewhere in it. There’s absolutely nothing rsky about renovating these older homes so long s you’re not stupid.

SolarPowered SolarPowered 12:00 pm 22 Sep 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I think you’ll find most 30+ year old houses have poor solar orientation, no insulation and are now generally crummy (unless renovated already).

Agreed. Plus they also may have asbestos in the laundry, bathroom and garage, making renovations risky.

H1NG0 H1NG0 10:08 am 22 Sep 09

I just bought a house in Ngunnawal and it is a fantastic area. I rented here for the last couple of years and never had any problems with crime or rowdiness from residents. Some parts of Ngunnawal are better than others, but generally it is the best value for money suburb in my opinion. Great for first home buyers like myself.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:36 am 22 Sep 09

I think you’ll find most 30+ year old houses have poor solar orientation, no insulation and are now generally crummy (unless renovated already).

2604 2604 10:49 pm 21 Sep 09

busgirl said :

I reckon Kambah (near the Village)is good value for money. The block sizes are big and it is central to both Woden and Tuggeranong. And the Parkway makes Civic only a hop, skip and a jump away.

Yeah, Kambah is great…if you only care about the block and couldn’t care less about the quality of the improvements you’re buying. Houses there were all put up 30-plus years ago, mostly at great speed and minimal cost. Generally, they have poor insulation, the worst possible solar orientation, and all the other trappings of 30-year old houses. You’re looking at easily spending another $50k-plus to bring most of them into the 20th century….let alone the 21st.

IMO the most under-sold suburb in Tuggers is Bonython. It is right next to the town centre, the houses are quite new by Canberra standards (~20 years old), blocks are a decent size and the suburb has quite a few amenities (primary school, nature reserve and hill for dog walking, and it’s close to Lake Tuggers). Some dodgy parts, especially north of Barr Smith Ave, but generally not too bad. It reminds me of Florey three years ago, and that suburb has really boomed.

On the Northside, everything is quite dear. But I shake my head at ppl paying $440-450,000 for partially renovated, 30 year old houses in places like Scullin, Higgins and Holt when you can pay the same and get a four bedroom, ensuite house in West Macgregor, less than five minutes away, for the same price.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:55 am 21 Sep 09

I agree with busgirl and addison. Kambah is a good long term buy, and there are others in a simliar boat. If you’re looking for a unit I think Philip is the standout bargain at the moment. For houses, Queanbeyan is also a good buy (since it’s closer to the city than a good chunk of Canberra).

Don’t forget that suburbs change over time. They start out nice and new, then get daggy and tired, and then get redeveloped into new (and by then very well located) communities. The idea is to find the suburbs going through it’s ‘tired’ stage, because it’s generally uphill from there. Queanbeyan is going through this at the moment, and will do for some years.

There are a number of suburbs on that list given in the article that I wouldn’t go near for investment purposes, too.

Deckard Deckard 9:31 pm 20 Sep 09

busgirl said :

I reckon Kambah (near the Village)is good value for money. The block sizes are big and it is central to both Woden and Tuggeranong. And the Parkway makes Civic only a hop, skip and a jump away.

I’ve acquired a bit of a soft spot for this bogan suburb of mine 😉

Agree with you Busgirl. I reckon north Kambah would have to be the most central place in Canberra when it comes to travel time to everywhere else.

Addison Addison 6:05 pm 20 Sep 09

Oh, I should probably add that the suburbs I listed above are referred to in what I perceive as their investment potential, which is a totally different thing to how good they are as a place to live.

Addison Addison 6:03 pm 20 Sep 09

Some of the suburbs listed will do well, but only because they are currently very cheap. Units are also a different market to houses. If you are after units there are suburbs obviously better than those listed. For houses, the difficulty is that much of these ‘up and coming’ suburbs are only value for money because the demand hasn’t equalised with surrounding suburbs yet.

Condor, Banks and Ngunnawal are not what I would call good long term buys.

busgirl busgirl 2:43 pm 20 Sep 09

I reckon Kambah (near the Village)is good value for money. The block sizes are big and it is central to both Woden and Tuggeranong. And the Parkway makes Civic only a hop, skip and a jump away.

I’ve acquired a bit of a soft spot for this bogan suburb of mine 😉

SolarPowered SolarPowered 1:25 pm 20 Sep 09

In my browsing I have seen a number of 4 bedroom homes in Palmerston for well under $500k. Decent size blocks too.

I-filed I-filed 9:44 am 20 Sep 09

Very Busy said :

Suburbs close to the Tuggeranong town centre are almost certain to do well. There are large office blocks and shopping centres and although it is a fair distance from the city, Tuggeranong is self sufficient. Full size house blocks are the norm and it is not a social experiment like much of Gungahlin which makes Tuggeranong a safer bet. It has the beautiful Brindabella Ranges as a backdrop which adds to its appeal. Tuggeranong has very good infrastructure.

Except that the Tuggeranong cinema closing is hardly going to inspire a vote of confidence …

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