In days gone by, it was common for families to go to the same place, at the same time of the year, for every holiday period. Some even invested in their very own beachside shack.
But Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson believes the glory days of secondary properties such as holiday homes started to fade away nearly a decade ago.
“I think we’ve lost the real prosperity effect of secondary property purchases that we had prior to the GFC … and the ultimate discretionary purchase is a holiday home,” he says.
Australians always felt like they’d made it when they bought a holiday home. Those social dynamics are changing and it’s not just an affordability issue. I think the whole nature of holidays is changing as well.”
Affordability is part of the equation, but it’s not just about the increased cost of housing. International travel has become much cheaper so families are often heading to Thailand and Bali instead of Noosa and Cairns.
He says the desirability of Queensland’s premier beachside locations also means that property prices are now no longer considered affordable enough to invest in a holiday house that will provide decent returns.
But Real Estate Institute of Queensland Gold Coast zone chair John Newlands says holiday homes or units still make financial sense in his region.
He says there remains good opportunities in the $350,000 to $550,000 price range.
“Properties from Broadbeach to Southport are in demand, especially because those suburbs are now also serviced by the light rail,” he says.
“People are attracted to the Gold Coast because of our weather, relaxed lifestyle and the fact that our population is forecast to double by 2050.
“If you can get the right combination of a good property, with reasonable body corporate fees, then you’re going to have someone in there paying it off for you.”
Likewise, Amber Werchon, principal of Amber Werchon Property in Mooloolaba, says holiday homes can still achieve good capital growth.
The Sunshine Coast market has recorded strong property price growth of late and the rental market is picking up, too, she says.
“There are two ways to make money with your holiday home – capital growth and rental returns. If you chose to holiday rent, then you have the added bonus of using it yourself, too,” she says.
“Capital growth-wise, there are a number of Sunshine Coast locations where we’ve seen the median sale price increase significantly over the past 12 months.
“Alternatively the permanent rental market is tight, as tight as 1 per cent in some locations such as Caloundra.”
She says the median house price in Minyama increased by 35.4 per cent during the past 12 months, while the median unit price in Noosa Heads grew by 39.2 per cent over the same period.