Brisbane's Best Suburbs for First-Time Home Buyers

Reviewed by Christina Penrose

Perhaps you're dreaming of living a stone's throw from Brisbane's own beach at South Bank. Maybe you're looking for pockets of the capital city where you can easily get back to nature. You've been searching for a renovation project opportunity in proximity to train stations. Or, perhaps you want to find a neighbourhood where the kids can have free range to roam while still being close enough to shops and other amenities? If there's something Brisbane has in spades, it's diversity. 

With interstate migration to the Sunshine State rising along with property prices and interest rates, it can be daunting for first-time home buyers to navigate the property market. But affordable Brisbane, with its booming economy and plentiful amenities, can offer an ideal location for all sorts of buyers. 

From inner-city convenience to suburban cosiness and calm, let's take a look at Brisbane's best suburbs in terms of capital growth, lifestyle and price tag for those stepping onto the property ladder for the first time. 

1. Paddington: Close to modern conveniences

Nothing says Brisbane more than living in a quintessential Queenslander-style home, and some of the most beautiful examples of the style can be found in Paddington. 

Although the suburb is rich in history, Paddington is far from being stuck in the past, with some of Brisbane's trendiest cafés and restaurants all within walking distance. The CBD is within walking distance too, so if convenience is a priority, Paddington is the ideal place to settle down. 

However, leafy, breezy Paddington is a tightly held suburb with a median house price of $1,700,000, so you'll need to be a serious house hunter if you want to make this patch of paradise your home. 

Bowen Hills

Image credit: Urban.com.au

2. Bowen Hills: Move on up in this booming market

With Brisbane in the midst of an infrastructure boom, high-rise living should be on the radar for first-home buyers who want to be among it all. 

Living in Bowen Hills places residents close to workplaces in the CBD and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, entertainment precincts at nearby Fortitude Valley, and transport links, including the soon-to-be-opened Ekka train station. 

The median price of apartments in Bowen Hills is $435,000. However, with billions of dollars more worth of government infrastructure projects and private investment planned for the coming years, including the mega mixed-used Millennium Square Precinct, you can expect the opportunities to continue to grow in Bowen Hills.

Restaurant in Milton, Brisbane

Image credit: MustDoBrisbane.com

3. Milton: Everything on your doorstep

Paddington's next-door neighbour, Milton, has some of Brisbane's best dining, bars and nightlife experiences. Being that it's the home of Suncorp Stadium, Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, XXXX Brewery and The Arena play space at Frew Park, it's the perfect capital city suburb for those who like to work, rest and play. 

Close to the Indooroopilly shopping centre and just 3km to the CBD, it has a median house price of $1,300,000. However, a growing number of apartment buildings, with a median price of $480,000, makes Milton an affordable suburb to start your climb up the property ladder. 

Rocklea Markets

Image credit: MoorookaNews.com.au

4. Rocklea: Growing out of its industrial roots 

It could be said that Rocklea, home to Brisbane’s largest food, plant and lifestyle market, is a foodies’ paradise.

With a median property price of $510,000 and just 13km from the CBD, savvy home buyers would do well to snap up a bargain in burgeoning Rocklea. 

While the south-side suburb has an industrial feel, it's undergoing gentrification and is already home to plenty of funky cafés and Brisbane’s biggest flower market. So, if you’ve been looking for your first home for a while, you’ll come up smelling of roses by looking at Rocklea.

Kenmore Shopping Village, Brisbane

Image credit: Wikipedia.org

5. Kenmore: Suburban living close to nature

What Kenmore lacks in a train line, it makes up with green space and gardens. However, traffic isn't a problem with the Kenmore Park N Ride, making the 13km trip into the CBD easy for city workers. Best of all, Kenmore feels further away from the hustle and bustle than it really is, thanks to its large, leafy suburban blocks. 

Ideal for families, Kenmore's median house price of $1,140,000 means first-home buyers can get value for money and stick to their mortgage budget with houses that tick all the boxes. 

Image Credit: MustDoBrisbane.com

6. Chapel Hill: Quiet, leafy, and family-oriented

Nestled between Indooroopilly and Kenmore, a home in park-filled Chapel Hill is a peaceful purchase and a chance to become part of a community. With quiet residential streets and a plethora of parks, Chapel Hill is the ideal place to raise a family or enjoy a quiet life.

Close to major roads heading north and south, Chapel Hill has plenty of potential schools for the family to help you avoid a long morning commute. And with a median house price of $1,200,000, there are plenty of reasons the Chapel Hill community should be up for consideration.

Bellbird Park, Brisbane

Image credit: SmartProperyInvestment.com.au

7. Bellbird Park: Brisbane real estate's hidden gem 

Although it’s located in the Ipswich council area, the family-friendly suburb of Bellbird Park is just a short 30-minute drive to the Brisbane CBD. With a mix of new and established homes, this hidden gem is quickly becoming a hot spot. 

Nestled close to the bustling suburbs of Brookwater and Springfield Lakes, there are plenty of amenities locally. The suburb also features fantastic educational institutions, including a brand new primary school and the University of Southern Queensland close by. 

The median house price is $610,000, but with billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure in the coming years, first-time home buyers will need to act fast to bag a bargain. 

Anstead, Brisbane

Image credit: LocalLista.com.au

8. Anstead: A rural oasis with lots of room to grow

Acreage living of this calibre so close to a city centre is practically unheard of in the rest of Australia. With large blocks of land and spacious houses, Anstead is the sort of place where locals ride horses and you're surrounded by bushland.

With little development but all the modern conveniences, such as bus service and retail options within easy reach, Anstead is the perfect location for a first-home buyer looking for a property that offers peace and quiet.

With house prices around the $1,500,000 mark, living within half an hour's drive of the city is possible.

Ashgrove QLD

9. Ashgrove: A suburb with strong community ties

Just 7km north of Queensland's capital, Ashgrove is a desirable location for a first-home buyer thanks to its family feel and community spirit. 

With tree-lined streets, plenty of parks and schools, and beautiful heritage properties, Ashgrove has all the appeal of suburban living while still being within cycling and walking distance of the city and necessary amenities. Although not close to a train station, getting around is easy thanks to Great Circle Line buses as well as the various walking and cycle tracks. 

Housing options also extend to apartments and units, many of which offer fantastic city views. The median unit price in Ashgrove is $620,000 and $1,610,000 for homes. 

Bardon Markets, Bardon, Brisbane

Image credit: MustDoBrisbane.com

10. Bardon: Green suburbia with creative flair

As popular with young professionals as the artistic community, Bardon is also the best place to live in Brisbane if you own a dog. 

Set in the foothills of Mount Coot-tha, but just 6km from the CBD, Bardon offers incredible views from heritage-style homes resting on hilly streets. If you'd like a park within your neighbourhood, Bardon is the place to be, with a series of interconnected green spaces to explore throughout the suburb.  

While this quiet suburb is not particularly close to some amenities, transport links make this an easy location to fall in love with. The median house price in Bardon is $1,635,000. 

We know Brisbane like the back of our hand

Brisbane real estate offers far more diversity from acreage blocks to apartments than other markets. It's also more affordable. Before you get a mortgage and invest in your own piece of Brisbane real estate for the first time, you should consider the area's potential growth, the current amenities, transport links and future development.

Before buying your first home, it also pays to get in touch with a real estate professional who knows the unique intricacies of the Brisbane real estate market and can provide you with valuable insights garnered from many years of experience. Grant and Christina Penrose are two such agents with more than 60 years of combined experience. Get in touch with Penrose Real Estate today to find out how we can make your search easier and get you a better result for your first home.