Just like the suburb of the same name in Sydney, Brisbane’s Paddington is a trendy inner-city hub full of boutique shops, great dining options, and sought-after housing.
The sunny suburb, just two kilometers from the center of the city, has long been gentrified, with its many workers’ cottages and grand old Queenslanders having been fully renovated.
This revitalization, along with Paddington’s soaring popularity due to the amenity on offer and proximity to the CBD, have transformed it into an aspirational location for buyers.
Paddington has experienced huge price growth, with its median house price now sitting at $ 1.55 million, according to PropTrack, while the median unit price is 570,000.
Buyers wanting a similar feel to Paddington but at a more affordable price point are now looking further from the city, with the up-and-coming Stafford and neighboring Everton Park on the northside now tipped to be ‘the next Paddington’.
These suburbs, less than 10km from the CBD, are central to both the city and Brisbane Airport, with good transport networks including the Airport Link tunnel, as well as bus and train connections.
As younger people move into these areas, gentrification is rocketing along, with homes being done up and improving local amenity.
The result is that Stafford and Everton Park are developing a very hip vibe, with a foodie culture to boot.
Paddington is one of Brisbane’s most prestigious suburbs – and comes with a hefty price tag to match. Picture: Getty
New retail offerings
Stafford is undergoing big change, with one of the major growth drivers being the change in the retail landscape, particularly with new foodie precincts, according to Craig Hogg, managing director of The Edge Property Buyers.
“Along Stafford Road, there used to be shopping centers that were rundown and decrepit but now there are little foodie precincts, including at Everton Park, which is a pretty cool change,” Mr Hogg said.
Everton Park’s foodie precinct, Park Lane at Everton Plaza, has funky restaurants and cafes including Mai Gai, Spotted Cod, Corbett & Claude, and even a rooftop bar called Tetto.
Everton Park has become seriously cool thanks to a host of new hospitality venues, including rooftop bar Tetto. Picture: Tetto
In Stafford, there have also been improvements to the retail amenity, including new eateries Oh Boy, Bok Choy and King Of The Wings in a precinct on Stafford Road.
It’s in this spot that LJ Hooker Stafford principal Richard Mirosch said it’s rumored a bar operator is also sniffing around.
There’s also coffee roasters and a microbrewery in the suburb, near the Stafford City shopping center, which has also been upgraded.
Stafford is also upping the hospitality stakes with a whole host of new offerings. Picture: Oh Boy, Bok Choy
It’s all reminiscent of the foodie offerings on Paddington’s Latrobe Terrace, Mr Mirosch said.
“People don’t realize how much there is around the Stafford area now,” he said.
The new foodie and retail precincts in Everton Park and Stafford appeal to a new crowd, as older generations move out and young professionals move in, he said.
The median age for both suburbs is in the mid-30s, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
“They’ve gone from being fairly working-class kind of suburbs to a more affluent demographic,” Mr Mirosch said.
This four-bedroom home at 17 Barellan Street in Stafford is a stunning example of a recently renovated property. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
PRD chief economist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said Stafford has a lot of commercial development taking place, with these projects making up 75 per cent of the $ 140.55 million in total projects in the suburb this year.
“In contrast, in 2020 and 2021, there were only $ 2.9 million and $ 5.5 million respectively dedicated to commercial development in Stafford,” she said.
“This change in higher commercial development is evident of a new demographic entering the area – and attracting more people in the area – creating demand for new retail stores, new jobs, and commercial space.”
Home improvements galore
The price point for Stafford and Everton Park has “dramatically” risen, according to Mr Hogg.
“Stafford is a middle-of-the-range suburb that is becoming premium,” he explained.
“A year ago, a rundown post-war house was in the $ 600,000s, and now that will buy a townhouse, with houses around $ 1 million now.”
Despite the growth, the median house price in both suburbs is around half that of Paddington, with Everton Park sitting at $ 810,000 – more than $ 700,000 cheaper – while Stafford, slightly closer to the city, is a little higher at $ 870,000, according to PropTrack.
Despite the reno frenzy, there are still plenty of fixer-uppers, like this older home on an elevated block at 129 Pullen Road in Everton Park. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
As younger people move in, a lot of the older housing stock – consisting largely of 1950s weatherboard houses, with some brick homes built after the 1980s – is being done up, which is improving the look and feel of the suburb, Mr Mirosch said.
In Stafford in particular, he said there is quality and flood-free land, much of which is elevated and some of which has city views.
“Most of the houses are post-war houses so they can be demolished and replaced, as well as renovated,” he said.
“In Stafford, a substantial renovation used to be doing a kitchen, bathroom and adding a deck, but now you’re finding buyers are raising houses and building big two-level houses.
“They’re confident homes are going to hold high values in the future so they are spending the money.”
Brisbane’s market is running hot but there are good opportunities for growth. Picture: Getty
He said older homes in Stafford and Everton Park are being purchased for 800,000 or $ 900,000, and the following demolition were being replaced with houses worth up to the high $ 2 million mark.
“People want to be living close to the city and the entry price is so affordable at that distance to the city.”
While units are more affordable, houses provide the best opportunity to capitalize on future growth to come in the area.
“Houses in Stafford and Everton Park are likely to keep increasing in price due to a low supply and exponential demand,” Dr Mardiasmo said.
How quickly will the transformation occur?
The change happening in Stafford and Everton Park is well overdue, according to Mr Mirosch.
“I’ve worked in Stafford for 20 to 30 years now and I thought this would happen a long time ago, but it’s certainly coming into its own now,” he said.
Transformation and gentrification are underway, meaning pads like 259 Webster Road in Stafford are ripe for improvement. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
Since they’re in the process of being gentrified, Stafford and Everton Park will continue to transform for some time, with more growth in prices to come, he predicts.
Moving forward, the mid to long-term growth drivers are gentrification, infrastructure, proximity to the city and the airport, and the growth in retail and foodie hubs, according to Mr Hogg.
Aus Property Professionals Managing Director Lloyd Edge said Stafford and Everton Park started to experience significant change in 2019 before the pandemic, but the transformation really started to move along over the past 12 months.
“There is a lot more to come over the years, particularly now with the Olympics coming, there will be more infrastructure being built in the area,” he said.
“Everton Park is one of these suburbs, along with Stafford, that will become prime real estate territory moving forward.”