Moreton Bay

Invest in one of Australia’s fastest growth locations Moreton Bay

Moreton Bay Region

The Moreton Bay Region is one of Australia’s fastest growing areas. To put this into perspective, the region is expected to grow more than 40% over the next 20 years with an estimated $320million to be invested by council over the next two years as a range of infrastructure projects are delivered.

Factors contributing to the region’s appeal include the premier location right on Moreton Bay, a skilled workforce, diverse business precincts and a relaxed and tranquil lifestyle.

The suburb of North Lakes, a contemporary master planned community is also located in the Moreton Bay Region. The community boasts various shopping and employment precincts including a Westfield Shopping Centre, Ikea, Costco and Bunnings. North Lakes is also home to various schools including North Lakes State College, The Lakes College and Bounty Boulevard State School.

Additionally, the North Lakes Golf Club is a renowned championship golf course and function centre, a great facility for the community as well as attracting visitors from the surrounding suburbs.


Moreton Research Report

The Moreton Bay Region, strategically located north of Brisbane, delivers the perfect balance of a coastal lifestyle and economic opportunities that is typically only afforded by larger cities.

The area is conveniently situated just 40 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD and only 20 minutes’ drive from the Brisbane International Airport.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) was formed from the amalgamation of the local government areas (LGA’s) of Pine Rivers Shire, Redcliffe City and Caboolture Shire. It includes more established coastal communities like Redcliffe, growth areas like North Lakes and retail and administrative centres like Strathpine.

The Moreton Bay Region is one of South East Queensland’s strongest growth regions.

For instance, the Moreton Bay Region is the third largest local government area by population size in Queensland, currently home to around 426,000 residents, while the population growth of more than 103,500 projected from 2015 to 2026 will generate strong future demand for residential dwellings.

A key driver of this growth is the appealing investment, commercial and employment opportunities afforded by the region. Major commercial hubs located at North Lakes, Redcliffe and Brendale generate multiple local employment opportunities for existing and future residents.

The North Lakes master-planned community and town centre exemplifies a “thriving commercial hub”, with a Westfield Shopping Centre, around 200 specialty stores, Bunnings, Costco and Ikea, as well as multiple other retail offerings and amenities.

The region is also benefiting from an extensive commitment to major infrastructure projects.

One of these key infrastructure projects, the Moreton Bay Rail Link, was recently completed in late 2016. This is a $1.2 billion project that has improved the accessibility of the region, enabling residents to easily connect to key retail, commercial and employment nodes like Northlakes and Brisbane.

Another exciting infrastructure project planned for the region is the redevelopment of the old Petrie Mill into another campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast, anticipated to open by 2020. This project will bring many economic benefits to the area, particularly from an employment generation perspective, whilst also acting as a major investment attractor.

The following report provides an overview of the key economic, demographic and lifestyle drivers of the Moreton Bay Region. In combination, these drivers highlight the strong residential investment opportunity that currently exists in the Moreton Bay Region, and consequently, defines it as an area that complements successful SEQ development strategy.


Why Invest in the Moreton Bay Region?


Economic & Employment Growth

Gross Regional Product (GRP) within the Moreton Bay Region is estimated to be around $13.22 billion, a figure that has increased consistently over recent times reflecting stronger investment, business and growth opportunities. A sustainable, growing economy and labour market are key drivers of strong residential demand, and the Moreton Bay Region is well positioned from this perspective.

  • The Moreton Bay Region encompasses a current labour force of around 225,000
  • The total labour force is forecast to reach 239,000 by November 2019, with a minimum of 14,000 new jobs expected to be created during the three-year period
  • The North Lakes area alone provides significant employment opportunities for residents of the Moreton Bay Region and strongly contributes to the local and broader economy
  • Whilst the North Lakes town centre area incorporates a major Westfield shopping centre together with multiple other diversified land uses, the northern industry area also provides a wide range of employment opportunities around mixed industry and business, bulky goods and light industry
  • The North East Business Park is a 169ha industry precinct that represents the largest development of its kind in the Greater Brisbane Metropolitan Area
  • By 2030, this area is anticipated to have generated over 100 businesses and provide around 13,000 jobs
  • The old Petrie Mill site has been nominated as a Priority Development Area by the State Government, with the core of this strategic site to house the University of the Sunshine Coast campus planned to open by 2020
  • The completion of this landmark project will see some 10,000 students studying at the campus within the first 10 years of operation, with an estimated 2,800 workers to be employed
  • This extensive level of investment activity has strengthened the labour market and consequently driven down the unemployment rate for the Moreton Bay Region, as evidenced by the chart below
  • As at the September Quarter 2016, the unemployment rate within the Moreton Bay Region was 5.7%, lower than the Queensland State average of 6.2%


Moreton Bay Region – Unemployment Rate Trend


Infrastructure & Transport

A wise investment maxim states that “smart private investment should always follow extensive public investment”. The Moreton Bay Region provides a great opportunity for private investors to maximise this “effortless advantage” and capitalise on a high level of public sector investment. Large scale infrastructure investment from federal, state and local government has recently been completed, with further investment committed for the future.

  • The Moreton Bay Rail Link was completed in late 2016 and this $1.2 billion project has improved the accessibility of the region, enabling residents to easily connect to key retail, commercial and employment nodes like Northlakes and Brisbane.
  • The rail line provides a significant public transport link between Redcliffe and the Brisbane CBD, and delivers the vital infrastructure to connect the major growth corridors of North Lakes, Mango Hill, Murrumba Downs with employment opportunities
  • The project includes new stations for Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill, Mango Hill East, Rothwell and Kippa-Ring
  • The old Petrie Mill site has been nominated as a Priority Development Area by the State Government, with the core of this strategic site to house the University of the Sunshine Coast campus planned to open by 2020
  • This campus will significantly improve access to tertiary education for residents of the Moreton Bay Region whilst also attracting new students and residents from outside the catchment area
  • The $17 million upgrade to the Caboolture Hospital will expand the number of beds at the hospital to 265 and vastly improve access to health care for local residents
  • The $100.4 million Boundary Road/Bruce Highway upgrade at Narangba has commenced, unlocking a major congestion point and improving safety for all motorists
  • This road upgrade project will produce around 100 jobs during its construction phase and is on track for completion by mid-2018


Population and Household Growth

The Moreton Bay Region is one of the fastest growing urban areas in Australia and has experienced strong population growth over the past decade. To put this growth in context, from 2005 to 2015 the population increased by 2.2% per annum in the Moreton Bay Region compared to 2.4% for the Gold Coast and 1.8% for Brisbane. This previous growth, coupled with the expected future population growth is a core fundamental that will drive strong demand for residential property.

  • The Moreton Bay Region is the third largest Local Government Area (LGA) by population size in Queensland with 425,482 residents
  • Between 2001 and 2015, the population of the Moreton Bay Region was estimated to have increased by some 138,950, which equates to annual growth of 9,925 persons per annum
  • Forecast population growth for the region is also strong, with the proportion of Queensland’s total population living within the Moreton Bay Region anticipated to increase from 8.9% to 9.2% during 2015 to 2026.
  • By 2036 it is projected that the population of the Moreton Bay Region will reach 618,390


Moreton Bay Region – Existing & Forecast Population Growth

Source: ABS, Qld Govt Statisticians Office


  • The forecast growth of more than 103,500 new residents from 2015 to 2026 has the potential to generate demand for more than 38,500 new residential dwellings, or some 3,500 new residential dwellings per annum
  • During the 12-month period ending December 2015, the Moreton Bay Region recorded the third highest volume of residential building approvals by any LGA across Queensland with more than 4,500 new approvals granted
  • As the chart below highlights, residential dwelling approvals have trended upwards over the past five years, demonstrating an improved level of broader confidence in the Moreton Bay Region residential property market
  • It is interesting to note that during 2015, “other” residential dwellings like apartments and town houses accounted for 39% of approval activity
  • This approval activity was above historical averages and demonstrates an increasing level of demand for attached residential product like town houses and terraces
  • It is interesting to note that a significant proportion of the total growth of the Moreton Bay Region over the ten-year period to June 2015 was within the North Lakes-Mango Hill area (20%)
  • Growth of an additional 20,588 residents within North-Lakes Mango Hill during this ten-year period resulted in this area achieving the strongest population growth of all SA2’s in Queensland during this time
  • This significant growth is not surprising given the availability of land combined with excellent amenities and infrastructure
  • It is envisaged that residential demand on the southern end of the Moreton Bay Region will remain strong in the future. However, as greenfield land supply becomes constrained around traditional markets like North Lakes and Mango Hill, this demand will need to transition to other surrounding locations and product types


Residential Property Market

The Moreton Bay Region currently exhibits a series of positive property indicators that demonstrate a very healthy residential market. These indicators include an increase in sales volumes, prices and rental values, along with a decline in vacancy rates. When considered in the context of forecast population growth and major infrastructure investment, these indicators suggest a strong outlook for residential property in the Moreton Bay Region.

  • The median price for detached housing in the Moreton Bay Region is currently $437,500, an increase of 4.7% over the 12-month period ending June 2016
  • The continual improvement in sales volumes and the median price for detached housing post the “trough” in the market during FY11/12 provides a strong indication of sustained confidence in the residential market
  • Similarly, the median price of attached residential product is currently $353,000, an increase of 3.8% over the 12-month period ending June 2016
  • It is a very positive sign that sales volumes and the median price for attached residential product has also continually improved post the “trough” of the market during FY12/13


Moreton Bay Region – Detached Housing Sales Cycle

Source: PriceFinder


Moreton Bay Region – Attached Dwellings Sales Cycle

Source: PriceFinder


As of June 2016 the Moreton Bay Region showed a residential vacancy rate of 1.7% indicating a very tight rental market which has been continually improving over time, as evidenced by the chart below


Moreton Bay Region – Residential Vacancy Rate Trend

Source: REIQ


Median Rents

The chart below indicates that for postcode 4020 (including Newport), median rents for all three-bedroom detached houses increased by 3% and median rents for all three-bedroom town houses increased by 4.5% during the two-year period ending September 2016. Please note that this includes dwelling types of all quality levels and does not differentiate between new and established offerings.


Postcode 4020 (Including Newport) – Rental Growth Trend

*Postcode 4020 includes the suburbs of Newport, Redcliffe, Scarborough and Suttons Beach


Source: Residential Tenancies Authority



Lifestyle and Education

The Moreton Bay Region provides residents with access to great lifestyle amenities as well as recreational and education facilities as outlined below.

  • Westfield North Lakes is the largest shopping centre in the Moreton Bay Region and includes cinemas as well as various dining options
  • Redcliffe remains a popular coastal location with attractions such as the Redcliffe Jetty, the Bee Gees Way and Settlement Lagoon, and hosts popular major events such as the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race and the Redcliffe Kite Festival
  • Bribie Island provides a handy beachside escape, perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, four-wheel driving and the opportunity to play on a championship golf course
  • Peaceful locations like Dayboro, Samford, the D’Aguilar Range, Mt Mee and Mt Nebo offer natural, green escapes with access to nature, water holes and wineries
  • The North Pine Dam and Lake Samsonvale provide a range of recreational activities including fishing, swimming, water skiing, canoeing and kayaking
  • The Moreton Bay Region incorporates a diverse array of educational institutions including 11 private high school and prep-12 colleges, with the large North Lakes State College being the third largest state school in Queensland in terms of student enrolment numbers
  • TAFE and QUT operate from a shared campus facility in Caboolture, with QUT’s Caboolture campus offering courses in business, education and nursing