Gold Coast Property Market Update December 2020

Who would have thought that 2020 would have played out as it did?

In February, the Gold Coast housing market was showing signs of recovery with sale prices continuing to improve, time on market decreasing and multiple buyers for good quality stock. The shutdown in March and April saw contracts collapsing or being renegotiated due to the uncertainty being experienced around the country as job security was front of mind and businesses were forced to close, with no known date of re-opening.

Our predictions were that the interstate cashed up buyers would return to the Gold Coast in 2020, and they did, but not for the reasons we were thinking at the start of the year. The past few months have seen properties being purchased sight unseen as southern investors and relocating owners move north to the sunshine, white sandy beaches and beautiful hinterland. Locally, the rural residential market has improved throughout the year as families seek space and room to move.

Central West and Scenic Rim

A call out for 2020 is the market on Tamborine Mountain. Agents are reporting that stock levels have declined significantly and is not uncommon for a property to be listed and sold within hours. Tamborine Mountain is a popular tourist destination for its cafes and wineries. There is a high proportion of green space and larger blocks and it is still only 45 minutes by road to the beach. There are also two state primary schools, a state high school and a private college located on the mountain. The median house price is $579,000 and the demographic is fairly evenly spread between couples, families and retirees.

The affordability offered within the Scenic Rim has attracted a number of local Gold Coast buyers to move to larger properties but still be within easy commuting distance of the M1 and regional facilities. This has driven an increase in value levels and again a shortage in quality stock.

North West Region

Record low interest rates, down to a cash rate of 0.1 per cent from 0.75 per cent in February and also a large number of stimulus grants for first home buyers and first home builders has pushed demand in the growing areas of Coomera, Pimpama, Bahrs Scrub, Yarrabilba and Flagstone. Developers have increased land prices as each new stage is released and it appears that both investors and owner-occupiers are back in the market securing new homes and taking advantage of the incentives on offer.

This area saw a significant slowdown in the construction industry up to February this year which is now a distant memory as streets are filled with tradies and owners are pushing for a pre-Christmas handover of their new homes or a pre-Christmas start to comply with incentive requirements.

Southern Gold Coast / Northern New South Wales

The northern New South Wales and southern Gold Coast markets were ticking along nicely and showing stable to steady growth at the start of the year. Post lockdown, the northern part of New South Wales (Tweed Shire) was included in the border bubble which enabled residents to cross from parts of Queensland to parts of New South Wales without quarantining. The first few weeks of confusion passed and we all got used to applying for a border pass and queuing up to cross. The creation of this bubble created significant demand for the northern Tweed Heads suburbs of Kingscliff and Casuarina with an over ten per cent increase in prices achieved in the past three months alone. This was driven by owners relocating in the area and also a large number of southern buyers moving to the region.

More recently, there have also been some record sales in the southern Gold Coast suburbs. A large 2742 square metre waterfront property at Palm Beach broke all canal-front records by selling for $5.05 million at auction. Comprising three lots improved with an original 1980s home and a 52 metre easterly aspect to a wide portion of the canal, it is suitable for renovation, redevelopment with one or three homes, duplexes, or even subdivision into four lots.

Central Gold Coast

The Isle of Capri Decongestion project is well underway with duplication of the bridge at the eastern end of the island commencing earlier this year. Property prices within this locality have continued to grow over the past six months despite the uncertainty, with one property located on Amalfi Drive being purchased via video call in excess of $4 million. Sales volumes within the area don’t seem to have been affected, with agents reporting a lack of stock available for sale and any houses listed selling within short timeframes.

Activity levels for housing improved throughout 2020, however investor units stagnated as the tourism sector was severely impacted by the lockdowns across the country. Whilst occupancy levels have increased, they are still well below previous years and this is a result not only of the border restrictions within Australia but the absence of the international tourist market. As the borders open throughout Australia, it is anticipated that tourists will return to the more traditional holiday areas of Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise, however it may be a while until demand for holiday units on the resale market improves. As predicted earlier in the year, there are a number of projects nearing completion or due for settlement and this will see an influx of this stock either from purchasers reselling or defaulting on settlement.

All in all, the market on the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales improved over the past six months with a large number of sales to interstate purchasers who are now accustomed to working from home. This has driven demand and in turn an increase in value levels in the more centrally located areas east of the M1 and also rural residential properties within easy commuting distance of the M1 and the Gold Coast or Brisbane.

Janine Rockliff