THE lure of affordability, lifestyle and world-class beaches made southeast Queensland’s coastal markets the stars of the property sector in 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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: www.goldcoastinvestor.com.au
Are these Australia’s cheapest blocks of land?
Just when we thought we had found the cheapest – a patch of dirt for $4.94 a square metre near the Queensland and NT border – we found another one.
And this “dirt cheap” vacant block is on the market for $2.08 a square metre – less than a 2L bottle of milk!
The fully fenced rural block of land has town water available and “power close by” but is only suitable for horses or recreation, hence the price.
It is listed with LJ Hooker Gayndah.
In Camooweal, yes that one near the border, a “drovers dream” is listed at 54 Cronin Street for $10,000.
With 2024sq m of vacant land that works out to be $4.94 a square metre — less than a beer at the local pub or a foot-long sub on discount day.
To help you wrap your head around that, that block of land would cost you over $1 million in Ipswich.
A recent report by property services group Oliver Hume found that Ipswich had the best value dirt in southeast Queensland, with land averaging $507 a square metre.
That is nearly half the price of vacant land in Brisbane, where buyers can expect to pay an average of $970 a square metre, so that block of land in Camooweal would set you back almost $2 million in the big smoke.
Bronwyn Finch of Jays Real Estate Mount Isa is marketing the Camooweal vacant block, which is located off the Barkly Highway.
Camooweal had a population of 208 at the time of the 2016 Census, with the average resident aged 36.
“It is walking distance to the local shop and garage, and you can wave at the tourists as they go past,” Ms Finch said.
“I sold another block about a year back, same deal for about $8000.”
Ms Finch said the cheap blocks were usually purchased by retirees looking for a spot to park their van between trips.
She noted it would be a tough ask to get a car park in Brisbane for the same price.
“It is quite close to the Gregory River, which is beautiful, and Adels Grove, our premiere tourist attraction out here, is about an hour away.
“That’s close for us. That’s a daily commute in the city.”
Meanwhile in Mungallala, a tiny outpost on the Warrego Highway west of Mitchell, is a 1012sq m vacant lot of land that is on the market for $6000, or the nearest offer.
That’s $5.92 a square metre – less than a cup of coffee in Ascot.
It is listed with Ray White Charleville agent Glenda Fill.
“There has been a new house built in the town in the last two years,” she said.
“It is very small town off the Warrego Highway and had a population of 136 in 2016.
“It is an hour and a quarter from here (Charleville) so it’s a bit closer to the coast than we are.”
And in Westwood, which is about half an hour from Rockhampton, the beef capital of Queensland, is an 1800sq m block for $9000.
There is also another 1174sq m lot for $8000, and the 962sq m lot, which was listed for $6000, has sold.
“Blocks are not serviced and would suit ‘off grid’ living,” the listing says.
“There is no town water in Westwood – households rely on tank or underground (bore) water.
“No town sewerage (septic or bio), Westwood has electricity – no current supply to this estate.”
Marketing agent John Neumann of Discover Real Estate said “it’s a bargain” with a “rural outlook”.
“There is a rail line nearby, a mining one,” he said. “I think there is a pub, a post office and a police officer there.
“It is only about 50km from Rockhamption and it is on the western highway to the mining belt.”
Mr Neumann said he had already had some interest in the lots, mostly from grey nomads looking for a base and people keen to “go off-grid”.
He said he had even had inquiries from uni students looking to get a leg – or toe – on the property ladder.
Westwood had a population of 174 during the 2016 census.
It was the first new town proclaimed in the Queensland Government Gazette, after the state became a separate colony back in 1859.
‘The margin will never be this close again’: Brisbane’s waterfront secret where property is still affordable
Think “Brisbane waterfront” and Moreton Bay darlings Wynnum and Manly quickly spring to mind.
But only 30 kilometres northeast, on the other side of the airport and a similar distance to the CBD, another bay-front suburb, Sandgate, appears.
The photogenic village topped Domain’s best performing Brisbane suburb list in 2018 with 18.8 per cent median house price growth.
Despite this overall rise in housing value, data-savvy local agent Jacqui McKeering makes the case that Sandgate’s waterfront properties are still undervalued compared to southside bay designer homes.
Ms McKeering, of Jim McKeering Real Estate, says Sandgate waterfront still remains great value because family groups have to buy further back to get more features.
“When the price-to-rateable-land-value gap narrows, you are getting a bit of a bargain,” she says.
“A simple calculation to illustrate this point shows the market value of Sandgate waterfront properties not that much greater than the rateable land value; on average 32 per cent greater.
“In fact one waterfront property sale, back in 2017, sold for 15 per cent less than the rateable land value, yet one block back and without bay view properties have a greater gap of 42 per cent.
“One particular [non-waterfront] property sold as high as 66 per cent greater than the rateable land value.
“The outtake here is there is plenty of money to be made on Sandgate waterfront properties.
“I do believe the margin between waterfront properties and the neighbouring streets will never be this close again.”
Flinders Parade, which runs along the foreshore of Sandgate and into Brighton, plus Eagle Crescent and Shorncliffe Parade, are the waterfront property strips in focus.
Ms McKeering says a lot of people have been buying these older houses and renovating and that at the moment there is some choice in “real cheapies” from about $900,000 to about $1.35 million.
“I know someone who bought for $1.4 million in 2017 with a $1.8 million renovation budget,” she says.
“When you see that sort of money coming into an area, it tells me people are seeing long-term capital value in this area.”
Fellow Sandgate agent Tamara Wecker of RE/MAX agrees suburb 4017’s waterfront properties are priced and selling considerably under their comparable Brisbane market values.
“When compared to Wynnum and Manly,” Ms Wecker says, “absolutely; I mean you can live in the Taj Mahal in Sandgate for about $1.5 million.”
She is seeing buyer migration from Sydney and “a little bit from Perth” because of affordability, and thinks Sandgate’s strict rules, which prohibit multi-unit developments on its waterfront, is a further drawcard.
“People tend to think of Wynnum and Manly but here you can have a premium home and lifestyle only 30 minutes from the city,” Ms Wecker says.
“To be honest, it has been a bit of a secret because we are off the highway so you have to have a reason to come here, but that is changing in the past 18 months.
“We are getting more inquiries from people, even from Brisbane, who just did not know about us.”
Mark Crew has been selling Sandgate housing since 1990 and thinks people have woken up to how great a suburb it is in the past 18 months.
The Professionals’ agent has reported strong interest from Sydney buyers “looking for a better family lifestyle”.
He estimates 25 to 30 per cent of Sandgate buyers this year have come from the neighbouring suburbs of Shorncliffe, Deagon and Brighton; people who want to upgrade but stay in “the village”.
“It is 31 minutes to the CBD and you can be walking on the waterfront with your kids after work and we’ve got excellent schools too,” Mr Crew says.
Regarding Sandgate’s waterfront property market and its value, he says three factors should be considered.
“There are few waterfront properties for sale, land is scarce and over the past 20 years there has been a lot of change to the houses themselves, a lot of renovation and/or raising older three-bedroom cottages and transforming them into often substantial five-bedroom luxury houses,” he says.
“So these houses on their waterfront blocks are, quite rightly, going to fetch more in sale prices when they do one day return to the market; and that is showing.”
Cheap Units In Brisbane Suburbs
Twelve suburbs in Brisbane have a median unit price of just under $400,000, according to Domain’s June House Price Report.
Ten out of these 12 suburbs are in the inner city, the report said.
Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Albion, and Spring Hills are all within three kilometres of the Brisbane CBD. The median unit prices in these suburbs are below $400,000, the figures showed.
East Brisbane, Coorparoo, Clayfield, Nundah, Taringa, and Kedron also offer some of Brisbane’s cheapest unit values, according to the report.
Bowen Hills is the cheapest suburb to buy a unit, with prices falling 13.7% in the past 12 months, the figures showed.
Here are Brisbane’s cheapest suburbs to buy units by median price, according to Domain:
|Suburb||Median price||YoY % growth||5-year % growth|
In Greater Brisbane, the median unit price fell 8.6% over the year to June, according to the report.
The capital city’s unit prices are “sitting at 2013 levels”—down from their peak in 2015, according to Domain research analyst Eliza Owen.
However, prices are expected to bottom out this year, with the end of the downturn in the unit segment in sight, Owen said.
“Unit listings are also moderating, which should reduce downward pressure on prices,” she said.
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