CFMEU has launched the search for a joint venture partner for its NumberOneBowen project. Image: Supplied.
  • Vacancy rates are around 1.5%
  • A large majority of Bowen Hills residents are renters, according to the 2021 Census
  • The property will offer 380 rental apartments

Inner-city Brisbane is set to see a new build-to-rent development pop up on 19-25 Campbell Street in Bowen Hills.

The Queensland branch of the construction and mining union, CFMEU, has launched a selection process for a joint venture partner for one of Brisbane’s biggest build-to-rent (BTR) developments as the sector continues to gain traction in Australia.

State of Bowen Hills rentals

SQM Research data shows vacancy rates for Bowen Hills (4006*) had a Covid peak of nearly eight per cent in 2020, sharply falling to 3 per cent in mid-June 2021.

Currently, the postcode is seeing vacancy rates drop, with the latest figure of 1.5%.

Bowen Hills vacancy rates, 4006

The number of listings in the postcode is fairly scant too, renters are fighting it out over some 150 rentals, according to SQM, with an asking rent of almost $600 per week.

The latest census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed Bowen Hills** had a median weekly rent $390 per week (2021 census).

Census data also showed there were 2,685 occupied dwellings and 395 unoccupied dwellings in the suburb of Bowen Hills, with the vast majority of properties being flats or apartments. Apartments made up over 93% of the dwellings in the suburb at 2,506, with 80 separate houses, and 65 semidetached, townhouses, or similar.

Bowen Hills is also mostly rented, with 81.9% of homes in the suburb rented or 2,199. Census data showed only 124 homes were owned outright, with 311 on a mortgage.

Over a third of Bowen Hills residents were also undergoing some financial stress, with 753 or 34.2% of renter households making rent payments greater than 30% of household income.

CFMEU looks for joint venture partner

Development approval for the project was given earlier this year, with development manager New Urban Villages leading the design and planning process alongside lead architect Nettleton Tribe. CBRE’s Regional Director of Living Sectors, Capital Markets, Andrew Purdon has been appointed to lead the Expressions of Interest process.

The 30-storey building is some 250 metres from the Bowen Hills railway station and will be known as NumberOneBowen.

The project will include a mix of studios and one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

Residents’ amenities will include several lounges, a rooftop pool and spa deck, indoor and outdoor gyms, a screening room and co-working spaces. There are private outdoor garden spaces at Level 4 and on the rooftop, which will enjoy panoramic views of Brisbane’s skyline.

Mr Purdon noted that pre-existing BTR developments in the city already have a growing waitlist with renting a tough ask for Queenslanders looking for a place to call home in the state capital:

There are two completed BTR developments in the city that offer less than 300 apartments in total and both buildings are fully let with waiting lists. Brisbane’s residential rental vacancy rate is currently less than 1.0% and the median apartment rent has grown by c.12.5% during the past 12 months. With the 2032 Olympics on the horizon, the next decade should be a golden era for investors in Brisbane residential real estate.”

Zeroing in on Bowen Hills, New Urban Villages CEO Tim Johnson commented, “NumberOneBowen will be a major landmark in the Inner North and provide much needed accommodation for renters. The location is very well served by public transport with the CBD and airport both accessible by train in nine minutes. The area is also in walking distance of Fortitude Valley, the Gasworks and RNA Showgrounds, which are some of Brisbane’s most vibrant destinations. We have created a top class BTR design and are looking forward to working with a funding partner to deliver the project.”


* The postcode includes other suburbs that are not Bowen Hills and is not solely representative of the Bowen Hills area.

** The specific suburb, not including other suburbs within the 4006 postcode.

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