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Gold Coast Rides Wave of Development

As the Gold Coast continues to attract local and interstate interest, developers are taking advantage of strong buyer demand as Sydney and Melbourne residents look north.

With the end of 2020 seeing a wave of development applications, the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland show the two most popular destinations for interstate migration still remain the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

Four projects lodged in the past four weeks include developments spanning from Hope Island on the Gold Coast’s northern tip through to Palm Beach on the coast’s sought after southern end.

Hope Island

Gold Coast

▲ Plans for 6-8 Sickle Avenue, Hope Island.

One of the largest developments lodged over the December period is Aniko Group’s $140 million development plans in Hope Island.

Property records show the 6-8 Sickle Avenue site was purchased for $3.5 million in May 2019.

The Archidiom-designed project spans a 8,244sq m site.

Led by George Mastrocostas, the group’s proposed project will comprise two apartment buildings standing 8-storeys in height with a total of 185 units and 370 bedrooms. Plans also show a total of 273 car parking spaces.

Palm Beach

Gold Coast


Plans for a nine-storey residential building at 1214-1220 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach have also been lodged by an entity linked to Daniel Chippendale.

The BDA-designed project will comprise 58 units, located on the corner of Tenth Avenue and the Gold Coast highway.

The 1641sq m sized site comprises four freehold allotments and is currently occupied by a series of double-storey residential brick homes.

Plans for the development show the building has 65 per cent site coverage.

The proposed project includes ground and rooftop communal areas, a pool, gym, outdoor dining, and open terrace areas.

Palm Beach

Gold Coast

Another project in the council pipeline is a 14-storey Cottee Parker-designed tower backed by Gold Coast developer Anthony Gordon.

The $140 million development, known as Reef Palm Beach, sits on a 3304sq m site at 332 The Esplanade, also in Palm Beach.

Plans propose 76 apartments across 13 levels along with two basement levels of car parking space.

Gordon picked up the beachfront site late last year for $21 million, in a deal managed by Cushman & Wakefield’s Kyle Youngson.

Burleigh Heads

Gold Coast

Plans are lodged for a 12-storey residential development in development busy Burleigh.

The project, known as Kailua, is bordered by Rudd Park and proposes 55 apartments.

The applicant, Robkel Burleigh Pty Ltd, is linked to David John Roberts, a local Gold Coast resident, and Brisbane based Michael Kelso.

The entity picked up the 1805 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads site, occupied by a two-storey office building, for $6.7 million in mid-2020.

Project sales

As for recent sales, Brisbane developer Paul Gedoun has plans for a second residential building at Rainbow Bay following the 2020 sell-out of his $74 million Flow Residences project.

The Flow’s final luxury apartment sold within three months of the project launching.

And the first stage of the $380 million Kirra Beach Hotel re-development, touted to transform one of the Gold Coast’s most famous pubs into a tower, has clocked $88 million in sales following its official launch to market in late December.

Marketing collateral states that almost 50 per cent of the 118 apartments, which form the $180 million Miles Residence, have sold in the first stage for an average $1.61 million price tag in the three weeks since launch.

The redevelopment, helmed by Peggy Flannery’s KTQ Group, spans a one-hectare site overlooking Kirra Beach.

KTQ Group development director Jeremy Holmes said the cross-section of buyers to date involved 70 per cent from Queensland and 23 per cent from New South Wales, with the mix of apartments including one-bedroom residences priced at $550,000 up to three-bedroom residences priced at $3,000,000.

‘Record lows’: Gold Coast rental market

According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, the two most popular destinations for interstate migration still remain the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

Citing liveability, affordability and lifestyle along with economic opportunities and education, the Sunshine Coast’s rental market is firmly gripped at 0.3 per cent, shows the REIQ’s latest vacancy data for the December 2020 quarter.

Areas such as Buddina (0.3%), Caloundra (0.3%), Maroochydore (0.5%), Noosa (0.4%) and Sunrise Beach (0.5%) have continued to tighten marginally over the past three months.

As for the Gold Coast market, REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella says rental properties are being “snapped up across all regions”.

Surfers Paradise recorded more than 2,100 vacant rentals at the peak of the pandemic nine months ago, and currently has 0.7 per cent stock availability, with its rental market now rebounding beyond pre-Covid levels to reach a new record low.

Record low vacancies have also been reported across the Gold Coast region.

In the north, which has a median vacancy of 0.6 per cent, stocks have reached all-time lows in areas such as Arundel (0.6%), Labrador (0.7%), Oxenford (0.1%), Runaway Bay (0.5%) and Southport (0.7%).

And on its southern end, a median vacancy of 0.3% across suburbs including Broadbeach (0.8%), Currumbin (0.3%), Miami (0.2%), Palm Beach (0.3%) and Varsity Lakes (0.6%).



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What’s within walking distance from Bide apartments

Nestled in the heart of Newstead, the 89 residence apartment tower has been designed as an urban getaway just 3 kilometres north-east of the Brisbane CBD

The latest inner-Brisbane apartment project by the local developer Dibcorp Properties is Bide, which is located in the heart of the upmarket riverfront suburb of Newstead.

The location of the 89-apartment development Bide, at 21 Longland Street, puts it just a stone’s throw from the Brisbane River, and the convenience of the Teneriffe Ferry Wharf which connects the suburb to the CBD.

Residents will have immediate access to Gasworks Plaza on the adjoining Skyring Terrace riverfront street, which is home to a Woolworths and a numb er of other stores, as well as restaurants, cafes and coffee shops like Ping Pong, Yolk and Campos Coffee.

On Longland Street there’s the popular eateries include Smoky Moo, The Defiant Duck, Drum Dining and the Milky Lane Newstead.

Cutting across Longland are a number of side streets like Stratton and Wyandra, which have a number of retailers and boutiques for residents to explore like a Think 24hr fitness, Smile Studio, and Brisbane Skin.


Bide 21 Longland Street, Newstead QLD 4006

Designed in collaboration with architects from Twohill & James, Lat27 and Wiltshire Stevens Architecture.

Nestled in the heart of Newstead, the 89 residence apartment tower has been designed as an urban getaway just 3 kilometres north-east of the Brisbane CBD.

It is the latest part of the suburb’s transformation to an up-market residential suburb belying its industrial past. Timber yards, asbestos works, wharves and woolstores once dominated much of the predominantly commercial suburb, now one of the most sought-after apartment spots in Brisbane.

Bide is just a short distance away from Route 25 as well as the Teneriffe Ferry wharf and bus stations for those who choose public transit. As such it is right by the Brisbane river.

The proximity to schooling, as well the large three-bedroom apartments on offer, make Bide attractive for families. The nearby educational institutions include:

  • Torrens University Australia – Satellite campus – 1.4km away
  • University of Queensland – Satellite campus – 1.9km away
  • Queensland University of Technology – Main campus – 3.3km away
  • New Farm State School – Public School – 1 km away
  • Music Industry College – Private School – 1.1km away
  • Angelorum College – Private School – 1.1km away

Dibcorp has offered residents the opportunity to work hand in hand to tailor the layout, configuration and finishes of their apartment.

Apartments inside feature open-plan living and dining, a balcony space and a study nook in some apartments for working from home.

Inside, residents can enjoy 600 sqm of amenity across two levels, including barbeque facilities, private cabanas, landscaped areas and seated space throughout.


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Developer Contributions ‘Inflating New House Prices’


Developer contributions are having an inflationary effect on housing affordability and impeding supply, according to new research.

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation’s (NHFIC) research report on developer contributions has found that the infrastructure charges are increasingly acting like a “tax on new housing”.

Developer contributions, or infrastructure charges, are levies charged by local and state governments to help pay for local infrastructure, focusing on water, drainage, footpaths, parks and community facilities.

NHFIC cites the unpredictability and opaque nature of infrastructure charges as a core issue in developers’ feasibility studies.

It also says often this charge becomes an on-cost for homebuyers or end-users, impacting housing affordability significantly.

According to NHFIC, developers have to factor in infrastructure charges at around 10 per cent of total development costs—but generally higher in New South Wales, and up to $85,000 per greenfield dwelling development in some areas.

Greenfield developer contributions (per lot)

Region Indicative cost Developer contributions (% of total cost)
NSW $58,000 11%
Vic $52,000 11%
Qld $32,000 8%

^Source: Developer Contributions report, NHFIC

Housing Industry Association chief executive of industry policy Kristin Brookfield said development contribution schemes had become a significant hindrance.

“This is partially due to the large range of infrastructure now included and the gold-plated standards being sought by local and state governments,” Brookfield said.

“A conscious decision to shift the majority of the upfront costs on to new housing developments emerged in New South Wales almost two decades ago … Sydney is the most expensive [but] other states have taken the same approach and we are starting to see costs increase in most other states.”

Brookfield said the upfront charge was the least efficient way to recover infrastructure costs and was impacting the costs of new homes.

“The HIA would support further research to assess the unintended impacts of high and poorly functioning development contribution systems nationally and the implications these taxes are having on new homebuyers,” she said.

NHFIC said it was a “concern that the application, scope and administration of developer contributions is a relatively opaque area of public policy” and that there was little information available to compare states and territories.

An analysis of Sydney councils showed up to 88 per cent of all funds raised through developer contributions between 2017 and 2020 were earmarked for social infrastructure.

Around one-third, on average, was earmarked for essential infrastructure with a stronger nexus to new housing developments.

According to NHFIC, improved policy co-ordination and optimising risk to share cost arrangements between councils and developers would increase new housing supply.


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Habitat Development Group set for 200 apartment St Clair Apartments in Birtinya on the Sunshine Coast

“We’ve been building on the Sunshine Coast for the past 16 years and this is the most buoyant market I’ve ever seen,” Habitat boss Cleighton Clark said.

The local Sunshine Coast developer Habitat Developments are set for a 200-apartment development on the Maroochy River.

Habitat, led by director Cleighton Clarke, has lodged plans with the Sunshine Coast Council for St Clair Apartments at 930 & 931 Birtinya Boulevard, located directly adjacent to Lake Kawana.

There will be 100 apartments in each eight-level building, made up of 46 two-beds, 119 three-bedroom apartments, making up 60 per cent of the development, and 35 four-bedroom and penthouse apartments.

Habitat Development Group managing director Cleighton Clark said they are excited about the project and look forward to Habitat playing its part in the growth and evolution of the Birtinya lakeside precinct.

“There’s already been some exciting momentum created by Stockland and other strong local developers,” Clark said, adding that the Birtinya precinct was awarded the 2020 National UDIA Award for Master-planned Development.

K Architecture designed the buildings which curve in sync with each other, and are separated by a walkway to the water.

Habitat Development

Each building will rise eight levels from the ground, with a further two-levels of basement parking which will hav over 400 parking spaces.

“St Clair has a really elegant design and will capitalise on its prime waterfront location,” Clark said.

“This prime waterfront development promises stunning ocean views and across Lake Kawana to the east as well as committed green space to the west.”

There will be 13 apartments on each level, apartment from the ground floor which will have 12 and level eight which will have 10.

Some of the bigger penthouse-style apartments have over 50 sqm plus outdoor space, with a handful of courtyard apartments with over 90 sqm of gardens.

The ground floor homes the amenity, including a 25 metre swimming pool, communal dining room and a games and play lawn. The rooftop terrace will have seating and dining areas.

Habitat Development

Habitat are hoping the project will start in mid to late 2022, and will be completed in Q1 2024, pending approval.

Habitat recently sold out their $83 million Maroochydore project Market Lane, and are set to launch another Maroochydore project, The Corso, next year.

Clark said his enthusiasm for the Sunshine Coast has been reinforced by the strong market interest in Habitat’s existing projects under construction which are all completely sold out.

“We’ve been building on the Sunshine Coast for the past 16 years and this is the most buoyant market I’ve ever seen,” Clark said.

“Rental vacancy rates have been low on the Sunshine Coast for a number of years, but vacancy is incredibly tight and we’ve witnessed very strong rental growth in the last year. Apartments are renting for 20% more than they were 12 months ago in projects we’ve completed and continue to manage.

“St Clair provides us another project to commence alongside some of our other exciting projects we’re planning in 2022.”


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