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How much does it cost to rent on the Gold or Sunshine Coast? More than Sydney, new data reveals

rent on the Gold Coast

The tsunami-sized sea-change trend is sparking a rental crisis across two of Queensland’s top coastal cities, with weekly rents reaching record heights that rival parts of inner-city Sydney and Canberra. Some locals have been forced to squat or live in their cars.

The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are now among two of the most expensive hubs in which to rent a home in the country after bearing the brunt of unprecedented interstate migration over the past three months. Vacancy rates have sunk as low as 0.2 per cent, and house rent prices have rocketed by up to $75 a week in key suburbs.

The figures, which come from Domain’s Rent Report for the March quarter, further reveal house rents rose at the steepest pace of annual growth in about 15 years, with Sunshine Coast house rents swelling by $80 over the past year to reach $580 a week, while house rents on the Gold Coast rose by $50 to reach $560 a week.

Over the same period, unit asking rents on the Gold Coast rose by $25 to $465 a week and on the Sunshine Coast by $40 to reach $460 weekly.

By comparison, the weekly house rents for Greater Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane are now $550 a week, $600 per week and $440 a week, respectively.

Property experts have placed the historic growth spurt on the mass exodus from Australia’s major capitals – fuelled by the ongoing pandemic and ignited by the shift towards remote working, with hot spots, such as Noosa and Surfers Paradise sitting directly in the eye of the rental storm.

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said that as a result, tenants were facing extreme competition with both coastal cities far outstripping Brisbane in median asking rent prices amid record-low vacancy rates.

“The rents now on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are comparable to the expensive parts of the ACT and Sydney … looking at the vacancy rates, it’s 0.3 per cent (on the Sunshine Coast) in Buderim, Noosa and Nambour and in Caloundra its 0.2 per cent,” Dr Powell said.

“This is extremely low, to the extent I would say there’s a rental crisis in some of these areas.

“What will be happening on the ground is that prospective tenants are offering more (than the asking prices) because it’s so hard to find vacant property.”

Ray White Surfers Paradise Group general manager Amber Roberts said tales of home hunters sleeping rough and homes being leased mere hours after they hit the web were now par for the course.

“At our peak time, we were getting 14,000 inquiries a month, and it’s normally around 5000 to 6000. It just doesn’t seem to be slowing down,” Ms Roberts said.

“And now we have people who have sold and don’t want to jump back into the housing market but don’t realise it’s a rental housing crisis … and these are our two biggest markets right now – those people and then interstate migration.”

It’s a potent mix that saw house rent prices in Gold Coast suburbs Broadbeach, Burleigh and Surfers Paradise all soar by 7.1 per cent over the past quarter to $750 per week, with tenants frequently paying more than the listed price.

rent on the Gold Coast

It’s almost impossible to find a negatively geared property as an investor at the moment, agents say. Photo: Kollosche

“I’m getting $100 to 150 a week more than I would have got six months ago … and on a re-let, it’s 20 per cent to 30 per cent more,” Ms Roberts said.

“It’s heartbreaking. We’ve had people living in their cars and pitching a tent in someone’s backyard because they can’t get a property … everything in that mid-range of $600 to $700 per week they can’t even get a foot in the door.

“But it’s great for investors … it’s almost impossible to get a negatively geared property at the moment … this is absolutely the best time to invest.

“We’ve also had massive shifts in the prestige end of the market, and we’re getting $300 to $400 more per week (than the listed price) on some of those properties. That end of the market exploded because Sydney and Melbourne buyers saw more value compared to what they could get at home.”

The lure of lifestyle and sunshine drove Marianthi Kypuros to ditch “cold” Melbourne for the Gold Coast in January (to coincide with the school year for her son). But after spending months hunting for a place to live and even spending eight weeks in an overpriced Airbnb, the exasperated mum said she was still in housing limbo.

“We’d been thinking about it for years, and then [after COVID-19 struck] we thought it was now or never,” Ms Kypuros said.

“But then we just couldn’t find anything [to rent] unless you’re a multimillionaire. Anything for average people was pretty average … even when I was a student, I wouldn’t have stayed there – they [affordable options] were feral.

“People were even offering payments upfront and still not getting anything … it’s demoralising, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen; I’m just hoping things will settle down.”

While Ms Kypuros said the plan was ultimately to buy, she said rundown hovels in key neighbourhoods were selling for up to $2 million, forcing her to wait out the storm or, ultimately, return to Melbourne.

Further north on the Sunshine Coast, co-principal at McGrath Noosa, Kirsty Kernot, said even for units it was almost impossible to find a rental underneath $500 now with locals feeling the brunt of rental price hikes.

rent on the Gold Coast

Local Noosa agents say units have also become rare as hens’ teeth and hotly contested. Photo: Patrick Oberem 

“We have one rental that we’re starting inspections for today, and we had all the inspection slots booked out within 10 minutes of the listing going live,” Ms Kernot said.

“The other hard thing is every time I do lease renewals, the owners know what is going on in the market, so they want to put their prices up, and it’s a really hard situation to be in for the people who rent that property.

“They have a certain salary, so they’re either stuck with scrimping to try and pay it, or they have to move out.”

But while price hikes forced some local tenants out of their home, Ms Kernot said many owners were trying to help out long term tenants as they saw the value in a reliable local as opposed to a southern migrant only looking to lease for a year before buying.

Of those migrants, she said Sydney sea-changers were the major players in their market as part of a lifestyle trend that seemed to be gathering momentum.

“In a normal market, once we get over summer and into winter, it dies off massively … but we’ve been waiting for things to slow down, and they haven’t.

“And the next thing is when overseas borders open, and those expats come back – that will be the next wave,” Ms Kernot said.


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Gold Coast

Residents in one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities are forced to sleep in cars as rental crisis bites

The rental situation in one of Australia’s fastest growing cities is so dire that desperate renters are having to sleep in their cars and in caravan parks.

Rental vacancy rates have plummeted below one per cent in most parts of the Gold Coast – down to below half a per cent in many suburbs – including Burleigh, Arundel, Coolangatta, Coomera and Varsity Lakes.

The rental squeeze is being driven by a range of factors, including Covid refugees coming from Melbourne and Sydney and also returning home from overseas.


The Gold Coast’s ‘surf, sun and sand’ reputation can be a trap for people who try to move there without enough money, as one community manager warns ‘don’t come here’ unless you are loaded 


9 Tallon Street, Upper Coomera – 26km from the beach – will cost you $700 a week. 

The Gold Coast has long had steep population growth but if anything it appears to have increased in recent years and the city’s housing is evidently not coping.

Leading demographer Mark McCrindle said recently population projections keep changing and the city reach a population of one million by 2034 – 16 years earlier than previously expected.

The imbalance between available properties and people who want them is so severe that it is creating an accommodation crisis leading to a homelessness problem in the city many Australians falsely romanticise as a dream place to reboot their lives.

Vicky Rose, manager of the Nerang Neighbourhood Centre, told Daily Mail Australia that 80 per cent of her enquiries are about ‘accommodation stress’, with increased homelessness inevitable.


Location, location: 1/30 Bullimah Avenue, Burleigh Heads went on the market yesterday for $750 a week and the agency has already been flooded with enquiries and applications. 

‘We are saying ‘don’t come here’, unless you have a job and plenty of money behind you,’ she said said.

‘People dream of the sun, surf and sand and yes it’s a great holiday destination, but it’s not a great place to live unless you can afford it.

‘The coast of living is up there with Sydney and Melbourne and people mistakenly assume its going to be cheaper.’

She said shonky landlords are making the situation worse by trying to cash in on the red hot market.

‘There’s a marked marked increase in long terms tenants – average joes – seeing their tenancy ended abruptly because they can’t increase the rent as much as they want.

‘So the owner kicks the tenants out saying they want to renovate, they paint one door and put it back on the market for an extra hundred dollar a week.’

Two property managers Daily Mail Australia spoke to both said the rental market was busier than they’d ever seen it, with applications for properties flooding inboxes.

Misty Kelly, of agency The Blue Door had received 50 enquiries and seven applications within two days of listing a four bedroom house with a pool at Upper Coomera, 26km from Main Beach.

‘There’s a huge demand, not enough properties and that creates a lot of pressure,’ she said.

‘People are sounding desperate.’

‘I’ve been an agent for 15 years and this is nothing like I’ve ever seen before.’

Ms Kelly said because there is more demand than supply, she advises young people not to move out of home because ‘prices are inflated’.

‘They need to let those people really in need get a property and not go homeless.’

Aside from people moving from interstates, she’s also seen people coming home from overseas move into their investment properties.

Carmen Kennedy, of Coomera Realty told the Gold Coast Bulletin people are ‘desperate’.


Ashmore Palms Holiday Village has seen a big increase in people moving in after they couldn’t find a rental property on the Gold Coast 

‘They were just so desperate, staying in cars and sleeping at caravan parks. It’s been pretty tough couple of months for people out there,’ she said.

Both Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park and Ashmore Palms Holiday Village confirmed to the Daily Mail they had seen increases in people booking in because they couldn’t find a home to rent.

‘I’ve never seen it like this before,’ Carly Stanaway of JW Prestige, told Daily Mail Australia.

‘A lot of people are struggling, they are all applying for same property at once,’ she said.

‘They keep putting in applications getting knocked back, even though they have good applications, it’s just because so many people are applying.’

She was holding two open houses within two days of listing a modest brick semi at 30 Bullimah Avenue, Burleigh Heads, where the rent looks Sydney-like at $750 a week.

The suburb’s vacancy rate is just 0.4.


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Brisbane Housing Market Insights: May 2021

BrisbaneBrisbane Housing Market Insights

Brisbane housing market insights for May reveals increased demand for houses and approvals for new units has been underpinned by increasing consumer sentiment and a surge in interstate migration.

This resource, to be updated monthly, will collate and examine the economic levers pushing and pulling Brisbane’s housing market.

Combining market research, rolling indices and expert market opinion, this evolving hub will act as a pulse check for those wanting to take a closer look at the movements across the market.

Brisbane’s typically slow-moving property market has continued to rise as part of a once-in-a-decade boom that experts say could fuel a further 10 per cent rise in house prices in the coming year.

Brisbane house prices have soared to record heights for the seventh consecutive quarter, with tight stock levels and strong demand across all demographics increasing competition.

Investors have also made their way back into the market and competition is heating up.

The latest Corelogic home value index shows Brisbane dwelling prices have risen by 1.7 per cent on a rolling four-week basis.

Brisbane house prices advanced a further 1.8 per cent during April, pushing it up 6.2 per cent for the recent quarter and 9.6 per cent for the year to date.

The current median value for dwellings is $558,295 which is $10,000 higher than just a month ago.


Type Month Quarter Annual Median
All 1.7%▼ 5.6%▲ 8.3%▲ $558,295▲
Houses 1.8%▼ 6.2%▲ 9.6%▲ $621,806▲
Units 1.0%▶ 3.0%▲ 2.4%▲ $405,902▲

^Source: Corelogic Hedonic Home Value Index – April

The resurgence of buyer interest in the Brisbane property market has meant that auction clearance rates have consistently been in the 70 per cent range.

Clearance rates across April notably higher for houses compared to apartments, reflecting broader trends.

Hot spots included Brisbane’s inner city, inner east, inner west and the inner north – where house prices skyrocketed by 13 per cent over the past year to $1.2 million, 13.2 per cent to $1.053 million, 10.4 per cent to $1.17 million and 13.1 per cent to $1.1 million.

Brisbane auction clearance rates

Week Clearance rate Total Auctions
Week ending 11 April 2021 80.9% 123
Week ending 18 April 2021 72.7% 104
Week ending 25 April 2021 76.2% 105
Week ending 2 May 2021 76.0% 104

^Source: Corelogic Auction Clearance Rates – April

Brisbane is experiencing one of the tightest rental markets in a decade on the back of high demand coupled with extremely low supply.

Across April, Brisbane’s rental markets are experienced a tightening of supply, with vacancy rates currently sitting at 1.8 per cent.

Rental returns and yields have significantly increased in Brisbane, with rents soaring from 5 per cent to 15 per cent.

Gross rental yields sit at 4 per cent for houses and 5.2 per cent for units—much higher than other capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

Some of the tightest vacancies across the capital’s suburbs include Anstead (0.5 per cent), Birkdale (0.3 per cent), Capalaba (0.2 per cent), Ferny Hill (0.3 per cent), Gumdale (0.4 per cent), Manly West (0.5 per cent), Rothwell (0.2 per cent), Sandgate (0.5 per cent), Shailer Park (0.4 per cent), Thornside (0.3 per cent) and Wakerley (0.4 per cent).

Brisbane residential rental vacancy rate


City April 2021 vacancy rate Monthly % change
Brisbane 1.4%▼ 0.1%▼

^Source: SQM Research – April

Rental stock on market

City April 2021 vacancies Vacancy net loss
Brisbane 4780▼ 627▼

^Source: SQM Research – April

Brisbane rent prices

Type Rent Monthly % change Annual % change
Houses $489.10▲ 0.5%▲ 6.8%▲
Units $386.60▲ 0.5%▼ 2.8%▲

^Source: SQM Research – April

Brisbane’s housing market has remained particularly unaltered by the closure of international borders, where historically high demand from overseas migrants has been disrupted.

Tight stock levels and strong demand across all demographics have made it incredibly difficult not only to find a property to buy but to also secure something at a reasonable price.

Loan data shows investors have started coming back into a housing market they had largely vacated and the boom is being driven overwhelmingly by established owner occupiers.

Another big part of the demographic buyer base helping drive demand in Brisbane has been first homebuyers.

Brisbane’s proportion of home loans that remained on deferral at the end of March was just 0.7 per cent, indicating a very very low likelihood of distressed selling.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwelling units approved in Queensland in March was 4547, 12.1 per cent up on February’s figures.

Queensland building approvals

^Australian Bureau of Statistics, (Suspension of trend series between May 2020 and Jul 2020 due to Covid-19)

Dwelling Approved Monthly % change
Houses 2792▲ -4.0%▼
Units 4547▲ 12.1%▲

Queensland home loan lending indicators


Region First home buyer loan commitments First home buyer ratio – dwellings First home buyer ratio – housing
Queensland 3437▲ 36.6%▼ 32.3%▼

^Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – March

Region September (quarter) 2020 arrivals September (quarter) 2020 departures September 2020 quarter net
Queensland 22,317▼ 15,080▼ 7,237▲

^Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – September quarter 2020

Brisbane’s housing market: policy updates

Australia’s central bank will maintain low interest rates to support the country’s ongoing economic recovery and surging housing market, buoyed by its busiest Easter auction market on record.

Strong tailwinds will bolster the Australian economy through the second half of the year, but macro-prudential measures are likely to be introduced to ease house price pressures in 2022.

Queensland faces a “hard road” during the next four years as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, Treasurer Cameron Dick says.

Brisbane housing market forecasts

ANZ economists forecast Brisbane house prices will rise by 9.5 per cent next year, as low interest rates and government stimulus flow through the economy while Commonwealth Bank updated its forecasts, projecting a strong rebound in prices across the second half of 2021.

CBA now expects Brisbane house prices to increase by 16.6 per cent to December 2022 compared to 13.7 per cent in Sydney and 12.4 per cent in Melbourne.

Westpac has also updated its property forecasts, with Brisbane real estate prices tipped to surge 20 per cent between 2022 and 2023.



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Gold Coast

Gold Coast apartment development insights: What happened on the GC in April?

Gold Coast apartment

Urban have wrapped up all the moves across the Gold Coast in April

The Gold Coast apartment market is one of the most active in Australia, as much for developers as it has been for buyers.

From planning documents to approvals and sales successes, Urban have wrapped up all the moves across the Gold Coast in April.

FORME lodge plans for luxury Burleigh Heads development

The latest news came from developer FORME, who lodged plans for a second Koichi Takada-designed boutique residential complex in Burleigh Heads at the end of April.

Gold Coast apartment

96 The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220

The 17-level tower of just 30 apartments on the sought after The Esplanade is high-end luxury, with interiors being handled by MIM Design.

Cala Dei sales launched

Having sold out of all of their stock across their whole portfolio, the South East Queensland developer Spyre Group officially launched sales at Cala Dei in Coolangatta.

Gold Coast apartment

Cala Dei, which will replace the Komune Resort on Marine Parade, will comprise 31 apartments across its 12 levels designed by bureau^proberts. It will sit in landscaping by CUSP.

The Lacey Group secure approval for The Monroe at Palm Beach

The Gold Coast-based developer Lacey Group have been given the green light by the City of Gold Coast for its $32 million Palm Beach development The Monroe.

The project of 33 apartments and a beach house on the exclusive Jefferson Lane has been designed by Plus Architecture and is located adjacent to the Palm Beach Surf Club.

Gold Coast apartment

Lacey Group know the area well, having had success on the same street where they sold out The Jefferson, the $32 million development of 46 apartments.

88 Burleigh sells half its apartments

Allure Property Corporation have secured the sales of over half of their apartments in their boutique apartment development 88 Burleigh within just four weeks of the project launch.

Gold Coast apartment

88 BurleighThe Esplanade, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220

Local and interstate downsizers with an existing connection to Burleigh Heads have been the drivers in the $55 million worth of sales, with the average price point around $2.65 million.

Place Projects agent Bruce Goddard said there were 360 inquiries within the first two weeks of its launch.

Cru Collective secure Kirra Beach site

The Gold Coast developer Cru Collective is jumping on the hype that has been surrounding Kirra Beach in recent years.

Cru, who sold out their $40 million Siarn Palm Beach development in September last year, have acquired a prime 635 sqm corner site at 2 Musgrave Street, on the corner of Musgrave and Winston Street.

Devine Development Group lodge plans for Alba Residences

The longstanding Queenslander developer Devine Development Group have lodged plans for a $105 million apartment project Alba Residences at North Burleigh.

Gold Coast apartment

Set on the dress circle Esplanade facing the beach, the 21 level tower designed by bureau^proberts will comprise half and full floor residences catering for the top end of the market, with prices starting from $2.25 million.


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