It’s the annual winter prestige property pilgrimage from the southern states to the Sunshine Coast that leading local agent Vicki Stewart has come to know so well.
“People from Sydney and Melbourne come up the first year and fall in love with the climate and the area,” says Ms Stewart, the director of Stewart Property. “They return the next year and don’t want to go home again, so start looking at places to buy.
“And by the third year, they come, and just never go home.”
She did exactly the same thing too, 34 years ago, on a visit from Sydney, and says that migration from daydreamer to new owner causes a dramatic spike this time every year in the market.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella agrees. “Many travel for a holiday and fall in love with our world-class beaches, fine dining and luxury retail shopping precincts,” she says.
“The seeds are planted and while our prices are high compared with the rest of Queensland, when compared with Sydney or Melbourne prices they’re an absolute bargain.”
At the same time Noosa, at the top of the Sunshine Coast market, has been performing exceptionally well and in the 12 months to March 2019 has hit 8.7 per cent growth, making it Queensland’s strongest area, as against Brisbane’s one to 3 per cent, and the Gold Coast’s 2 to 3 per cent. Since 2014, Noosa prices have risen 44 per cent.
There have been some stellar sales too in the past 18 months, including the $15.2 million sale of tennis ace Pat Rafter’s mansion on Noosa’s Sunshine Beach, followed by the Sunshine Coast record-breaking $18 million purchase of a seven-bedroom trophy home nearby. “But as a general rule of thumb, what you’d buy in Sydney for $20 million will cost you just $8 million here,” says Ms Stewart.
Domestic tourism – of which this coastal region is “the Australian rock star” according to Visit Sunshine Coast chief executive Simon Latchford – always sparks the property market, while its “Hamptons-style cool” continues to drive it on and up.
“The market does leverage off tourism but, often, as soon as people arrive they realise its strengths,” Mr Latchford says. “There are two airports, lots of new infrastructure, a laid-back lifestyle, an extraordinary climate with no cyclones, crocs or box jellyfish, a community atmosphere in a place that hasn’t been allowed to develop too fast, and Brisbane is only an hour and a half away.
“If you want to savour life as it was back in the ’70s, then this place can offer that environment.”
The prestige market from $5 million to $12 million is particularly strong at the moment, with demand surging and stock so tight that one buyer bought a home at Noosa Heads in the past few weeks for $2.9 million over the phone, sight unseen.
“We now have a lot of buyers making multiple offers and there’s not much stock as people are making generational purchases; they’re planning to keep it long-term and hand it down to family rather than sell it,” says agent Nic Hunter from Tom Offermann Real Estate.
“Noosa has always been the pinnacle of that prestige end of the market, and people just love the relaxed lifestyle and village atmosphere.”
Four homes in the area
For sale by informal tender with a guide of more than $4 million, this five-bedroom home has a spectacular waterfront position, with beautiful mountain views and a peaceful position.
“As with all the best homes on the Sunshine Coast, you have to consider the cost of not buying now,” says agent Adrian Reed of Reed & Co.
With deepwater access and an upgraded pontoon to allow the owner to keep anything up to a 58-footer safely moored at home, this family house was designed by Frank Macchia to have a true north aspect.
The home has an in-ground pool and a steam-room, while a recently-installed solar system generates over 100kWh of power in summer and is fitted has battery storage.
It’s going to auction on July 14 through Loren Wimhurst of Next Property Group, with a guide of $4.5 million to $5.5 million.
Floor-to-ceiling windows in almost every room make sure that the stunning views are maximised and that this house is flooded in natural light.
The media room has its own cosy fireplace, there are electric shutters and blinds and an openable roof to control light and temperatures, and underfloor heating on the ground level and in the bathrooms that service the master bedroom.
The home is for sale with a guide of $3.3 million, with Joe Langley of Universal Property Sales.
Billed as a 6-star resort-style home, this home has great north-east ocean views and is just a short stroll to the beach, cafes and shops from its large 1,200sqm block.
There’s an internal lift to each floor, a grand entry foyer, a sound-proofed cinema, in-ground pool and pool room, with landscaped gardens.
It’s for sale with a guide of $3.3 million, through agent Craig Porter of Next Property Group.
The Regional Areas Popular for Interstate Migration
Regional economies are continuing to strengthen their appeal, with the Gold Coast topping the list, as new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data identifies the locations where populations across Australia are moving.
An increasing number of Australian residents preference satellite cities, known as tier-two cities on the outer-fringe of capital cities, and major regional cities, classed as tier-three cities, property market research firm Propertyology said.
The Gold Coast, located in south east Queensland is number one on the popularity list.
“The population of regional Australia increased by a further 89,132, to sit at a significant 8,424,137 as at 30 June 2018,” Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley said.
“More and more people are re-evaluating their need to remain in a capital city.”
The Gold Coast, which has a median house price that’s 60 per cent the cost of Sydney’s, attracted 7,441 new residents from other parts of Australia last year.
Pressley says Queensland’s interstate migration has continued its run with 28,668 adding to the state’s population growth for the year to June last year.
“One of the most obvious trends in the analysis was the migration of so many people away from capital cities to regional areas,” Pressley said.
Up to 6,370 Australians relocated to the Sunshine Coast last year, this number more than the 4,266 Australians who relocated to Melbourne.
The data shows Queensland, Hobart and parts of regional Victoria and New South Wales were popular locations of choice for Australian residents.
Interstate vs overseas migration
Of Australia’s total population increase of 391,000 people during the year ending June 2018, overseas migration made the largest contribution (237,225 or 61 per cent).
Although Pressley says looking at just population growth as a lead indicator of property price pressure is “far too simplistic”.
“At the end of the day, buyer behaviour and not population growth is what determines fluctuations in real estate prices.
“Buyer behaviour is determined by where people want to live, what they can afford to buy, lifestyle preferences, where they can get suitable employment, and individual stages of their life.
“Other factors include local confidence, buyer incentives, and the pursuit of financial independence.”
‘There’s not another home like it on the Gold Coast’: Unique Broadbeach Waters on the market
It’s a house that makes a statement. Dominated by unbroken, horizontal forms, and offering water frontage and city views, there’s a considerable 821 square metres of living space to kick back, relax and entertain in.
Now on the market for $7.495 million, the five-bedroom home at 15 Cleland Crescent, Broadbeach Waters is kitted out with floor-to-ceiling windows, a 2000-bottle cellar, butler’s pantry, media room and spa.
The vendor bought the block in 2010 for just under $2.895 million, with the market at the time feeling the effects of the GFC.
The resort-style residence itself is four years old. It was designed by Adam Beck from BDA Architects as a family home over 12 months, with a separate wing for their teenage offspring.
With the children now flying the nest, the time had come for the vendors to sell, said agent Jordan Williams from J.D. Prestige Agents.
“It’s in a really nice elevated position, due north,” Mr Williams said. “It’s got over 30 metres of water frontage, which is very hard to come by.”
“The design is very cool, it has two wings and two sets of stairs,” he added, noting that to design and build the property today would take $2.5 million or so.
Mr Williams said they’d had good numbers through to look at the property already, and he thought it would appeal to a Sydney or a Melbourne buyer in particular with its industrial vibe, off-form concrete and large panelling.
“There’s not another home like it on the Gold Coast – it’s very unique,” he said.
Overall, he thought the Gold Coast market was picking up after the end of financial year, with the winter chill beginning to thaw.
“The steady numbers are coming back through – I think we’re in a very good position,” Mr Williams said.
The median house price in Broadbeach Waters sits at $1,137,500 for the year to May 2019, based on 164 sales – a 3.4 per cent increase on a year ago.
So far this year, records show the most expensive sale in the suburb was 24 Andrea Avenue, Broadbeach Waters, which scored $3 million via private treaty in January.
Meanwhile, in 2017 it was 201-205 Monaco Street that took top honours with a $9.5 million sale in February, while 77 Monaco Street changed hands for $9 million in March.
Melbourne Top Investment Choice for Chinese Buyers
Chinese buyer enquiries for residential property in Australia has recorded two consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth for the first time since 2016, with Melbourne still the most popularAustralian city.
Australia has been losing Chinese buyer interest to other parts of the world due to increased taxes and banking restrictions.
But Australia’s hefty state foreign buyer taxes have been counterbalanced by its weakening dollar according to the latest Juwai.com report, which has seen it drop around 11 per cent of its value against the Chinese Yuan since mid-2018.
Juwai.com CEO Carrie Law says she expects Chinese buying to remain flat in 2019, with forecasts it could start to grow again inline Australia’s property market recovery.
“Chinese buyers make 83 per cent more enquiries about acquiring Melbourne property than they do Sydney,” Law said.
Brisbane has the second fastest rate of Chinese buyer growth. Law said Brisbane recorded 30.8 per cent more Chinese buyer enquiries in 2018.
“Brisbane is becoming a real alternative for the two traditional gateway cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
“The fastest growing cities, in terms of Chinese buyer interest, are Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra.”
Melbourne receives 43.8 per cent of Chinese buying enquiries in Australia, Sydney 23.9 per cent, Brisbane 10.1 per cent, Perth and Adelaide 6.1 per cent, the Gold Coast 3.7 per cent, Canberra 3.6 per cent, and Hobart 2.6 per cent.
Weak Aussie dollar boosts buyer interest
Despite the tougher state foreign buyer taxes, Australian’s weakening dollar means it now costs less to secure real estate.
“A buyer holding Yuan today needs the equivalent of $88,800 less in funds compared to 2017 to purchase an $800,000 dwelling,” Law said.
“The plummeting Australian dollar, which has lost 11.1 per cent of its value against the Chinese Yuan since July 2018… [That] compares to the 8 per cent rate of the highest foreign buyer taxes, which are in New South Wales and Victoria.”
Law says Chinese demand is driven largely by growing wealth, a desire to store assets ‘safely’ overseas, education, travel, commercial ties, immigration and high-net-worth immigration, along with environment and lifestyle.
“Eighty-three per cent of Chinese consumers cite education as their reason for immigration, 69 per cent cite environment, 57 per cent cite food safety, and 28 per cent cite asset security.”
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