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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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 …

theblues theblues 11:31 pm 19 Sep 09

foxygeek said :

no more than 500k. I need 4 bedrooms…

You could probably find something in Tuggeranong Valley for that price or Dunlop in Belconnen. The newer parts of Dunlop are gorgeous with views to die for. Or Macgregor?

Thumper Thumper 8:25 am 10 Aug 09

Macgregor is good. Views of the mountains while be a stones throw from the creek which is quite beautiful, especially on crisp winter mornings.

Kippax is a walkable distance away, as is magpies. And it’s an easy 15 minute drive into the city down Ginninderra Drive. I can’t fault the place.

Chop71 Chop71 3:03 am 10 Aug 09

Feebles said :

We live on the hill in Macgregor and it’s a great place to live. Even though we live on the edge of Canberra (with views to the mountains and countryside) there’s an express bus that means I get to work in the city, door to door in about 30 minutes. Kippax is a handy shopping centre, with an Aldi and a Woolies. There’s really no downside in my opinion.

We looked at buying there but

err Living under the powerlines would be a downside imo (hope your away from them)

Everything else ie express bus and Kippax shops keeps us looking in that general area though

foxygeek foxygeek 8:27 pm 08 Aug 09

Thanks for the insights on some of the cheaper suburbs. Interesting post from Sniper re: Charnwood. Have seen that area of Belconnen… looks pretty much the same as every other suburb in Belconnen to me…

for now, more research.

JC JC 5:18 pm 08 Aug 09

Sniper well said, and oops for not realising the inner part was on a slight hill.

As you said Charnie’s reputation isn’t all it is cracked up to be and it can be quite plesant. As I said before the big problem was the Radburn designed govie houses in the area around the shops. For those that don’t know Radburn was where the road effectivly lead to the back of the house and at the front of the house you had a common alley way often without fences. It was supposed to encourage community but those alleys in the end encourage crime.

Aurelius Aurelius 10:19 am 08 Aug 09

Foxygeek,
When I was in Brisbane, I asked myself a similar question, and the way of calculating it is to compare the average price of the suburb with the UCV of land in the suburb. Thus giving the true value ratio, rather than the “perceived” value.
I did it in Brisbane in 2003/04 and found Banyo, Nundah, Redcliffe and Redbank were the front-runners. Having looked at how those suburbs fared in the last 5 years, the system’s probably accurate.
Haven’t tried it in Canberra though – no desire to buy anything in Canberra at all.

Feebles Feebles 8:38 am 08 Aug 09

We live on the hill in Macgregor and it’s a great place to live. Even though we live on the edge of Canberra (with views to the mountains and countryside) there’s an express bus that means I get to work in the city, door to door in about 30 minutes. Kippax is a handy shopping centre, with an Aldi and a Woolies. There’s really no downside in my opinion.

justsayit justsayit 1:33 am 08 Aug 09

foxygeek said :

no more than 500k. I need 4 bedrooms…

Try Wanniassa, 2 on list. We got a similar price for same(time adjusted) on the Erindale side and its half way between Tuggers and Woden so good investment potential. They are knocking them down and building them up in new rendered style all over the place here at the moment. Public and private schools, usual IGA/ hairdresser/ pharmacy etc except the takeaway is the one that used to be on Livingston Ave in Kambah +++ (many know this). Also there are 2 medical centres (placed next to each other), neither of which seem to be able to attract enough staff to open. Good luck!

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 11:49 pm 07 Aug 09

Don’t know if you have been told yet, but the local (Sth Coast & ACT region)website for realestate is http://www.allhomes.com.au. Also, $500k 4B is a bit unrealistic in ACT, unless you buy in the outa suburbs or plan to spend another $200k to renovate later. In the ACT we have the benifit of all homes having to be energy rated too (although in my opinion the rating system is a farce but thats another topic), and you can see how the homes for sale rate on the allhomes site, as well as suburb trends, rates etc. Best luck. Disclaimer- I don’t have any affiliation with allhomes.

Wanon Wanon 11:23 pm 07 Aug 09

Maybe have a look at Narrahbundah, it doesn’t have a ‘prestige’ reputation, but it’s damn close to Russell (a suburb of offices) and Civic. Plus their suburb centre seems to be on the up.

Wanon Wanon 11:08 pm 07 Aug 09

foxygeek said :

no more than 500k. I need 4 bedrooms…

eek! Good Luck!

foxygeek foxygeek 10:10 pm 07 Aug 09

no more than 500k. I need 4 bedrooms…

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