Australia’s wealthiest individuals are landing on the Gold Coast thankful that real estate prices have not exploded as they have in the southern states where the prevalence of $2 million-plus sales is powering ahead.
Twenty years ago only 236 houses and apartments were sold annually at a $2m-plus price tag across the nation.
These days, fuelled by cashed-up residents from Melbourne and Sydney, there were 11,319 property transactions valued at $2m or more in the 12 months to June, CoreLogic says.
High-profile Gold Coast real estate agents, such as Michael Kollosche, James Ledgerwood and John Natoli, stress that southeast Queensland property prices have not returned to the hey days of the pre-global financial crisis.
Ledgerwood, an agent with McGrath, recently sold five apartments and villas in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach to Sydney siders in the $2m to $3m range. A sixth apartment was snapped up by a North Queenslander.
“Most buyers are out-of-towners,” Ledgerwood says.
“There’s a lot of people making a seachange from Sydney who say the market has capped out in NSW and the Gold Coast presents exceptional value,” he says.
“I have not seen this volume of interstate buyers since just before the last boom kicked in around 2005.”
Ledgerwood is confident he will snare a southern buyer for a penthouse on level 33 and 34 of one of Main Beach’s tallest building, which he is auctioning on November 19.
The three-bedroom penthouse, atop The Inlet development at Main Beach, features a rare dual pool private rooftop, and is expected to sell for more than $4m. It is a bargain given that it was initially listed at $8m earlier this year by its vendor, former grand prix winning motorcycle champion Craig Trinder.
“I have had really good interest from Victorian and NSW buyers,” says Ledgerwood.
“And it has one of the best roof- top swimming pools I have ever seen.”
McGrath agent John Natoli also noticed sudden interest from Sydneysiders in the Gold Coast. “Everything we are selling is going to Sydney buyers,” says Natoli.
“Sydney buyers are maybe realising their market is at a peak,” says Natoli adding that Sydneysiders recently snapped up two $2.5m beachfront apartments, another $3m unit and a $2m house on the Burleigh hill.
But it’s not just apartments and smaller villas pushing the buttons of southerners.
Rival Gold Coast agent Michael Kollosche, of Kollosche Prestige Agents, says an Albatross Avenue house, known as Tidemark, recently sold to Melbourne-based billionaire toy manufacturer Manny Stul for $25m.
“There’s been a real combination of locals, and people from Melbourne and Sydney buying,” Kollosche says, noting that international buyers have decreased.
“That is probably due to the financial controls they have put on in Mainland China,” he says.
Still Kollosche notes that blocks on land on prime Mermaid Beach are still selling for about half the price of pre GFC days. He maintains Mermaid Beach blocks are selling for about $11,000 a square metre down from about $22,000/sq m.
“In some areas of the Gold Coast property is still 30 to 50 per cent off pre-GFC days. Mermaid Beach is a good example of that.”
“We are getting a lot interstate interest in the larger beachfront homes, such as 187-191 Hedges Avenue in Mermaid Beach, which we have listed at $17.25m.
He says there are a number of inquiries coming out of Melbourne and Sydney for that one.
But Kollosche warns that the Gold Coast’s larger apartments are starting to become scarce as they get snapped up.
“There is not as much to choose from, because we are starting to see some steady capital appreciation. I think you will see supply levels start to diminish.”
Local property developer Ron Bakir is clearly hoping to cash in. He is about to list an apartment — 3250/23 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise — with a price tag of $12.5m through Kollosche.
Bakir undertook a full renovation of the apartment a year ago and Kollosche is not shy about spruiking the apartment. He says it is one of the best penthouses in Australia with nearly 1000sq m of space and more than 20 car spaces.
The Gold Coast looks very good in comparison to most other capital cities around Australia, he reckons.
Originally Published by: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/