Dubai: More Middle East investors are starting to like what they see in Australian realty, with ‘pockets of value’ still existing in the suburbs of Brisbane and Melbourne.

“In terms of fundamentals, a rising population and big infrastructure-spending programmes support the outlook for real estate returns in areas beyond the more well-known, traditional investment locations,” said Paul Preston, Director, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at IP Global, the consultancy. “Investing in Australia is a relatively straightforward and clear process.”

But a 3 per cent surcharge on stamp duty for foreign nationals in Victoria is set to take effect early next month. Apartment prices in Melbourne rose 5.2 per cent in the year to March, while the city’s low vacancy rate of 2.1 per cent is keeping yields at a “healthy” average of 4.1 per cent, according to an IP Global report.

‘Some of the fringe suburbs within 10 kilometres of Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) should be a key focus area for investors,’ it notes.

In Queensland, Brisbane’s median unit price reached A$422,000 (Dh1.1 million) last year, a rise of 3.6 per cent. ‘With a shortage of housing stock endemic across the city, further price rises are anticipated, with forecasts putting growth at 5-8 per cent across 2015,’ the report notes.