Why should property investors care that Perth and the Gold Coast are now considered “regional” towns instead of “metro” cities?
They should care because the change could have a significant impact on the real estate markets in those two cities, creating both opportunities and risks for investors. Here, I will explain why.
We all know that immigration is one of the reasons Australia’s economy has kept growing year after year, for the past 27 years. A provocative professor at the University of Sydney claims that Australia’s “economy is addicted to immigration” because —without the constant growth in population— our economy actually would have gone into recession several times over the past three decades.
Saving the country from recession isn’t enough anymore, however. The federal government wants immigrants to do more. That’s why it’s passed its regional immigration plan, which allocates 25,000 visas to immigrants who are willing to live for three years in regional Australia. After that, they can qualify for permanent residency.
The government billed the plan as a way to boost hardscrabble Australian bush towns.
Now, the government has decided that both Perth and the Gold Coast qualify as “regional” under the regional migration program. While that may be bad news for smaller, dustier towns, for the two cities it is excellent news. It means that they can benefit from thousands of new immigrants, the jobs they help create, the university fees they pay, and the money they invest in housing.
The new regional designation could be the factor that helps many students, workers, and investors from China decide to move to these two cities. It won’t mean more transactions tomorrow. Over the next 12 to 24 months, however, this change could add several thousand additional sales to the two markets.
A 10% TO 20% INCREASE IN TRANSACTION VOLUME?
These following numbers are an example of how it could play out. In Perth last year, there were about 26,000 sales. An additional 3,000 sales in a year would be more than a 10 per cent increase in annual transactions. An extra 10% in transaction volume would help put a floor under prices and help stimulate new construction.
On the Gold Coast this year, there will probably be about 15,000 transactions. At that pace, an additional 3,000 sales would mean an increase of about 20% in transactions. That would have a similar impact as in Perth.
The reclassification sounds like bureaucratic mumbo jumbo, but it has real-life impact. It was subject to a lot of behind-the-scenes lobbying and arm-twisting. This change could mean thousands of new residents coming to these cities and buying property, attending university, or starting businesses. It’s an economic gold mine for Perth and the Gold Coast.
There will now be a total of 25,000 visas for foreigners willing to live in regional areas. With their new “regional” classification, the Gold Coast and Perth have become (with Adelaide) the locations by far most likely to attract those immigrants.
The educational institutions, job markets, infrastructure, and lifestyle in the cities makes smaller regional destinations look less appealing by comparison. Regional areas like Dubbo or Geelong have a lot going for them and can provide excellent opportunities to new migrants. But the Gold Coast, Perth, and Adelaide are more prominent and by most calculations offer better prospects.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR INVESTORS?
The change will also give the Gold Coast and Perth a boost in the battle to displace Melbourne and Sydney as the top destinations for Chinese migrants, students, and property buyers.
Both cities are struggling to increase the share of foreigners they attract. Their retailers want more residents, their universities want more students, and their developers want more property buyers.
If I were a property investor in the Gold Coast or Perth today, this new development would reassure me. Population growth has been the primary driver of price growth in Australia over the past several decades. With the regional migration program, Perth and the Gold Coast stand to see their population growth increase above present rates. Investors who can ride that growth to profits should do very well.
Gold Coast’s $ 4 million penthouse
THE Gold Coast’s prestige real estate market got off to a flying start in 2020, selling a trophy penthouse for $ 4 million.
Paid-out Brisbane buyers are buying the sprawling four-bedroom residence in the One Palm Beach development, with completion expected later this month.
Harcourts Coastal’s Tolemy Stevens, who handled the sale, said buyers would use the property as a vacation home.
“The buyers looked at Main Beach, Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach, but ended up in Palm Beach,” said Stevens.
“They loved the size of the penthouse, the fact that it took up the entire level and that they were on the eighth floor and still felt connected to the beach.”
The 466 m² penthouse is located on the top floor and offers a 360-degree view of the Gold Coast.
A media room, a butler’s pantry, an all-round deck and state-of-the-art equipment are among the outstanding features.
Mr. Stevens said the properties on the southern end of the coast are very exciting.
“It shows that Palm Beach is definitely in the spotlight and is becoming more popular over the years,” he said.
“Instead of Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, buyers are welcome to expand their search criteria, which we didn’t see five years ago.”
The Velocity Property Group developed One Palm Beach with 17 apartments, including the penthouse.
National sales manager Caroline Humbert said the penthouse on the beach would be a fantastic vacation home for the buyer due to its location, space, and views.
“We are thrilled that the buyer can call this incredible 466-square-meter penthouse with four bedrooms, including four parking spaces, an escape to the Gold Coast,” she said.
Ms. Humbert said the Velocity Property Group recognized the unique properties of Palm Beach a few years ago, including the emerging lifestyle factors of restaurants and retail.
One Palm Beach was recognized as a finalist at the UDIA Queensland Awards for Excellence in late 2019.
The average apartment price in Palm Beach is $ 457,750, according to realestate.com
Hot tips for buyers and sellers of Gold Coast in 2020
If you’re targeting new property for next year, it may be time to think about 2019 and how much the market has changed.
A nationwide downturn and low interest rates were the two big reasons why agents say buyers can get the most out of the conditions but need to act quickly.
John Newlands, director of the Real Estate Institute in Queensland on the Gold Coast, said buyers had regained their confidence after a shaky start to the year.
Mr Newlands said that since the election and the Royal Banking Commission, buyers have returned and realistic sellers can benefit from their willingness to buy.
“Lenders have settled in and there are very low interest rates for buyers,” he said.
“The infrastructure on the Gold Coast gives us more depth than in the past.
“Sellers need to be realistic and don’t think prices will go up.
“It’s a healthy market (on the way to 2020), you don’t have to be above the market, you have to be in tune with it.”
Mr. Newlands said good marketing and presentation are key for providers.
Michael Kollosche, director of the self-titled agency, said there will be limited stocks in the Gold Coast market by 2020, which means that both buyers and sellers should change their approach.
“Buyers who want to buy property have to be a little more aggressive,” he said.
“It is definitely the impression that the market is moving upwards. If you are not in a hurry, you will probably regret it as you see property prices go up and pay more for inferior properties.”
According to Kollosche, low interest rates have been a catalyst for sellers to keep their properties, resulting in a lack of supply and slowly rising prices.
“We find that most sellers see increased interest in the first three to four weeks (after the listing),” he said. “Premium buyers usually appear at the start of the campaign.
“It is important that you carefully consider the price and sales method when you first come to the market. “
Government Bans High-Rise Development at The Spit
All future high-rise developments along The Spit will be restricted to a three-storey limit following community backlash against the masterplan.
More than 23,000 pieces of feedback were submitted during an 18-month masterplanning process, prompting the state government to change regulations for the area.
Originally The Spit’s masterplan for an “Ocean Park” included turning 140-hectares into light rail stations, super-yacht berths, and a proposal for an ocean cruise ship terminal.
While The Spit masterplan was drafted, ASX-listed developer Sunland withdrew an application for a proposed $600 million residential project on the site which included two 44-storey towers.
Last month Sunland put the 3.9-hectare Mariner’s Cove retail village and marina precinct on the market.
Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said the changes were made because The Spit had an unsurpassed natural beauty that the Gold Coast community was rightly passionate about.
“The message was clear: the community broadly supported a three-storey height limit being imposed,” he said.
“The new regulation delivers on our commitment to support the community’s expectation for low-rise development on The Spit.”
Amendments were made to the Planning Regulation 2017 to prohibit development over three-storeys or 15 metres.
“The height limit will apply to buildings and structures within the building height control area, including Sea World, Sheraton Mirage and all land south towards Southport Yacht Club,” Dick said.
“Outdoor rides within Sea World will be exempt from the height limit, however, new buildings in the theme park will have to adhere to the three-storey limit.
“This regulation change will ensure future development integrates with the existing landscape and maintains the prominence of The Spit’s natural values.”
Gold Coast Waterways Authority chief executive Hal Morris said they would be collaborating on the implementation of the masterplan.
“The waters and foreshores around The Spit are a real asset, so it’s important the connection between the land and water is maintained,” he said.
City of Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate welcomed the news and said council’s $35 million investment for transport and access upgrades along The Spit would also improve the visitor experience for locals and tourists alike.
“Maintaining the height limit will ensure the natural character and charm of The Spit continues in line with community expectations,” he said.
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