Property prices in a string of coastal pockets have soared, almost doubling or more over the past five years amid a sea and tree-change boom and limited housing supply.
Unit prices in Noosa Heads on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast lifted more than 100 per cent over the five years to September, as did unit prices in nearby Coolum Beach and house prices in Surfers Paradise.
Median house values in Victoria’s Anglesea and Barwon Heads and Tasmania’s George Town also more than doubled.
Meanwhile, the northern NSW towns of Kingscliff and Casuarina were among about a dozen other coastal towns and suburbs where growth was about 90 per cent or higher.
Domain’s chief of research and economics, Dr Nicola Powell, said the five-year period captured the phenomenal price growth in coastal locations during the pandemic property boom, fuelled by record low interest rates and increased demand from sea changers and those seeking holiday or secondary homes amid closed borders and lockdowns.
While such demand had since eased – as borders reopened and the cash rate climbed – buyer interest was still outstripping supply in many markets, Powell said.
This had helped to limit price falls during the downturn and led to a price rebound, she said.
Large infrastructure investment and lower property prices were also continuing to draw interest to regional Australia, which reached a new peak in its overall median house price of about $591,000 last month.
“Regional areas held up quite well during the downturn. It does depend on what market you’re talking about, but that flight to affordability is still a really prominent factor … and it will always be a key player in driving demand from the capital cities.”
While the tree and sea-change boom had eased, markets like south-east Queensland were continuing to field solid out-of-area and overseas interest, Powell said, in part due to large infrastructure spending ahead of the 2032 Olympics.
On the Sunshine Coast, Tom Offermann, of the eponymous Noosa real estate agency, said the rise of remote working had been the catalyst for demand and price growth.
“That lasted around two years, and now we’re at more moderate levels of interstate migration, but … from 2022 onwards, there has been a more limited number of properties available to purchase, which is keeping upward pressure on prices, despite all the interest rate rises,” he said.
Unit values in Noosa Heads lifted 12.7 per cent over the past year to a median $1.58 million, while those in Coolum Beach lifted 4.2 per cent to $835,000 – taking five-year growth to 101.2 per cent.
Elsewhere on the Sunshine Coast, house prices were up 90 per cent or more in Yandina, Buddina and Sunrise Beach, though prices in the latter were down 13.2 per cent year-on-year.
Across the border, values in Kingscliff and Casuarina were up 91.3 per cent to $1,605,000 and 89.8 per cent to $1.86 million over the five-year period, despite a pullback in prices year on year.
Local agent Nick Witheriff, director of Witheriff Group by LJ Hooker, said local infrastructure investment – including the new Tweed Valley Hospital set to open next year – new amenities and remote working had brought more people to the region.
Record results were still being achieved for premium properties, but the heat had settled in the lower end, and there had been some holiday-home owners offloading properties – as rates climbed and domestic tourism slowed – which was improving the supply of listings.
“About 85 per cent of our buyers are now owner occupiers and the balance is investors. Because of that high ratio of owner occupiers, we are now seeing a more stable market,” he said.
The demographics have also changed dramatically in Anglesea, on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, where values have lifted 105.8 per cent to a median $1.75 million in five years – and were relatively stable over the year, lifting 1.2 per cent.
More people are living there full-time since the pandemic, when an influx of Melbourne buyers looked to the region, said Hayden Real Estate Anglesea director Darcy Bennett.
While demand has dropped from previous frantic levels, there was still good interest and a limited supply of listings that had supported prices during the downturn.
“We’ve definitely seen a big shift in the demographics over the past couple of years. You even notice it in the cars on the street. The Commodores are gone, and you now see Maseratis and Lamborghinis,” he said.
“Most of the people I grew up with are of the age where they’re looking to buy and unless they have some sort of windfall [like an inheritance] … no one can afford to be here … [locals] are shifting further inland and to rural areas to buy.”
Infrastructure investment and the tree-change boom were also key to massive price growth in George Town, where values jumped 115.2 per cent to a median of $355,000 over five years, and edged back 1 per cent over the past year.
Harcourts East Tamar director Andrew Michieletto said the town’s lower price point had made it popular with retirees.
“You can buy property close to the sea for well under $1 million, and you can still get an ex-housing department house that’s been partially renovated for around $350,000.”
Meanwhile, a growing tourism sector had let to an increase in properties being bought for short-term rentals, affecting both sale and rental prices.
Article source: www.smh.com.au