BRITONS are turning to Queensland to escape the Brexit blues, with new figures showing a spike in the number of UK property seekers searching for a slice of paradise in the sunshine state.
Research by realestate.com.au reveals the political turmoil in Britain has sent many voters heading for the exit, with searches for property in sunny Queensland increasing by almost a third in December compared to the same time a year earlier.
UK property searches in the state have jumped 31 per cent, with the Sunshine Coast suburbs of Noosa Heads, Buderim and Mooloolaba the most popular.
In Brisbane, New Farm, Redcliffe and North Lakes are the most in-demand suburbs among Britons.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said Queensland was the number one attraction in terms of total search activity among UK property seekers.
Ms Conisbee said the top search locations among UK property seekers were primarily beachside.
“The Hemsworth impact seems to be impacting the view of Byron Bay with this the most searched by UK property seekers in December 2018 — the number tripling from December 2017,” she said.
Universal Buyers Agents director Darren Piper said the upheaval around Brexit in Britain was sparking renewed interest from overseas buyers in the Australian property market.
“House prices in London have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row,” Mr Piper said.
“It’s natural for investors to look for safe havens in times of uncertainty.
“Australia’s property market has consistently grown over the past decade and we’re seeing record house prices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
“It’s the perfect time for people to get their foot in the door and it’s a great time as a homeowner to explore your options, maybe make a move or stay the course.”
Kindred North Lakes principal Steve McDade said North Lakes was traditionally popular with expats from the UK.
Why? “Lifestyle,” Mr McDade said.
“North Lakes is a fabulous place to live — it’s very family orientated.
“There’s no political turmoil here!”
Cleveland on Brisbane’s bayside is also one of the most searched locations to buy property among the British.
Karen Renouf of LJ Hooker Cleveland said she had a steady stream of buyers coming from the UK.
Mrs Renouf, who is also British, said most people loved the lifestyle on the bayside and the contrast between it and England.
“By and large, when people arrive, they take very quickly and enthusiastically to the Australian lifestyle,” Mrs Renouf said.
“I consistently get the comment from (British) people that the fact you wake up 99 per cent of the time to blue sky and sunshine makes a big difference to your entire demeanour.
“They still wake up feeling like they’re vaguely on holiday.”
Brit Grant Payne and his girlfriend, Samantha Robinson, are looking to buy a house in Brisbane’s inner east.
Mr Payne, who recently moved to Brisbane from southeast London, said he would much rather be in Australia than the UK during the current political turmoil.
“It was kind of always my dream to move out here anyway, but with the uncertainty over there both in the financial markets and the housing market and the job market, it’s a pretty good time to be in sunnier climes — especially Brisbane where property is pretty steady and jobs are prosperous,” Mr Payne said.
“And being an Englishman, the weather is obviously a bonus!”
Nicole and Neil Gavin are hoping to sell their home in England before Brexit happens as they are concerned about the financial implications.
They are currently renting in Wilston with their two children, but recently bought a unit nearby.
“It’s one of the reasons we’ve decided to sell in the UK,” Mrs Gavin said.
“We’re concerned about what’s going to happen with the exchanger rate.”
Mrs Gavin said she also felt “very sad” about the political situation in her home country.
MOST SEARCHED AUSTRALIAN SUBURBS BY UK PROPERTY SEEKERS
1. NSW Byron Bay
2. NSW Manly
3. WA Fremantle
4. WA Secret Harbour
5. NSW Mosman
6. QLD Noosa Heads
7. NSW Bondi Beach
8. VIC St Kilda
9. WA Scarborough
10. VIC South Yarra
(Source: realestate.com.au, based on searches in December 2018)
MOST SEARCHED BRISBANE SUBURBS BY UK PROPERTY SEEKERS
1. New Farm
3. North Lakes
6. Kangaroo Point
7. West End
8. Macleay Island
9. St Lucia
(Source: realestate.com.au, based on searches in December 2018)
10 QLD HOMES TO BANISH THE BREXIT BLUES
1. 70 Sydney Ave, Camp Hill
This brand new Queenslander is around 10 times bigger than most London flats.
It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a backyard with an amazing outdoor entertaining area and pool for enjoying long sunny days — something unheard of in the UK.
And given it’s only 7km from Brisbane’s CBD, you won’t have to spend an hour on the London Underground network to get to work.
2. 54 Jasper St, Wellington Point
The Brits love Brisbane’s bayside, and you can see why with this beauty.
This huge five-bedroom, three-bathroom home comes with a built-in wet bar, rumpus room and double lockup garage with room for a boat to spend your weekends on the water.
You won’t find that in ‘Old Blighty’.
3. 14 Habitat Plc, Noosa Heads
Noosa Heads is the most searched Queensland location in the country among the Brits, according to realestate.com.au data.
This home is the stuff of dreams for a UK expat, with its tropical palm trees, big backyard and built-in barbecue — all on the doorstep of Noosa’s pristine beaches, national parks and boutique shopping and dining.
4. 175 Fernberg Rd, Paddington
Queenslander homes don’t get much grander than this dame.
Even the Queen would be suitably impressed with this landmark 1860s era property, with its sweeping city views, soaring pressed metal ceilings and lattice draped verandas.
As well as the main five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence, there’s also separate guest accommodation, a tennis court and gym.
5. 27 Erobin St, Cleveland
You’d be hard pressed to get a property like this for under $1 million in London.
Perched on a quarter acre block, this four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is Queensland living at its best.
Architect designed to take advantage of the climate and bayside breezes, this big family home feels far away from any political turmoil.
6. 100 Henderson St, Bulimba
For a true taste of the Queensland lifestyle, you can’t go past this charming home.
The VJ walls, timber floors and wraparound deck are features you just won’t find in a UK property.
And being only minutes from the Brisbane River and Oxford Street’s cafes and shops, you can see why Bulimba is one of the most searched suburbs among British property seekers.
7. 143 Highland Tce, St Lucia
The Brits love a good time and this house is an entertainer’s dream.
With five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a huge quarter acre block, there’s plenty of room to invite the relatives from overseas.
8. 34 Sandpiper Ave, North Lakes
The British apparently love the lifestyle in North Lakes and you can see why they’re hungry for properties like this.
Backing on to a lake in a golf course precinct, this four-bedroom home on a big 804 sqm block is being advertised for a steal at offers between $665,000 and $715,000.
9. 73 Chester St, New Farm
New Farm is the most searched Brisbane suburb among UK property seekers, according to realestate.com.au data.
This original Queenslander home is a rare listing on Teneriffe Hill, so British buyers better get to an inspection faster than it’s taking Brexit to happen.
Get ready for lots of barbecues on the back deck and backyard cricket.
10. 1/183 Middle St, Cleveland
You wouldn’t hear of it in the UK.
A five-bedroom character home with a big backyard and dual living potential for under $600,000?
That’s what you can get right now in Cleveland.