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Seaside suburbs the star performers of southeast Queensland property market


THE lure of affordability, lifestyle and world-class beaches made southeast Queensland’s coastal markets the stars of the property sector in 2017.

THE lure of affordability, lifestyle and world-class beaches made southeast Queensland’s coastal markets the stars of the property sector in 2017, fuelled by a fresh wave of interstate migration.

While home values grew just 2.4 percent in Brisbane over the past 12 months, they jumped nearly 7 percent on the Gold Coast, while houses climbed in value by more than 7 percent on the Sunshine Coast, according to the latest data from property analytics firm CoreLogic.

Half of the top 10 property sales in Queensland last year were made on the Gold Coast; totalling $48.9 million.

And some agents say the markets are set to strengthen further in 2018 as Sydney and Melbourne homeowners cash out of their million-dollar homes in favour of a more laid-back, affordable lifestyle in the tropical north.

The REIQ’s latest Queensland Market Monitor shows the median house price in the Sunshine Coast statistical division jumped from $557,500 in June to $570,000 in September, while the Gold Coast achieved a new house price record of $606,000.

The Queensland government recently declared the number of interstaters migrating to the state was at its highest level in eight years, with 15,716 people moving here in the year to March 2017 — most coming from New South Wales.

CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast property markets had benefited from that boost in interstate migration more than Brisbane.

Areas like Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast have experienced strong property price growth. Photo: Chris Bashall. Source: Supplied

Areas like Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast have experienced strong property price growth. Photo: Chris Bashall. Source: Supplied

 SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher expects both markets to outperform the state’s capital in 2018, writing in his latest Boom and Bust Report that the Gold Coast had a diversified economy and had benefited from the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.

Ray White Surfers Paradise holds its major auction event of the year later this month to coincide with the January holiday period when many interstate and overseas visitors flock to the Gold Coast.

More than 100 properties will go under the hammer at its annual ‘The Event’ on January 28, with many holiday homes and investment properties set to sell to interstate and local investors.

This house at 80 Admiralty Dr, Surfers Paradise, is going to auction on January 28 through Ray White. Source: Supplied

This house at 80 Admiralty Dr, Surfers Paradise, is going to auction on January 28 through Ray White. Source: Supplied

Ray White Surfers Paradise chief executive Andrew Bell said the region had recorded solid sales figures in 2017 thanks to economic stability, job creation and steady population growth.

Mr Bell said the property market at the northern end of the Gold Coast had strengthened considerably because of new medium and high rise development in areas like Southport and Hope Island.

“That’s where all the new development is and it’s given people a lot more opportunity,” he said.

Mr Bell said suburbs like Coomera and Pimpama were had also become “powerhouses” for house-and-land developments, attracting demand from interstate.

“It’s not just people buying holiday homes,” he said.

“It’s just getting so difficult to live in Sydney with the cost of living and the traffic.

“People are saying ‘it’s time to move!’ and I think they’re seeing the Gold Coast as being the best it’s ever looked.”

And with vacancy rates of less than 1 per cent on the Gold Coast, Mr Bell said an increase in home construction was more than welcome.

“We can have 20 plus people turn up to an open home, so we desperately need more investors to buy some stock to help with this huge demand from tenants,” he said.

Kollosche Prestige Agents managing director Jordan Williams said the Gold Coast property market experienced periods of strength and weakness in 2017, but he predicted a bigger year in 2018.

“I know for a fact that for the last half of last year a lot of buyers were sitting on their hands reading the negative articles that said the market was going to crash,” Mr Williams said. “They’ve bought off me since then and realised its actually going to continue to improve.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting year.”

Mr Williams also said the majority of homes he sold were cash contracts, unlike the pre-GFC days.

“We have very affluent local and interstate buyers who are fourth, fifth and sixth generation wealthy,” he said.

“Our vendors who own these homes are also affluent, successful people and they don’t muck around with finance and building and pest inspections.”

Kristian and Haley Hughes are selling their five-bedroom waterfront home at 31 Pilot Court, Mermaid Waters through Kollosche Prestige Agents.

They’ve lived there for nearly three years, but have decided to sell and rent in the area so they can use the capital to fund Mrs Hughes’ new make-up venture.

This property at 31 Pilot Court, Mermaid Waters, is for sale. Source: Supplied

This property at 31 Pilot Court, Mermaid Waters, is for sale. Source: Supplied

Mrs Hughes, who runs The Institute of Makeup beauty school, said Mermaid Waters had benefited from the growth in popularity of nearby Burleigh Heads.

“I feel it’s becoming the new central location — nestled between Burleigh and Broadbeach,” she said.

The Hughes are hopeful they’ll benefit from the growth in the market over the past 12 months, with the median house price in Mermaid Waters increasing by more than 17 per cent.

The view from the home at 31 Pilot Court, Mermaid Waters. Source: Supplied

The view from the home at 31 Pilot Court, Mermaid Waters. Source: Supplied

Their family home is decked out with floor-to-ceiling glass, which captures spectacular 180 degree views.

“For someone who wants to make it their forever home, they’ll never run out of room,” she said.

“It was hard finding a place to put an offer on even then, because (homes) were selling before they even went to market.”

Further north, Noosa was the standout performer in 2017.

REIQ figures show Noosa was the state’s top performing market in the three months to September, recording annual house price growth of nearly 10 per cent.

Over the past five years, Noosa’s median house price has jumped by more than 40 per cent.

Main Beach at Noosa. Photo: Chantay Logan. Source: Supplied

Main Beach at Noosa. Photo: Chantay Logan. Source: Supplied

Tom Offermann Real Estate principal Tom Offermann said the company ended 2017 with eight sales averaging $5.9 million each.

The agency sold a sprawling waterfront home with a drive-through boatshed, two jetties and a boat ramp at 29-31 Wyuna Dr, Noosaville, for close to $11.9 million late in 2017 — setting a new record for the area.

This property at 29-31 Wyuna Dr, Noosaville, recently sold for about $11.9m. Source: Supplied

This property at 29-31 Wyuna Dr, Noosaville, recently sold for about $11.9m. Source: Supplied

“It’s not just the prestige properties that buyers are targeting,” Mr Offermann told The Courier-Mail.

“There are good opportunities for buyers at all levels who want to invest or live here.”

Another driving factor behind demand for the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast markets is a lack of stock, but BIS Oxford Economics expects rising supply over the next three years to slow forecast price growth.

Another coastal market in Queensland that performed better than expected in 2017 was Cairns.

BIS Oxford Economics noted Cairns had benefited from improved tourism and a deficiency of dwellings, which was estimated to have pushed the median house price up by 20 per cent in the past five years.

It expects home prices to grow another five per cent until 2020.

Originally published:

Market Place

Caution Urged as House Prices Start to Fall

Caution Urged as House Prices Start to Fall (1)

As the social distancing ban on home auctions and viewings starts to bite, the message to both buyers and sellers is not to panic.

But the latest auction market preview—handed down amid the federal government’s latest round of restrictions—paints a sobering picture of the outlook for residential property prices.

With 3,065 capital city properties scheduled to go under the hammer, Corelogic analysts originally predicted the week ending 29 March would be the busiest of the year for auctions.

Despite the real estate industry’s quick adaptation to social distancing measures, Corelogic now predicts a number of vendors will withdraw their property from the market completely, or postpone until circumstances improve.

“After the weekend, we should have a better idea on how this is going to impact the auction market going forward.”

And despite strong momentum in the housing market in recent months—the latest results consistent with house price growth of around 5 per cent year-on-year, according to macroeconomic research group Capital Economics—further restrictions on “non-essential services” could include a ban on buying and selling real estate, which would further impact home sales.

And even when the Covid-19 outbreak is over, the outlook is still far from clear, according to Capital Economics senior economist Marcel Thiellant.

“Even once restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus come to an end, we suspect that rising unemployment and tightening bank lending conditions will result in weak housing demand and falling house prices.”

Thiellant suggests that looking at how Australian residential property has fared against negative economic shocks in the past helps shed some light on the impact of the current slowdown on property.

“House prices were broadly flat in nominal terms during the recessions of the early-1980s and early-1990s, though they fell in real terms.”

“And while they kept rising throughout the shallow economic downturn triggered by the bursting of the dotcom bubble, they fell at least initially during the global financial crisis and during the period when Australia’s mining boom turned to bust.

“Given that inflation is now much lower than it was during the 1980s and early 90s, we think that those latter episodes will provide a better guide for what is to come,” Thiellant said.

Unemployment rates are also a key indicator of Australia’s prospects for recovery from the “coronavirus recession” for AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver.

“A relatively short recession that sees unemployment rise to around 7.5 per cent would likely only set prices back around 5 per cent or so, after which prices would bounce back,” Oliver said.

“But a deeper recession with, say, 10 per cent unemployment, risks tripping up the underlying vulnerability of the housing market around high prices and high debt levels. This could see a 20 per cent fall in prices.”

Oliver said the latter scenario highlights the need for the government and the RBA to minimise the fallout from coronavirus shutdowns in terms of businesses and jobs.

Property analyst Terry Ryder said that Australia’s property market has outridden major economic downturns before and will again, and the anticipated “short, sharp downturn” could pay off for those prepared to act when others are pausing for thought.

Speaking at this week’s “coronavirus – threat or opportunity” webinar, Ryder said that fear about future economic certainty was understandable, but both investors and owners needed to remember property was a long-term game.

“It is a time to be looking for opportunities, when others are perhaps intimated and sitting on the fence,” Ryder said, adding that government financial stimulus and flexibility from banks during the coronavirus shutdown would help cushion the property market from any significant blows.

Ryder predicts that while any reduction in market activity as a result of changes to the way Australians interact in the market would not necessarily result in a significant reduction in prices.

“One of things that is happening is vendors are already not listing their properties for sale at the same levels they were a year ago and two years ago – and I think that is going to be exacerbated by the virus crisis,” Ryder said.

“We are still going to have demand, but have relatively few properties for sale and that will help to put a floor under property values.”

Caution Urged as House Prices Start to Fall (2)

Buyers’ agent Veronica Morgan said that lessons could be learned from the global financial crisis, when “otherwise sane” people succumbed to catastrophic thinking and knee jerk sales prevented them from re-entering key markets.

“At my agency we never recommend buying property with a short-term focus—nor do we recommend knee-jerk selling,” Morgan said, adding that even if there is a market downturn, history is on our side.

“When fear takes hold, unfortunately otherwise sane people fall for catastrophic thinking declaring, ‘that’s it, now the market’s now going to plummet 40 per cent’. Property bears have been trotting this figure out whenever there’s been a bad sign for the last couple of decades,” Morgan said.

“But things never actually pan out in that way—people still need homes. Life as we know it may change a bit, but it will nevertheless go on.”

Likewise, buyers’ agent Rich Harvey said investors needed to be prepared to buy before the market bounded back – and those who were struggling should talk to their bank about getting a better rate to refinance or taking a mortgage payment holiday.

“Don’t panic – it is not the time to sell the family home. Stay the course and talk to your bank about holding on,” Harvey said.

“We will get through the crisis.”




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Brisbane buyers pay big prices for property that can survive self-isolation

Brisbane buyers pay big prices for property that can survive self-isolation

Cashed-up buyers keen to pour their savings into bricks and mortar instead of shares are keeping Brisbane’s prestige property market afloat as homes with big living spaces, large courtyards and enough creature comforts to survive self-isolation jump to the top of luxury home wish lists.

Amid a rapidly changing real estate world of virtual auctions, cancelled open homes and economic uncertainty, property punters have revealed strong buyer appetite remains within the high-end market as multimillion-dollar abodes continue to sell under the hammer and by private treaty.

Just days ago, Place Kangaroo Point agent Simon Caulfield sold a luxury three-bedroom property at 1E/39 Castlebar Street, Kangaroo Point, for $3.2 million cash unconditional, to two doctors he said were keen to not only buy the home of their dreams, but one that was perfect for a long self-isolation.

He said bottomed-out interest rates and competitive prices were the icing on the cake for those in a position to purchase with virtual tours, private inspections and 3D online walk-throughs making contactless buys a virtual walk in the park.

“I’ve got a buyer at the moment that we’re working with who’s looking for homes in the vicinity of $8 million dollars and we’ve done all virtual tours. In fact, we’re actually more efficient now and it’s making our lives easier to a point,” Mr Caulfield said.

“Wednesday night we had two auctions at our in-room events and nine registered bidders with a total of those seven bidding by phone.

“One sold under the hammer and the other one is in post-auction negotiations.

“Everyone who wants to (and is able to) buy is seeing the current climate as an advantage.

“There are people who have saved money, so they are trying to upgrade to the next price point and that was evident on Wednesday night. People are also looking at investments and bricks and mortar assets are quite attractive compared to stocks.”

While the nation continues to undergo daily changes and restrictions to flatten the COVID-19 curve, Mr Caulfield said Place agencies had already been working remotely and digitally for a couple of years with public open homes now switched to private inspections.

The need to upgrade into a bigger family home inspired Kristine Malone to place her luxury four-bedroom apartment at 4/2 Scott Street, Kangaroo Point, on the market just a few weeks ago, with strong buyer interest ramping up ahead of the April 1 auction.

She said while her and her family were sad to say goodbye to their beloved abode, they were thrilled at the high level of inquiry the massive 377-square-metre home had received, even amid the COVID-19 chaos.

“I think a lot of people watched this building take shape and so we’ve had a huge amount of interest from both interstate and local buyers,” Mrs Malone said.

“It is a really lovely family building, and, despite us moving out because of our family expanding rather than contracting, we have mixed emotions about leaving.”

The full-floor home, which is one of just a handful in the iconic Walan Residences, features a large balcony, three bathrooms, a gym and expansive river-front views.

The last apartment to sell in Walan Residences achieved $4.5 million in November 2019.

As prestige property transactions and interest remain strong, real estate agents across Brisbane are continuing to chalk up sales from entry level abodes through to four-bedroom houses with almost $4 million worth of real estate sold under the hammer at Ray White Sherwood and Graceville’s inaugural virtual auction on Wednesday night.

Agency principal Cameron Crouch said his team sold 80 per cent of the order of sale at the virtual auction theatre with 28 homes set to further go up for auction over the coming weeks.

“We have technology processes in place to remain ‘business as usual’ in this new environment of private inspections, virtual inspections and weekly auctions,” he said.



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Real estate industry in testing social distancing shutdown amid coronavirus fears

Real estate industry in testing social distancing shutdown amid coronavirus fears

Australian estate agents will set out this week to ascertain if they can continue to transact their property sale listings and leasing managements given the social distancing shutdown regulations.

In the absence of any official industry edict as at Monday morning, some estate agents will seek to adapt how they can continue to transact their property listings and managements.

Many agents are hoping it is business as usual.

On Sunday both the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew announced they will enforce a comprehensive shutdown of “non-essential services.”

But neither Premier indicated that the real estate industry was restricted from trading.

The later official advisory on stage one of the measures from the Federal Government advised the following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals.

The Urban Taskforce CEO, Tom Forrest, has called on State and Commonwealth Governments to be clear with their messages.

“The announcement must be clear and targeted”, Mr Forrest said.

Mr Forrest said that the messaging to date has too often been clumsy and ambiguous.

“If there is to be a close-down of business in NSW, what does this mean for construction workers? What does it mean for those working out-doors or indoors? What does it mean for delivery drivers or manufacturers?

Mr Forrest called on the NSW Government to be clear about if businesses should continue to operate remotely or shut down altogether.

“Urban Taskforce members support measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19. But support for the property, construction and development industry is critical to the economy and the hundreds of thousands of jobs involved,” Mr Forrest said.

The real estate industry appears spared from the extreme of the first stage of the shutdown if it enforces social distancing that doesn’t put the participants at risk.

One of the ways agents can adapt to these measures is using available technology.

Whether open for inspections for multiple unknown parties can continue is highly questionable.

Limiting auctions to registered bidders practising social distancing appears wise.

Requesting that visitors to open inspections come in small private groups and keep hands in their pockets while doing so are among measures being taken by some agents.

Last week some auction slated for inroom or indoor were moved outdoors to stay within the government’s 100 person limit on indoor non-essential social gatherings

All non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have no more than one person per 4sqm.

“All Australians should expect their local businesses to be following this rule,” the latest official update advises.

There are around 115,000 sale listings on the market, according to CoreLogic. SQM calculate 68,079 vacant residential properties.




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