Real Estate Morningside
The Brisbane suburb of Morningside is approximately 5.4 square kilometres. It has 10 parks covering nearly 6.9% of its total area. The population of Morningside in 2011 was 9,399 people. By 2016 the population was 10,484, showing a population growth of 11.5% in the area during that time. The predominant age group in Morningside is 20-29 years, which is younger than the Australian average, however there are also plenty of families with children in the area. Households in Morningside are primarily childless couples who will likely repay $1800 - $2399 per month on their mortgage. In general, people in Morningside work in professional occupations. In 2011, 48.1% of the homes in Morningside were owner-occupied compared with 48.3% in 2016. Currently, the median sales price of houses in the area is $730,000 and the median apartment price is around $450,000.
While Morningside has been traditionally considered a more ‘industrial’ suburb, the recently closed Cairncross Docks are slated for residential rezoning and development, meaning that the area is poised for significant change. Until this happens, however, Morningside property prices are likely to remain much lower than the neighbouring suburbs (such as Norman Park and Bulimba); currently median prices in Morningside are often $100,000 lower than equivalent properties in those areas. This combination Morningside a great suburb for families and others who may have been priced out of other markets but still want to stay close to the CBD. With a mix of older houses (typically weatherboard and chamferboard) and modern developments, Morningside offers a lot of variety to people looking to enter the housing market across a variety of price points. Also, while the noise from air traffic may be a common criticism at the moment, Brisbane’s New Runway project will no doubt divert some of that traffic away from Morningside, resulting in less noise. If you’re looking for more affordable housing in an area that may well likely revitalise itself in the next five years, Morningside is well worth a look.
MORNINGSIDE SALES MARKET
Median house prices have fluctuated somewhat in Morningside over the last few years. Sale prices increased significantly from January 2014, ultimately peaking in 2018 at around $775,000. It’s worth noting that prior to this peak, there were fewer houses on the market than in the past. The value of houses in Morningside is now in a process of correcting, with current housing values reflecting those last seen in January 2017, with a median value of around $730,000.
Apartment prices in Morningside saw their highest value in January 2016, which followed a large number of apartments coming onto the market. Since 2018, there have been far fewer apartments available. As of January 2019, median Morningside apartment prices were around $450,000, a small increase from a market low in July 2018.
MORNINGSIDE RENTAL MARKET
There were a significant number of developments throughout Brisbane that have resulted in a large number of houses and apartments entering the market over the last few years, bringing concerns that the rental market might be thrown into turmoil. However, this doesn’t seem to have eventuated. Although there were sharp decreases in average house rental prices in Morningside in mid-2015, the market shot up from a low of $495 per week for median rental prices in July 2017 to $522 per week in July 2018. Conversely, prices for apartments, which had previously remained relatively steady around the $440 and $450 mark, fell sharply for 2018, but as of January 2019 the median rent is lifting, now sitting at $430.
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MORNINGSIDE: A BRIEF HISTORY
Morningside is said to have taken its name from the beautiful way the sun reflected off the water of the river in the morning, and it shares its name with a town in Scotland.
While Morningside was one of the earliest established suburbs in modern Brisbane, it was largely an industrial area. Sugar cane was the most common crop grown, but small crops, tobacco and dairy farms made up the majority of industry in the region. In 1884, ‘The Richmond Park Estate’, made up of 145 allotments, was released for sale to the public and included some of the first land in Morningside. In early 1920, more land in the area was released for sale, this time under the name ‘Morningside Estate’. Morningside was also home to the Cairncross Dockyard, which was built between 1942 to 1944, but was closed in 2014 due to a number of reasons after changing hands in 2000.
Morningside is 5km away from the Brisbane CBD. It is bordered by Cannon Hill to the east, Norman Park and Seven Hills to the south, and Hawthorne, Balmoral and Bulimba to the west.
Morningside is zoned for four different state primary schools, depending on where your property is. It’s important to note that even though the Bulimba SS zone may look like it overlaps with parts of Morningside, this is not the case. This means that it is most likely your children will be attending either Morningside State School or Cannon Hill State School, however some parts of Morningside fall within the Seven Hills State School and the Norman Park State School zones. All of these schools are co-educational and offer a LOTE: Seven Hills SS and Norman Park SS offer French, Cannon Hill SS offers Italian, and Morningside SS offers Japanese. All these schools have a similar prep–6 student population of between 450 and 500 students, so it might be worth checking them out before working out which parts of Morningside you might be interested in moving into. The whole of Morningside is zoned for one high school: Balmoral State High School. Balmoral State High School offers Japanese as a LOTE, as well as many excellence programs for high-achieving students. It also accepts international students. If you prefer private education, there are three private schools near Morningside: Cannon Hill Anglican College, St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School and Lourdes Hill College, an all-girls school.
If you’re more interested in adult and tertiary education, while there may not be many opportunities in Morningside and surrounds, there are loads of options nearer the Brisbane CBD. These include Torrens University Australia in Fortitude Valley, James Cook University, Federation University Brisbane, The University of Queensland and CQUniversity Brisbane. Further north are the QUT Kelvin Grove university campus and the University of Queensland School of Dentistry. Back on the south of the river in South Brisbane are USC Southbank and the Griffith University Queensland College of Art, as well as Griffith Film School. There’s something there for everyone!
If you’re focused on fitness, Morningside has a tremendous offering of gyms, as do the neighbouring suburbs. Within Morningside there is a pilates studio, a pool and health club, a martial arts school, a CrossFit gym and a few 24/7 gyms. If you prefer to get outside, Morningside has ten parks, most of which are more inland, but there is the Colmslie Recreation Reserve that extends to the river, as well as the Colmslie Beach Reserve. If you’d rather bike, while Morningside might have its own cycling store in Bicycle Riders, there aren’t many ‘sanctioned’ bike trails that run through the suburb. However, Cannon Hill has a few paths that extend to Murarrie and even through Queensport across the bridge to the north side of the river. Of course, the parks in the area might prove the best local destinations, whether biking or walking. For the four-legged friend in your life, there is one off-leash park in Colmslie Reserve (not Colmslie Beach Reserve), but Quinn’s Street Park in Balmoral is another nearby off-leash park.
If you’re looking for quality of life, Morningside has quite a bit to offer. Not only does it have its own local hotel and GP clinic, but it also has a long-running and well-regarded arts community, especially the Villanova Players. This community-based theatre group has been putting on shows for nearly 70 years, and even if you’re not interested in treading the boards, it’s nice to know that you’ll have an excuse to get out of the house to watch some community theatre.
WHAT TO DO IN MORNINGSIDE
Morningside has the benefit of being a historically less-than-desirable suburb, which has left it surrounded by ‘more appealing’ suburbs while keeping the property prices low. This means that while it may not have too many ‘local’ entertainment options, it’s very close to suburbs that have a lot to offer. For example, Morningside itself has two cinemas, but neighbouring Bulimba also has two, and there is another cinema in Balmoral. In fact, Balmoral has a fantastic reputation as a trendy suburb, and Morningside gives you the opportunity to live next door without needing to deal with Balmoral’s property prices.
Food and shopping are definitely the most immediate drawcards of Morningside and the surrounding suburbs. The jewel of Bulimba is Oxford Street, where there are not only a few op-shops for your perusal, but several boutique clothing stores as well (and even more scattered throughout Balmoral and Hawthorne). Oxford Street also has a choice range of bars, restaurants and cafés to suit your mood and the time of day. It also has a local bookstore in Riverbend Books and its own golf club. If you don’t mind travelling over the river, there are also a few breweries in Newstead who would be happy to show you around and let you sample their wares, and even possibly sit down for a meal.
If you often play host to visitors but prefer they don’t stay with you, there are plenty of hotels in the area. As the airport is just over the river, it’s also a great place to live if you regularly travel for business or pleasure. Also, if you or your guests are fans of local history, or even cemeteries (they exist!), then the Balmoral Cemetery is a well-kept local cemetery that holds the memories of a much younger Brisbane.
Realistically though, Morningside is best built for living, with plenty of functional shopping, a variety of nearby parks and everything you need to keep yourself happy and together (there’s even a barber). Its proximity to the Brisbane CBD, ready access to the Gold Coast freeway and excellent local amenities make it a great place to settle down and raise a family, and the upcoming changes to the area are likely to transform it into a better version of itself.