With 20 years experience in property and finance Sean concentrates on the fundamentals of strategic property investment.
It’s hard not to think of Springfield without thinking of everyone’s favourite yellow haired, animated nuclear family. But unlike the world of the cartoon Simpsons, Springfield in Queensland is in no danger of being hit by hurricanes, acid rain, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, or any of the many natural disasters that have beset the TV show.
Springfield, Queensland is near Ipswich and only twenty minutes west of Brisbane. It’s a lovely mix of suburbia, cutting edge innovation and high tech industries but also surrounded by tranquil lakes, parks and bushland.
It has a very curious history. Greater Springfield is one of Australia’s few planned cities. Created in 1997 on 7000 vacant acres, the city is Australia’s largest master planned community and the tenth largest globally. In 2015 it won the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s national award for best master planned development.
Greater Springfield is Australia’s largest master planned community and the tenth largest globally.
Consequently it has been carefully founded on high levels of infrastructure, health services, education and IT and innovation. Springfield was seen as something of a social experiment at the time. Now, twenty years later, it’s proven to be a roaring success.
It’s one of Australia’s fastest growing cities and has a population of 32,000 which is forecast to reach 138,000 by 2030. That’s a stunning increase that demonstrates how popular the area is.
Both federal and state governments are investing in Springfield.
It has also attracted investors. Since its foundation, over $12 billion has been pumped into it by both private and public stakeholders.
Both federal and state governments have been highly active in investing in Springfield. For example:
A new university, the University of Southern Queensland, which has just opened. This cost $45 million to build. It’s community plan won several awards.
Two main train stations and $1.2 billion investment into transport by Queensland and the Commonwealth governments.
The newly opened Mater Private hospital at a cost of $85 million for stage one.
Impression of the proposed $6 billion apartment complex
It’s not just government but commercial investors are showing faith in the area. GE Australia has based its headquarters in Springfield and a proposed $550 million Dusit Thani Resort to open in 2017. Meanwhile Springfield Land Corporation has unveiled a plan for a $6 billion, 10,000 apartment complex which will radically boost population and change the face of the city.
Heavy investment in railways and roads mean that for most residents of Greater Springfield, commuting to Brisbane CBD is highly possible. In fact it’s only 40 minutes by rail or 32 minutes by road, making it very attractive for young families and professionals.
Brisbane is enjoying strong capital growth and QBE BIS Shrapnel predict it will outperform Sydney and Melbourne in the next few years.
Springfield has been a quiet achiever for many years but its slowly building a reputation as an excellent place to invest. The median house price is $408,000, compared to Brisbane, which has a median house price of $532,000. And for 2017, 29 Brisbane suburbs are tipped to have their house prices rise, including the Springfield area.
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This shows that Springfield is beautifully placed to cash in on the Brisbane property boom. It has houses that are more affordable, coupled with a highly appealing capital growth. You could think of it as being like Newcastle or Wollongong, a regional outlier to a main capital city. Except that Springfield is even closer to a capital city and far more self-contained. So it’s more like Parramatta or Cronulla in terms of distance.
What makes Springfield so special is that it’s a classic example of a well-developed micro city. The thought and planning that went into laying out the infrastructure and the education and innovation hubs are visionary details that pay off once the city hits a large population level. Now, 20 years later, the population is there and the rewards are truly reaping dividends.
As an investment opportunity, Springfield is definitely worth considering and it’s unlikely to slow down any time in the near future. Who knows, its upward trajectory and longevity may well be as strong as the animated town of Springfield itself.
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