The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

So, if you are considering a Queensland property to call home; what can you enjoy doing whilst living in this beautiful state? Keep reading as we take a deep dive into everything you need to know about living in Queensland and some tips for buying property there.

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021
The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Queensland is the second largest and the third-most populated state in Australia. Queensland is also referred to as the Sunshine State due to its tropical climate, beautiful islands, breath-taking mountain ranges, legendary sandy beaches, lush rainforests, and it is also home to the largest coral reef in the world ‘the Great Barrier Reef’. Queensland is also well known for its exceptional wildlife sanctuaries and amusement parks, as well as its thriving nightlife with bars and restaurants to be discovered in Brisbane City, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

This article will focus on three most populated areas in Queensland which includes; Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

 

What can you do in Queensland?

Sunshine Coast

For the animal lovers, the Sunshine Coast region boasts notable wildlife parks including; the Australia Zoo which is home to over 1,200 different species and has become extremely popular due to the Australian icon Steve Irwin and his family. Another notable animal park that is somewhat of a hidden gem is the Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World which hosts over 700 birds and features an idyllic rainforest with lakes, plants, waterfalls and showcases views of the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains.

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the Glass House Mountains National Park which consists of 16 magnificent peaks with scenic walkways and echidnas, wallabies and peregrine falcons, the fastest animal in the world are found in the park. Noosa National Park is also popular due its picturesque coastline which is on full display along the Noosa Heads walkway and is home to glossy-black cockatoos, koalas and red goshawks which are the rarest Australian bird of prey.  

The Sunshine Coast is renowned for its beaches with Kings Beach in Caloundra, Mooloolaba Beach in Maroochydore and Noosa Main Beach in Noosa Heads being the best of the bunch to visit. 

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Urban’s pick for the best restaurant in the Sunshine Coast region is the acclaimed Bistro C located in Noosa. Bistro C is positioned on the beachfront of the beautiful Laguna bay and serves an award-winning cuisine inspired by the incredible local produce of the Sunshine Coast.   

Also, for those willing to further their education, the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) based in the suburb of Sippy Downs is a public university which offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in seven study areas. In last year’s 2020 Student Experience Survey, USC was within the top five universities in Australia for teaching quality and in the top six for overall student experience.

Brisbane

For those wanting to get up close and personal with some iconic Australian animals, Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is for you. Lone Pine has over 70 species of Australian native animals to discover and is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary in the world. It gives its visitors the opportunity to feed kangaroos and meet koalas. 

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens which features 52 hectares of Australian natives and collections of plants found around the world. Mount Coot-Tha Summit Lookout is also a must-visit boasting the best views of the CBD and other Brisbane landmarks. Mount Coot-Tha reserve is Brisbane city’s largest natural area and contains more than 1600 hectares of eucalypt forest, waterfalls, walking tracks and mountain bike trails. 

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Also, South Bank Parklands is Brisbane’s premier cultural and lifestyle destination which spans over 17 hectares of land and offers free swimming facilities, plenty of places to eat, picnic areas, walking tracks and hosts tremendous events throughout the year.

The best way to get around Brisbane is by jumping on a City Hopper which is free and travels up and down the Brisbane River dropping off travellers to the most important destinations in the city.

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Urbans pick for best restaurant in Brisbane goes to the Sono Japanese Restaurant found in the Portside Wharf. Sono overlooks the mighty Brisbane river and serves a modern Japanese cuisine, with a teppanyaki bar and a sake tasting menu.   

Brisbane offers the best in tertiary education with the two-major public universities being the University of Queensland (QU) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). QU is located in the suburb of Saint Lucia alongside and is ranked the 5th best university in Australia (QS World University Rankings 2021). QU is also the 2nd best university in the world for sports-related sciences and 3rd best for mineral & mining engineering (QS Subject Area Rankings 2021). QUT is found in Brisbane City and is ranked the 13th best university in Australia.

Gold Coast  

Gold Coast is well known for its theme parks, in particular; Sea World which is a marine mammal park with animal exhibits and rides. Warner Bros. Movie World is the only film-related theme park in Australia and operates the fastest, longest and tallest roller coaster in Australia. Wet’n’Wild is a water park with heated pools and waterslides.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is one the first nature-based attractions in Queensland and is famous for its feeding of wild rainbow lorikeets that flock to the park. Currumbin also has one of the largest walk-through aviaries in the Southern Hemisphere and lays home to one of the largest collections of Australian native species in the world.

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Gold Coast is famed for its beautiful beaches with Burleigh Heads Beach, Coolangatta Beach and Surfers Paradise Beach being the most popular.  

The outdoorsy types will love Tamborine Mountain which is found in the Gold Coast hinterlands. Tamborine is home to beautiful waterfalls, glow worm and food & wine experiences, stunning national parks and rainforests and the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens.

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Urban's pick for the best restaurant in the Gold Coast goes to the Citrique Restaurant located in the Marriott Gold Coast Resort. Citrique has a reputation for delivering unique dining experiences with amazing breakfast and seafood buffets. 

Gold Coast has two amazing universities; Bond University and Griffith University. Bond University is located in the suburb of Robina and was listed in the global top 20 best small universities in the world (Times Higher Education, 2020). Griffith University is located in Southport and was ranked 18th best university in Australia (QS World University Rankings, 2021) and is globally ranked the 2nd best in Nursing/Midwifery, the 3rd best in Hospitality/Tourism Management and the 8th best in Marine/Ocean Engineering.

 

When do tourists visit Queensland the most?

The majority of tourists visit Queensland during the middle of the year between the months of June and August when there is the least rain and the weather is at its best. During these months of the year accommodation may become more expensive due to the amount of bookings.

 

What suburbs are best to invest in?

Buderim    

The best suburb to invest in on the Sunshine Coast at the moment is in the suburb of Buderim. Buderim is a beautiful suburb which has amazing views of Maroochydore and Mooloolaba beach which is only a quick 15-minute drive away. The suburb contains tranquil rainforests and mountain bike and walking trails and high-quality schools including Matthew Flinders Anglican College which was ranked the best high school in the Sunshine Coast. Buderim is a suburb of high demand with median house prices going for $665,000 and has had an increase of 4.89% in its median price over the past year.

Take a look at this 3-bedroom Buderim townhouse for only $575,000.

Newstead

Newstead is one of Brisbane’s most sought after suburbs and is located only 3 kilometers away from Brisbane's CBD. The inner-city suburb is situated alongside the sparkling Brisbane River and has a myriad of commercial, entertainment and lifestyle hubs. Newstead also gives residents access to quality employment opportunities and has a strong cafe culture. 

Bide is a new high-rise apartment tower in Newstead, which contains 89 residences and is due to be completed in early 2023. All residences have floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies with a 270 degree view of the Brisbane city skyline. Also all residents are given exclusive access to the Bide Garden which contains 600 square metres of lush gardens, BBQ facilities and private cabanas spanning across two floors.  

Bide's two bedroom apartments are starting from $635,000.

Woolloongabba

Woolloongabba is a thriving suburb with excellent dining, entertainment and retail options. The suburb is home of The Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground) which hosts AFL and cricket matches, concerts and will be the centerpiece to the 2032 Summer Olympics. Woolloongabba is also a very walkable suburb and is well connected to Brisbane’s CBD (10 minutes by train) and the South Bank Parklands (8 minutes by train).

Silk Lane is a new residential apartment tower with 306 residences, which is estimated to be completed in 2024. 

Silk Lane's two bedroom apartments are starting from $545,000.

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is a coastal suburb in the heart of the Gold Coast. Surfers is known for its breath-taking beaches, entertainment and shopping centres and sky-rise apartments. Surfers Paradise median house prices are quite expensive currently at $1,965,000 but the increase in median house prices since the previous year has been astronomical with an increase of 24%.

Chevron One is a new residential development with 236 residences over 40 floors, which is to be completed mid-year 2023. Apartments are spacious and have large terraces with stunning uninterrupted views of the pacific ocean. Residents can also enjoy exclusive resort style amenities, including an outdoor lagoon pool with a floating cinema.

Chevron One's two bedroom apartments are starting from $1,016,500.

 

What are the top property developers based in Queensland?

Ausbuild 

Ausbuild has more than three decades of experience and has built 76 residential communities and 8,996 sustainable homes through the South-East Queensland region. Ausbuild is based out of the suburb of Capalaba, QLD and has 5 project listings with Urban in Queensland.

Gardner Vaughan Group 

Gardner Vaughan Group is an award-winning property development and building company based out of the suburb of NUNDAH, QLD. Gardner Vaughan has over 20 years of industry experience, with the last 10 years primarily focusing on developing apartments and townhouses. Gardner Vaughn has 10 project listings with Urban in QLD.

Morris Property Group

The Morris Property Group is an industry leader in property development, with two offices in Barton, ACT and Mermaid Beach, QLD. With over four decades of industry experience, Morris Property has built more than 65 commercial and residential properties in the states of ACT (Canberra), Queensland (Brisbane and the Gold Coast) and Victoria (Geelong). Morris Property has 6 project listings with Urban in Queensland. 

Philip Usher Constructions 

Philip Usher Constructions was established in 1987 and continues to be an industry leader in high-rise construction, industrial building and townhouse development throughout South-East Queensland. Philip Usher has an office in Hillcrest, QLD and has 5 project listings with Urban in QLD. 

 

What are Queensland Stamp Duty Rules?

Stamp duty (a.k.a. transfer duty) is a once-off tax that will need to be paid to the Queensland Government every time someone purchases or is transferred vacant land or property. 

How much is it?

Stamp duty fees will differ depending on the purchase price of property/vacant land and is calculated via a scale (i.e. the more expensive the property, the larger the stamp duty fee). First-Home Buyers and Home concessions reduce the amount of stamp duty needed to be paid and are available to those purchasing their first property or section of land and those who are purchasing a property that they will live in for more than a year.

Standard Stamp Duty Rates

Those who are purchasing an Investment Property or vacant land (valued over $5,000) and aren’t eligible to a first home-buyer or home concession, the following stamp duty fees will apply:

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Example: If someone purchases an Investment Property for $700,000 without a first-home buyer discount, they will have to pay $24,525 in stamp duty.

This is how the duty is calculated: $17,325 (for the first $540,000) + $7,200 ($4.50 for every $100 in $160,000, the balance above $540,000) = $24,525.

Home Concession

Those who are purchasing a home to live in and are eligible for the home concession discount, the following stamp duty fees will apply: 

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

Home Concession Criteria: You must live in the property as your principal place of residence within one year of settlement. You must not sell or lease any part of your property before moving in. If you lease or sell the property within one year, a partial concession may be applied.

Example: If someone purchases a home to live in for $1.1 Million and are eligible for a home concession discount, they will have to pay $36,600 in stamp duty.  

This is how the duty is calculated: $30,850 (for the first $1 Million) + $5,750 ($5.75 for every $100 in $100,000, the balance above $1 Million) = $36,600.

First-Home Buyers Concession

Those who are purchasing a home to live in and are eligible for the first-home buyers concession on top of the home concession discount (on properties under $550,000), the following is deducted from the concession rate:

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

First-Home Buyers Concession Criteria: You have never claimed the first home or first home vacant land concessions. You have never owned an Australian or Overseas residence. You must move into the property within one year of settlement. You must be over 18. You must not sell or lease the property before moving in. If you lease or sell the property within one year, a partial concession may be applied.

Example: If someone purchases a home to live in for $525,000 and are eligible to a home concession and first-home buyers concession, they will have to pay $5,250 in stamp duty. 

This how the duty is calculated: $3,500 (for the first $350,000) + [$6,125 ($3.50 for every $100 in $175,000, the balance above $350,000) - $4,375 (concession amount for homes valued between $525,000 to $529,999.99)] = $5,250.

First-Home Buyers Vacant Land Concession

Those who are buying vacant land to build their home and are eligible to a first-home vacant land concession (land valued between $250,000 - $400,000), the following is deducted from the stamp duty:

The ultimate guide to buying off-the-plan property in Queensland in 2021

First-Home Vacant Land Concession Criteria: You have never claimed the first home or first home vacant land concessions. You have never owned an Australian/Overseas residence. You must build and move into the property within 2 years of settlement. You must only build one home on the land. You must be over 18. You must not sell or lease the property before moving in. If you lease or sell the property within one year, a partial concession may be applied.

Example: If someone purchases vacant land for $350,000 and is eligible to a first-home vacant land concession, they will have to pay $8,250 in stamp duty. 

This how the duty is calculated: $1,050 (for the first $75,000) + [$9,625 (3.50 for every $100 in $275,000, the balance over $75,000) - $2,425 (concession amount for land valued between $350,000 to $359,999.99)] = $8,250

For more information about stamp duty visit the Queensland’s Government website.

Davis Gale

Davis Gale

Davis Gale is a writer and digital content creator at urban.com.au. Davis has recently graduated from the University of Canterbury where he specialised in marketing.

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Queensland Sunshine Coast Brisbane Gold Coast

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