Families: Where to buy with up to $1.5m in every Qld region in 2023

MEDIAN property values may have softened across parts of Queensland but prices remain above the pre-pandemic property boom.

But that also means that there are now 373 suburbs within reach of a family budget of between $750,000 and $1.5 million, with many previously cheaper suburbs having being pushed up into the next price bracket.

And they range from inner-city Brisbane suburbs to coveted beachside suburbs and emerging regional hot spots.

But as buyers struggle to navigate the current property market amid rising interest rates and living costs, it can be difficult to know where to look.

So we asked some of Queensland’s property titans to reveal their suburb picks for 2023 for families with a moderate budget to spend from the southeast corner to Cairns, and everywhere in between.

Those experts included Ray White Qld CEO Jason Andrew (JA), Belle Property Qld boss Jon Iceton (JI), LJ Hooker Qld general manager Stephen Mutton (SM), McGrath National Manager (Sales) Troy Malcolm, Harcourts CEO Mitch Peereboom and Place managing director Sarah Hackett (SM), Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder (TR), plus a range of local agents.

Here are their picks for 2023 for families.



Buyers within this price range now have 211 suburbs with median house prices within their reach. That’s 100 more than in January last year, proving just how many new suburbs have tipped into higher brackets.


Wavell Heights. Large blocks, many of which have views to the city. Predominantly post-war homes with no character control, allowing owners to build their dream homes in a suburb that has the retail hub of Chermside close by. (SM)

Albion. This is a hidden pocket of inner north Brisbane. These days it’s got a warehouse bar, distillery, a cake boutique, funky cafes, farmers market, a mammoth rum bar, Chinese temple and even a restaurant with secret butcher shop entrance. Well worth a look. (JA)

Sandgate. Just 19km from Brisbane city central, this bayside suburb is filled with renovated character homes on the arch of Moreton Bay. Well-renowned for its great schooling, parks and recreation areas. Sandgate has a high owner occupancy with over 38 per cent of locals being couples with children. (JI)

Wavell Heights. Everything for families is at their fingertips, including beautiful parks, Chermside shopping centre, and easy access to the CBD. Some beautiful renovations and iconic Queenslander homes. (SH)

Stafford/Stafford Heights. Stafford and Stafford Heights, only 8kms from the CBD, offer excellent value compared to the more affluent Grange and Gordon Park. Families love the bike paths, parkland, retail and cafes. (TM)

Stafford. A thriving suburb with many owners investing in smart renovations. The average sale price has exploded and with its proximity to the city there is still upside. (MP)

20 Charlotte Street, Wavell Heights, sold for $1.45m
20 Charlotte Street, Wavell Heights, sold for $1.45m



Annerley. Lots of well-kept Queenslanders attract buyers who are keen on character. But it’s also a nexus for infrastructure with the Dutton Park train station nearby and Ipswich Road providing easy access around the southern suburbs. (SM)

Woolloongabba. The Gabba is a vibe. It’s where colonial Queenslander cottages mix it with old warehouses and state-of-the-art new apartment blocks, just a stone’s throw from Brisbane’s CBD. Home to historic Russian and Eastern European churches, ethnic grocers, coffee roasteries and the hallowed ground of the Gabba, there are many faces to this happening inner city suburb. And it will be home to the Olympic Stadium and the Cross River Rail.

Wishart. Fourteen kilometres southeast of the CBD, an excellent opportunity exists here to buy a good house on smaller block in this very strong growth corridor. The median age group 39 and, according to realestate.com, searches for this suburb are 2.5 times higher than the Queensland average. (JI)

Mount Gravatt East. Less than 9km to the CBD, it is a suburb that is transforming with many stunning renovations. Plenty of parks, great schools and close to Garden City shopping centre. (SH)

Woolloongabba. Woolloongabba will be home to the main Olympic stadium and its station will form part of the new Cross River Rail project. There are excellent investment opportunities here. (TM)

Shailer Park. Shailer Park was once had the price point of a first homebuyer suburb but has matured into booming suburb. Considering the prices surrounding suburbs it would make sense to invest here. (MP)



Thornlands. Large allotments and homes with quality schools such as Sheldon College and the employment base of Redlands Hospital nearby. (SM)

Cannon Hill. Cannon Hill is a great emerging suburb of Brisbane. Well located with cafes and convenience shopping everything is on the doorstep of this suburb. With great schools such as CHAC (Cannon Hill Anglican College) & St Oliver Plunkett, it is an ideal suburb for young and growing families. (JA)

Morningside. Just 5kms east of the CBD, this is an in-demand suburb that benefits from the neighbouring suburbs, shopping, schools and amenities, with an annual capital growth of over 34 per cent. Rail and minutes from CBD. (JI)

Murarrie. Close to some of Brisbane’s most iconic suburbs, Murarrie offers a plethora of dining and cafe options, parks and affordable opportunity to live the Brisbane river lifestyle. (SH)

Morningside. Morningside attracts professional couples and families showing great value compared to neighbouring Hawthorne and Bulimba. It’s only 5 kilometres from the CBD. (TM)

71 Erica Street, Cannon Hill, sold for $1.145m
71 Erica Street, Cannon Hill, sold for $1.145m



St Lucia. Leafy suburb where homeowners take great pride in their homes. Excellent schools and the university attract a lot of professionals. (SM)

Auchenflower. Auchenflower in Brisbane’s inner west is renowned for its sprawling ornate Queenslanders perched on steep narrow streets threading through its leafy hills but it is also home to some great restaurants, a chic bar, quaint croquet club and one of Brisbane’s spookiest villas. Well loved by families for its easy access to the city and great schools. (JA)

Chapel Hill. 11 km from CBD, easy motorway access, median age group of suburb is 41. Great blend of renovated post war homes and some new builds, backing right onto the Mt-Coot-tha foothills. Great for families liking the outdoors, hiking or mountain biking only minutes from the Indooroopilly shopping centre (JI)

Graceville. Located around 8km from the CBD, Graceville is a thriving little community close to the Brisbane River. With so much diversity, the suburb has some historic Colonial, Queenslander, post-war, and grand modern homes with opportunity for renovation. (SH)

Toowong. Toowong has an exciting town centre with a new mixed-use urban community. Families love the transport and schooling options and its access to Coronation Drive River Walk. (TM)



Twelve months ago, a budget of $1.5 million could buy a family a home in all but three regional Queensland suburbs. Now, 35 suburbs are out of reach on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, but further north, this budget could comfortably get you a home in the prestige suburbs in Cairns, Townsville and the Mackay/Whitsundays.


Ormeau. The suburb has been one of the star performers on the Coast, with sales above $900,000 becoming more regular. Families are drawn to large allotments, access to the M1 and the employment hub of Yatala. (SM)

Benowa. Benowa is a thriving suburb of the Gold Coast – it has a mix of residences, parkland and amenities available. There are a number of great schools – Benowa Primary, Benowa High, St Kevin’s Primary school, the daycare centres are also popular with families. (JA)

Palm Beach. Located between the thriving suburbs of Burleigh and Currumbin, this suburb has a busy cafe culture and lifestyle strip right on the beach that is always in high demand. The resurgence of this Gold Coast icon suburb continues to provide exceptional value and embraces everything the coast lifestyle has to offer. (JI)

Mermaid Waters. Large blocks, minutes from some of Australia’s best beaches and restaurants, Mermaid Waters is fantastically located. Pacific Fair and Q Supercentre are just down the road, and there are numerous parks and great schools nearby. (SH)

Reedy Creek. Reedy Creek boasts excellent schools and family amenities. There’s quality housing, lots of green space and easy access to the M1. (TM)

89 Alec Ave, Mermaid Waters, is listed for $1.45m-plus
89 Alec Ave, Mermaid Waters, is listed for $1.45m-plus



Twin Waters. The 40ha recreational lake is the centrepiece of the suburb, which is only 10 minutes from the expanded Sunshine Coast Airport. Demand over the last year has priced Twin Waters at the upper-end of the family market, with some non-waterfront properties exceeding the $2m mark. (SM)

Buderim. Buderim has long been regarded as the most sought after residential precinct on the Sunshine Coast. Buderim will often feature in international surveys as one of the most liveable places in the world. (JA)

Marcoola. With the upgrade and redirection of the runway at the Sunshine Coast airport, the beach side suburb is again benefiting from the recent infrastructure upgrades. With more works planed for this area including new and improved commercial retail precincts, this is a suburb on the move. Enjoy morning walks on the beach coupled with cafe culture and pristine coastline that parallels the relaxed clean-living atmosphere. Lots to like about Marcoola. (JI)

Mooloolaba. Buzzing with tourists and locals, this hotspot is a family favourite. On the contrast, the residential homes are hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the main esplanade, making it a peaceful and fun place to live. (SH)

Birtinya. Birtinya is a fantastic family option close to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct, schools and beaches. From units and trendy townhouses to waterfronts. (TM)

Palmview. This is a super popular suburb that benefits from everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer while not having to travel far from the highway. The community plans are impressive. (MP)



Edge Hill. Arguably the most-sought after suburb in Cairns with a mix of Queenslander and contemporary architecture amid a lush rainforest environment. It has a dining and cafe scene that attracts discerning foodies. (SM)

Trinity Beach. A seaside village feel with beautiful beach, local cafes and tavern making this a family friendly suburb with relaxed community atmosphere. Only 15mins north of Cairns CBD. Near new modern contemporary style homes with some new land sites still available. (JI)

Edge Hill or Whitfield. Located only a short drive from city. Larger homes surrounded by great schools, community feel with a great cafe scene. (AA)

Kewarra Beach. This is a very family and dog-friendly suburb with a great beach and good schools. The new road will soon link Trinity and Kewarra beaches and there is also a development at Paradise Palms to be released next year, and that would come under $750,000so great value. (Ray White Cairns Beaches principal, Joseph Indorato)

Edge Hill/Whitfield. Central to the Cairns CBD, both suburbs are close to great private and public schools and the cafe precinct in on trend. (RE/MAX Cairns principal Ray Murphy)



North Ward. Home to Townsville’s iconic Strand, it’s between the Hill and the beach and offers so many options for dining, leisure and easy access to the city’s commercial centre. (SM)

Castle Hill. A tightly held small enclave of hillside residences that take full advantage of the elevated position to capture full ocean views and breezes from over Town Common out to the islands. Quality built high end homes with a variety of price points dependant on size and inclusions. (JI)

Northern Beaches. This is an area of Townsville that has grown enormously thanks to infrastructure investment. Took a while to catch on but the beach suburb lifestyle has finally caught on in Townsville with families. (AA)

North Ward. North Ward has a prime seaside location on The Strand. Its cafes, bike paths, walkways and picnic grounds provide a sought-after family lifestyle. (TM)

North Ward/Belgian Gardens. There is a lack of quality stock which is really pushing up prices but these suburbs offer serious lifestyle factors such as the Strand, Jezzine Barracks, restaurants, retail, proximity to the city. You can get more affordable homes and units in among prestige properties. (Keyes & Co principal Damien Keyes)

North Ward. North Ward has long been a suburb of choice for families and it’s not hard to see why it’s always popular. Positioned at the base of the exclusive Castle Hill and walking distance to the strand, which is home to excellent restaurants on the water, it just makes sense for long term investment. (MP)

North Ward/Pallarenda. These are lifestyle suburbs but they are close to all amenities, hospitals, schools, The Strand. (Ray White’s Julie Mahoney)



Bowen. So many people post-Covid have fallen in love with Bowen at this price point. Some of the best coastline in Queensland and some affordable homes close to the water. (SM)

Cannonvale. Families can still buy seaview 4 bedroom homes for under $900,000 and three bedroom houses for under $650,000 (AA)

Richmond Hills. For those wanting an executive style home with all the latest finishes and in an executive part of Mackay, Richmond Hills has been the go to estate for established families who desire something extra and want that little bit fancy as well as being surrounded by other premier residences. Has some amazing parklands and a great community feel. (AA)

Woodlark. This one is for the lifestyle buyers as it offers small acreage blocks but it is on the boundary of Cannonvale. It is also within easy reach of Airlie Beach and has a median price around $900,000. (Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale)

Erakala. It has half acre blocks and offers substantial homes with sheds, pools. (Professionals Mackay principal Gary Tweddle)



Tannum Sands. The beachside community offers families an idyllic lifestyle while still within easy reach of the amenities of Gladstone. (SM)



Middle Ridge. A family-friendly suburb with plenty of schooling options nearby. Only five kilometres from the CBD, it offers a laid-back lifestyle with a wide array of recreational opportunities. (SM)

Middle Ridge or Highfields. Both suburbs offer larger 4 bedroom homes in beautiful estates with well sized blocks of lands. A real family community with plenty of local amenities. (RE/MAX Success GM Daniel Burrett)



Wondunna. On the outskirts of Hervey Bay, the new community is attracting buyers seeking to build their dream home. It’s attracted lot of medicos who have come to Hervey Bay for the thriving health and aged medical care sector in the region. (SM)

Hervey Bay. There is plenty of great houses in that range. $1m would get you a great home in Hervey Bay, some with water views on the ridge. (Ray White Hervey Bay principal Glenn Fallon)

Article source: www.realestate.com.au

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