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The fastest growing suburbs on the Gold Coast aren’t what you’d expect


If you bought in central Gold Coast just five years ago, right now you’d be cheering. In that time, prices for houses have risen a staggering 48 per cent.

That’s the highest increase for properties across the entire Gold Coast but it doesn’t mean other areas are suffering. House prices in all areas have risen more than 25 per cent.

Gold Coast’s south is another star performer, growing by 35 per cent growth over the past five years.\

And the suburbs where most buyers want to be? Overwhelmingly it’s the “Waters” suburbs, such as Broadbeach Waters and Burleigh Waters. Over five years, Broadbeach Waters grew 49 per cent to a $1.09m median and of the highest selling suburbs on the Gold Coast it had the highest median sale price.

‘Waters’ suburbs are characterised by being set back from the beach and often feature canals, which can serve as a budget waterfront property.

Rhonda Mulholland of Harcourts Coastal says demand in the “waters” suburbs was being driven by families wanting homes on larger blocks within a reasonable distance of the beach.


“They want to be able to ride their pushie to the beach and it’s more affordable than Mermaid Waters,” she said.

“For those who can’t afford Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters is the next best thing because you can be as close as 700 metres from the beach.”

The majority of the housing that makes up Burleigh Waters is 80s brick homes that are now being renovated by clever vendors, Ms Mulholland said.



“There’s a lot of money being poured into the area — people are renovating these old homes and they’re the ones that the buyers love most.”

Ms Mulholland cited the recent sale of a Burleigh Waters house that nearly doubled in only two years.

“I sold it to them for $425,000 two years ago and since then they’ve renovated and now sold it again for $835,000,” she said.

But that growth is still pricing buyers with lower buying power out of the market, moving more activity further inland, Remax Regency agent Daryn Trowbridge said.

“Burleigh Waters has gone ballistic recently. I’m telling buyers how much they’ll save by being that extra five minutes away and they’re seeing the services that Varsity Lakes has here and seeing the value,” he said.

Varsity Lakes saw a whopping 11 per cent increase in the median price over the past 12 months.

The extra five minute drive was well worth it for the $200,000 saving on house prices, Mr Trowbridge said.

Lacey West agent Bobbie Higgins said Palm Beach was gaining popularity as tightly-held Burleigh Heads and Waters became too busy for those who liked it for its “village feel”.

“Burleigh’s got so busy,” Ms Higgins said. “It’s hard on the weekend to get parks.”

Ray White Mermaid Beach‘s Scott Wagner described how Burleigh Heads had a constant cloud of buyers hovering. He has already sold out new apartment development One Burleigh Heads, showcasing the intensity of the demand in the area.

“We’re not looking for 100 sales, we’re looking for eight or nine sales and when you get one person buy, there will be some kind of competition in the following days,” he said. “They seem to school like fish.”

People bought into the central and south areas of the Gold Coast with the expectation of holding property for a long time, Mr Wagner said.

“It’s such a rare area, people are buying into the area thinking their grandchildren will still own the homes.”

“What protects your investment is getting the best position you can.”


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Brisbane house prices hit another record high, rise 13 per cent

Brisbane’s compelling real estate story is on the cusp of its most exciting chapter yet after house prices climbed by double digits over the past year to record heights.

The latest Domain House Price Report, released on Thursday, revealed median prices jumped by 13 per cent over the 12 months until June – the largest rise in 13 years.

Over the past 12 months, the median house price has gone up by almost $78,000, which is around the average Queensland annual salary. Property experts claim this moment in Brisbane property history is just the beginning, with the city’s successful success Olympics bid tipped to fuel further growth.

According to the report, house prices rose by 5 per cent over the June quarter alone, pushing the median to $678,236. Unit prices remained almost flat in the city’s ongoing tale of two markets, with prices rising 2.1 per cent over the past year to $394,287.

Brisbane median house price reached a record $678,236 in the June quarter.

For anyone who has been trying to buy a house in Brisbane’s frenzied market over the past year, the figures will come as no surprise. In Brisbane’s inner-city ring, house prices have jumped a massive 30 per cent, while prices in Brisbane’s north are up 19.8 per cent. They’re up 18.9 per cent in the western suburbs and 17.5 per cent in the south.

The rises come amid record house price growth across the nation: Sydney’s median is now at $1.41 million, while Melbourne and Canberra’s medians have both cracked $1 million.

Capital city median house prices, June quarter

Jun-21 Mar-21 Jun-20 QoQ YoY
Sydney $1,410,133 $1,303,185 $1,137,246 8.2% 24.0%
Melbourne $1,022,927 $982,382 $880,620 4.1% 16.2%
Brisbane $678,236 $645,718 $600,258 5.0% 13.0%
Adelaide $629,728 $597,187 $541,591 5.4% 16.3%
Canberra $1,015,833 $919,900 $786,517 10.4% 29.2%
Perth $595,823 $589,687 $530,702 1.0% 12.3%
Hobart $646,301 $606,275 $503,392 6.6% 28.4%
Darwin $608,519 $559,022 $497,543 8.9% 22.3%
National $955,927 $903,471 $804,380 5.8% 18.8%

Data provided by domain

Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell said the Queensland capital was perfectly poised for a property coming of age with close to record-high interstate and expat migration largely feeding the latest growth.

“What’s interesting around hosting the Olympics is that the impact on housing values isn’t going to be during the Olympics of 2032; it’s going to be far more stretched than that because in the lead up it’s such a significant event for Australia and Brisbane so we’ll see significant investment,” Dr Powell said.

“It will grow the infrastructure and the associated job creation, and with that, it will bring economic prosperity … and what we could see is a bit of a turnaround in unit growth as well.

“I think this is something that sets Brisbane apart from our other capital cities because, until 2032, there’s a long period of time, which means there’s lots of time for purchases on big-ticket items in terms of infrastructure.”

Dr Powell added that the capital’s continued affordability compared to Sydney and Melbourne was throwing more fuel into the price cycle.

Ray White New Farm principal Haesley Cush said Brisbane’s gripping property tale was only just unfolding.

Brisbane house price rises by region

SA4 Jun-21 Mar-21 Jun-20 QoQ YoY
Brisbane – East $655,000 $615,000 $601,600 6.5% 8.9%
Brisbane – North $725,000 $685,000 $605,000 5.8% 19.8%
Brisbane – South $833,500 $785,000 $709,500 6.2% 17.5%
Brisbane – West $868,000 $820,000 $730,000 5.9% 18.9%
Brisbane Inner City $1,240,000 $1,200,000 $952,500 3.3% 30.2%

Data provided by domain

“The market is extraordinarily unique. In March 2020, Brisbane was finally waking up after 10 years of a relatively flat period, and that’s quite a long time for a capital city to not have real capital growth,” Mr Cush said.

“So, we were due for an upward swing, but to (further) drive that up was COVID and the [planned] infrastructure.

“COVID had this unpredicted benefit to property prices, and there’s no sign of [price growth] slowing. And then on top of that, you have the Olympics, and so that, by definition, adds more capital growth, and the final thing people look for is some comfort that prices won’t go down and we’re still 10 years away from the Olympics.

“So, you can see that we have this insurance policy of the Olympics counteracting any downward trend, and Brisbane is going to be on the map, and people are going to notice the city more than ever before.

“Then looking at the infrastructure coming, it’s an unbelievable story for Brisbane … in 10 years’ time, Brisbane is actually going to be improved quite dramatically.”


Brisbane is on the cusp of further change and expansion, given the successful 2032 Olympics bid which will only further accelerate house prices. Photo: SPACE Property South Brisbane

The sunny outlook comes hot on the heels of record price growth in the city, with Mr Cush citing the first quarter of the year as their greatest three months of sales in history.

“This quarter was probably continuing on par, but some of our markets have continued to roar … it’s probably the most exciting market I’ve worked in,” Mr Cush said.

Joint managing director and lead agent at Place Estate Agents Bulimba, Sarah Hackett, said while the greater city had undergone strong growth as a whole, that million-dollar price point had skyrocketed by 30 per cent in some cases.

“We’ve never seen this before in Brisbane. The numbers through the opens [are incredible]. We’ve got about 20 per cent more going through than in 2019, and we’ll always have someone from Hong Kong and the UK,” Ms Hackett said.

“Buyers aren’t mucking around … and on average, we have seven registered bidders per auction, and it’s all cash buyers.

“Over the last quarter Place Bulimba was up 62 per cent from 2019, and that was working out to be one of our best years.

“I can honestly say this is all I’ve ever done for 24 years; it’s the best market I’ve ever seen.”

Capital city median unit prices, June quarter

Jun-21 Mar-21 Jun-20 QoQ YoY
Sydney $786,175 $761,993 $731,789 3.2% 7.4%
Melbourne $572,793 $568,475 $544,290 0.8% 5.2%
Brisbane $394,287 $396,039 $386,136 -0.4% 2.1%
Adelaide $337,932 $337,932 $330,190 0.0% 2.3%
Canberra $504,217 $486,512 $481,599 3.6% 4.7%
Perth $370,571 $377,073 $325,778 -1.7% 13.7%
Hobart ** $429,287 $433,435 ** **
Darwin ** $298,624 $275,664 ** **
National $601,482 $588,957 $563,907 2.1% 6.7%

Data provided by domain

While Ms Hackett agreed that homes in the city’s blue-chip inner fringe were going nothing short of gangbusters, she said opportunities still abounded in the prestige sector where prices hadn’t surged with the same ferocity.

“It’s an incredibly good time to upgrade because the houses worth $1.2 million have gone up substantially.”

But with thousands of expats projected to fly home in the coming year and storm the market, it’s a window she felt could start to close.

“There’s still plenty of opportunity for growth, and there’s going to be a lot more migration.”


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Mortgage Stability Attracting New Buyers

Taking on a new mortgage is becoming an increasingly attractive option for Australians as mortgage stability hits a near-record high.

Around 3 million people were expected to buy a new home in the next six months, while more than 256,000 refinanced, according to a number of reports.

Australia’s ability to keep up with these mortgage repayments was continuing to improve despite property prices skyrocketing.

One-in-six mortgagors said they were considered at risk of mortgage stress in the three months to May, compared to nearly one-in-five at the same time last year.

The data from Roy Morgan revealed low community transmission and increased full-time employment were contributing to improved conditions.

Meanwhile, property prices nationally have increased by more than 10 per cent in the first half of the year, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, who decided to maintain the cash rate this week.

“Demand over the preceding year had been led by owner-occupiers, although investors had become more active in recent months,” the board said.

“As had been the case for some time, the flow of new listings for sale remained similar to pre-pandemic levels but total listings were much lower, implying that dwellings were being sold at a rapid pace.”

Low interest rates and new buyers could further boost the property prices with three million people looking to buy in the next six months, according to Finder.

The research revealed 7 per cent of Australians were looking to buy as an investment, while 7 per cent plan to live in the home they buy.

A further 10 per cent of people would buy a property in the next six months if they could afford to do so.

However, rents were also on the rise increasing between 8.9 and 21.6 per cent across Australia with the exception of Melbourne and Sydney where there was little change.

Mortgage stress hits near record low 


^Source: Roy Morgan 

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said support from the government and banks was helping people continue to service their mortgages.

“Many years of research into mortgage stress has shown that the biggest driver of increased mortgage stress is the reduction in income caused by the loss of a job which causes an immediate jump into a ‘risk’ category,” Levine said.

“Over two-in-three mortgages rely on more than one income and our analysis shows losing even the lower of these two incomes causes an immediate four-fold increase in the likelihood of those mortgage holders becoming ‘at risk’ or ‘extremely at risk’.”

Refinancing is also on the up with more than 256,000 refinance settlements occurring across the 2020-21 financial year, according to PEXA.

PEXA senior research manager Mike Gill said mortgage holders were taking advantage of the low interest rates.

“We witnessed a significant spike in refinances in June 2020 following the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rare double rate cut in March of that year,” Gill said.

“We have seen elevated levels of refinancing activity since then across all eastern states.

“The recent records set in June 2021 within NSW and Queensland coincide with public commentary of a potential interest rate rise sooner than previously forecast by the Reserve Bank.”

The report found refinance activity in NSW had the steepest rise, up 15 per cent year-on-year to over 101,000, while Queensland volumes also increased by 12 per cent year-on-year, with more than 48,000 refinances settled.

Victoria recorded the most refinances of any other state with more than 106,000, just surpassing its northern neighbour, however witnessed lower year-on-year growth, under 4 per cent.


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Australia auctions: Sprawling Brisbane home smashes reserve by $750,000


A sprawling hilltop Queenslander in Brisbane and a luxury waterfront estate in Sydney’s exclusive Kangaroo Point collected the top national sales at auction over the weekend as buyers across the country proved pandemic restrictions aren’t curbing the insatiable appetite for luxury homes.

In the Sunshine State capital’s leafy pocket of Indooroopilly, it was an ageing four-bedroom cottage on a 2107-square metre slice of prime real estate at that fetched the top sale of $4.5 million – almost $2 million more than the second-highest auction reported in the city on Saturday.

It’s the first time the prized property has changed hands in almost 50 years, a fact that selling agent Alex Jordan of McGrath Paddington said resulted in the reserve of $3.75 million being blasted.

“It was a good result, and it’s a beautiful and special property … and it’s a huge parcel of land that was on the market for the first time since 1968,” Mr Jordan said.

“But it was very emotional for the family … it was a tough decision to sell, and it’s an extremely rare land size that only comes up (in this part of Brisbane) once in a generation.”

While a local buyer claimed the coveted property prize after beating 15 other registered bidders, Mr Jordan said the appetite of interstate and, particularly, expat buyers had recently soared to new heights.


61 Dennis Street, Indooroopilly QLD 4068 

“We sold 10 Lance Street in Sherwood three days ago, and that’s a house that had a price guide of $1.8 million to $1.9 million, but it sold to an expat buyer in Ankara, Turkey, sight unseen for $1.94 million cash unconditional,” Mr Jordan said.

Nearby in the prized suburb of Corinda, Ray White Sherwood agent Douglas May claimed the city’s second-highest auction sale of the day with a rare acreage home at 140 Cliveden Avenue.

The four-bedroom abode, which occupies an incredible 24,000-square-metre block, a stone’s throw from the river and just over nine kilometres from the city centre, sold under the hammer for $2,850,500 to a neighbour.

He said the auction attracted nine registered bidders, who were a mix of developers and owner-occupiers.

“It was an exceptionally rare piece of real estate being acreage that was so close to the city,” Mr May said.


140 Cliveden Avenue, Corinda QLD 4075 

“And Corinda was rated as one of the top liveable suburbs in 2020, so to have acreage there and along the train line [is just so rare]. There are only one or two pieces left.

“In the end, it went to one of the neighbours, and they are going to retain it as acreage. They are equestrian lovers, and they’ve actually already got their horses there.

It was a fairy tale ending for the owners and the local community, whom Mr May said did not want the esteemed estate to fall into the hands of a developer.

“It’s great news for the family as they have owned it for 50 years.”

In Sydney, the immaculate four-bedroom, six-bathroom mini-mansion at 7 St Lukes Way, Kangaroo Point, collected the nation’s highest sale price at auction after it sold for $6.151 million under the hammer.

The waterfront abode, which is loaded with prestige features, including a heated pool and a gargantuan media room, occupies a 1013-square-metre block and was sold through McGrath St George for almost double what it last sold for in 2015.

While it scored the top price for the weekend, an ugly duckling three-bedroom brick home at 14 Irene Street, Abbotsford stole the auction show after 17 online registered bidders led to a local developer forking out $4.4 million – a whopping $1.5 million more than it collected three years ago.

The cottage, which boasts a 697-square-metre parcel of land, fetched $650,000 above the reserve in an event that selling agent Antonio Ariola of Belle Property Drummoyne said was fierce.

“I sold this property for $3 million three years, so it’s jumped [a lot] in that time frame … and we sold it for well over the reserve, which is not what we were expecting,” Mr Ariola said.

“The seller; he was over the moon … and the buyer, they are a developer, and they are going to build a duplex there and hold onto it and live in it.”

As to what lead to the cracking sale, Mr Ariola said it was the size of the block and the north-facing position, with a lack of stock in the tightly-held pocket further fuelling the bidding war.

Over in Balmain, a classy one-bedroom apartment at Loft 1/6 Thames Street sold under the hammer for $1.19 million after a local owner-occupier outbid 13 other buyers at the online auction.

Selling agent Benjamin Martin of Ray White Balmain said the chic unit was once part of the old Christian Brothers at Balmain school block – with the original facade still intact.

“There hasn’t been any decrease in the level of buyer demand on this property because of the rarity of the block,” Mr Martin said.

Across Sydney, the auction clearance rate for the weekend was 75 per cent after 433 properties sold from a reported 476. In total, $439 million in property was transacted, with the median price a strong $1.41 million.

In Melbourne, a slightly softer auction clearance rate of 67 per cent was racked up on Saturday after 457 homes were sold from a reported 680 – resulting in a median sale price of $905,000.

While the city was still dealing with its fifth lockdown, agents reported strong online bidding with buyers willing to put their virtual paddles up from the comfort of their homes.

Despite that, the city’s top auction, at 34B Bourneville Avenue, Brighton East, was snapped up a day prior after selling agent Richard Slade of Buxton Real Estate Sandringham was forced to make a quick judgement call.

“Because of the lockdown and the level of buyer interest, it was better for the owner [to accept the deal just prior],” Mr Slade said.


34b Bourneville Avenue, Brighton East VIC 3187 

“In the end, we had three groups making offers and negotiating … and it was all local interest.”

The stylish four-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse fetched $2.6 million – a cracking result that Mr Slade said was possible thanks to its unique design and interior space sprawled over three levels.

“It had a living zone downstairs, and you could see through to the pool, which was a bit of an X-factor for buyers,” Mr Slade said.

“There was a lot of buyer interest, and that’s also because there’s a shortage of good homes on the market.”

That buyer appetite was evident for a four-bedroom brick home at 34 Arum Walk in Mernda, which attracted 25 registered online bidders on Saturday, which resulted in a reserve-busting $755,000.

Selling agent Ben Pellicori of Ray White Epping said it was the highest number of bidders of any auction sale in the country that day thanks to its stellar location and the fact that the spacious home was built just five years ago.

“I think the owners presented it really, really well. The home itself was just beautiful … and this level of buyer interest, it’s definitely not something we see a lot,” Mr Pellicori said.

“And we would have loved to have had the auction at the property, but we had to have it online and, in the end, it worked out for everyone.”

Mr Pellicori said bidding opened at $600,000, with a local buyer snapping up the home after 36 bids.


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