The Brisbane suburbs home owners never want to leave

It’s a tale that rings true for Middle Park resident Katrina Hartley, who purchased her four-bedroom house for $403,000 some 17 years ago. She hasn’t looked back since.


“When I originally bought this home I was a single mum, and trying to find the right place for my budget was a bit of a tall order. But prices in Middle Park were affordable compared to nearby blue-chip suburbs such as Westlake. Yet in comparison, Middle Park felt somehow easier to live in.

“There are multiple entrances and exits, it’s got all your essentials, there are buses, and they link us to the train network and there are nearby shopping centres.”

While the access to schools, shops and the city make the suburb a magnet for families, Hartley said it was the locals that made residents stay for decades, adding there were generations of families who called it home.

“There’s such a strong sense of community here in the 4074 postcode, it’s the kind of place where everyone helps each other out,” she said.

While she and her husband Dean had considered downsizing to the Sunshine Coast, they couldn’t face the idea of moving into a unit or leaving their friends behind.

Dean and Katrina Hartley love the community and amenity of Middle Park.

Dean and Katrina Hartley love the community and amenity of Middle Park.Credit: Glenn Hunt

“For us, community and friendship are everything, and we realised it would be silly to leave.”

It’s a sentiment that’s so often shared throughout the suburb that homes rarely hit the market.

“All my friends here, they’ve stayed in their homes for just as long. So while home values here didn’t shift for a very long time until COVID hit, those same properties that once sold for $500,000 are now selling for over $1 million,” Hartley said.


RE/MAX Ignite owner and broker Roxanne Workman has lived on and off in the 4074 postcode throughout her life and said the community was one of the city’s most tight-knit.

“My mum and dad built a home here back in 1972, and I went to school here and even met my husband at the high school”, she said.

“Back when I was a kid, the Centenary Highway was only one way and if you broke down on it, you could guarantee that your car would be up on blocks the next day and the tyres would be nicked.

“But now, it’s incredibly family orientated and everything is at your fingertips. You only have to look at the 4074 Facebook page [to see that sense of community].”

Workman said the diversity of houses – ranging from more affordable properties to large family houses and lifestyle properties on the river — was one reason people stayed in the suburb.

The sense of community was also behind longer hold times in Wishart, but so was the central location and sluggish price growth before 2020, said Ray White Rochedale director Zishaan Omar.

“Before COVID, you could still buy a house here for $500,000. Prices stagnated for years, so it was a challenge for a lot of families because if they sold, where could they afford to move to? But since the pandemic we’ve seen tremendous growth and that has fuelled more recent transactions,” Omar said.

“Many people here only sell when they’re looking to downsize or if they have to … and most of them purchased 30 years ago.”

The shortest hold times were in Russell Island, Pallara, Ripley and Logan, where residents resold in less than 3.3 years.

CoreLogic’s Owen said the decline in hold periods in lower socioeconomic areas could be due to rising mortgage stress.

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