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Brisbane’s kid-free zones: Where these buyers go, property prices follow

By Demi Treloar

BRISBANE has developed a virtual ‘kid-free zone’ around its city centre, with nearly one in five couples cashed-up and childless in some of the most expensive suburbs to buy a home.

FORGET empty nesters, there’s a new force to be reckoned with in Brisbane’s housing market.

They are known as DINKs — double-income, no kids couples — and they are pushing up property prices in inner-city suburbs and gentrifying neighbourhoods across the city, according to new analysis of the 2016 Census.

Brisbane has developed a virtual ‘kid-free zone’ around its city centre, with nearly one in five couples cashed-up and childless in some suburbs, the research by comparison site, finder.com.au, reveals.

The suburb with the highest number of DINKs per head of population is Teneriffe, just 2km from the CBD, which has 484 couples earning two full-time wages with no dependants.

They make up a huge 17.3 per cent of couples in the neighbourhood.

Homes in Teneriffe, Brisbane, which has the highest number of DINKs in the city.Source:Supplied

That’s three times the Queensland average of 5.5 per cent dual-income, childless couples.

The typical dual-income-no-kids household in Teneriffe earns a whopping $198,645 per year — much more than the median income in the suburb of $127,972.

That’s even higher than the top earning DINK suburb in Sydney, which is Erskineville on $198,177.

No wonder Teneriffe has the highest median house price in Brisbane at $2.51 million.

The majority of DINKs live close to Brisbane’s CBD.Source:Supplied

More than one in ten households in Morningside, Fortitude Valley and Albion also identify as ‘double income, no kids’.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au, said DINKs were hard to compete with in the property market because they were cashed up and driven by location, which meant they could potentially push out some first home buyers.

Finder.com.au money expert Bessie Hassan.Source:Supplied

“An affluent demographic can greatly influence property price growth for both houses and units in a given area,” Ms Hassan said.

“Often if suburbs have residents with high disposable incomes, this will drive up property prices as they’re willing to pay a premium for real estate.

“Areas with a high number of DINK couples may also attract new businesses, amenities and infrastructure projects to the area which can lift local property prices.”

Suburbanite Advisory Group principal and property valuer Anna Porter said there were often two core demographics within the DINK category.

Anna Porter, principal of Suburbanite Advisory Group. Picture supplied.Source:Supplied

The first was high income earners in no hurry to have kids or with no desire to have them at all.

Ms Porter said that demographic was primarily driven bylifestyle and wanted to be close to shops, restaurant and work, which explained why many of the suburbs with the highest number of DINKs in Brisbane were inner-city.

“They’re earning good money and what they want is to just have a nice lifestyle, and that’s fair enough,” she said.

The other demographic was made up of younger couples who planned to have kids in the near future and were more willing to compromise to get on the property ladder.

“They’re more willing to compromise and get into an area that is more industrial and gentrifying,” Ms Porter said.

“They’re still also driving prices up in areas that have traditionally been more industrial, more affordable, on the fringe, and people are getting priced out of these areas.”

That might explain why more than 10 per cent of households are made up of DINKs in the outer suburb of Sumner, 14km southwest of Brisbane’s CBD, which is a mix of residential and industry.

Even in Mount Cotton, which is 30km from the city centre, 9.5 per cent of households are made up of DINKs.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle.Source:Supplied

Social demographer Mark McCrindle said the window in which people identified as DINKs had gotten bigger as couples put off becoming parents for longer.

“Rising house prices just means that being a bit more financially stable and secure before the dependants come along is happening a lot later in life,” Mr McCrindle said.

“You end up with a longer period of double income and no kids and demographically, there are more people in this category than ever before.

“But it’s not a trend that can keep being pushed back because of the biological limits.”

Mr McCrindle said house prices had grown at twice the rate of average wages in Brisbane over the past decade, which had also driven a rise in DINK couples.

“The reality of rising house prices … is while one income could have attained the Aussie dream once, these days two incomes is pretty much required,” he said.

“It’s really the only mainstream way to get a foothold in property these days for 20 somethings and even into your 30s.”

Brisbane couple Leonie and Peter Fitzgerald consider themselves DINKs.

The pair have lived in their own home in Bulimba — which is made up of nearly 10 per cent of double-income, no kids households — for the past three-and-a-half years and have enjoyed a lifestyle many would envy.

Leonie and Peter Fitzgerald at their home in Bulimba, which has a high number of DINK (double-income, no kids) couples. Photo: AAP/Ric Frearson.Source:News Limited

Mrs Fitzgerald works full-time as a wealth and success coach and property investing expert, while her husband is a sports mindset coach.

Together they earn above-average incomes, have a decent property portfolio and holiday overseas once a year.

The only child they have at the moment is of the furry variety — a three-year-old rottweiler crossed with a staffy.

“Ideally we’ll be blessed with kids,” Mrs Fitzgerald said.

“Whatever happens, happens.”

But lifestyle has always been important to them, which is why living in Bulimba is so appealing.

“Before here, we lived in Bowen Hills, so we used to hang around New Farm,” Mrs Fitzgerald said.

“Bulimba is kind of like New Farm — we just fell in love with it.

“We like living close to the city because it’s really convenient … and we like the convenience of being able to walk down to have breakfast on the weekend with the dog.”

BRISBANE’S DINK SUBURBS

Suburb Number of DINK households % of DINKs Average dual income

Teneriffe 484 17.3% $199,645

Newstead 163 13.6% $188,375

Morningside 519 11.0% $163,407

Fortitude Valley 418 10.8% $159,893

Sumner 24 10.8% $126,595

Albion 125 10.8% $157,902

Gordon Park 188 10.0% $167,194

Petrie Terrace 51 10.0% $178,500

Bulimba 282 9.9% $199,464

Hamilton 342 9.6% $167,413

Nundah 583 9.6% $150,569

Lutwyche 164 9.5% $159,165

Red Hill 229 9.5% $190,737

Kangaroo Point 392 9.5% $175,533

Mount Cotton 229 9.5% $146,079

Gaythorne 135 9.3% $146,879

Greenslopes 387 9.3% $155,050

Holland Park West 245 9.2% $172,483

Paddington 334 9.1% $188,110

Virginia 82 9.1% $173,676

(Source: finder.com.au; abs.gov.au)

Originally published as Here come the DINKs

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