First home buyers have even fewer suburbs to choose from, with median house prices in another 100 locations across Queensland tipping over $500, 000 in the 12 months to December.

Data from REA Group shows that there were 441 and surrounding suburbs with a median house value of $500, 000 or less across the Sunshine State back in December 2021.

But 12 months later, and that number has shrunk to 333 suburbs – a staggering 108 suburbs less than just 12 months ago.

Eight consecutive months of interest rate rises have also taken a sledgehammer to buyer confidence, with Finder data showing the average first homebuyer loan in Australia is now $485, 014.

But while the days of the $500, 000 first step on the property ladder are over for houses in some areas, buyers with up to $750, 000 still have options – from inner-city and coastal units to sizeable family homes in the regions.

Here, we speak to some of Queensland’s property titans about their first home buyer suburbs to watch in 2023 across the state, from Brisbane to Townsville, Cairns and beyond.

Art for where to buy special

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, Place managing director Sarah Hackett (SH), Explore Property Network TOP DOG Andrew Acton (AA), McGrath’s National Manager (sales) Troy Malcolm (TM), Harcourts CEO Mitch Peereboom (PB) plus Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder (TR), plus a range of local agents.

They were each given a budget of up to $750, 000 to spend, accounting for the astronomical price rises seen in many areas during the pandemic property boom.

These were their top picks.

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BRISBANE NORTH

Kallangur. The Moreton Bay region is well-serviced with infrastructure now including the rail link, Sunshine Coast University campus and the arrival of the Dolphins in the NRL will further create a sense of community. (SM)

Redcliffe Peninsula. With plenty of parks, stunning pine tree-lined beachfronts, jetties and marinas alongside locally-owned restaurants and boutiques, this area offers a lifestyle all its own.

Redcliffe Peninsula encompasses eight small suburbs: Rothwell, Kippa-Ring, Newport, Scarborough, Redcliffe, Margate, Woody Point plus Clontarf. It’s great for 1st home buyers. (JA)

Albany Creek. Just 14kms northwest of the CBD, it is ideal for families with a median sale price of $900, 000 but there is some great buying that can still be found in and around $750, 000 for those looking to buy in an in demand suburb. Post war renovators and larger blocks still available. A great destination for the growing family. (JI)

Strathpine. Leafy along with great amenities and public transport. (SH)

Ferny Hills. Ferny Hills will be transformed by the new Ferny Grove Central village and train station. It’s clean and green and only 16 kilometres from the CBD. (TM)

Strathpine. Strathpine’s median sale price is yet to catch up to extremely similar suburbs on the northside and with the development through this region it seems great value. (MP)

Sarah Hackett of Place Estate Agents has picked Strathpine for 2023


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BRISBANE SOUTH

Daisy Hill. Close to Springwood’s commercial hub and good access to the arterial roads associated with Logan Motorway and the M1. It’s a more affordable option to neighbouring Shailer Park. (SM)

Salisbury. This is a beautiful Brisbane southside suburb. Salisbury is a surprisingly green, nature-driven suburb idyllic with regard to first home buyers. It’s popular with singles and families who don’t want to live too close to the hustle and bustle. Just a 20-30minute commute to the city. (JA)

Springwood. Although technically not in the Brisbane city council, this spending family spirited location is just one suburb out. Within easy reach of the city and the motorway south, with great public and private schooling, ample shopping venues and cafes plus sporting clubs, this suburb is exceptional value for the first homebuyer families. (JI)

Daisy Hill. Affordable with quiet neighbourhoods and great access to major shopping centres and public transport. (SH)

Runcorn. Runcorn is great value compared to Sunnybank Hills and Stretton. It has easy access to transport and the freeway, QEII Hospital plus Griffith University. (TM)

Marsden. Marsden has been a serious market mover over the past year with its excellent schools and development continuing in surrounding suburbs it even now looks like a winner. (MP)

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BRISBANE EAST

Capalaba. You can still find three-bedroom homes in this price bracket. Redlands City Council and the Queensland Government have signed-off on a major rejuvenation program for that suburb which will increase mixed-use development through the area. (SM)

Capalaba. Capalaba is a popular suburb in Redland’s coast featuring major business and retail centres, as well as a host of recreational, cultural and community facilities. There’s some great rural, rural-residential and bushland areas to its south. (JA)

Tingalpa. This suburb still has some older designed houses from around the post war period. Weather board plus chamferboard cottages. Easy access to the rail running to the city and then out to the bay. Recently report annual capital growth for this suburb of 29. 52% (JI)

Wynnum West. Coastal, clean, and green with a variety of parks and shops. (SH)

Murrarie. Murrarie neighbours the more affluent suburbs of Bulimba and Hawthorne and it’s close to the CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, Gateway Motorway and airport. (TM)

9/11 Federation Street, Wynnum West, is for sale for offers over $500, 000


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BRISBANE WEST

Springfield. The second largest master planned Australian town in history. Plenty of facilities are on offer for residents and are constantly being added to. Approximately 30 minutes to Brisbane CBD and 50 mins towards the Gold Coast. (SM)

Karana Downs. KD as the locals call it has the best of both worlds. There is peace and quiet because it is protected by the Brisbane River but just a few minutes away across the bridge is a booming shopping centre which has all you need. A little buying village supplies the basics if you want to shop inside the suburb. (JA)

Ferny Grove. Just 15 km northwest of the CBD, this modern suburb is nestled in-between Upper Kedron and Keperra and has easy access to local creeks, bush land and wildlife areas that add to the attraction of this family orientated suburb. (JI)

Bellbowrie. Affordable homes in a community-oriented area and under 20 km to the CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT. (SH)

Springfield. Springfield has an excellent train system, quick motorway access, the new Lions Stadium, Mater Hospital and great colleges, parks, retail and dining. (TM)

Darra. Darra represents fantastic worth as it neighbours suburbs that are significantly more expensive and it close to the highway. (MP)

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Aerial photos of Springfield taken August 2018. Pic Supplied


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GOLD COAST

Nerang. The suburb has a broad mix of properties, from rural lifestyle to townhouses. You are able to still find a three-bedroom entry level home on a 650sqm block in this price range (SM)

Pimpama. The Central Gold Coast is home to cute cafes, craft breweries, contemporary shopping centres and marketplaces, plus some of the best live music venues on the Coast. It is great for FHBs. (JA)

Pacific Pines. Northern suburb of the GC, between Helensvale and Nerang. New and modern build homes in new estates, ample schooling and within striking distance of the gold coast beaches. 3 primary schools and one high school making this development suburb ideal for first home buyers. (JI)

Oxenford. Great value properties on large leafy blocks. The best of both worlds, with the Gold Coast to the south and Brisbane to the north. (SH)

Labrador. Labrador has room regarding strong capital growth. It’s positioned in the older, established part of the Gold Coast and has access to the Broadwater. (TM)

Pimpama. Purchase with confidence knowing this region is absolutely booming and is likely not to be in the first homebuyer list for too much longer. Brilliant location on the northern end of the Gold Coast and close enough for your Brisbane commute. (MP)

22 Aldgate Crescent, Pacific Pines, was listed for offers over $680, 000 but is now below contract


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SUNSHINE COASTLINE

Aura. The master planned community in the Sunshine Coast’s south offers First Home Buyers the chance to get into the market, only minutes from Caloundra’s beach and the Bruce Highway. (SM)

Mountain Creek. Sunshine Coast still is the region of Queensland with the highest level of maturation – a high-speed train will see far more investment in areas southerly of Noosa in particular. (JA)

Baringa. With multiple developments in and around this particular growth area, Baringa is simply minutes from to Caloundra and the beaches. Certainly, an area to watch. Good schools plus great new infrastructure. (JI)

Nambour. Rural atmosphere, but close to the coast. Inexpensive real estate where you can enjoy a peaceful lifestyle, while still having access to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast’s best spots. (SH)

Meridan Plains. Meridan Plains prices have increased but are still affordable. A great location close to the hospital precinct, great schools and some from the Coast’s best beaches (TM)

This Mountain Creek house was outlined for $735, 000 but now appears to be off market


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CAIRNS

Whitfield. On the cusp of the rainforest, it attracts a lot of purchasers who want the relaxed lifestyle in the hills. Well-regarded schools in the area also make it a popular area for family members. (SM)

Redlynch. the suburb of Redlynch is still classed semirural and is one of the most affordable and liveable suburbs of Cairns. Median house price sits at around $650, 000 and there are still some great opportunities for the astute buyer. (JI)

Mount Sheridan. It is a perfect suburb for very first home buyers it is still very affordable and is an upcoming growth suburb on the Southern corridor in Cairns. (AA)

Trinity Beach. There has been new development in Bluewater, and that’s been attractive to fresh home buyers. It is a great location with good facilities and new amenities to be completed. (Ray White Cairns Beaches principal, Joseph Indorato)

Trinity Beach/Trinity Park. Both are family-friendly but they are also not heavily tourist focused. They are nevertheless quite affordable but are near to the action and the trends seem to be suggesting strong price development. Jump in now. (RE/MAX Cairns principal Ray Murphy)

97 Michaelangelo Drive, Redlynch, is detailed for offers over $589, 000


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TOWNSVILLE

Fairfield Waters. Less than five kms from the city with lots of bike trails and recreational opportunities for young kids including the velodrome, AFL and hockey grounds. (SM)

Bushland Beach. This coastal region on the northern beaches area of Townsville represents great potential for the first home buyers. Morden homes with a median home price in the high $400, 000s. A master planned community with all local amenities and only minutes into Townsville central. (JI)

Annandale. Long standing founded suburb beside the river. Very well service amenities and universities. Also, some high-quality houses will ensure the stability of the overall suburb. (AA)

Burdell/North Shore. Burdell is leafy plus green with a friendly local community vibe. It’s 20 minutes from the CBD, has new shopping centres and the Stockland development. (TM)

Idalia/Douglas/Annandale. There are some really good price point variants across these and surrounding suburbs, even under $450, 500. In Idalia, you could get the newly redone house at a good price after the floods. All three are close to the hospital, city, barracks, facilities. Investors are still strong in these suburbs. (Keyes & Co principal Damien Keyes)

Kirwan. Kirwan is the most popular Townsville suburb intended for buyers (over 500 sales in the past 12 months), along with prices in the $300, 000s and rentals scarce. It offers plenty of services and amenities. (TR)

Inner city. No matter what has happened in the economy, the prices there have never failed. I am talking houses in places like South Townsville, Belgian Gardens, Western End, Hermit Park. (Ray White’s Julie Mahoney)

25 Shutehaven Circuit, Bushland Beach, is shown for $530, 000


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MACKAY/WHITSUNDAYS

East Mackay. A beaches lifestyle with plenty of value. For families, the quiet, flat streets are perfect for cycling around, supporting a friendly neighbourhood vibe. (SM)

Cannonvale. It is even now a dream for investors with limited budgets, looking for exceptional value and yield with two-bedroom townhouse stock achieving $550 a week rent for just $325, 000 and one bedroom apartments achieving $430 a week for just $235, 000. (AA)

Western world Mackay. I really feel the likes of West Mackay will always have great future potential given it is a solid suburb close to town, high and dry and certainly surrounded by great schooling, shops and the Botanical Gardens. Amazing for young families. (AA)

Cannonvale. It is where most people want to live. It has schools, shops, it is 2mins to Airlie Beach, 20 minutes to Proserpine and 30 minutes to the airport terminal and a lot of it is surrounded by national park and all the particular amenities you need. (Ray White Whitsundays principal Mark Beale)

Rural View. It has new subdivisions going in and at that price point you could get a substantial property. It is probably the fastest growing suburb in the northern beaches. (Professionals Mackay principal Gary Tweddle)

25 Banksia Court, Cannonvale, will go to auction on January 31


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CENTRAL QLD

Rockhampton City. You can find quality two-bedroom apartments with amenities overlooking the Fitzroy River and all the entertainment and shopping of Rockhampton at street level. (SM)

The Range. Offering good local amenities, investment prospects and a family friendly vibe, the median price is just $428, 000. (HelloHaus founder Scott Aggett)

Frenchville. The key Main Queensland regional centre of Rockhampton is a good fit

for the ‘Exodus in order to Affordable Lifestyle’ trend plus it’s also attracting traders who can buy solid homes below $400, 000 and get strong yields. Frenchville is a suburb with good facilities early in a growth cycle, with vacancies close to zero. (TR)

Yeppoon. This popular coastal town outside of Rockhampton is an icon of the ‘Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle’ trend. A national poll of the locations Australians would most like to move to under this trend included Yeppoon in the top five. It provides great value for money and rental yields are strong, along with vacancies scarce. (TR)

Berserker, Rockhampton. If you are looking for a good looking property within the heart of town, you will be pleasantly surprised at the affordability. (MP)

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TOOWOOMBA

South Toowoomba. You can find a large 750sqm prevent with a renovator which is ideal for growing families. South Toowoomba is still only a kilometre from Toowoomba’s CBD. (SM)

Centenary Heights. Solid homes, that have either been fully renovated or have possibility of further value add. Decent sized blocks near one of the best state high schools in the region. (RE/MAX Success GM Daniel Burrett)

Harristown. With a median price of $445, 000, Harristown offers infrastructure, population growth, investment prospects and affordability. (Adviseable property buyer, Kate Hill)

Newtown. Most suburbs in the City of Toowoomba have rising sales activity, led by inner-city locations like Newtown. The local economy is strong and diverse, big game-changing infrastructure projects are happening, prices are attractively low and scarce rental properties are highly sought-after. Newtown is an older region with renovation possibilities to get houses on large prevents, close to central amenities. (TR)

192 South Street, Centenary Heights, will be listed for $629, 500, down from offers more than $639, 000 before Christmas


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WIDE BAY BURNETT/FRASER COAST

Wider Hervey Gulf. The wider area is being billed as the new emerging option for buyers who would possess typically looked at the Gold or Sunshine coasts. Great coastal lifestyle with a lot of ongoing development. (SM)

Bundaberg South. Queensland abounds with regional cities with strong economies, affordable homes and elevated facilities spending. Bundaberg is as strong an example as any in the state. Bundaberg South, with a median house price still below $300, 000 despite large annual growth, demonstrates what’s on offer. Vacancies are low, yields are above 6% and sales activity continues to rise. (Terry Ryder, Hotspotting)

Hervey Bay. Our average house cost is $575, 000 so a lot of affordable stuff in that rate under $600, 000. If I had a top budget of $750, 000, I would be focusing on the whole of the Hervey Bay area. It has all of the facilities you need. There is a new Bunnings opening, brand-new Spotlight, hospital expansions, the increase in people coming to the particular Bay has been quite extraordinary. (Ray White Hervey Bay principal Glenn Fallon)

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