The Gold and Sunshine Coasts are the stars of Queensland’s property market.
An influx of buyers from the southern states and Asia have put a drain on supply, which is driving up prices, local agents say.
The latest figures from the Domain Group’s rental and house price report show houses on the Gold Coast grew by 7.3 per cent overall last year — the best result of all major Queensland regional markets.
More than half of the top 20 property sales in Queensland were made on the Gold Coast last year; the top five alone, all located at Surfers Paradise and Mermaid Beach, totalled $76.2 million.
But it’s not just prestige property doing well on the Gold Coast. Local agent Ruth Fea says properties across all price points are in high demand.
“The driving factor behind the demand is a lack of supply in general. We’re doing more off-market deals than ever — not because we’re being secretive — but because properties are simply selling before we even have a chance to list them,” she says.
“Houses in the $600,000 to $800,000 price range are extremely popular in particular but we never have enough stock. I believe this demand will only increase throughout 2017.”
Ms Fea says though buyers from Sydney and Melbourne are thick on the ground, they’re often unrealistic about the current state of the market.
“They don’t seem to have grasped that the Gold Coast is doing very well right now,” she says.
“They all want to buy here, but they still think the Gold Coast property market is struggling so they are constantly missing out to Brisbane or Chinese buyers who have a better idea of what properties are worth here.
“They want a bargain but the fact is, they need to get the memo that prices have gone up here.”
The Sunshine Coast’s median house price, now $555,000, grew by 4.4 per cent in 2016.
“The Sunshine Coast’s healthy annual growth suggests that the coastal region will remain a popular destination for buyers in 2017,” says Domain Group chief economist, Dr Andrew Wilson.
Indeed, it’s been a busy summer holidays for real estate agents on the Sunshine Coast.
Ray White Caloundra agent Andrew Garland says he has never seen it so busy.
“I’ve been in real estate here 12 years and the last six months of 2016 was the best market I’ve ever operated in,” he says.
“In particular, the beach suburbs of Moffat, Shelly and Dicky (Beach) all experienced phenomenal results and demand.”
Mr Garland says Caloundra, beloved for its more laid-back and casual lifestyle, will only continue to rise, given the local planning laws.
“We’re not built-up here, there’s not the high density that you get in places like Mooloolaba,” he says.
“What we have here on the coastline is unique — a protected residential precinct — and that ensure demand and prices continue to go up.”
In and around Noosa, local agent Tom Offermann says houses up to $2 million and units up to $1 million are currently the most in demand.
“Inquiries and sales over the Christmas period and January have been solid, particularly from Sydney buyers,” he says.
The overall auction clearance rate for Mr Offermann’s agency in 2016 was 87 per cent, a trend he sees continuing throughout 2017.
He cited the recent sale of a golf course-fronting house at Noosa Springs as an example of how fast the market is moving. Located at The Ridge, it sold prior to auction, in the vicinity of $2.5 million.