As we discussed last week, the transformation of an economy has significant implications on residential property. We are seeing pockets within our cities transformed because our economy turning its back on the likes of manufacturing and increasing the influence of ‘softer’ professional services.
This has resulted in a progressive decline in demand for industrial areas within the inner ring of our cities. As the demand for heavy industry declines and the demand for inner city professional services increases, the ‘industrial pockets’ reach an impasse: beat them or join them.
‘Joining them’ seems to be the policy being adopted. From Redfern to Fremantle and West End to South Melbourne, dusty, oil smeared industrial zones are being converted into unique, contemporary grunge and even ‘shabby chic’ meccas for local winers and diners.
Buildings that don’t quite meet the shabby chic standards of Fremantle’s wool stores and Redfern’s train workshops are being replaced by the titan master planned communities of the information age found in places like Brisbane’s West End, Albion, Woolloongabba and Newstead to name a few.
As the heat map below illustrates, there are distinct areas within inner Brisbane that maintain a population density inconsistent with neighbouring areas. It is no coincidence that these ‘previously forgotten’ areas are now the subject of both local and state government urban renewal initiatives to address the growing appeal inner city living has on today’s demographic.
In the two coming censuses of 2016 and 2021, it will be interesting to see how these heat maps have changed and what influence this has had on the performance of property in these areas.
If inner Brisbane is to follow the patterns of inner Sydney and inner Melbourne, these areas of urban renewal represent some of the greatest long term opportunities on offer throughout the country.