Australia as a whole has experienced huge increases in real estate prices over the past two decades, prompting many commentators to suggest that cheap credit has fuelled a large house price bubble. Prices began to stagnate, and then fell, in 2010, stoking fears that the bubble was collapsing, before a significant recovery in 2013.

The uncertainty surrounding the market shouldn’t put off those looking to move abroad and buy a home in Brisbane, but it does mean that an extra level of research and consideration is required.

Brisbane house prices

Property prices in Brisbane have largely reflected the larger Australian trend, and have grown by 8.9% in the last seven years.

Of course median prices vary significantly between suburbs, ranging from $1,125,000 AUD in Burbank, the green belt suburb to the southeast of the city where luxury homes are surrounded by acres of garden, to $220,000 AUD in Griffin, a northern suburb next to the Pine River, about 30mins drive from the city centre.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is charged on all property transfer transactions of $5,000 AUD or more.

You are required by law to pay stamp duty within 30 days of settlement of the property – so make sure to add that date to your diary.

What is the cost of stamp duty?

Buyers are liable for stamp duty charged by the Queensland Office of State Revenue. Rates are;

  • 1.5% on a purchase exceeding $5,000 AUD;
  • 3.5% of the dutiable purchase price which exceeds $75,000 AUD;
  • 4.5% of the dutiable purchase price which exceeds $540,000 AUD;
  • 5.75% of the dutiable purchase value exceeding $1,000,000 AUD.

Each state has their own stamp duty regulations, so check out this stamp duty calculator from to get a better idea of what you could pay.


There are concessionary rates available for those buying a primary residence (you pay just 1% on purchase values up to $350,000 AUD), a first home (a reduction of up to $8,750 AUD) or who are buying vacant land on which to build a home (a reduction of up to $7,175 AUD).

Borrowing costs

At the end of 2013 standard variable mortgage rates in Australia were around 4.5% – 6.4% with 3 year fixed rates available at around 4.7% – 5.15%. Set up fees for Australian mortgages are typically around $600 AUD.

First home owner grants

Most Australian states and territories offer grants to those buying or building a home in Australia for the first time. The initiative was introduced to arrest the house price falls which began in 2010 and seems to have been successful.

As of 12 September 2012, a Great Start Grant is available to permanent residents who are buying or building a first home in Queensland, the value of which is under $750,000 AUD.

The grant is a flat payment of $15,000 AUD in addition to the concessionary rate of stamp duty that first-time buyers enjoy. In order to apply you must complete an application form and send it directly to the Office of State Revenue.

All ready to make the move to Brisbane? Take a look at the Australian visa guide to see which visa best suits your situation.