Cash-rich property investors from Sydney and Melbourne are increasingly eyeing more affordable suburbs up north, and many real estate agents are forecasting that properties under $1m will be Brisbane’s fastest-growing market this year.

Damian Hackett, founder and CEO of Place Estate Agents, said he expects substantial growth in the $500,000 to $800,000 price bracket, with middle ring suburbs leading the way.

“The dramatic increase in property prices in Sydney and Melbourne over the past few years has dried up affordable investment housing stock [in those markets],” Hackett told the Domain Group.

Hackett said his office has been fielding a lot of inquiries from buyers’ agents down south.

“It’s been well documented that [Brisbane’s] inner-city suburbs are in demand and they will continue to do very well – but it’s that next ring out that’s now attractive and increasing in demand. The mid to outer ring is where affordability lies.”

He recommends looking for property that’s close to the CBD, infrastructure, and amenities.

Hackett named Aspley as the suburb to pay close attention to on the northside, and Wakerley and Wynnum as the suburbs to prioritise in the eastern suburbs.

In the south, he said Yeronga, all the way to Sunnybank, would be in high demand.

Tristan Rowland, principal of Place Aspley, said buyers from Sydney and Melbourne were driving local property growth at the moment.

“There’s so much Sydney money coming in especially; it’s such a cheap holding for them,” he said. “Many of them are looking for properties out of the areas zoned for apartments … they want to be able to hold onto it for years knowing they won’t have a unit pop up next door.”

According to Rowland, Geebung and Wavell Heights were gaining momentum for their reasonably priced housing situated close to local amenities.

“Chermside is getting further extensions onto the roof now, which only increases its appeal … these suburbs are so close to all of that,” he said.