Friday, April 25, 2008

How to Find a Great Apartment to Rent in Brisbane

** Updated post click here **

It is becoming harder to find a good apartment to rent in Brisbane. Not only are rents increasing, but there are few new buildings opening over the next few years and a number of existing buildings are being turned into short stay "hotels".

Good apartments are often snapped up quickly. Also, onsite managers control the majority of apartments for rent in most buildings, and don't often advertise on the usual property websites (as they don't need to do so). Some have their own website. Onsite managers may have a relationship with executive relocation services that are given preference.

You have to find out how each manager advertises his/her vacancy.

If you are looking for a place to rent a good inner city apartment, I believe that this is one of the better sites to look at:

This website has a list of most city apartment buildings, with useful information and links about them. Also, try this customized search engine.

You want to avoid any buildings that are primarily short stay buildings (unless of course you want to stay for 2 nights to 2 months.) So avoid buildings managed by Oaks, as they focus on short term hotel style rentals. Look here if you want a short stay apartment in Brisbane.

There are some cross-over buildings, that are officially hotels but that have apartments on higher floors. Usually, the apartments in these buildings have the option of receiving hotel services. Two examples are Quay West and Saville South Bank, which are good places to live.

Look around -- the rents for some of the newer buildings are much higher, and the apartments are smaller, than in buildings that are five to ten years old.

Some places to look:

In the downtown area:

Admiralty One, is good value:

Admiralty Quays and Admiralty Two are also good quality. At present, I think some of the best value apartments for rent are in Admiralty Two.

Admiralty One (also called Admiralty Towers), Admiralty Two and Admiralty Quays were all developed by the same developer and are direct river front, an easy walk to the downtown. They all have one or more swimming pools.

Next door to Admiralty Quays on the river in the city is River Place , that is clearly not as good quality (it is a Devine built building), but is likely to have availability as this is a large complex. Careful of Storey Bridge noise. Great views. Recently taken over by Mint Apartments, which is doing short stay and hotel rentals.

For an inner city downtown building, Metro 21 is one of the better quality buildings. It has only 4 apartments per floor -- and tries to be more upmarket so is better than most buildings that aim at students -- it seems to have better availability, and some of the two bedroom apartments have three bathrooms. It does not do short stay. The balconies are large:

On Alice Street in the city, if you can get an apartment in Quay West, that is fantastic, as it has park and river views. Half of this building is a hotel managed by Mirvac. All apartments are privately owned. You want to get above level 7.

It is also worth trying some of the off-site agents:

In my opinion, some of the buildings to avoid (see prior posts) are

  • 212 Margaret
  • Festival Towers
  • Charlotte Towers
  • Aurora
  • River City
  • Felix
  • Casino Towers
In SouthBank:

I recommend Arbour on Grey at SouthBank:

Also, Saville at SouthBank is one of the nicest buildings if you get a river facing apartment:

I know people at LeftBank at West End who like living there, but it is a little bit far to walk to any shops -- it is in an industrial area:

In the suburbs:

In the back of Toowong, Encore is a relatively nice complex, with good pricing (but currently construction next door, so take care of which apartment).

St Lucia is harder to find quality -- the quality is there, it is just that there are few onsite managers and it is harder work to find good available apartments.

In Indooroopilly, Riva is the only quality building -- again, some noise in some apartments due to nearby construction. Some have river views.

There are very few vacancies in quality apartments in the suburbs.

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