When I give my address out to people I often get blank looks – where on earth is Banyo? I actually quite like that. Banyo is a hidden gem of a suburb in my opinion.
Originally named Clapham Junction the suburb was renamed in 1897 by the Commissioner of Railways. In the 1920’s, when our area of Banyo was subdivided there were approximately 400 people living here; now there are more than 5,000 people.
Only 12 km from the Brisbane CBD, Banyo is bordered by the Gateway Motorway to the east, Sandgate Road to the west, and bushland to the north. The suburb of Virginia abuts Banyo to the South and Nudgee to the North. Brisbane Airport is only a 10 minute drive away, great for me and my need to fly off for work regularly. It sounds busy, but is actually a little oasis buffered from the noise by a couple of golf courses, the Boondall Wetlands, parks and sports grounds. Banyo is also well serviced with public transport and has a train station on the Sandgate line. It also sits slap bang in the middle of a whole network of bike paths and I regularly ride down to Brisbane City or across to the Chermside shopping centre.
We first considered this area over ten years ago when we were looking for our first Queensland investment. At that time though, it was still considered a rough area and, as we knew nothing about Brisbane and were relying on someone else’s opinion, (we were still living in the Northern Territory at the time) we passed it over. I don’t like to think about how cheap the prices were back then.
Now Banyo is becoming gentrified. The Brisbane City Council helped out by street-scaping the main street and shopping area and Queensland Rail renovated the 100 year old station a couple of years ago. As you walk around the suburb you can see people either doing up the old houses or splitting blocks like ours and building new homes. Coffee shops have sprung up and we have a couple of new restaurants that have opened in recent times along with a home decor shop.
It was those positives listed above of good transport links and gentrification that drew us initially to invest in this area. Other factors that made this a good investment area were the plethora of local workplaces such as the light industry on the Eastern perimeter of the suburb and in nearby Sunshine and Virginia or even the airport precinct, close but not too close. Additionally, compared to adjacent suburbs, the buy-in price was affordable, although that seems to be changing.
I’m sure there are many such “Banyo’s” around Australia, those hidden suburbs that people overlook because of their previous rough, blue collar backgrounds. This is one of those suburbs that is slowly revealing its beauty under the hands of many polishers.