The Gold Coast is running out of land that can be turned into new developments to fill a growing demand from housing. Photo: Ethan Rohloff
The property industry fears a shortage of land on the Gold Coast could stall one of the fastest growing economies and property markets in the state.
While there are large tracts of unimproved land on the Gold Coast that could be developed, most of it isn’t really suitable, Property Council of Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said.
“It’s not as simple as where is vacant land, it’s the appropriateness of that land. It could be high environmental value, it could be far from infrastructure,” he said.
Mr Mountford said the impact would be far-reaching on the district, driving up prices and starving one of the coast’s largest industries.
“A big part of the Gold Coast’s economy has always been property and construction,” he said. “There’s tradies, plumbers, sparkies getting work off development.
“If we don’t ensure supply is meeting demand that will almost certainly mean declining housing affordability.”
Land needs to be made suitable for new housing estates before developers can go to work. Photo: DAVE HUNT
Failing to keep up affordability and employment would reduce the liveability of the coast.
“We want to ensure the Gold Coast remains a lovable and livable place,” Mr Mountford said. “What we definitely want to make sure is that everybody has their eye on the horizon.”
Metropole Property’s Michael Yardney agreed the looming economic risks should prompt action.
“This will encourage the government to make suitable land available because what little is available will become expensive and stifle the growth,” he said.
Mr Yardney said the government should look to continue the “snowballing” effect the coast was accumulating as the state’s second-biggest economy, behind Brisbane.
However, recent infrastructure spending on the Gold Coast made it unlikely governments would commit to more spending to open up more developable land. Instead, Mr Yardney suggested governments and private enterprise focus on building up the M1 instead.
“I believe it would make sense to develop that corridor than go further inland because there are town centres and shopping centres and infrastructure dotted along the way so that would make sense for me,” he said.
Mr Mountford said consultation was scheduled to begin to work out the best solution, so the Gold Coast did not become a victim of rampant and unsustainable growth.
“One of the things the state government has committed to is an expert housing supply panel,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re not falling behind on markers of population growth.
“Sydney and Melbourne in recent years have demonstrated what can go wrong if you don’t have a strong planning scheme.”
Originally Published: www.domain.com.au