When we talk about the prestige markets on the Sunshine Coast, there is certainly a wide choice. From the beach, river and canal front area along the coast to the hinterland and Blackall Range areas, there is a wide cross section of property types to appeal to many areas of the market place.
At the outset, it must be acknowledged that the prestige market has been one of the most impacted markets on the Sunshine Coast. These properties are generally lifestyle type properties and are more of a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’. Subsequently some of the down pressure on values was quite significant with values now being well below replacement cost. This is especially the case in the northern area of the coast around Noosa as there are a larger number of holiday homes when compared to the rest of the Sunshine Coast. When the pressure came on, owners had a choice of selling the holiday home or the principle place of residence. The choice was easy, the holiday homes went on the market and then standard market forces kicked in, supply up and demand down.
Over the past six or so months we have really started to see activity in this sector pick up. This has however occurred on the back of vendors finally meeting the market and reducing prices. The key ingredient is that the market makeup has changed. An example of this is the Noosa Waters canal estate. When supply was at its peak there were in excess of 60 water front properties on the market. At the moment, with the increased volume of sales, there are circa 30 waterfront properties on the market. The main feedback has been that purchasers have begun to perceive real value and as confidence has improved in their own situation, they have been prepared to pick up these properties at reduced prices. The sting in the tail is the purchaser that has not done their research or sought out some good independent advice.
With the change of sentiment in the market, we have already seen some transactions that have occurred that are well above the market. Usually the purchasers are time poor, trying to look at properties and purchase remotely. All factors that are fraught with danger if you are trying to buy at the right price.
On the central and southern areas on the coast, there have been some big ticket properties that have sold recently which is a good sign. But once again, these have been on the back of vendors meeting the market and prices being below replacement cost. Some of these sales include: • 7 Minyama Island, Minyama sold in December 2012 for $6.75 million after reportedly costing in excess of $8 million. • 31 Carwoola Crescent, Mooloolaba sold in November 2012 for $3.9 million after reportedly costing in excess of $5.5 million. • 15 Burgess Street, Kings Beach sold in October 2012 for $3.1 million after the property was listed for sale in 2010 for $4.5 million and being reduced to $3.6 million in 2011.
We have touched on just the coastal housing market. The same applies for the prestige unit and rural residential markets with values being off from the peak by up to 40% All in all, the prestige markets have been significantly impacted in the downturn with value levels now aligned more to 2002/2003 levels.
What this leads too is a good opportunity for purchases to pick up some good properties at great prices, but remember ‘caveat emptor’, and make sure you get some good independent advice so as to maximise these opportunities.