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Top Five Exclusive Suburbs in Brisbane

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by T. A. Rose (subscribe)
From Brisbane, Australia, I mainly write for WeekendNotes, and at present, I enjoy challenging myself to add reviews on many diverse topics to this vast library of articles.
Published December 5th 2020
Brisbane's exclusive suburbs judged for their exclusiveness
Brisbane is a great place to live so this article discusses the best suburbs of Brisbane. I realised that criteria would be useful to judge the best and most exclusive so I have listed three criteria for judging the final five most exclusive suburbs in this sunny metropolis. With no real estate training yet better trained in computing, a criteria was as useful as it was necessary for me to do a review that could draw upon my Brisbane experiences yet give a systematic approach that hopefully, other readers would find interesting. The 2018 median house prices and suburbs that catch the eye on that list, then get judged for location and commercial prowess to really judge the top five suburbs. I've found a website by award-winning mortgage broker Hunter Galloway, who according to their corporate website, operated from an office in the exclusive Paddington suburb of Brisbane. Their webpage has useful information on the top twenty most expensive suburbs on Brisbane for median price in 2018, which was obtained from https://www.domain.com.au/news/brisbanes-expensive-suburbs-764568/, along with some great inside information about Brisbane suburbs:
www.huntergalloway.com.au/best-suburbs-in-brisbane.

Brisbane high rises
Photographed mid 2020, Brisbane is livable and has many exclusive locations.


I would like quite impartial judging. I have three lightly applied criteria which are real estate price, commerce and location, and added my insights because I have been to all the locations in the top twenty suburbs. I feel that living in Brisbane for a very long time gives me plenty of insight into the problem while understanding computing as opposed to real estate is getting me that generalised and more analysing perspective. It's interesting when one tries to analyse this and apply a system to judge it, as understandably, it's something everyone has a bit of an idea on in Brisbane. There will be some more quirky aspects to the review as well, as it is written personally and is not a computer program.

So, according to category six on the Hunter Galloway pages, the top twenty more expensive suburbs in Brisbane ranked from first to last are New Farm, Teneriffe, Chandler, Ascot, Hamilton, Bulimba, Fig Tree Pocket, Hawthorne, Pullenvale, Clayfield, St Lucia, Auchenflower, Paddington, Brookfield, Kalinga, Kangaroo Point, South Brisbane, Hendra, West End, Highgate Hill. My impression is I admit that they are all great places to live. I've been to all of them, even Chandler, although, I'd be weakest on Chandler and Pullenvale, but they have amazing country homes out there, and my tip for number one was Pullenvale, as it's pretty cemented into Brisbane folklore as somewhere where rich people live in mansions. Yet, now come to think of it, so is New Farm!

real estate data
Brisbane 2018 median house price data from internet.


No suburb really outstripped the rest, the median house price ranking was fairly close with positions one and twenty separated by 1.7 versus 1 million AUD dollars respectively. Another interesting point is places missing from the list - Ashgrove has these beautiful avenues with distinct housing, how did Red Hill not make it as it is near the city and near Paddington? Toowong somehow didn't make it, nor Taringa, Bardon and Indooroopilly, and where is Chelmer and Graceville? Scarborough, Shorncliffe and Newport would be interesting although located ridiculously far north, Grange, Lutwyche and Wilston are interesting omissions, while Spring Hill, Chapel Hill and Kenmore would all be capable of inclusion.

cityscape highrise Brisbane
More high rises in Brisbane Central, photographed mid 2019.


To finalise my top five I have to look past the house values, where that convenient top twenty list is my way of getting something useful to judge, but now for the judging. I actually was critical of Clayfield, South Brisbane, Highgate Hill, Kalinga, Hendra and Chandler, but appreciate why they made the list, those places definitely are good suburbs but Chandler was too far out, Kalinga, Hendra and Clayfield have pretty weak commerce, very few good restaurants or cafes and only reasonable location. Highgate Hill and South Brisbane have outrageously good convenience and some vibrancy but are a very low ranking for the top twenty in Brisbane for price even though they are quite close to New Farm and Teneriffe, so that seems correct not to put them in my top five. I'll also have to omit St Lucia, with its gorgeous blend of nice unit blocks and proper houses towards the suburb's south, as it would be near to or in the top ten but not the top five is a reasonable statement.

So, for at least topping the price charts, I have to include New Farm, and Teneriffe is actually a bit more notable for wealth, so no surprise about it being second in price. Both suburbs have incredible location, plus superior river views, cafe scenes, just a remarkable blend. They have inclusivity yet exclusiveness - a great way to put it. But Pullenvale 'did too much right', so I'll lock all three in for a tie for number one. Pullenvale in its enclave in the far west is just scoring too high in sales in that situation to ignore for an equal first place and is identical distance to Brisbane Central compared to Chandler. While it seems that Chandler is comparable, I think a big catch is that Pullenvale has a lot of affluent suburbs around it, within ten plus kilometres eastward towards Brisbane Central. Pullenvale is titled an affluent suburb on its Wikipedia profile while Chandler an outer suburb, and Pullenvale, with comparable median house prices to Chandler, has more than twice the population. I think it's bordering on common knowledge that Pullenvale is wealthier than Chandler, and for being what it is nearly eighteen kilometres driving distance from Brisbane Central, Pullenvale must be equal first for Brisbane's top five exclusive suburbs.

shorncliffe brisbane moreton bay
Shorncliffe, despite coastal location and plush homes wasn't in the top twenty median house prices in Brisbane for 2018. Photographed 2020.


So now I have to judge the final two or equal fourth and fifth, and it will be a challenging decision, as Hawthorne, Kangaroo Point, Bulimba, Ascot, Hamilton, Fig Tree Pocket, Auchenflower, West End along with Paddington and Brookfield (near Pullenvale) make up for half the top twenty. They all offer excellent living, but I've chosen Fig Tree Pocket and Ascot while the rest are very evenly matched, but Fig Tree Pocket and Ascot just held their own on convenience yet could offer some really grand homes, and were in prices positions of seven and four so held their own overall. Very sorry about Bulimba and Hamilton not being included, but when I was in those places, I knew they were very exclusive. Fig Tree Pocket is so spacious and had that same effect I had seen in Pullenvale, where they 'had no right to have such high sales', hence I realised that was very exclusive, while Ascot has the horse racing industry, a very exclusive road of plush shopping, convenience, mansions and even a very long 'tradition' of being exclusive in Brisbane.

For confirmation the final five most exclusive suburbs are written with their Brisbane median house price ranking in brackets: the top three were 1. New Farm (1), 1. Teneriffe (2), 1. Pullenvale (9), and in equal fourth place is 4. Ascot (4), 4. Fig Tree Pocket (7). I feel that Chandler was a lot different out of the top twenty in price, and it exceeded expectations on the price. This forum page hints as to why, the acreage is big, but population small, no units, everything is not convenient, it's a certain lifestyle, but it isn't very well known for its exclusiveness in Brisbane. I think despite using 2018 data that overall the rankings are fair and I was pleased I applied some system of thinking to the judging. Criteria just gave me a good blend in something I was clearly useful at, yet not perfect at either.
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Why? Review and judge Brisbane's most exclusive suburbs.
When: Used 2018 data from Domain.
Where: Brisbane, Australia.
Cost: Free to judge, yet much more to live in those locations.
Your Comment
An interesting assessment of Brisbane
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|1981) 79 days ago
My suburb didn't make the cut but it has a wonderful community spirit which makes it priceless.
by May Cross (score: 3|7794) 79 days ago
If we judge everything by dollar value particularly where we live no wonder people have no idea what it means to be grateful. I am so glad my suburb is not on the list! :)
by Leoni (score: 0|3) 77 days ago
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