It’s been a longstanding metaphor for failure – to build a house on sand – but Queensland’s Gold Coast stands on a strong foundation of investors steadily flowing in and searching for a place to call home
With proximity to the ocean, postcard vistas around every corner and an abundance of lifestyle choices, that influx has not stopped in the face of Covid, interest rates rises, inflation, or supply and labour challenges.
While not immune to these market factors, local experts say there is still a high level of investor and first-home buyer interest.
Tony Coughran, Property Advisor and Valuer, Simply Gold Coast
Tony Coughran, Property Advisor and Valuer for Simply Gold Coast, told
Australian Property Investor Magazine (API) their investment advice had shifted with the times.
“We’ve always been helping people with a five-year plan to buy an investment on the Gold Coast and live in it, which is a very popular strategy.
“Now, instead of a five-year plan, it’s been a six-month plan or a three-month plan, especially during the height of the Covid lockdown,” Mr Coughran said.
“People wanted to get out and they’re creating a new chapter of life and new lifestyle, they’re really enjoying it.
“What happens is, you have the snowball effect, where their friends and families follow suit. “It’s really created a lot more courage in buyers to take that move earlier, so it’s really fast forwarded the trend.
“Covid’s unveiled that you can certainly work anywhere in Australia, with the Zoom rooms and working from home.
“Having two airports, having access to Brisbane Airport and Gold Coast Airport, does make it popular for people who do need to go to Sydney once or twice a week,” Mr Coughran said.
Principal at SL
Properties Gold Coast, Sandra Liebenberg, told API Magazine that despite the market being turned upside down, the number of people coming through hasn’t waned.
“The interstate people are looking at it from an investment point of view but the young families in the 20s and 30 bracket are coming in to buy their first home but there are so many young people coming in to buy their second home too.”
Ignoring the news
It’s not, Ms Liebenberg says, that the buyers are not feeling a pinch on their mortgage or worrying about a significant drop in the market.
Sandra Liebenberg, Principal, SL Properties Gold Coast
“When the market dips, we don’t have such a strong v-shaped dip here, we seem to have a softer curve and when it dips, it then keeps going up.
“Over the last 50 years, the market was right down there, and it’s right up there now and it’s going to keep going up, no matter what dip or recession we get.
“There’s a whole group of people that are actually ignoring the media and they’re coming in and wanting to buy properties.”
BuyersBuyers co-founder Pete Wargent said property investors looking into southeast Queensland will be relieved a controversial land tax plan has been shelved.
“Southeast Queensland is usually the most popular choice for interstate investors, and now we expect that to continue, which should help to take some of the pressure off rental markets.”
“On the Gold Coast, buyer sentiment is significantly cooler than it was a year ago, and there is no scope to negotiate much more forcefully on price and terms for investment grade properties,” Mr Wargent said.
Gold Coast’s top 10
There are opportunities, however, according to a top ten list of Gold Coat suburbs for investors looking to buy a house with a budget range from $700,000 to $1,200,000, recently released by the BuyersBuyers network.
“Upper Coomera, Helensvale, Southport, Ormeau, Nerang, Pacific Pines, Pimpama, Coomera, Mudgeeraba and Oxenford, are suburbs where buyers can negotiate attractive deals in the current market,” Mr Wargent said.
“Vacancy rates are low in the suburbs we have picked and there is very little risk of detached housing oversupply in most landlocked areas on the Gold Coast as population growth from overseas migration picks up rapidly.
Tony Coughran has observed the shortage of land pushing values up on the outer areas of the Gold Coast.
“Still, you can be in Helensvale or Narang, those sorts of suburbs and still be 20-25 minutes from The Broadwater estuary, it’s not that far out. It’s like a ripple effect. Entry level prices ranges are really popular.
“In Pimpama, there was a duplex that was asking $525,000,” Mr Coughran said.
“In one open house there were 29 groups through and multiple offers and they sold it well above asking price at $595,000, which is an example of the buyer pressure around entry-level suburbs.”
It goes against what the media are saying.
“The entry-level, affordable price brackets (sub $1million for a house, sub $600,000 for a villa) are really in demand, it’s super-hot in the $400,000 to $1 million range,” Mr Coughran said.
Investment in developing suburbs
Using data from CoreLogic, Australian Bureau of Statistics and Reserve Bank of Australia, a BuyersBuyers market analysis shows Pimpama’s median house price is valued at $760,000, indicating 35.5 per cent, 64.4 per cent and 57.4 per cent growth across 12 months, 36 months and 60 months, respectively.
The median advertised rent in Pimpama in the last 12 months is $540, with an estimated 12-month gross rental yield of 4.5 per cent. There are 714 new properties entering the pipeline in the next 24 months.
“There’s so many fabulous little pockets on the Gold Coast that are fabulous areas, and they’re growing,” Ms Liebenberg said.
“My favourite suburbs are Parkwood, Ormeau and Southport because there’s so much growth.
“Southport is going to be a city of its own, the council are putting in a lot of development and with new housing, it’s only going to grow.
“I like Ormeau because it’s a gateway area between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
“Once again, the infrastructure that’s going in there is huge, and people who can’t afford to live in Brisbane or the Gold Coast can live in Ormeau and it’s just up the road,” Ms Liebenberg said.
“Those sort of places have got so much potential – give it 10 years and they’ll be worth a lot of money.
“I’ve had my business in Mudgeeraba and residential property prices have come down in that area; the same in Merrimac, but I would still invest in those areas because although it’s coming down they will go back up again.”
The median house price in Mudgeeraba according to BuyersBuyers, is $1.2million.
“It’s been climbing the ladder since 2008 anyway but it’s the location, which is amazing.
“You’ve got Bonogin, Mudgeeraba, Worongary, Tallai, the latter of which is a fairly elite residential area that has acreage and panoramic views over the Gold Coast, whereas Mudgeeraba is flatter, with acreage properties and lots of residential.
“You’re 12-minutes to Broadbeach and from an investment perspective you’ve got good schools, trams, hospitals, beaches, freeway, parks; all of that area everything is there.
“It’s the same in Merrimac, which is cheaper because the land sizes are not as big, and that is growing.
Ms Liebenberg’s favourite Gold Coast suburb is Parkwood, which is right next door to the Gold Coast University Hospital, a popular area for international medical staff.
“I sold a property in Parkwood and must have had 400-500 enquiries over it, even though it was under contract we were still getting requests.”