IT HAS played second fiddle to Brisbane for years, but finally, it is Ipswich’s time to shine.
Long regarded as the river city’s poor cousin, the “Switch” has shaken off its stigma and is forging a name for itself as the state’s property bargain capital — where you can get a house for less than your weekly rent.
New figures from realestate.com.au have revealed the suburbs across Queensland where it is now cheaper to buy than rent and eight of the top 20 are in the Ipswich growth corridor.
In Ebbw Vale, where the median house price is $248,500, it works out to be $386 cheaper to own a home in the suburb than to rent one.
And in the burgeoning masterplanned community of Ripley, where it costs $1600 a month on average to rent of home, it only costs $1230 a month on average to own one.
It comes as Brisbane’s housing market has recorded its strongest annual rise in rents in three years.
After months of flat growth in rental properties, analysis of the latest CoreLogic data by realestate.com.au shows house rents increased 2.4 per cent in 2018, while the cost of leasing a unit became 2.6 per cent more expensive.
A rare combination of low interest rates, a rising population and fewer investors and new developments is starting to put upward pressure on rents in the sunshine state and industry experts say now is the time for long-term renters to buy.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the only way was up for rents in the city, as underlying demand in the Brisbane market began to absorb rental supply.
Ms Conisbee said she was surprised by the “sheer number of suburbs” in greater Brisbane where it was cheaper to buy than rent.
“There’s quite a large number of them,” she said.
“Now is actually a good time to look to buy because we are looking to see further increases in rental levels.
“The reason being we have fewer new developments going ahead and also fewer investors in the market.”
Caitlin and Bryn Williams decided to buy a home in Ripley when they realised they could pay about the same in loan repayments as they were in rent.
After previously renting in Ipswich, they bought a brand new, four-bedroom house for just over $350,000 in the Ecco Ripley estate, where stage one of the $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre has just been completed.
“We’re happy not to be renting anymore,” Mrs Williams said.
“What we were paying in rent, we were paying off someone else’s mortgage.”
Ripley is on track to become Australia’s biggest masterplanned community — home to 120,000 by 2041.
CoreLogic figures show the suburb’s median house price has grown by nearly 20 per cent in the past 12 months.
Mohammad Bassiri of Ray White Springfield Lakes said people were starting to realise it worked out cheaper or just as expensive to buy a home in the Ipswich region as it was to rent one.
Mr Bassiri said a friend of his recently moved from a rental at Springfield Lakes to buy a three-bedroom house at South Ripley for $320,000 because he realised the mortgage repayments were the same as his rent payments.
WHERE IT IS CHEAPER TO BUY THAN RENT IN QLD
Suburb Median house price Monthly loan repayment Monthly rent Difference
1. Lamb Island $110,000 $405 $997 $592
2. Macleay Island $182,000 $669 $1,192 $523
3. Russell Island $165,000 $607 $1,083 $476
4. Kilcoy $272,000 $1000 $1,452 $452
5. Mundoolun $576,000 $2,118 $2,548 $430
6. Laidley $237,500 $873 $1,300 $427
7. Woodford $327,250 $1,204 $1,603 $399
8. Plainland $375,000 $1,379 $1,768 $389
9. Ebbw Vale $248,500 $914 $1,300 $386
10. Ripley $335,000 $1,232 $1,603 $371
11. One Mile $242,500 $892 $1,257 $365
12. Blackstone $314,000 $1,155 $1,517 $362
13. Leichhardt $243,375 $895 $1,257 $362
14. Lowood $251,750 $926 $1,278 $352
15. Brendale $270,000 $993 $1,343 $350
16. Riverview $238,500 $877 $1,213 $336
17. Cedar Vale $498,000 $1,832 $2,167 $335
18. Goodna $310,500 $1,142 $1,473 $331
19. Loganholme $381,900 $1,405 $1,733 $328
20. Redbank $329,000 $1,210 $1,538 $328