Originally named for its architecture, which reminded early residents of London’s West End, Brisbane’s West End has much more going for it than European-inspired architecture.
Though if you’re looking for great examples of mission revival style, heritage-listed workers’ cottages and historic Queenslanders, the riverside suburb isn’t a bad place to start. But ask the locals why they live there and they’re more likely to name the suburb’s loud, proud “anything goes” vibe or Boundary Street’s eclectic mix of Asian grocers and hipster-magnet coffee bars as the real drawcards of one of the city’s oldest suburbs.
“It’s the sort of place where people who own multimillion-dollar homes will walk down the street in no shoes,” says Space Property agent Jessica Vine. “People come here because there’s this idea that, no matter who you are, you’ll fit in.”
A development boom means there’s something on offer for every budget in West End. Homes on the riverfront and in sought-after Hill End and Highgate Hill – with their great views across the city – average over $1 million. But that isn’t the norm.
The average sales price in the area is closer to $850,000, agents say, and it tipped almost $900,000 at the end of 2013 compared with $760,000 the year before. The outlook for capital gains is positive.
The area’s eclectic collection of shops and restaurants, comprising everything from hip, funky eateries to traditional Greek-run milk bars, makes the area a natural choice for young professionals looking to rent.
Its central location appeals to the growing number of professionals
Former premier Anna Bligh lives in Highgate Hill, while doctors and academics are drawn to the area for its proximity to hospitals and universities including the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University’s Southbank and Nathan campuses.
First National Metro agent George Koukides says houses such as the elegant Queenslander at 27 Sussex Street epitomise why people choose to buy in the area. “It’s a really beautiful home that delivers a great lifestyle,” he says.
Minutes’ walk from the strip shops at central West End and sitting on an elevated position in a wide, quiet street, the renovated house has three bedrooms, large office, a home theatre, breezy verandahs, an internal courtyard and city views. It is listed for upwards of $1.45 million.