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Gold Coast Property Market Update - September 2017

Opinion by Nicole Marsh, Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

15th September 2017

 

We’ve noticed this month that the market has ‘come off the boil’ a little. Speaking to other professionals in the property industry such as selling agent, pest and building inspectors and mortgage brokers, it's across the board and not unique to us. It seems that the government's intentions to slow the Sydney and Melbourne markets and tackling the supposed issue of ‘housing affordability’ through changes in requirements for investor lending is having a widespread reach

 

In saying that, this month we’ve noted a big increase in the number of inquiries from First Home Buyers now ready to enter the property market, particularly at the $300,000 to $350,000 mark so it's not all bad news. This of course then places upwards pressure on pricing in higher price brackets as many owner occupiers at lower price points upgrade to larger, more expensive homes…...and so the cycle begins again.

 

We’re noticing a large number of longer term investors now leaving the market too as many are coming off fixed interest rates, and with many not fitting the new lending criteria are choosing to sell, rather than refinance. For cashed up investors, there is still good buying to be found.  

 

A question we are often asked by owner occupiers and investors alike is ‘When is the right time to buy?....’

 

Being entrenched in the property industry for over 10 years now, I’ve watched and worked through the seasonal cycles first hand many times on the Gold Coast.

Unless you watch the market and analyse it on a daily basis, you wouldn’t realise things like the time of year, school holidays and public holidays have an effect on the property market BUT it does, and more so than you realise.

Let me run you through a typical year…

 

January (our busiest time with a massive influx of new enquiries ) - People take time to take stock of the last year and have reassessed their goals for the New Year.  Maybe a plan to upgrade and upsize  their existing family home, a job transfer which means they need to buy a new family home in an unfamiliar market, or investors deciding THIS is the year to finally start investing in property.

Lots of sellers at this time of year too, especially units in the beachside suburbs trying to cash in on the uneducated interstate tourists who decide they’d love a little chunk of the Gold Coast for themselves (yes this does happen! Often!) And not uncommon in Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach, these properties often come back up for sale a year or two later at the same time of year.   New owners realise the reality of holiday rental return figures not being as great as they thought and sky high body corp fees taking their toll.


February
things really start to heat up The hangover of Christmas and New Year is long forgotten (at least until the credit card bill arrives…..eeek!) and it’s pretty much life as normal.

Everyone is back from holidays, kids are back to school, the building industry is back to business. There is an influx of new properties hitting the market, usually seen from the last week in January and well into February - in line with the kids going back to school. Don’t know why? Those of you with children would appreciate what a fruitless battle it would be to try and keep the house clean and tidy for open homes and inspections with kids at home rampaging! These sellers have also taken the time over Christmas, New Year and Australia Day to prepare their properties for sale and get their presentation 100% to maximise their sale price.

 

March/April - The market is running at full steam by now - with a bit of a hiatus in the middle for Easter! We’re noticing this year, that the number of ‘off market’ sales coming across our desks have increased substantially. Agents simply do not have time to get the listings online and market them correctly, so see us as a quick and easy sale if it’s a quality property at the right price.

 

May to July- Traditionally winter is renowned to be a quieter time in the property market. The buyers around at this time of year are very serious about buying and the sellers are serious about selling - usually for tax reasons and they usually do it in a hurry as they need everything wrapped up and sorted by end of financial year. Based on my past experience, the market almost comes to a standstill between the Federal Budget (usually the beginning of May) through until the end of financial year at 30 June. (And just saying, if you can’t find me during this time of year, I’ll be working on my tan for a few weeks in Singapore and Thailand!).

For us, the phone stops ringing from buyers and agents alike and it’s an ideal time to take a breather, catch up on everything in house, get our filing in order and get ready for Spring!

 

July/August  - Come the first of July, the old financial year is behind us and the phone starts ringing again! Buyers are ready to go again, and it’s our 2nd busiest time of year with buyer enquiry. Buyers ring us as they’ve had their tax done by their accountant and they’ve got a tax problem they need to fix for the new tax year - and decided they need some professional help as they don’t know where to start.

Lots of beachside holiday rental high rise units up for sale at this time of year when there is almost zero rental return.

 

September/October - There’s a commonly held belief in the real estate industry that spring is the best time of the year for selling a home so there are lots of new listings coming through. The flowers are blooming, the grass is green and all the buyers and sellers are keen to make a move into their new houses and be settled in and unpacked by Christmas.

 

November - A seller can put almost any price on their property in November and it will sell! There is always frantic buying in November - buyers have realised they need to BUY NOW to be in their new house by Christmas - so it’s just carnage in the market at this time of year. Buyers overpay, just to be in the market and sellers reap the rewards. At this time of year, you really need to watch the market like a hawk to ensure you either don’t pay too much for a property or don’t miss out altogether, as in my opinion owner occupier buyer activity is at one of its highest for the year and often properties sell within 24 hours of being listed.

 

December - Sellers in the market at this time of year are usually really keen to sell. Possibly the contract on their property from November fell over due to finance or there is an imminent job transfer and they are in the ‘must sell’ situation. If you’re a buyer, it’s often possible at this time of year to pick up a bit of a bargain if you’re pre-approved for finance and ready to go - but don’t get frustrated by the lack of choice on the market after the November action. Just take a break and revisit it all towards the end of January. Most solicitors and some banks take a break of 2 to 3 weeks over this time so the real estate industry is forced into a slow down. (Make sure you research this before you enter into a contract as you may need to use extended time frames for your contract conditions to be met).

 

Phew, what a year! After a quick breather we’re ready to do it all again……!

 

So in short, while every location and suburb goes through its cycles, so too does the Gold Coast Property Market as a whole throughout the year - and this can be key to understanding exactly what’s happening when you are trying to enter the market. Following on from all of this though, I believe the right time to enter the property market is when YOU are ready - there is always good buying to be found esp when you watch the market like a hawk - but if you don’t have your finance pre-approval in place and haven’t undertaken your research, you won't be in a position to recognise or capitalise on these opportunities when they arise.

 

If you would like to discuss the Gold Coast property market and its cycles further, please give me a call on 0418 665 807  
- I love this stuff!

 

Until next month, the hunt continues!.

 

Nicole

****

Gold Coast Property Market Update - August 2017

Opinion by Nicole Marsh, Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

23rd August 2017

 

The new financial year is in full swing, the weather is warming up, (with Queensland just experiencing its hottest July on record) and the question is, why would you want to live anywhere else??? 


This month I’ve noted a large influx of new properties hitting the market for sale (particularly lots of long term investors cashing out of the market).  I expect mostly due to the changes in the lending arena where many would be coming off fixed interest rates and finding it difficult to refinance.

No longer are we seeing the unconscionable 110% loans by the banks of a few years back, where investors were borrowing the full property purchase price, stamp duty, renovations, a holiday and then some…..which in my opinion is a positive! Any investor's refinancing or borrowing money now are likely to require at least 20% deposit, and likely repayments are to be made on a principal and interest basis.

 

In an effort by the government to slow down the property market and improve ‘housing affordability’ with these continuing, tighter, restrictions in lending, and changes to depreciation allowances for investors, I can see that, long term, this could have massive negative implications for tenants. As less investors in the market = less properties for rent = higher rents….
Hmmm I wonder if they’ve thought this through fully…........

In the current market, I still have my investor clients easily achieving 5% - 6% returns - although I have to admit good quality properties at the right price, and in the right locations, are proving harder and harder to find. So now, more than ever you need a good Buyers Agent, on the Gold Coast, on your side who will work hard to find the right property for you. Never before has my networks of agents and contacts proven so valuable to be able to get the insider information and snavel something ‘off market’ to get the competitive advantage over the other buyers out there.

This month I’ve also noted a larger number of first home buyers coming to us for assistance. One property I’ve just secured for a first home buyer, was a fully furnished one bedroom, one bathroom unit in a low rise complex with river views, walking distance to the beach and light rail for $220,000.

 

I ask you - Is there a real issue with housing affordability, or with first home buyers expectations?
 
Despite the ‘supposed’ cooling-off of the Sydney and Melbourne property markets, I'm still seeing lots of owner/occupiers capitalising on these markets - selling up down south, cashed up and making a bee-line for the Gold Coast. Here they are seeing good value for money in the Gold Coast Property Market, and can secure a great property for a fraction of their markets back home, and pocketing big wads of cash in the difference. In our opinion, these un-educated, emotional buyers are paying well over and above a property's true value with the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) phenomenon kicking in. Great if you’re a seller in the current market where competition is fierce!......
 
But if you are a property buyer on the Gold Coast, and are sick of missing out or are finding that properties in real life are nothing like the photos on the net, then contact me, I can assist!
 

At Eureka Buyers Agents We find. We negotiate. You save.

 

Til next month,

 

Nicole

****

Gold Coast Property Market Update - July 2017

Opinion by Nicole Marsh, Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

20th July 2017

 

This month I've noticed a massive increase in the number of properties coming across my desk due to a divorce or relationship break-up. 

 

Who’s the first person the agents call when sellers want a no-fuss sale? You guessed it, Us….

 

Why?

 

 -We network well and have formed good quality working relationships with the agents and mortgage brokers over the years

- Our buyers have finance pre-approval in place and ready to go

 

The tally would be at 7 or 8 of these such sales that we are aware of just throughout June and July thus far, that haven't openly made it to the market - and that's just in the suburbs we’re currently actively searching in for clients.

 

These distressed sales obviously can result in great buying for our buyers - one such property we secured for a client over $15k less than a back up contract, just because we could act quickly and decisively.

 

Based on past experience, the agents know that by dealing with us, the sale has the highest chance of completion through to settlement and with the least amount of hassle so that works to our advantage.  When in a multiple offer situation, an agent will encourage a seller to take our offer, even if it is lower than another, because they know we can rationally work through any issues that may arise. 

 

Even if issues are found after an unfavourable building and pest inspection for example, we have the experience to work through them, often with a price renegotiation, or we have a network of the right tradies in place so work can be easily arranged, and at a good price.

 

A question I can’t answer though, is why so many off-market ‘divorce’ sales all at once? Is it just that sellers now have some good equity in their properties and can leave the relationship with some cash in their pockets to start over again?

 

Fortunes are made and lost everyday in real estate - and it’s no truer than in the Gold Coast Property Market today.

 

I'm finding it’s difficult to see good value in some suburbs on the Gold Coast at the moment, particularly in some of the more prestigious beachfront and beachside suburbs, but that’s from a locals perspective. For buyers from Sydney and Melbourne, who have a different ‘sphere of reference’ our market still presents great value (as a comparison to their overvalued markets at home) and they have no hesitation in paying at or above full asking price, just to get in the market. The FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) phenomenon is still very much at large in the market - so that also helps to drive prices upwards.

 

One of my secrets to buying well is to understand the motivations of the seller. Understanding the vendor’s reasons for selling and what’s really important to them, can often be your point of difference to get your offer accepted over the others.

****

Gold Coast Property Market Update - April 2017

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

1st April 2017

WOW! What an ENORMOUS start to 2017 (that’s why you’re getting Januarys newsletter in April - we just haven’t had 5 mins to put pen to paper over the last few months!).

 

After a relatively quiet period this year between Christmas and New Year - which traditionally has been one of our busiest times - I thought to myself “Great, I’ll just cruise into the New Year and wait for the market to get back to normal’  - well, I must have jinxed myself because my phone has not stopped ringing since the 2nd of January with new buyer enquiries, agents with new listings and a lot of off market opportunities coming through. The Gold Coast property market is well and truly cranking!

 

Being entrenched in the property industry for over 10 years now, I’ve watched and worked through the seasonal cycles first hand many times on the Gold Coast.

 

Unless you watch the market and analyse it on a daily basis, you wouldn’t realise things like the time of year, school holidays and public holidays have an effect on the property market BUT it does, and more so than you realise.

 

Let me run you through a typical year…..

 

January (our busiest time with a massive influx of new enquiries ) - People take a lot of time to take stock of the last year and have reassessed their goals for the New Year.  Maybe a plan to upgrade and upsize  their existing family home, a job transfer which means they need to buy a new family home in an unfamiliar market, or investors deciding THIS is the year to finally start investing in property.

 

Lots of sellers at this time of year too, especially units in the beachside suburbs trying to cash in on the uneducated interstate tourists who decide they’d love a little chunk of the Gold Coast for themselves (yes this does happen! Often!) And not uncommon in Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach, these properties often come back up for sale a year or two later at the same time of year.   New owners realise the reality of holiday rental return figures not being as great as they thought and sky high body corp fees taking their toll.

 

February things really start to heat up The hangover of Christmas and New Year is long forgotten (at least until the credit card bill arrives…..ekkk!) and it’s pretty much life as normal.

Everyone is back from holidays, kids are back to school, the building industry is back to business.

 

There is an influx of new properties hitting the market, usually seen from the last week in January and well into February - inline with the kids going back to school. Don’t know why? Those of you with children would appreciate what a fruitless battle it would be to try and keep the house clean and tidy for open homes and inspections with kids at home rampaging! These sellers have also taken the time over Christmas, New Year and Australia Day to prepare their properties for sale and get their presentation 100% to maximise their sale price.

 

March/April - The market is running at full steam by now - with a bit of a hiatus in the middle for Easter! We’re noticing this year, that the number of ‘off market’ sales coming across our desks have increased substantially. Agents simply do not have time to get the listings online and market them correctly, so see us as a quick and easy sale if it’s a quality property at the right price. Read more about this in our December newsletter

 

May to July- Traditionally winter is renowned to be a quieter time in the property market. The buyers around at this time of year are very serious about buying and the sellers are serious about selling - usually for tax reasons and they usually do it in a hurry as they need everything wrapped up and sorted by end of financial year.

 

Based on my past experience, the market almost comes to a standstill between the Federal Budget (usually the beginning of May) through until the end of financial year at 30 June. (And just saying,  if you can’t find me during this time of year, I’ll be working on my tan for a few weeks in Singapore and Thailand!).

 

For us, the phone stops ringing from buyers and agents alike and it’s an ideal time to take a breather, catch up on everything in house, get our filing in order and get ready for Spring!

 

July/August  - Come the first of July, the old financial year is behind us and the phone starts ringing again! Buyers are ready to go again, and it’s our 2nd busiest time of year with buyer enquiry. Buyers ring us as they’ve had their tax done by their accountant and they’ve got a tax problem they need to fix for the new tax year - and decided they need some professional help as they don’t know where to start.

 

Lots of beachside holiday rental high rise units up for sale at this time of year when there is almost zero rental return.

 

September/October - There’s a commonly held belief in the real estate industry that spring is the best time of the year for selling a home so there are lots of new listings coming through. The flowers are blooming, the grass is green and all the sellers are keen to make a move into their new houses and be settled in and unpacked by Christmas.

 

November - A seller can put almost any price on their property in November and it will sell! There is always frantic buying in November - buyers have realised they need to BUY NOW to be in their new house by Christmas - so it’s just carnage in the market at this time of year. Buyers overpay, just to be in the market and sellers reap the rewards. At this time of year, you really need to watch the market like a hawk to ensure you either don’t pay too much for a property or don’t miss out altogether, as in my opinion owner occupier buyer activity is at one of its highest for the year and often properties sell within 24 hours of being listed.

 

December - Sellers in the market at this time of year are usually really keen to sell. Possibly the contract on their property from November fell over due to finance or there is an imminent job transfer and they are in the ‘must sell’ situation. If you’re a buyer, it’s often possible at this time of year to pick up a bit of a bargain if you’re pre-approved for finance and ready to go - but don’t get frustrated by the lack of choice on the market after the November action. Just take a break and revisit it all towards the end of January.

Most solicitors and some banks take a break of 2 to 3 weeks over this time so the real estate industry is forced into a slow down. (Make sure you research this before you enter into a contract as you may need to use extended time frames for your contract conditions to be met).

 

Phew, what a year! After a quick breather we’re ready to do it all again……!

 

So in short, while every location and suburb goes through its cycles, so too does the Gold Coast Property Market as a whole throughout the year - and this can be key to understanding exactly what’s happening when you are trying to enter the market.

 

On a side note, this month Eureka Property Buyers Agents celebrates it’s 8th birthday and my 11th year as a Gold Coast Buyers Agent. What an experience!

 

To all my past and current clients I wanted to THANK YOU for your business - it really is greatly appreciated. I’ve loved every minute (almost.. LOL!) of working with you all and no denying there were some stressful times along the way when things didn’t go our way for one reason or another - but I just wanted to say ‘Thank you’.

 

I truly am grateful to the many of you now coming back for your 2nd and 3rd purchases after the massive upswings you’ve had on your values of late on the Gold Coast. Clearly, I got it right the first time and I’m really looking forward to what the Gold Coast Property Market has in store for us all in the coming years.

 

Until next month, the hunt continues!

 

Nicole

****

 

 

Gold Coast Property Market Update - December 2016

 

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

21st December 2016 

 

Only 4 more sleeps ‘til Santa comes!!!  … With a little person in our household who this year has worked out what santa is all about, Christmas is going to be a lot of fun this year. He no longer runs away from Santa but makes a B-line straight to him at lightning speed when ever we happen upon santa when we're out and about. What a difference a few years makes…..

 

He asked me last night “Mum how does santa know I like lego so much?” “Hmmmm I wonder…..santa’s pretty smart you know.”

 

Another question I get asked all the time, but particularly this time of year is ‘when is the best time to buy?’ Should I buy now or hold out to next year?”

 

The best time to buy in my opinion is when YOU are ready. The perfect property for you could already be on the market or might hit the market tomorrow…..or next week - and I find a lot of buyers over analyse things. Just get yourself sorted and in the best position to buy.

 

Believe me, after 10 years as a buyer's agent, great buys come up nearly everyday -  but you need to be poised and ready to take action.

 

How I see it is if you've got your finance pre-approval in place, if you've researched your areas and have a targeted approach to what you want to buy, for investors if you know what attributes in a property are going to give you the best rental returns and you know the recent sales data of comparable sales up to the minute - not 30 to 60 days old like some of the data readily available and know it like the back of your hand - you’re already in a stronger position than about 98 percent of the other buyers out there and have set yourself up for sure success before you even inspect your first property.

 

>>There is nothing like the confidence of having finance pre-approval in place when making an offer on a property - and don't be afraid to give the agent a copy. It might just be the one thing that gets your offer across the line ahead of the five others multiple offers all vying for the same property like we’re currently seeing in some parts of the Gold Coast property market, and often for less money than the competition with sellers choosing the surety of a buyer thats ready to go.

 

In short, Yes there is less new stock hitting the market this time of year as sellers are more preoccupied with Christmas parties and festivities and are holding off to list their properties for sale til the new year  - but it also means less buyers and less competition - so I believe it's a great time to be a buyer.

 

In my opinion, any sellers on the market now are keen to sell - maybe it's a job transfer, or they have a new business venture they are keen to get into in 2017- or maybe their property went to contract in the usual November flurry when the buyers go on a buying spree driving prices up as everyone wants to be in their new house by Xmas - and the deal fell over. Whatever the reason, it can be a good opportunity to pick up a great buy.

 

So I say don’t wait - get all of your ducks in a row, your solicitor and pest and building inspectors on speed dial and be ready to go.

As Christmas draws closer and 2017 is fast approaching, it's such a hectic but fun time of the year when we all try to take a moment out of our busy lives to spend quality time with family, friends and colleagues and re-evaluate our lives in readiness for a brand new year.

 

I must say I am grateful to be closing out 2016 on a high!  It's been a massive year and not without its ups and downs, but a great year nonetheless. Thank you to all my lovely clients, both current and past, for your support - I really enjoy what I do, made even better by working with great clients. I put my heart and soul into what I do and, after 10 years as a buyer's agent and coming up 8 years in business, it's still a real buzz creating ‘Eureka' moments for my clients. Many of whom become great friends - and yes, lots of invites to house-warming parties.

 

As we reflect on the year that was, I'm looking forward to a bit of time out and much needed R & R and time with my family over the coming weeks - recharging the batteries in readiness of a productive start to 2017. … I've got some big plans for 2017 already with business expansion, the addition of some new support staff and possibly some new cash flow positive products for our investor clients (And for those of you who know me really well, you know I’ll have it all done by Easter! hahah). Watch this space….

 

No new year hangover for me this year. I am already fielding lots of enquiry from interstaters on the move North and looking for a new home in the early part of the new year…..and with lots of infrastructure projects and development on the Gold Coast in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in 2018, the Gold Coast is still a great place to invest - you just have to know where - so 2017 is shaping up to be a big year already.

 

Hope you all have a wonderful, crazy week in the lead up to a well-earned Christmas/New Year break … wishing you and yours the very best of the Season and your best year yet ahead in 2017!

 

Best wishes,

Nicole and the Eureka team

 

****

Gold Coast Property Market Update - November 2016

 

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

28th November 2016 

 

This month I’ve noted that the number of Silent Sales or off-market listings coming across my desk has increased.  The agents are just so busy that they don't even have time to arrange to have the professional photos taken and to get the properties listed on the net, but it takes them 5 minutes to give us a call and know really quickly if we have a pre-qualified buyer ready to go.

 

AND Why wouldn’t the agents like dealing with us? - They still get their full commission, a quick sale, no BS and mucking around with endless phone calls, open homes etc. Our buyers are pre-approved for finance, are clear on their requirements, educated on the market and can make a quick decision.

 

>>This type of thing happens daily - but one such example this month is the Lloyd family who have just settled and moved into their perfect family home we found for them on the southern Gold Coast.

 

They were local, had bought and sold a number of properties previously and knew the area they wanted to purchase in well but came to us after a bad experience they had with an agent and the whole left them a little bit battered. Being very time poor, working full time and with a young family, they thought I might be able to make the whole process just that bit easier for them by doing the leg work and running around, and providing them with a short list of the most suitable properties.

 

Within a week, I’d compiled a list of the most suitable properties, and set about my networking with all the agent I knew in their chosen area. One agent Id dealt with in the past knew how we worked and was really keen to work with us again given our ‘No BS’ approach - he knew all of our buyers were pre-approved for finance and ready to go.

 

He didn't have anything at the time, but had an appraisal lined up later that day on a property he had sold to the current owners some 10 years earlier - “I’ll ring you” he said.

 

Before the ink had even dried on his listing agreement, he called -  “Nicole - I’ve got the perfect property for your buyers! It matches everything you said they wanted. How soon can you get here?”

 

I did all of my normal due diligence and online research - flood maps, preliminary council searches, aerial maps, comparable sales, past photos etc - and everything stacked up.

 

Eureka Moment!

 

I rang the buyers and made arrangements to inspect the property with them the next day - it was perfect! After months of looking themselves, they were very specific in their criteria and knew exactly what they wanted - the property met, if not exceeded, their criteria.

 

 

We put in an offer that afternoon and came to an agreement the following day. In the meantime,  the sellers had put in a low ball offer on their perfect property they had found - which too got accepted - which meant they were prepared to accept our lower offer rather than trying to hold out for top dollar, let it drag out for weeks, and potentially miss out on their ideal home.

 

Based on comparable sales, I believe the Lloyd’s* purchased their property about $30,000 below market value if not more, as well as the time and money they saved by by having someone do all the hard work for them. With a few minor issues raised on the pest and building inspection, we even arranged a price re-negotiation to cover the expenses to repair.

 

And this is not a once off.

 

Another example we’ve purchased this month is for Daniel*, a local builder/small developer.

 

We came across quite a unique site ideal for a high end duplex pair. We had this under contract before the agent even had the professional photos done and before it even hit the net - and the agent tells us he could have sold it 10 times over he had that much interest in it - so no doubt we would have had to pay more to secure it - but with no competition, we were able to secure it with a 6 month settlement which worked perfectly for the seller - and gave Bill the opportunity to get all of his plans and council approvals for the development in place before he even owns the property and can begin construction the day after settlement.

 

Eureka Moment!

 

See more of our 'Eureka Moments' we've created for our clients….

 

 

About 30% of the properties we purchase are 'Silent Sales' and not formally advertised for sale - and it's getting more and more so in the current market as the agents just don't have enough hours in the day to get all of their listings online.

 

If you are looking to get into the Gold Coast Property Market, in my opinion, there is still ample opportunity in the market - and there's still good buying to be had - but you need to be able to recognise it when it comes up as there is no time to second guess yourself. It's all about being educated on the market, poised and at the ready for these opportunities - and being able to act on them immediately.

 

If you are already in the Gold Coast Property Market - depending upon when, what and where you purchased - likely you have had a really positive upswing in value on your property and should have some decent equity behind you. If you are curious and would like an opinion on the value of your property in today’s Gold Coast market, Contact Us  for a free ‘Current Market Analysis’ - and I promise, no BS and no high pressure sales talk - that's not my style!

 

 

Onwards and upwards,

 

Nicole

 

 

*Names changed to protect the buyers privacy

****

 

August 2016 Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents
25th August 2016

 

The Gold Coast property market has now bounced back and is very ‘buoyant’ again after the lull in the market we experienced in late June and early July in line with the budget, end of financial year and election.

 

I’m noticing a change in the ‘types’ of buyer inquiry we have coming through over the past month or so which is a good indication of the greater market and where it is at currently.

 

We’ve experienced a definite spike in the number of inquiries from the older retiree type buyer who are more than disappointed with the current percentage returns they are experiencing either from the stock market or cash in the bank and are looking to exit out of these types of investments, and invest in property. Even a standard 5% return you can reasonably expect from property is far superior to what is being achieved in other asset classes at the moment. Many of these buyers are self funded retirees, and first time property investors aged in their 60’s and 70’s where they are just looking for a good quality investment with good returns - so they can head off into the sunset in their caravans and have a few bucks in their back pocket.

 

>> But beware of dodgy advice, marketeering companies and property spruikers - not all property investments are the same so if you are one of these types of buyers it is imperative you get it right NOW to make sure you don't outlive your money. If an investment property company is promising massive returns, ‘wealth generation’ and rental guarantees - Run a mile! There is hundreds of these companies out there at the moment in the market capitalising on the naivety of the buyer. Remember if you are not paying for good quality advice yourself, question the integrity and history of the company and who they are being paid by - likely they are being paid massive commissions by the builders and developers - and very likely the advice is not in your favour.

 

Over the past month, we have also experienced a spike in the number of inquiries from aussie expat buyers looking to make the most of the current exchange rates working in their favour, and to re-invest their dollars back in Australia. Particularly with the USD/AUD exchange rates currently.

 

As an example, this week I’ve just purchased a property on behalf of one such buyer at $715,000 with a rental return of $750pw, and approximately $35,000 below market value based on comparable sales - with the owner to throw in new carpet as part of our negotiations. Yes, good buying does still exist in the current market - but you just have to know where to find them and how to recognise them.  This is the second purchase we have made on behalf of this buyer in 18 months and his fourth investment property here in Australia - and he’s only in his early 30’s. It's a real credit to him and being so disciplined as I'm sure there is plenty of other things he could spend his $$ on…..!!!!

 

Another thing I'm noticing is that clearance rates of properties sold under the hammer at auction have increased and I’m noticing now more than ever, an increasing number of properties being sent to auction on the Gold Coast, and even from agencies that ordinarily dont auction properties as part of their overall sales strategy. We seeing this primarily in the more premium suburbs where agents simply 1) don’t know what price to put on a property in the current market OR 2) want to auction the property with the off chance that a buyer, uneducated on the market (and with deep pockets), may come along and pay over and above the market value for a property at auction (yes, it does happen, often!).

 

As I say to many of the buyers I represent at auction - ANYTHING can happen on auction day and it's a time when fortunes can be lost or made. As an example, I’ve seen it in the past where it was pouring with rain and a number of buyers weren’t able to make the auction due to localised flooding in parts, and one buyer picked up a bargain, simply because he showed up.

 

We just suggest that any buyer bidding at auction has a clear ‘walk away’ price limit set in their minds based on their budget and comparable sales - AND be prepared to walk away at that point. Its when the emotions take over from the rational that things can get crazy!

 

If you’re afraid your emotions will take over on auction day, give me a call. We can help and can do the bidding for you.

 

As a culture, auctions aren’t something us Queenslanders as a whole particularly like or are au fait with and so many buyers, and many selling agents have often shied away from auctions in the past - especially by comparison to our NSW and VIC counterparts where auctions are the norm, not the exception - but I believe buyer and sellers attitudes to this are changing over time in Queensland.  

 

Auctions do have their place - but the advantages are clearly in the seller's favour, not the buyers, where many buyers can spend up to $1000 on pest and building inspections and solicitors searches, only to have the disappointment of missing out on auction day and have nothing to show for their dollars spent. Miss out at a couple of auctions and you’ve easily spent the price of a family holiday - without the happy snaps.

 

Personally I represent many buyers at auction - a lot of buyers dislike auctions and the stress and pressure associated with agents working hard to get you to spend more than you are comfortable. If you are planning on bidding at auction, make sure you understanding the process and terminology that’s used on auction day - this alone can save you $$ and knowing when to bid, and when not to.

 

Personally, I love a good auction and watching the whole drama as it unfolds - especially with a great auctioneer that gets the crowd riled up - it can be very entertaining, and is even better if you are bidding - definitely gets the adrenalin pumping!

 

In my opinion, there is no better way to determine a property's true value and with total transparency than what a buyer is prepared to pay on the day and a seller is prepared to sell at - and simply, for some buyers, a property is worth more to them than another buyer on the day. There’s no negotiation, no mind games - as long as you have $1 more than the last bidder, you are the winner.

 

As a Buyers Agent, I'm immune to the constant pressure from the agents to increase my buyers bid, and the stress associated - our buyers give us a written maximum spend for auction day which removes all of the anxiety on the day for them and as I tell them - the rest is up to the universe now.

 

If you’ve got a spare Saturday afternoon or two, I would definitely recommend attending some auctions as a spectator….especially if you’ve never been before. Not only can it be amusing, it's also a great way to educate yourself on the current state of the market and up to the minute sale prices of properties - rather than relying on out of date data that's often a month or two old.

 

I’ve got a big auction I'm bidding at this weekend for an aussie ex-pat buyer and I'm pumped - he’s given me his clear instructions in writing and has left me with it - he is currently on a plane back to the USA … either way there will be champagne flowing Saturday night. Celebrations or commiserations!

Until next month, the hunt continues!

 

Nicole Marsh

Buyers Agent

 

Gold Coast Area Specialist

Eureka Property Buyers Agents



Nicole Marsh is the owner of Eureka Property Buyers Agents based on the Gold Coast. Nicole has been a Buyers Agent for over 10 years now and a Gold Coast resident for over 20 years. She works with any and all buyers, no matter their budget, looking to purchase on the Gold Coast, and she says the results she is able to achieve for her buyers even surprise her sometimes!

 

If you would like to discuss the current state of the Gold Coast Property Market, feel free to give Nicole a call on 1300 520062. She loves a chat about all things property.

 

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August 2016 Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

25th August 2016

 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found the market has cooled somewhat on the Gold Coast - our level of new enquiry from buyers has dropped - and all the real estate agents, pest and building inspectors and solicitors I speak to are commenting they are the same.

 

Having been in the thick of property buyer and seller cycles for a number of years now (coming up 10 years as a Buyers Agent!), I expected this lull and it’s no wonder - with the budget back in May, end of financial year, a federal election and school holidays all happening at once - not many people are thinking about making a move or buying an investment property.

 

But those that are, have the chance to snag themselves a bargain in my opinion - even in this current ‘hot’ market.

 

Individual agents volumes are currently down and agents are hungry!

 

What I am noticing at the moment is that there is a number of new agents entering the industry - seeing this current ‘buoyant’ market as an opportunity to make a quick buck - which means that the pool of sellers is being diluted even further, and agents are fighting hard to get new listings.

 

We’ve heard locally of some agents charging $5000 commission on sales in order to get a listing and retain market share (ordinarily their commission would be in the vicinity of $13,750 or more on a $500,000 sale) so it's my opinion some agents (and agencies) must be starting to hurt! Now if an agency typically retains 50% of the sales commission, the poor agent doing all the hard work, working weekends, running their car, phones etc earns $2500 per transaction. A bit hard to keep a family fed and a roof over your head on that!

 

So an agent has no choice but to work on turnover - and so, that's where, in my opinion, the bargains can currently be found in the Gold Coast property market. It just becomes a numbers game for selling agents, and we’re seeing repeated examples where agents are NOT holding out for the best price, just selling the property in the first week it hits the market (in some cases, first day) and moving onto the next listing.

 

As an example of this scenario in the current market, we’ve just secured a property for a client last week - a two bedroom waterfront (canal) townhouse in one of the Gold Coast's most sort after suburbs and a kilometre walk to the beach. This property is one townhouse of three -  a triplex (meaning three on the block, similarly a duplex with two on the block).

 

We were there at the first opportunity to inspect - along with the 20 other buyers - so it was a multiple offer situation with 7 or 8 other buyers all putting pen to paper. Before we arrived, we had undertaken our research, knew how this agent priced his properties and what percentages he was working on based on his previous sales and so knew where we needed to be to secure it - and went in aggressively with our offer fashioning it in a way to give my buyers the best opportunity possible to secure the property.

 

This was Unit 3 - The property was advertised at offers over $435,000 - we secured it for $455,000.

 

For sale with a different agent but in the same agency, in the same ‘triplex’ was Unit 1 at the same time. It was in slightly better condition (but only really paint and carpet and with a newer kitchen and a better outdoor area - but the basics were the same) at offers over $525,000. I believe, from the selling agent, that those owners have just turned down an offer of $550,000.

 

So my buyers, even with the $30,000 cosmetic renovation and the upgrades they have planned, have just made an upswing of $65,000 in value - and I believe the one we’ve purchased is a more superior property given its north-east aspect (the other is north-west) and ours has 200m2 of land on the title (the other is 150m2).

 

AND This is why people use a Buyer's Agent…...

 

These buyers are local to the Gold Coast - they live 10 mins from the property we purchased for them. They could have found this deal themselves BUT they didn’t - and that's what comes from watching the market, understanding the cycles, the intricacies and the driving forces behind each market, price range - and even the agents sometimes ‘hidden’ agendas. Its about recognising a bargain when it comes up - but then putting that into action and giving yourself the best opportunity to secure the property.

 

A rich man likes a bargain and a poor man needs one!

 

Once the property settles and the renovation is complete, these buyers plan on using this equity as a deposit on their next property - and they’re ready to go again.

 

Naturally, we can’t guarantee results like this - but if you want to put yourself in the best position to secure the best property for your needs at the right price on the Gold Coast, give me a call - Phone 0418 665 807.

 

Until next time….

 

The hunt continues!

 

Nicole

 

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May 2016 

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Theres still lots of good opportunities to be found in the current market - you just need to know where to look!

 

We’re currently finding the $450,000 to $550,000 investor market is still the most active for us and we’re still experiencing a high level of inquiry from some local, but mostly interstate buyers, that are priced out of the market in other areas.

 

In our discussions with selling agents, they are all telling us that they are having trouble getting the listings at the moment - hence the ‘power’ has definitely shifted from the buyer to the seller at this level.

 

At this price point there is a high level of competition from investors, owner occupiers and first home buyers alike so it is still common to have multiple offer situations on properties often with 3 or 4 buyers at once. In this instance it is just a case of putting your best foot forward straight up, and for properties to sell within 24 to 48 hours of being on the market. To save yourself from disappointment after disappointment in this instance, It is imperative to know the different marketing strategies employed by different agents but also how to formulate an offer to put yourself in the best and strongest position to secure the property.

 

It's not uncommon for properties to be sold before the first weekends open home.

 

What we are finding though is that many of these buyers are having issues getting their finance across the line and gain approval - we are noticing approximately 30% of deals are falling over under finance. (I find it ludicrous in this market that selling agents aren't asking the buyers for a copy of their pre-approval before they even put a contract together!)  A situation that can be both disappointing and often heartbreaking for the sellers as often they’ve already gone on and purchased their dream home and are committed to moving in their minds - BUT a great situation for us as buyers agents and our clients (as its mandatory our buyers have their finance pre-approval in place before we take them on) and we can come in and snavel a great deal as the sellers are often in a must sell situation with the new purchase subject to a sale of their old property, and we are finding we are picking up these properties well below what the previous contract was for.

 

At the $450,000 to $550,000 level a typical purchase for an investor would be an established 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a double lock up garage on 600m2 of land in a good quality majority owner occupied suburb, with good capital growth potential over the long term, and can typically expect a 5% - 5.5% return. I recommend buyers take a long term view (say 10 years) to their investing as in my opinion buyers are taking on too much risk looking to buy for short term gain (say 1 - 2 years) trying to beat the property clock in the current market.

 

As there is so many buyers at the $450,000 to $550,000 level, in some parts and suburbs we find these markets are significantly over inflated, and the really great value can be found in the $550,000 to $700,000 market as there is alot less buyers and competition.

 

This is great for owner occupiers selling in the $450,000 to $550,000 price point as they are using this upward pressure in this lower price point to their advantage and upgrading to significantly bigger and better houses, for sometimes less than $100,000 - much cheaper, easier and with a lot less mess and stress than undertaking a massive renovation!

 

Typically at this level you can expect to purchase a fully renovated 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a pool on 700m2+ in a great location - and for investors typically expect 6%+ returns with good depreciation aspects.

 

In a market such as this like we are currently experiencing on the Gold Coast, NEVER has it been more important to have the local market knowledge - to know about future infrastructure projects, which price points are the best buying in certain suburbs and locations and even which agents are known to overprice (or underprice) their listings.

 

Theres no denying that anyone can look on realestate.com.au or domain.com.au and buy a property but I believe that the key to securing a great deal, even in this hot market we’re currently expercing on the Gold Coast, is to study the market and come to know it like a cow knows its calf. It's about recognising the intricacies of each market, suburb and price point but also understanding the emotion and drive behind it.



I’d love to opportunity to discuss the Gold Coast Property Market with you in greater detail - please feel free to give me a call on 1300 520062

 

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December 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

A combination of factors such as a shortage of stock, new infrastructure (such as the success of the light rail) and significant evidence of new residential projects under construction has firmed buyer confidence within the local property market on the central Gold Coast. It has been a fairly positive year in terms of price growth across all price brackets.

 

The strongest performing sections of the property market in the northern corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in 2015 were house and land packages and duplex units. Suburbs such as Ormeau Hills in which the Ormeau Ridge estate is located, and Pimpama in which Gainsborough Greens in located, have seen arguably the best growth throughout the year. These estates are favoured by owner-occupiers and have seen increases in value between 5% and 10% during 2015. Duplex units have also performed strongly with prices paid for new 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, attached style duplex units in Pimpama increasing from low $300,000s at the start of the year to mid $300,000s.

 

The continued low interest rates combined with a gradually strengthening economy can be seen as underpinning the positive growth in both values and demand in this area. The commencement of work on the Exit 54 upgrade and the proposed Coomera Town Centre Shopping Mall development have also furthered interest in the area.

 

At the start of the year we cautioned against lesser quality house and land packages being sold to interstate and overseas investors at inflated rates. This continues to be a problem in this area with construction commencing on numerous new estates throughout the year. If rental demand does not meet the upcoming available stock then we could see an oversupply of extremely similar dwellings coming on to the market.

 

The central north area has been performing quite strongly with many agents reporting stock shortages, particularly in areas around the Broadwater, Southport and Ashmore.

 

Established dwellings between $500,000 and $700,000 in these areas have seen increases of around 5% and 10% since the start of the year. Furthermore residential sites in Labrador, Southport, Biggera Waters and Paradise Point with re- development potential are in demand.

 

Land values in waterfront suburbs have also strengthened particularly Runaway Bay. Sale numbers between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000 have virtually mirrored 2014, while land values have increased by approximately 15% to 20% in this time. Quality, renovated houses are achieving premium prices close to the peak levels of 2007/2008.

 

The most positive news for the central north zone has been the announcement of the second stage of the light rail which will connect to the heavy rail at Helensvale. There is a buzz around Helensvale as to the positive flow on effects for property and businesses.

 

New medium rise unit development around Harbour Town at Biggera Waters including the East Quays development and Waterpoint Residences have sold strongly to owner-occupiers and investors at prices typically from $450,000 to $650,000 for 2- and 3-bedroom configurations. The first stage of Waterpoint Residences is nearing completion and is around 80% sold out (as at November 2015). The development will contain six stages with over 600 units on completion.

 

From early in 2015 the sustained growth has been expected and predicted. All indicators remain positive from many areas and there is no shortage of buyers in the low interest rate environment from overseas and locally.

 

Residential housing in Broadbeach Waters and Mermaid Waters has remained highly sought after and there have been no signs of this market cooling off. There is also a growing trend in these two suburbs where many old dwellings have been purchased and knocked down for new duplex developments. Local agents have reported fairly strong demand for these new duplex units which is generally a good indicator that local market conditions are very buoyant at the moment.

 

As predicted in our Month in Review article published in February this year, the detached housing market in the $500,000 to $800,000 price range within the central areas of the Gold Coast has continued to be a strong performer.

 

To give an example of how hot the market is within Mermaid Waters, we are aware that 16 Firmin Court, Mermaid Waters sold under the hammer in August 2015 for $650,000 to a local purchaser. The property comprises an original, single storey, face brick, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with detached double garage on a 614 square metre allotment. The property requires a full renovation. It sold well above the agent’s expectations.

 

Both detached housing and townhouse and villa units in Robina have been in high demand from owner- occupiers and investors.

 

There have been good levels of demand for waterfront housing particularly under $1,500,000. Along with Broadbeach Waters and Mermaid Waters, we have seen fairly strong price growth for canal front and river front properties in localities such as Isle of Capri, Sorrento and Benowa. While there has been increased sales activity for prestige homes ($2,000,000 plus), buyers in this bracket are still quite discerning with more stock to choose from.

 

We note that 9 La Scala Court, Isle of Capri sold in July 2015 for $1,950,000. The property comprised a fully rebuilt and renovated single storey, lightweight clad, 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom dwelling with a 2-car attached carport. The property has a south-westerly aspect to the canal with approximately 18 metres of canal frontage appreciating local, canal and river views. Ancillary improvements included timber decking, pebblecrete in ground pool with tiled surroundings and frameless glass pool fencing. The land Area is 779 square metres. It previously sold in April 2014 for $1,035,000 in original and dated condition.

 

The highrise market within Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Main Beach is starting to gain some momentum, apart from fully serviced apartments. There appears to have been steady price growth for second hand unit product over the past 12 months. Many new high rise towers are currently under construction which is quite a contrast to two years ago. It will be interesting to gauge the level of foreign investment in these new towers over the next 18 months and whether prices for this stock will move in a positive direction.

 

As predicted back in February, market conditions on the southern Gold Coast in established areas such as Palm Beach, Miami and Burleigh Heads continued to strengthen throughout the course of 2015 with the majority of buyers being from the local area. While there is very limited land available in these fully established areas, prices for knock downs and fully original dwellings with limited added value to the property as a whole have risen by as much as 10% to 15% since the beginning of 2015, which was predicted in our February Month in Review.

 

Casuarina on the Tweed Coast also performed according to our predictions with very limited land available and a continued increase in demand for land. A good example of this (and a trophy sale) was 34 Dianella Drive, Casuarina, which is located within the Miramar estate (considered to be one of the inferior new residential estates in the area). This property sold from the developers in February 2015 for $385,900 which was considered a strong sale price at that time. The property was since sold in September 2015 for $480,000 to a local buyer. This represents almost a 20% increase in value in the space of seven months. The property sold within the first month of being offered, a common occurrence for most properties in the sub $750,000 bracket on the Tweed Coast and Southern Gold Coast throughout the later half of 2015.

 

There were no weak performers in the southern Gold Coast, however high rise units and rural residential markets have not strengthened to the same extent as the standard residential housing and land markets, however the overall market in both sectors has also improved.

 

There are a number of new projects which have recently been released or are to be released in the near future including the redevelopment of the old Palm Beach caravan park by Sunland and soon to be completed Casuarina Town Centre.

 

 

There have been no major surprises which impacted the market, with interest rates remaining very competitive. There is much more positive activity occurring with reduced selling periods, a higher number of buyers and more competition for properties offered for sale.

 

 

Slow and steady is winning the race in the Scenic Rim locality in 2015. Most markets showed improvement in interest levels and sales rates across 2015, however price point remains of most importance for vendors. Most sectors performed well in comparison to the previous 12 month period and when priced in line with the market, agents are reporting sales within a few days.

 

Yarrabilba continued to be the star performer with all lot types showing up to 15% price growth for land values through the year. Lend Lease reported up to 50 sales per month and attribute the strong second half of the year to the announcement of the commencement of major infrastructure within the community. The announcement of a full service Coles supermarket, independent Catholic school, Caltex service station and tavern has spurred interest from the local market now that these services and facilities are becoming tangible.

 

Established housing has shown nominal growth within the regional centres of Jimboomba and Beaudesert, however there appears to be less stock relative to the start of the year and the time on the market is considerably less.

 

 

One of the star performers within the Jimboomba to Beaudesert growth corridor is Cedar Vale and the new release of land within the Jimboomba Woods estate. At the start of 2014, a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house on a 4,000 square metre allotment was selling for around $440,000. The latest sale of a similar house on a similar size lot is $475,000. This price growth has been underpinned by limited land stock within the area and the finalisation of upgrades to the Mount Lindesay Highway. Moving to the north-east, QM Properties released their new acreage estate known as Jimboomba Woods and have steadily increased prices from around $210,000 for a 4,000 square metre allotment at the start of the year to around $245,000 more recently.

 

 

The rural residential and rural lifestyle sectors remained stable through the year, with buyers placing emphasis on proximity to services, value for money, infrastructure and usable land. Non prime property remained static on price growth compared with the previous year. There are a number of larger rural holdings within close proximity of regional centres that still represent good value for money and good lifestyle options with sale prices still below replacement cost of improvements. Steady as it goes for this market.

 

Looking back over 2015, the predictions made at the start of the year have panned out within the marketplace and the markets highlighted for growth have materialised. On a whole, this year we would rate our predictions a nine or ten out of ten!

 

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November 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Southern Gold Coast/Tweed Shire

Investors are playing a key role in the property market on the southern Gold Coast and in the Tweed Shire. We note investors are very active in the sub million dollar market, in particular in beachside locations.

 

Investors in the market place are a mixture of both local and interstate, in particular from Sydney and Melbourne.

 

Typical investors are interested in properties with a steady or good rental return with low overheads.

 

The price points for localities such as Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Miami and Palm Beach is around $500,000 to $550,000 for established housing. Duplexes and units in these localities are around $365,000 and $400,000.

 

We believe that investor activity at its current level is not sustainable over the medium term in the property market.

 

If investor demand did start to drop, it would have negative implications for the market on the southern Gold Coast and in the Tweed Shire as investors are prevalent. The demand for property would slow and prices would likely fall due to more stock being available to purchase.

 

 

Coastal North

Investors in the costal north area are moderately to highly active, with the typical investor appearing to be mainly international using local builders and smaller project developers.

 

Investor activity in the central high density beachside locations has traditionally been driven by both local and non local investors. Lately we are seeing an increased amount of non local and particularly Asian investors, who are prevalent on new product.

 

New residential stock which fits criteria for Foreign Investment Review consideration and approval seems to be appealing overall to these investors on Hope Island, as this location is pre-approved for Foreign Investment Review.

 

General housing stock in and around the Southport CBD and spreading into Labrador and Ashmore are also appealing to these investors.

 

In central Surfers Paradise, investor activity is steady to strong with the a sub $500,000 price point seeing the most activity. However, high body corporate fees and property outgoings are deterring investors. For example Unit 26, The President, at 29 Northcliffe Terrace, Surfers Paradise sold in May 2015 for $358,000. This is a circa 1973, 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom unit of 86 square metres. It is an absolute beachfront development comprising 30 units on a parent site of 1,533 square metres. The agent reported that due to the high underlying land value, rates were circa $5,000 per annum plus the body corporate fees of approximately $150 per week made the unit unviable for many potential investors.

 

Investors are looking for larger dwellings on larger parcels with Residential Choice classification that can be split for higher density development such as duplex and triplex development.

 

The most intense demand however appears to be for residential estates close to the Southport CBD or highly regarded established precincts such as The Southport School (‘TSS’) location and areas with Broadwater proximity.

 

Investor activity away from the beach side locations is stronger than previously, with villas and townhouses in larger cluster unit developments in the more outlying suburbs having seen some increase in price levels from low to mid $200,000s up to high $200,000s.

 

Local owner occupier buyers are competing with local and interstate investors in these outlying suburbs for freestanding houses. Pacific Pines which was developed through the 1990s and 2000 has seen healthy increases in price levels over the past 18 months with entry level now circa $380,000. This locality is well serviced for schools, shopping and transport, appealing to both investors and owner occupiers alike.

 

General sales for duplex and triplex parcels reflect values of $190,000 to $240,000 per dwelling site in the Southport CBD area.

 

In more prestigious areas such as Paradise Point this range is running at $275,000 to $325,000 per dwelling site.

 

Interstate buyers are purchasing new units, however, typically at levels above local market price points.

 

Student accommodation has slowed with a recent and apparent slight drop in values. We have not seen any activity on flats, however these are perhaps more tightly held.

 

Despite recent rate rises signalled by Westpac which may affect the larger city markets, values on the Gold Coast are still comparatively low and appealing to interstate and foreign buyers. There is still room to improve as Gold Coast was hit very hard after the GFC.

 

Upper North

Investors in this area are very active indeed and have been very predominant in this area for nearly a year. The majority of investors are Sydney buyers and to a lesser extent Melbourne buyers for established housing. The new housing is targeted by a mix of interstate buyers from all over Australia and Chinese buyers.

 

Established housing investors are mostly active in Eagleby and Beenleigh areas with price points around $240,000 achieving circa $320 per week rent or 6.93% yield.

 

New housing investors are mostly active in Pimpama and Ormeau where the price point for a typical 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 2-car house on a 400 square metre lot is between $460,000 and $480,000 achieving circa $420 per week or 4.55% yield.

 

Investors in the upper north area are far less active in the townhouse and duplex unit market, accounting for only a very small percentage of sales. We are of the opinion that investors prefer housing due to historically stronger capital growth compared to units.

 

We believe that the investor activity is sustainable in the medium term with interest rates currently at record lows. Sydney investors can’t stay away in particular with the median house price in Sydney over $1 million. This shows that these investors can buy four houses for the price of one Sydney house.

 

Whenever banks tighten lending policy it will have an impact on the market, but how much impact is a case of let’s wait and see.

 

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October 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

The northern coastal region of the Gold Coast has continued to show strong levels of demand across land, houses and unit sectors. Houses are proving the strongest sellers as purchasers and potential purchasers are showing signs of panic as they continue to miss out on properties due to the high demand and reduced stock levels.

 

In some cases purchasers are offering above the asking price in order to secure the sale as they have previously missed out on several other properties. This has been particularly prevalent in the more central suburbs, such as Ashmore. One example is 8 Kittani Crescent, Ashmore where the asking price was $569,000 and the purchaser, a first home buyer, submitted an offer of $575,000. We have seen price increases across the suburbs and as house prices continue to rise we are also noticing an increase in demand for duplex units, being a more affordable option.

 

Resale prices of land are increasing in Hope Island’s newer estates however we have noticed that the purchasers are generally from interstate and some of the prices are above market levels with vendors keen to capitalise on the ‘mania’ in the market at present as well as the interstate buyers purchasing power and lack of local market knowledge. We have also noticed that some builders are capitalising on the mania and lack of local market knowledge with interstate to be erected dwellings with high rates per square metre for basic quality dwellings. Of particular concern are the low deposits offered by a large portion of purchasers as they appear to be trying to secure property at the low interest rates.

 

 

"we have noticed that the purchasers are generally from interstate and some of the prices are above market levels with vendors keen to capitalise on the ‘mania’ in the market at present as well as the interstate buyers purchasing power and lack of local market knowledge"

 

 

 

Looking at the current state of the market in the central areas of the Gold Coast, we have seen increases in values in all property types. The price sector that seems to be running the hottest is the $400,000 to $800,000, these properties are generally detached dwellings suitable for families who are owner-occupiers. We note that properties in this price range are now selling over previous peak prices of 2007. This has been fuelled by the limited supply and high demand.

 

It is quite common for properties to sell within one week of being listed after receiving multiple offers. An example of a house price increasing in value is 7 Ulrike Way Benowa, it is currently under contract for $825,000, previously sold for $700,000 in March 2014. The property comprises a single level, circa 2000, modern style, rendered brick, 3-bedroom plus study, 3-bathroom, dwelling, with concrete tiled roof and 2-car garage with a pool. The land area is 673 square metres. The property sold within a few days of being on the market. The sale shows a capital gain of 17.8%. The unit market has also picked up from Surfers Paradise to Pacific Pines, most of these buyers have been interstate buyers looking for a cheaper investment property compared to Sydney and Melbourne. An example of this increase can be seen in a typical 3-bedroom, 2-bathrooms and 1-car garage townhouse in Pacific Pines. The townhouses were selling for $240,000 to $260,000 earlier this year, now they are around the $290,000 mark.

 

New developer stock has been selling quickly with a lot of international demand; the area that has been the hottest is Robina with most of the developers almost sold out of their current stock. The only sector that hasn’t seen this rapid growth is the $1.5 million plus market. We believe there is good value in this sector as this price range still remains out of reach for the majority of the market. This sector will start to pick up as a flow on effect from the lower price range as they start to increase. We believe the strong performance in the residential sectors will be sustainable over the coming year if the interest rates remain the same, once the rate starts increasing the market will start to ease off.

 

In 2015 there has been continued improvement in the residential property market across most sectors but not all sectors. The vacant land sector has perhaps been the strongest with the majority of estates having sold out or close to selling out. There is reportedly no developed stock available in Casuarina, with resales very strong. There has been a recent resale of a 500 square metre allotment in The Pocket for $520,000 which was originally purchased off the plan for $395,000. There has been an improvement in prices for vacant land in Terranora as demand is now stronger than supply. The Hidden Valley estate at Tallebudgera is almost sold out. Sales have been strong at the observatory and Varsity Heights estates at Reedy Creek and also strong in Palm Beach Heights at Elanora. From Miami to Pottsville the housing sector has continued to improve throughout 2015, being strongest in the under $750,000 price bracket.

 

In most localities demand is outstripping supply. As Valuer’s, in a lot of cases sales evidence is not directly supporting new sales. There has also been strong sales activity in the over $750,000 price bracket in waterfront localities such as Currumbin Waters, Palm Beach and Burleigh Waters. Duplex units have been selling well across the board along with townhouse and villa units in small complexes. A significant percentage of sales of these properties are investment sales. A townhouse unit in a large complex at Burleigh Waters is currently under contract for $325,000 whereas the highest sale in the complex prior to this sale was approximately $300,000 At Burleigh and Palm Beach there has been some recent building activity for good quality duplex type units, with developers confident of making sales over the $750,000 price bracket. Some recent sales include a new duplex unit at Palm Beach for $800,000 and another duplex sale at $980,000. There has recently been some strong sales activity for low-rise units along The Esplanade at Burleigh Heads. Sales activity and market demand for lowrise unit in the under $500,000 price bracket has also improved. There have also been some capital gains for well-located high-rise units. There has been a recent sale of 2-bedrooms, 2-bathroom unit in the rear Ambience building at Burleigh Heads for $730,000 which previously sold in June 2011 for $625,000.

 

Caution remains for low-rise and high-rise units in large, older buildings in secondary locations where high body corporate fees may apply. Local agents are reporting limited levels of demand for similar properties.

 

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September 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

The market for attached townhouse/villa and apartment product on the Gold Coast has steadily improved over the past two to three years. While initially, this improvement was focused on established, resale stock as these market segments improved, we have also seen improved demand shown for new unit product, particularly for new townhouses and apartments priced below $500,000.

 

Furthermore, while new home unit product on the Gold Coast continues to be mostly purchased by investors at price levels which are considered to be high based on local comparable market resale evidence, the firming in the established markets, has to some degree, started to bridge the gap between new and second hand dwellings. This has had a resultant positive impact on the settlement risk for ‘off the plan’ sales, with most project marketing agents reporting of reduced ‘fall over’ rate for pre-sale contracts over the 2014 and first half of 2015 period.

 

Local real estate agents confirm that prevailing conditions in most market segments on the Gold Coast are buoyant, reflecting improved levels of demand, increased sale volumes, shorter selling periods, reduced stock availability and upward pressure on sale price levels.

 

As a reflection of the favorable market conditions, there are a number of new medium and highrise apartment projects currently being marketed on the coast, and most specialist marketing agents are reporting of good sale volumes for product priced below $500,000 and that there has been price growth in recent releases over the past six to 12 months. The concern now lies as to the number of projects which are proposed and as to whether the demand will continue to sustain the potential future supply of new product.

 

In the established market segments, potential opportunities still appear for resale residential apartments in central beachside locations between Burleigh Heads and Main Beach, particularly for highrise stock in large yield buildings. The reality being that the sheer volume of resale stock that can be on the market at any one time in these high density suburbs, or in a particular building, can keep a ceiling on price levels, despite the surging detached housing market in the same areas.

 

These areas all benefit from excellent location attributes and amenity and typically provide resale units with good size floor areas and at a lower price point (both quantum and on a rate per square meter), when compared to the price levels for smaller new apartments in buildings currently being marketed for sale ‘off the plan’.

 

Over the past two to three years, there has been a large focus on medium rise apartment buildings n the Southport CBD following the release of the streamlined Southport PDA approval process. This has led to a larger volume of approvals being issued for Southport, some of which are for very large yield highrise buildings. While development to date has focused on smaller projects, where demand appears to be adequately absorbing supply, there is a degree of concern to the overall volume of approved stock that potentially could be brought to the market if a number of the approvals were acted on. Hence, future supply levels and sale volumes for new apartments in Southport could be an area to keep an eye on.

 

We note, however, that there are a large number of 100 plus apartment highrise projects approved within the Southport PDA area and that a proportion of these have been obtained by ‘speculators’, with the intent to on sell the approved site, likely to overseas interests. To date, we have seen only limited local developers or lending institutions show an appetite for these larger scale developments in Southport, and the reality is that while a larger potential supply of apartments is approved for Southport, a number of the proposals, may in fact, not be acted on in the current development cycle.

 

In the improved market, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of proposed fringe residential apartment projects in areas which are traditionally regarded as more suburban low density housing locations. These projects are predominantly

being developed in multiple low and medium rise apartment buildings where construction can be staged in 12 month construction phases, and produce new units at lower prices. These projects have generally met with good sale results, particularly for the central periphery areas of Varsity Lakes, Robina, Bundall and Harbour Quays, which benefit from significant existing amenities, shopping facilities and transport infrastructure.

 

We comment that a large portion of new apartment projects on the Gold Coast are progressively providing smaller apartment product when compared to historical standards, in an effort to suit changing market preferences with a greater focus on lower price points. 

 

Interestingly, while we have seen a significant recent increase in the emergence of new apartment projects released on the Gold Coast over the past 12 months, there has been limited new medium density projects appear in the market. However, the absence of new released townhouse/villa development is not considered to be an indication of a slowing market. Rather, the market for new medium density dwellings has been strong over the past few years, however the now very limited supply of townhouse development sites, coupled with the increased appetite for new apartment product in established residential areas, has resulted in a limited pipeline of new projects.

 

Of those projects which have been released in the market, most are situated in Robina, Carrara and Hope Island and provides new units priced greater than $450,000 and mostly, in excess of $500,000. In the very low interest rate environment, this product appeals to both investors attracted to the good rental returns and also, to owner-occupiers who have been increasingly priced out of the detached housing market. Furthermore, a number of new releases within these projects have sold out ‘off the plan’, prior to construction being completed.

 

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August 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

The majority of new construction on the Gold Coast is within the growth region from Hope Island north to Beenleigh and west to the Scenic Rim.

 

Generic project housing varies in price firstly as a result of who the client is and then by the quality of inclusions. Traditional project home companies generally provide better value than house and land investor packages, but not always. Valuation of off the plan housing can be a minefield as rates for very similar products can range from $1,100 per square metre to over $1,600 per square metre. At the end, the valuation assessment (including the land) relies on sales evidence of similar nearby houses, with an allowance made for age and condition.

 

Looking back to the costs discussed in the 2009 Month in Review, building costs do appear to have increased at the lower end of the scale, but perhaps not a great deal for the prestige and higher quality market.

  

Hope Island/Helensvale

In Helensvale, estates such as River Links and The Peninsula have been established over the past ten years and most of the vacant sites remaining will be developed in the next few years.

 

These estates have building covenants which attract architecturally designed and quality project packages that range on a rate per square metre basis from $1,100 to $1,700 for living area. These dwellings will mostly feature attractive mixed cladding, stone benchtops throughout, ducted air-conditioning and often leave landscaping and pool packages outside the building contract.

 

These estates have smaller lot sizes ranging from roughly 300 square metres to 600 square metres and therefore attract investors, project builders and turnkey packages.

 

These building contracts are typically $200,000 to $275,000. Floor plans are usually compact 3-bedroom plus study or 4-bedroom, with bathroom, en suite, double garage and small covered patio. Ground improvement inclusions are basic fencing, aggregate driveway, turfed lawn and water tank. The rates per square metre of living are generally $1,000 to $1,200 which has crept up from our previous review in 2009. Builders and developers have reported that the cost is generally higher due to raw materials costs and green compliance.

 

Far Northern M1 Corridor

There are numerous new estates in the far northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane with vast quantities of new dwellings under construction. The suburbs where most of this construction is underway include Ormeau, Ormeau Hills, Pimpama, Coomera and Holmview.

 

Most dwellings in these suburbs fall into two categories, being either investor stock or owner occupier properties. Investor properties typically comprise a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom onground dwelling with a double lock up garage and usually have a more average standard of fitout, ie laminate benchtops and cupboards and brick exterior. Building rates per square metre vary widely with some builders taking advantage of unsuspecting investors purchasing properties sight unseen. Costs can range from between $1,000 per square metre to $1,300 per square metre of living area for very similar constructions. Trends worth noting in this investor section of the market are that specifications are starting to upgrade with stone benchtops and render to the street front aspect of the dwelling becoming more commonplace. Additionally dwellings and lot sizes are becoming smaller with the smallest known allotment available being a 213 square metre block in Holmview.

 

Owner occupier properties, as expected, tend to have a higher level standard of finish with property owners opting for features such as ducted air conditioning, stone benchtops, high ceilings and good quality light fittings. Building rates per square metre are more alike for dwellings built for owner occupation which may point to property owners shopping around and comparing prices from more than one builder. Most dwellings constructed by owner occupiers have analysed building rates of between $1,100 to $1,250 per square metre.

 

There is limited prestige residential locations in the far northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane other than the estates offering allotments with canal frontage in Jacobs Well and Coomera Waters. The standard of finish increases in these estates with rates per square metre reflecting this and generally falling between $1,300 and $1,400 per square metre.

 

Building costs have definitely increased since our 2009 edition on the same topic. This edition quotes rates of between $900 and $1,000 per square metre.

 

North Western M1 Corridor

This area is seeing a number of existing estates releasing new stages and the emergence of new estates. Existing estates with new stages include Riverstone Crossing (Maudsland), Highland Reserve and Coomera Springs. These estates are showing consistent land value increases, particularly Riverstone Crossing. Park Central at Oxenford is a new estate on Kopps Road which has reportedly nearly sold out, predominantly to investors. 

 

New dwellings are being purchased by owner- occupiers and investors alike. For owner occupiers build rates tend to show $1,000 to $1,250 per square metre for a turn key product. Build rates for the larger building firms who offer inclusions such as stone benchtops and air-conditioning remain competitive and within market parameters. Higher levels of inclusions tend to be at the higher end of the scale sometimes even reaching $1,300 per square metre depending on where or in which estate the proposed dwelling is situated. Features such as ducted air conditioning become the norm at this level.

 

Build rates for investor stock tend to vary greatly between builders. Asking rates tend to range between $1,000 and $1,500 per square metre, some of which are well beyond market parameters. There are often significant differentials between levels of finishes and standards of inclusions which is often attributed to the product being sold to investors. Generally rates adopted for brick and tile entry level dwellings as a turn key product are valued at circa $1,000 to $1,200 per square metre depending on size. An as if complete duplex pair was recently valued at circa $1,050 per square metre of living area which is very competitive. In this area, there is very limited upper end product hence build rates would rarely be expected to top $1,300 unless in exceptional circumstances.

 

Build costs have increased since 2009 at a fairly consistent rate. It was generally accepted that during the GFC it was land values, rather than build rates which declined. There is still evidence suggesting that people are purchasing existing product below replacement cost.

 

Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast

There are a number of new and developing residential estates on the Tweed Coast at present, and a very small number on the southern Gold Coast. The majority of new construction is in the Casuarina and Kingscliff/Salt precinct in which the majority of properties are to be owner occupied or holiday lock up style homes. Land prices are very strong and in some cases, prices have almost doubled in value since 2012.

 

For a basic, single level, brick and timber dwelling with metal or tiled roof construction you are looking at a cost of approximately $1,100 to $1,300 per square metre on a gross floor area basis, with project home builders such as GJ Gardner, Perry Homes etc. This cost obviously increases with a higher quality of finish. For $1,100 to $1,300 per square metre, you

are looking at laminate cabinetry, stone benchtops to kitchen, laminate benchtops to bathrooms, split system air-conditioning and other basic modern fixtures.

 

Builders constructing a higher end product are charging much higher rates, in the vicinity of $1,600 to $2,000 per square metre on a gross floor area basis. This may be for an architecturally designed dwelling with voids over living areas, high raked ceilings, ducted air-conditioning and high quality inclusions.

 

Luxury Housing

New luxury housing construction is on the rise. This is occurring as demolition and rebuild in the central waterfront suburbs of Paradise Waters, Isle of Capri, Broadbeach Waters, Palm Beach, or the beachside at Mermaid Beach. 

 

These attract owner occupiers who, with leading architects, design and construct luxury homes ranging in size up to 1,100 square metres. Many of the houses are full concrete construction with basement carparks. Breakdown of building contracts analyse from a low of $1,600 to $4,000 per square metre for the living areas. Generally, construction rates per square metre have not increased markedly over the past five years due to less demand.

 

Scenic Rim

With two satellite cities in the area, Yarrabilba and Flagstone, and the release of the new master planned community of Oakdale Estate at Beaudesert, the Scenic Rim and Lower Logan area is going through a construction boom at the moment. These types

of estates give rise to the standard project builder, however over recent years, the stereotype of a basic, run of the mill house at a fixed rate has changed dramatically.

 

There are two distinct levels of project builders in these estates. The first is the investment product builder who offers a standard level of finishes typically being basic stone benchtops, stainless steel appliances, ceilings fans, two split system air conditioners and a full turn key product including landscaping, fencing and driveway. Rates per square metre for this style of dwelling typically range from around $1,000 to $1,250 for living area depending on the size of the dwelling and site issues (such as small lots where materials need to be walked in by the trades).

 

The second project builder is now moving more in to the custom range type of construction. While still offering good rates per square metre and a base series of plans to choose from, the end product is definitely determined by individual taste and budget. Buyers have the option to finish the house themselves with their choice of carpet, main floor area tiling, landscaping and driveways or have the builder complete a turn key product. These dwellings are typically larger than the investment product with more features such as high ceilings, stacking or bi- folding doors to external areas and better quality of finish. The economy of scale kicks in here, with these builders being able to offer a customised product at not much more than a project builder due to the larger living area sizes and the benefit of bulk buying power and negotiation with suppliers. Builders that fit into this category typically have a good presence in the display villages.

 

Moving on to the more established areas, there tends to be the emergence of the custom builder for second, third and above home buyers who know exactly what they want in their home and want the ability to deal directly with the builder through each step of the process. These homes are typically larger and well appointed with good quality fittings and more creature comforts such as fireplaces, polished timber floors, high ceilings with architectural features, top of the range appliances and an individual look and feel. Rates per square metre vary significantly in this category as some of the project builders are beginning to offer a more customised home for around $1,500 per square metre, but can be in excess of $2,000 per square metre depending on the features and inclusions.

 

For example, a custom built, midset, Hardiplank and Colorbond, Colonial reproduction 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home of 188 square metres of living, 38 square metres of outdoor and deck and a 40 square metre garage was contracted at $444,760 and included water tanks and sewerage system. This equates to a rate of around $2,000 per square metre. For a project style, two level, brick and Colorbond home with 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and 271 square metres of living, 33 square metres of outdoor area and a 37 square metre double garage was $385,117 and excluded floor coverings, water tank and sewerage system. This contract equates to a rate of $1,250 per square metre of living area - a lot more home but without the inclusions of the custom builder.

 

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July 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Across the southern Gold Coast and in northern New South Wales there are opportunities for investors and owner occupiers to purchase property in the $500,000 price range. The areas with the greatest demand are Burleigh Waters, Miami, Palm Beach, Elanora, Salt and Casuarina. These suburbs are well located close to amenities and the beach. The areas should offer reasonable growth if held for the long term. An example of short term growth is a property located at 7 Kelburn Close, Banora Point which sold in March 2014 for $527,000 in below average condition. The dwelling has been partly renovated since sale date (new bathroom and general tidy up works completed) and is currently under contract for $665,000 as at May 2015.

 

Perhaps you’re looking for return on your investment like so many interstate investors of late. In the southern Logan market around Beenleigh and Eagleby, for a lazy $500,000 you can buy yourself not one but two investment properties. Here are a couple of very recent examples: 

 

43 Temma Street, Eagleby is under contract as at June 2015 for $240,000 in fair condition. Property comprises a basic, on ground, circa 1984, brick and metal roof dwelling with 3-bedrooms, 1-bathroom and 1-car carport with a tenant currently paying $310 per week.

25 Chapman Drive, Beenleigh sold in May 2015 at auction for $250,000 in fair condition. Property comprises a basic, on ground, circa 1984, brick and metal roof dwelling with 3-bedrooms, 1-bathroom and 1-car carport. Agent advises tenant will happily pay $320 per week. For a total purchase price of $490,000 you get a gross yield of 6.68%. Not bad!

 

Recent market activity has seen some suburbs which may have previously been overlooked for some owner occupiers, increase in value to figures above 2007/2008 price levels. For example 61 Macquarie Avenue, Molendinar was purchased for $550,000

in November 2008 and has recently gone under contract for $610,000 in largely the same condition. Other similar suburbs that have recently seen a jump in entry level prices include Coombabah and Helensvale, with first home buyers (in most cases) having been pushed further out, away from more central and coastal suburbs.

 

Another example of market movement can be seen in the recent sale (under contract) of 8110 Magnolia Gardens Court, Hope Island, being an attached townhouse with golf course frontage, for $478,000 having last sold in September 2013 for $425,000 with only some light refurbishment in between.

 

Local agents are consistently reporting having more potential purchasers than properties to sell, which poses the question... Where to next for first home buyers? Eagleby perhaps.

 

Labrador offers good opportunity for investors with some 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom walk-up style units selling in the early to mid $200,000 range and being let for over $300 per week, often in original condition and within walking distance of the Broadwater.

There has been considerable improvement in property values for residential property in the more central areas of the Gold Coast over the past 12 months. With this firming in the market, the opportunities to buy a freestanding dwelling on 500 square metres of land for around $500,000 or less within well-located suburbs such as Benowa, Mermaid Waters and Robina are now becoming extremely limited. Local real estate agents are still reporting strong levels of demand for this type of residential property and stock levels are very low which has inevitably put upward pressure on property prices. Investing in entry level detached housing in this price range in the central suburbs of the Gold Coast has always been a solid option.

 

Examples of detached housing which have sold for $500,000 or less in the past couple of months include:

1 Chadstone Place, Robina sold in March for $500,000. Comprises a single storey, circa 1990, brick 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with 2-car garage. Updated bathroom and pool. Land area of 482 square metres. Previously sold in September 2012 for $425,000;

10 Piccabeen Close, Robina sold in March 2015 for $490,000. Comprises a single storey, circa 2001, rendered brick 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with double lock-up garage. Land area of 517 square metres. Previously sold in January 2013 for $415,500.

135 Bamboo Avenue, Benowa sold in May 2015 for $425,000. Comprises a small, single storey, circa 1980, brick 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom dwelling with 1-car carport. Original kitchen and bathroom. Land area of 598 square metres.

 

With increasingly limited reasonably priced opportunities available for detached housing in the central areas, buyers will be required to negotiate quickly or will be forced to look into a different property type such as a townhouse or villa.

 

Townhouse units or villas in the central parts of the Gold Coast are still considered to be good options provided that the associated body corporate costs are relatively low. Local agents advise that these properties are also in good demand and stick levels are relatively low, but buyers will likely find it much easier to find an opportunity at less than $500,000, which still offers good capital growth potential and a sound rental return.

 

Examples of townhouses or villas which have sold for $500,000 or less in the past couple of months include:

23/103 Salerno Street, Surfers Paradise sold in February 2015 for $407,000. Subject property comprises a two level, circa 2000, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhouse and 1-car garage and 1-car carport. This is a gated complex with various facilities. Previously sold in June 2009 for $420,000.

56/7 Elliott Street, Surfers Paradise sold in January 2015 for $435,000. Comprises a two level, circa 2001 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom townhouse with 1-car garage. This is a gated complex with various facilities. Previously sold in December 2012 for $395,000.

28/34 Albicore Street, Mermaid Waters sold in February 2015 for $490,000. Comprises a single storey, circa 2000, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom villa with 2-car garage. This is a gated complex with common swimming pool.

 

 

Overall it is quite clear that market confidence has picked up again and with interest rates still predicted to remain low, property investment on the Gold Coast should provide a solid option for those owner occupiers or investors willing to spend a lazy half million.

 

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June 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

The Gold Coast was one of the hardest hit regions of Australia following the GFC, with mortgagee in possession sale rates running above 6%. With the world financial situation, banks tightening their lending and LVR parameters, the Australian dollar soaring in value, the commodity boom and tourism being particularly hard hit, the perfect storm was unleashed.

 

However, that all seems to be well behind us now as the property market has recovered and turned upwards. Prices are well off the bottom across all residential property categories. Land values on the Gold Coast are reported to have increased by 10.7% over the past year according to the Queensland Valuer General’s 2015 annual report dated 5 March 2015. 

 

Very positive economic changes have been driving the property market on the Gold Coast including:

 

• Increasing population. Current Gold Coast population is now at 535,000 (source: Gold Coast City Council web site) with projections of a population of circa 680,000 by 2021 (source: Queensland Office of Economy and Statistical Research Population Prediction Report dated 2011). 

• Tourism is back stimulated by the lower Australian dollar and strengthened by new international flights direct to China and other parts of Asia. 

• Increase in building development and infrastructure projects. 

• Increase in number of new homes being built and apparent increase in number of substantial renovations of dwellings. 

• Increased international investors including the very influential and growing Chinese investment market and cashed up Auckland based Kiwis. 

• Increased interstate buyers with many cashed up investors from the very buoyant Melbourne and Sydney markets. 

• Predictions of improving employment in the tourism sector and also boosted by the impending 2018 Commonwealth Games.

  

The increase in volume of transactions is particularly evident since the September 2013 federal election. According to our data, purchasers still favour the sub $500,000 price bracket which accounts for 71.5% of transactions, compared to 23.5% for $500,000 to $1 million and 5% over $1 million. While the prestige residential market proportionately accounts for a small part of the market in terms of number of transactions, the prices are on the rise on the back of overseas investors, locals and interstate buyers taking a shine to mostly waterfront houses and a limited number of luxury high rise units. Examples of sales in 2015 include:

 

Beachfront Houses: 

123 Albatross Ave, Mermaid Beach $4,100,000

93 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $5,600,000

25 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $5,000,000

13 Oceanview Easement, Mermaid Beach $3,560,000

1 Surf St, Mermaid Beach $8,420,000
129 Jefferson Lane, Palm Beach $3,750,000 

Waterfront Houses: 

201 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters $5,800,000

247 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters $3,000,000

102 Amalfi Dr, Isle of Capri $3,300,000
36 Southern Cross Dr, Cronin Island $3,350,000

98 Admiralty Dr, Paradise Waters $3,200,000

25 Buccaneer Ct, Paradise Waters $3,600,000

117 Commodore Dr, Paradise Waters $6,600,000

37 Norsemann Court, Paradise Waters $3,000,000

31 Hampton Court, Sovereign Islands $4,000,000

64 The Sovereign Mile, Sovereign Islands $3,400,000

46 Shearwater Esp, Runaway Bay $3,490,000

100 Regatta Pde, Southport $3,100,000

 

Highrise Units: 

Nirvana by the Sea Penthouse, Coolangatta $3,755,000

Liberty Pacific Penthouse, Main Beach $3,300,000

Soul Penthouse, Surfers Paradise $7,000,000

  

CENTRAL GOLD COAST

Growth has been solid throughout 2015 in the central areas of the Gold Coast as a result of increased demand across all property types within the area. The main reasons for this increased demand include the reduction of interest rates, improvements in rental returns and increased overseas investments in new developments. 

 

Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Beach and Mermaid Waters have seen strong growth (25% to 35% increase in land values). An example of this is 145 Allambi Avenue, Broadbeach Waters which sold for $760,000 in August 2013 and was recently resold for $1,015,000 with no improvements to the property. 

 

The unit market in Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise has seen improvement in the lower price points in smaller developments. Most of these sales were to local and interstate investors as the rental returns were covering mortgage and body corporate costs. The larger high rise developments are still seeing limited growth due to the high body corporate rates restricting the overall investment appeal. We should see increased growth in holiday units as building managers are reporting a decrease in vacancy rates as more tourists come to the Gold Coast.

 

Robina, typically a popular location for young families, has also seen strong growth as it is within close proximity of amenities such as schools, shopping centres and transport. In recent months demand for rental properties has increased and vacancy rates have dropped as more construction jobs are available on the Gold Coast due to new developments. For example the average townhouse rental rate has increased $20 to $30 per week across all developments. 

 

The majority of new developments across the central areas are showing high sale rates with developments like Sunland’s Concourse Villas/Marina Residences and Robina Land Corp’s City Village and Riverlilly selling out within a few months. The majority of buyers have been overseas investors, although we are seeing an increase in owner occupiers looking to downsize from the family home and first home buyers. 

 

NORTHERN COASTAL (SOUTHPORT TO HOPE ISLAND)
This year the Northern Coastal area has performed very well to date. Sales agents continue to report a general lack of sales stock with improved buyer activity putting upward pressure on values. Notable changes have been a significant reduction of time to sell with many listed properties selling within just a few days. Some properties are selling sight unseen by interstate investors, something not seen since the 2007 boom period and we are also seeing multiple offers and properties selling prior to auction. The strongest performing property categories have been:

 

1. Vacant residential allotments;
2. $800,000 to $1,500,000 market range; and
3. Lightly improved sites with development potential. 

 

In one Hope Island residential estate, 500 square metre allotments that were selling for circa $250,000 are now selling for circa $290,000. Vacant allotments have jumped circa $100,000 in some of the more in demand canal estates. The traditionally more popular suburbs, generally those close to the Broadwater and Canal Estates, have been the best performers with increases estimated to be as much as 15% to 20%. The $400,000 to $600,000 range for the more typical family suburban style home has performed well. Two and three bedroom duplex units have also been in good demand. The unit market between circa $180,000 to $450,000 range appears to have improved, however, not as well as other sub market categories as stock levels remain high in some buildings. The unit market above $500,000 in the Broadwater precincts has lifted strongly with some complexes showing recovery of as much as $100,000 per unit. We note that property managers are reporting that they are now increasing rentals on properties as vacancy rates fall and demand increases. In some cases we have had reports of as many as 50 rental applications for a single property. Some of this demand has been within the more popular school zones.

 

We further note that the mainly established Northern Coastal property market will continue to strengthen due to the scarcity of land and influences of higher density town planning. The short term outlook is very positive.

 

M1 NORTH-WEST TO MOUNT TAMBORINE

Throughout the first half of 2015 the property market in the north-western Gold Coast, also known as the growth corridor continued to strengthen with agents generally reporting a shortage of stock and strong buyer activity.

 

Modern dwellings close to infrastructure such as schools and shopping centres appear to be the best performing. Notable estates include Highland Reserve, Riverstone Crossing and Coomera Springs. These estates all comprise predominantly modern dwellings of above average quality with good surrounding infrastructure. Prices in these estates range from $450,000 to $600,000 with an average increase in value over the past 24 months of approximately 10% to 15%.

 

Vacant land also appears to have strengthened throughout Upper Coomera and Maudsland with land becoming scarce. The more popular estates include Riverstone Crossing, Stone Creek, Coomera Retreat and Highland Reserve.

 

A notable sale is 16 Murray Circuit, Upper Coomera. This is a vacant 604 square metre allotment which sold mortgagee in possession on 27 August 2012 (arguably the bottom of the market) and is currently under contract for $202,000. This is a reflection of the increasing demand for vacant allotments.

 

Mount Tamborine appears to have stabilized with an increase in the volume of sales, however there has been no notable increase in values. These types of regional areas generally appear to have a bit of lag in market segment conditions compared to the local markets.

 

House and land packages remain the most concerning segment. Inferior quality estates in Upper Coomera and Pimpama continue to see large volumes of interstate investors paying a premium for new product. We are also seeing very small lot sizes in these areas (as small as 250 square metres). This product is relatively untested with little to no re-sales to gauge how this style of product will be viewed by the local market.

 

 

UPPER NORTHERN CORRIDOR

The first six months of 2015 was generally considered a positive period for the upper northern corridor. Investors have continued to increase their appetites for house and land packages within recently established residential estates. To fulfil this appetite, developers have decreased lot sizes as evidenced in the new stages of The Meadows at Pimpama and Yarrabilba at Yarrabilba, with some lot sizes below 250 square metres. On the other side of the spectrum residential estates such as Gainsborough Greens at Pimpama and Ormeau Ridge at Ormeau Hills have retained lot sizes or only marginally reduced sizes due to these estate attracting a higher percentage of owner occupiers.

 

Recent sales include:

• 6 Leland Street, Yarrabilba: 250 square metre allotment that sold for $110,500 in January 2015.

• 38 Leland Street, Yarrabilba: 250 square metre allotment that sold for $110,500 in January 2015.

• 13 Matas Drive, Pimpama: 300 square metre allotment that sold for $188,500 in January 2015.

 

Although there have been no settled sales within Pimpama of allotments below 250 square metres it is present within the new stages.

 

Values of rural residential properties in the upper northern corridor have remained stable within the first six months of 2015. A number of real estate agents in the area have complained about lack of stock on the market or set to go to the market.

 

Owners of rural residential properties in the area are optimistic about changes to upcoming or recently implemented planning schemes; there is optimism that some areas within the historically rural residential only areas could see a reduction in the required lot size per dwelling, therefore increasing the potential to subdivide or construct an additional dwelling on the lot.

 

Rental amounts in the area remain steady as infrastructure is being approved, on the drawing board or is currently under construction. An example of this is in the Yarrabilba Estate, with the planned kindergarten currently under construction and the recent sale of the school site and shopping centre site. The development of amenities such as these should increase rental amounts in the direct vicinity.

 

If the first six months are anything to go by, the upper northern corridor will continue to grow in terms of number of dwellings, however there is potential that a trend to decrease allotment sizes will continue and in turn increase the developer’s gain.

 

Established residential suburbs in the upper northern corridor including Eagleby, Edens Lands and Mount Warren Park have continued to attract owner occupiers. Real estate agents in these areas are noticing reduced time on the market if the property is reasonably priced. Beenleigh is considered the central business district of the upper northern corridor and has historically remained a sleeping giant for the area. The Beenleigh Town Centre has continued to attract foreign and interstate investment with high purchase prices being noted and purchases of multiple neighbouring properties.

 

SOUTHERN GOLD COAST AND TWEED COAST

In 2015 there has been a continued improvement in the residential property market across most but not all sectors.

 

Vacant land has perhaps been strongest with the majority of estates having been sold out or close to selling out. There is reportedly no developer stock available at Casuarina and very strong resales.

 

There has been a recent resale of a 500 square metre allotment in The Pocket for $520,000 which was originally purchased off the plan for approximately $395,000. There has been an improvement in prices for vacant land at Terranora as demand is now stronger than supply. The Hidden Valley estate at Tallebudgera is almost sold out. Sales have been strong at The Observatory and Varsity Heights Estates at Reedy Creek and also strong at Palm Beach Heights at Elanora.

 

From Miami to Pottsville the housing sector has continued to improve throughout 2015, being strongest in the under $750,000 price bracket. In most localities, demand is outstripping supply. In many cases sales evidence is not directly supporting new sales, particularly on the Tweed Coast.

 

There has also been strong sales activity in the over $750,000 price bracket in waterfront localities such as Currumbin Waters, Palm Beach and Burleigh Waters.

 

Duplex units have been selling well across the board along with townhouse or villa units in small complexes. There is currently a new duplex unit under contract at Palm Beach for $800,000, with very limited sales evidence to support this sale price.

 

Sales activity and market demand for low rise units in the under $400,000 price bracket is average. There has recently been some strong sales activity for low rise units along The Esplanade at Burleigh Heads. There have also been some gains in well located high- rise units. There is a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit in the rear Ambience building at Burleigh Heads under contract for $730,000, which previously sold in June 2011 for $625,000.

 

Caution remains for low rise and high rise units in larger, older buildings in secondary locations where high body corporate fees may apply. Local agents are reporting limited levels of demand for these properties.

  

There are a number of positive factors currently influencing the property market on the Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast including historically low interest rates, population growth and improvement in the local economy.

 

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May 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Overall, the prestige market on the Gold Coast is tracking along okay. Market conditions improved considerably throughout 2014 with a number of high profile properties selling. We have also seen an increase in sale prices compared with the sales occurring in 2012 at the bottom of the market.

  

Prestige on the Gold Coast varies from suburb to suburb in terms of dollar value. What is considered prestige in the northern corridor would be considered only good quality in the central areas.

 

We have broken the Gold Coast down into three areas which can be summarised as follows:

 

Northern Corridor

The prestige sector in the northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane is limited to two estates, the already established Coomera Waters in Coomera and the developing Calypso Bay in Jacobs Well. Both estates feature prestige dwellings on canal front allotments with an entry point of approximately $1 million. Presently there is no market for prestige units in the northern corridor.

 

The prestige housing sector is starting to gain momentum after a long period of quiet activity. Agents are reporting a considerable increase in demand from buyers with house prices starting to reflect accordingly. An example of this is 59 Westward Way, Coomera, a large, high quality, two storey, 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom dwelling situated on a 1,054 square metre allotment with a southerly canal aspect that sold for $1,450,000 on 6 January 2015. The last recorded sale for this property was $1.25 million in August 2013. 

 

There has been considerably less sales activity in Jacobs Well, however the highest recent recorded sale of a prestige dwelling was in the Calypso Bay estate with 93 Marina Parade, Jacobs Well achieving $1.69 million on 13 June 2014.

 

The current record low interest rates in conjunction with an increase in market conditions in the low to mid range of the market can be seen as contributing factors in the increase in value and activity in the prestige sector in the northern corridor.

 

If market conditions remain as they currently are, it can be predicted that the prestige housing sector of the northern corridor will continue to see an increase in sales volumes and value. As developed estates such as Coomera Waters run out of vacant land, buyers are starting to construct more dwellings in the Calypso Bay estate.

 

To sum up, the not too distant future is looking good for both of these estates.

  

Central Gold Coast

The prestige market on the central Gold Coast has continued to strengthen from the bottom of the market in 2012. Properties that are receiving the most attention are modern dwellings built to a high standard in areas such as Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach Waters and Mermaid Beach. Sales activity over the past 12 months for these central suburbs has seen prestige dwellings selling from around the $2 million mark up to $7 million.

 

A notable recent sale is 117 Commodore Drive, Surfers Paradise, which went under contract in March this year for $6.6 million.

 

The types of property demanding these high prices are ones that are located either on the Nerang River, have a wide canal frontage with a favourable aspect or have beach frontage, such as properties located along Hedges Avenue in Mermaid Beach.

 

The prestige unit market on the central Gold Coast has also seen an increase in market activity after the market bottomed in 2012. Prestige units can commonly be found in Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach. Although the unit market is seeing increased activity we do notice the property still needs to be priced competitively to achieve a sale. The type of unit you would typically expect to buy in the prestige market would be a penthouse or sub-penthouse, a unit located in a development with beach frontage or units that occupy a whole floor. Selling prices achieved during 2014 and into 2015 for prestige units have been around the $1 million to $3 million mark.

 

Two notable recent sales include:

  • 4701/1 Oracle Boulevard,Broadbeach.This unit is one of the sub-penthouses in the modern development known as The Oracle at Broadbeach. The property sold in November 2014 for $3 million. This property was originally sold by the developer for $4,390,000 in October 2010.

  • The Soul penthouse in Surfers Paradise recently sold for $7 million. The unit was stripped back to a shell so the purchaser could fit it out to their specification. The unit was initially under contract for $16.85 million in 2006 however this sale fell through.

You may ask yourself who is buying all this nice property? We are generally seeing a mix of overseas, interstate and local buyers. For new construction overseas buyers (especially Chinese) are still prominent and the interstate and local buyers are generally looking for property that fundamentally shows good value.

 

Looking ahead for the prestige market, the movement of interest rates and the level of supply will play a critical role in the overall performance. Interest rates are currently low, supply levels are decreasing and buyer demand is on the up, so as
a result we are seeing the top end of the market move more strongly into the recovery phase of the property cycle.

 

Southern Gold Coast/Northern New South Wales

The prestige market on the southern end of the Coast is showing positive signs of recovery after a tough few years. We saw value levels and market conditions fall sharply through 2011 and 2012 and appeared to bottom out at the end of 2012.

 

Typically the prestige houses are located on the beachfrontinthesepartsandincludePalmBeach, Currumbin, Tugun and Bilinga where $2 million plus would be classed as prestige. A notable sale was 14 James Street, Currumbin which recently sold for $5.1 million after being listed for sale for over 12 months. The property last sold for $8.2 million in February 2010.

 

Prestige units are also found on the beachfront however also include Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads (Rainbow Bay) where $1.5 million will buy you a large 3- or 4-bedroom unit of circa 200 square metres. A notable unit sale was by a Mr Robert Slater or more commonly known as Kelly Slater who recently purchased a beachfront unit in Palm Beach for $2.15 million. For privacy reasons, we will keep the address a secret.

 

We have seen a lot more positivity in the prestige market with a lot more buyer confidence. As you can see from some of the sales, we are still quite a way off value levels which were being achieved between 2007 and 2010 however things are looking up. If interest rates stay where they currently are throughout the year then there is no reason why 2015 should not be a better year than 2014.

 

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April 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

There are a number of current residential land estates available for buyers in this area including Miramar and Seaside estates at Casuarina/Kingscliff, Seabreeze and Black Rocks at Pottsville, Palm Beach Heights at Elanora and The Observatory, Kingsmore and Varsity Heights estates at Reedy Creek.

 

Each estate offers a different style of product and prices have strengthened in each of the estates over the past 18 months. Agents who market properties in the estates now have a shortage of supply and increased demand for the land.

 

For example, there were a number of sales of vacant allotments (non beachfront) in Casuarina in 2012 and 2013 in the early to mid $200,000s, however the reduced stock available (significant construction at present) and increased demand have seen prices rise towards the $400,000 mark (some selling above).

 

A sale of note is 35 Daybreak Boulevard at Casuarina which is a beachfront parcel of 945 square metres. It was sold from the developers (Villa World) in January 2014 for $625,000 and re-sold in November 2014 for $775,000, a price hike of $150,000 in 11 months (24% increase within a year)!

 

On the southern Gold Coast, there is a new developing residential estate at Tallebudgera known as Hidden Valley which is relatively small (only 25 lots of 600 square metres), however, this is the first A type subdivision in many years as the majority of surrounding properties are on allotments greater than 2,000 square metres. Lots are selling quickly in the estate and the majority of buyers are from the local area. In regard to infill land markets in the southern Gold Coast patch, there is a limited number of opportunities remaining and the only option is to head west.

 

Most of the central and western areas of the Gold Coast are established areas with very few sites available. The biggest new estate in this area is the Gilston Green estate. Prices there two years ago were stable at around $200,000 up to $230,000 for local buyers. Non-local investors were paying $245,000 plus for the land portion of a house and land package.

 

Since late last year the market has strengthened with locals competing with non-local investors and prices now start at around $255,000. A new residential precinct within the Royal Pines Golf Course Estate at Benowa has recently commenced marketing, offering single residential and duplex sites. Our office has so far valued only one duplex site of 588 square metres under contract to a Chinese buyer for $540,000 which was not supported. This site backs onto a new supermarket currently in the initial stages of construction with the earthworks started. Previously duplex block sales were achieving around $520,000 for 800 square metres in a superior position within the estate.

 

Up in Pacific Pines we are seeing new estates selling house and land packages to mainly foreign investors. The land is selling for between $225,000 and $235,000 which is at local market levels. We note that construction costs for the improvements have been analysed out after making allowances for garaging, patios and ground improvements to over $1,600 per square metre of living area for a single level brick dwelling which is excessive and should be around $1,100 per square metre. 

 

Heading further north to Pimpama and two of the major estates are Meadows and Gainsborough Greens. Sales activity has skyrocketed over the past six months in these estates as market conditions continue to improve and as infrastructure in the area is also improved.

 

Mid last year land in these estates was selling at around the $200,000 mark for a 450 square metre allotment however we have seen an increase in prices of between 5% and 10% over the past 12 months. 

 

Buyers in the area are a mixture of investors and owner occupiers however we are seeing mainly owner occupiers buying up in the Gainsborough Greens estate.

 

Residential land on the Gold Coast is one of the better performing sectors of our market. Sales activity has improved and value levels have also risen. Record low interest rates and the return of southern migration has only helped this market segment and hopefully it continues just as strongly through 2015.

 

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March 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

In general, market conditions are slightly softer now than at the end of 2014 and we may be suffering a bit of a post-Christmas hangover. We are yet to see a flow on effect of the recent interest rate cut on the property market however it is still only early days. We can only assume that market conditions will pick up in the coming weeks as interest rates are at an all-time low, everyone is now back at work after the christmas holidays, kids are back at school and hopefully the wet weather of recent weeks will have passed.

 

2014 was a good year for the whole Tweed Coast property market. We saw an increase in buyer activity across most market segments which led to an increase in values for most properties priced under $1 million. 2015 is shaping up to be just as good with many local real estate agents reporting limited stock on their books, having sold most properties last year. This is in contrast to areas in the Tweed Valley including Murwillumbah where market conditions remain slow. These areas have not yet felt a flow on effect from the coastal areas.

 

At the southern end of the Coast, the key areas for investment will likely be Tugun, Bilinga and Coolangatta in the under $600,000 price range. These areas have not yet seen the same growth in value levels as say Palm Beach and Burleigh and are areas for both owner occupiers and investors due to the proximity to the beach and airport and generally strong rental returns.

 

On the central Gold Coast we have seen an increase in positivity in the local property market since the rate cut but probably more so in the prestige market ($1 million and above).

 

Broadbeach Waters has been one of the best performing suburbs on the central Gold Coast in the past six months where values for waterfront properties have firmed considerably over the past 12 months, particularly for property priced below $1 million.

 

Further north first home buyers have targeted suburbs such as Southport, Labrador and Ashmore around the $400,000 to $500,000 price point. These areas provide a good standard of amenities including schools, recreation facilities and substantial retail precincts and relatively easy access to the

beach, Southport CBD, Gold Coast Hospital and north and south bound M1 motorway and electric rail. Generally speaking, it appears anyone who has bought and sold a house in these areas in the preceding three years has been able to turn a profit.

 

We believe that investors will become more prevalent in the property market on the Gold Coast in 2015 as the cost of money has become cheaper and rental returns have increased. We have been advised by various property managers that rental levels have increased over the past six months with an undersupply of rental properties in most areas. This has led to large numbers of prospective tenants turning up to open homes with multiple offers to rent on each property.

 

Some advice for investors would be to steer clear of areas which saw considerable growth in value levels in 2015 (Burleigh, Miami, Mermaid Beach, Palm Beach, Broadbeach) and look further afield.

 

Overall, the property market on the Gold Coast is tracking along okay. We are yet to see the activity in the beginning of 2015 that we saw towards the end of 2014 however with the recent interest rate cut and talk of another cut in the next few months, we can only hope that things will pick up in the coming weeks.

 

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February 2015

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

The general feeling on the Gold Coast is that the residential market will steadily build momentum throughout 2015 after a fairly strong 2014. In 2014 we saw a significant increase in market activity as well as an increase in value levels in most market segments. We can only hope that interest rates do not increase significantly this year.

 

Looking at the southern Gold Coast, the strongest performing properties are houses in well located suburbs such as Burleigh, Palm Beach and Miami in the under $700,000 price range as well as duplex units (with no body corporate fees) priced under $500,000. These properties are expected to perform above average throughout 2015. Detached houses in the under $500,000 price bracket in other suburbs such as Tugun, Bilinga and Elanora should also perform well in 2015.

 

In the Tweed, Casuarina is a suburb worth following in 2015. The area has seen a significant increase in construction over the past 12 months, with many more houses to be built this year. Land values have improved considerably over the past 12 months and it will be interesting to see how the values of houses fare once the majority of land has been sold and built on. Construction on the Casuarina Town Centre is due to commence any day now and we believe this will be a major draw card for the area.

 

Units with high body corporate fees are the main area of concern on the southern Gold Coast.

 

The suburbs to watch in the central areas of the Gold Coast include Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Beach, Mermaid Waters and Robina. We have seen circa 15% growth in some of these areas in 2014, especially entry level waterfront houses in Broadbeach Waters. This growth has been fuelled by new infrastructure such as the light rail system, extensive renovations to the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and the buzzing café and bar precinct under the Oracle building in Broadbeach. In Robina the schools, university, train line, stadium and shopping centre are attracting young families. We believe that detached houses in the $500,000 to $800,000 price bracket will perform well in 2015 as many buyers will be looking to upgrade from their previous houses.

 

The main area of concern is the new development (off the plan) unit market. This market is typically sold to investors from out of town and often does not retain its value on re-sale.

 

Looking to the northern parts of the Gold Coast, Biggera Waters and Runaway Bay through to Hollywell are the hot spot growth areas for 2015. These areas are well located and developers are now looking for in fill options in these established areas where land values will soar over time. The main draw card is the proximity to the Broadwater. This area provides a good standard of amenities including schools, recreation facilities and substantial retail precincts, and is within relatively easy proximity of the Southport CBD, Gold Coast Hospital and access to the north and south bound M1 motorway and electric rail. The suburbs cover a large geographical area with mainly dry, semi-modern single unit dwellings constructed between 1980 and 2000. These properties are complemented by being situated amongst some of the best canal estates and canal housing of the Gold Coast. The streets are generally wide and leafy with level topography and very easy traffic flow. Allotments typically range between 500 and 800 square metres providing ideal young middle class family environments. These areas are mainly detached dwelling suburbs with some duplex units and even fewer unit developments. We see the best advantage in detached dwellings for lifestyle and predict better capital growth in this market segment.

 

We would be cautious about some of the lesser quality, developing estates in Coomera and Pimpama. These areas are seeing large volumes of cheaper stock being sold to investors, many of whom come from interstate and appear to be paying a premium for new product. We are also seeing very small lot sizes in these areas, some as small as 250 square metres. This product is relatively untested with little to no re-sales to edify how this style of product will be viewed by the local market.

 

Out to the west, the newly released stages in the suburbs of Yarrabilba and Flagstone (Jimboomba) are priced under $400,000 for a house and land package, and represent good value for all sectors of the market. As the estates of Flagstone and Yarrabilba age, purchasers have the choice of buying

land and building or purchasing a one to four year old home that is fully established for similar price points. Both estates have options for less than $400,000 total outlay. Alternatively, the entry price

for a 4,000 square metre property with an older house is a similar cost within the established areas

of Jimboomba. This property type offers good value for money and the opportunity to add value.

Investment properties are always an area of caution and while the majority of suburbs within the Scenic Rim are not investment driven, there are a number of investment sales within the new estates. With a decrease in lot size and sale prices remaining the same, these sectors of the market are untested and in the short term should be treated with caution.

 

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December 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Overall, 2014 has been a good year for residential property on the Gold Coast when compared with the previous few years. 2014 has been a year of property recovery, at least in part, across most market sub groups.

 

The year started strongly with many local real estate agents reporting low listing stock and increased buyer demand putting upward pressure on values. The sub $500,000 price racket for both houses and units was the hottest market on the Gold Coast in 2014 with a significant increase in both first home buyers and investors, buoyed by record low interest rates and property prices coming off a low price base. Generally, we have seen an increase in value levels from 5% to 5% in this price range.

 

Over $1.5 million, the sales volume is on par with what we saw in 2013. This is in contrast to the volume of sales for property between $1 million and $1.5 million which has increased 16% for the same period.

 

The year has also seen the near sell out of Soul in Surfers Paradise and Oracle at Broadbeach resulting in a significant reduction of stock levels of new highrise units. New or near new houses are achieving a premium over older style houses especially if the property ticks all the buyer’s boxes. The prestige market is slowly improving with buyers still being fairly fickle.

 

>>We have also seen a return of the interstate buyers, mainly from Sydney and Melbourne and a growing influence at the higher end from Chinese investors.

 

A brief summary of our local areas:

 

Northern Gold Coast

 

Overall, residential real estate in the northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane performed well throughout 2014. Following on from a positive end to 2013, interest has remained strong throughout the year with sales agents complaining of a lack of stock, which has in turn caused values to steadily increase.

 

Suburbs such as Pimpama, Ormeau Hills and Coomera have fared best throughout the year with the addition of infrastructure such as local shopping centres and schools making them popular for both investors and owner occupiers. New and developing estates in these suburbs have enjoyed high levels of demand for vacant residential allotments.

 

The most popular property type in the northern corridor is still the 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house with a double car garage. Values have increased roughly 10% for this property type. This is in line with the predictions of February’s Month in Review, so it looks like we got it right!

 

There are still issues with new product, particularly townhouse units, being sold at prices in excess of

market value. However, this can be attributed to sales to investors of properties sight unseen and is not reflective of how the local market is tracking.

 

 

Central Gold Coast

 

Throughout 2014, the property market in the central suburbs of the Gold Coast ranging from Main Beach to Mermaid Beach and out to Nerang have enjoyed some of the best market conditions experienced in the last few years. We have seen prices increase for well-located dwellings thanks to a lack of supply, low interest rates and positive market sentiment.

 

Properties purchased around the bottom of the market in late 2012 have seen some significant gains on resale under the current stronger market conditions. The best results have been for residential dwellings with water frontage, located near the beach or presented to a high standard.

Some notable sales are:

 

31 Allawah Street in Bundall. This property is an entry level 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with 1-car garage and pool. The property is a dry block with no water frontage. It originally sold in February 2012 for $425,000 in fair condition, resold in September 2013 for $481,000 in updated condition and more recently it sold in October 2014 for $575,000 in a well presented state.

 

12 Francis Street in Mermaid Beach. This property is a large, modern, 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom dwelling located in a prestigious beachside locality. It sold in March 2013 for $1,300,000 and more recently resold in March 2014 for $1,450,000.

 

In relation to waterfront, there was a sale of vacant land at 45 Sir Bruce Small Boulevard in Benowa that transacted in February 2013 for $850,000 and has now resold in June 2014 for $905,000. The block is 930 square metres with a near level build site and has 22 metres frontage to the Nerang River.

 

In terms of the unit market, confidence has increased however the capital gain has not been as significant when compared to dwellings. Generally, price levels for units are still well below the levels seen during the peak of the market in 2007 and 2008.

 

The affordable end of the market has been a consistent performer across all suburbs with owner

occupiers and investors looking to add to their portfolios. The top end of the market over $1.5 million

has seen a modest lift in the number of transactions however market conditions remain relatively tough and we still find that vendors need to be realistic and competitively priced with other prestige areas to achieve a sale.

 

Southern Gold Coast

 

Overall, 2014 has been a good year for residential real estate in the Gold Coast’s southern areas. Market activity has been quite strong with most properties listed at realistic levels selling quite quickly.

 

One of the shining lights is Palm Beach. Real estate agents are continually advising of properties selling within days and weeks, not months. Most agents have very limited stock to sell. The housing market, from the cheapest to most expensive, has seen the most improvement this year.

 

There has been a recent sale at 88 Parnki Parade, for $1.251 million. The house is an older style lowset dwelling situated on a 1,161 square metre lakefront allotment, and with duplex zoning. In total, there have been at least ten sales over $1 million this year in Palm Beach.

 

At the other end of the scale, 26 Twenty Fourth Avenue, Palm Beach sold this year for $490,000. This is a small, older style, 2-bedroom cottage on a 405 square metre residential choice zoned allotment,

with the land value apportionment being $4 million. These cottages were selling for this type of money back in the peak of the market in 2007 and 2008.

 

On reflection, our February predictions appear to be on the mark, with gradual improvement in market conditions throughout 2014 along with increases in value levels. We can only hope that 2015 is just as strong, if not stronger.

 

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November 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Northern Gold Coast

The northern Gold Coast, known locally as the growth corridor, is located between the southern outskirts of Brisbane and the Gold Coast proper at Helensvale. It is roughly defined by the Coomera River in the south and the Logan River in the north.

 

This area has undergone significant residential development since 2000 with large areas of land still suitable for development activity. The typical buyer for this area is the first home buyer, escaping the high cost of housing in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and investors who buy for similar reasons of affordability and to take advantage of the tax depreciation benefits that come with buying new and near new housing. Given that first home buyers and investors are the main drivers in this market, it follows that whatever drives these two groups of buyers in turn drives the market. Since first home buyers and investors are two of the most highly leveraged groups of buyers, interest rates and how they change is a key determinant in the success or otherwise of the northern Gold Coast residential market.

 

The following details show a direct link between the movement in interest rates and the impact of those movements on the market. The recent history of interest rate cycles dating back to 2002 have been compared against the volume of sales and median sale prices in Ormeau. To determine these changes, three months of house sales data at the start of each cycle was compared to three months of house sales data from the end of each cycle.

 

Ormeau is one of the largest suburbs in the northern Gold Coast and geographically near its centre. The information in the following table shows that as interest rates moved through an increasing cycle, the volume of sales in Ormeau decreased and as interest rates decreased, the volume of sales increased. In a low interest rate environment, more buyers entered the market which stimulated sales and increased property values and in turn, drove further development of land. As interest rates increased, buyers dropped out of the market as affordability decreased. Rates of sales declined and the market contracted.

 

The message is clear for this location – if the Reserve Bank lowers interest rates, brace yourselves because the buyers are coming! At face value, how this affects property values (median price) appears less certain, however it should be recognised that Ormeau and surrounding suburbs are developing areas and when interest rates are low and buyers are out in force, land development also picks up. Many first home buyers and investors are drawn to purchase land to build on which takes pressure off the value of existing house prices in Ormeau and surrounding suburbs.

 

So what does this information tell us about where the market is now and where it is going? Since the last change in rates down to 2.5% in August 2013, the rate of sales and the median price appears to have plateaued somewhat. While sales are reasonably buoyant, the change in median price has been negligible. This may be partly explained by strong land development activity in nearby Pimpama and Ormeau Hills, however it may also suggest that for this area at least, the Reserve Bank has been prudent in keeping interest rates unchanged as this housing market may not be out of the woods just yet.

 

Central

Within the past year the central Gold Coast market has shown signs of improving. Positive sentiment in the market has been playing a big part in being able to achieve that higher price.

 

A way to gauge current market sentiment is by establishing good connections with local agents. Agents are noting a good level of demand and low supply levels for established dwellings in most central suburbs. Fundamentally this means the market is strengthening for established dwellings. Popular locations such as Broadbeach Waters and Mermaid Beach are some of first areas to show signs of movement when the market improves due to their prime locations.

 

An increasing number of new boutique cafes, shops and restaurants have already gained popularity among locals and strengthen the marketability of surrounding properties. The Isle of Capri shops is an example of this and the future completion of the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre refurbishment in Broadbeach is also expected to influence prices within the area.

 

After a hiatus post Global Financial Crisis, high-rise unit developments have recommenced in the Surfers Paradise area. Overall the property market in the central Gold Coast area has continued to strengthen from previous years and some key indicators have been the decrease in supply levels and increased demand from buyers, especially for well-located quality established dwellings. The unit and townhouse market does remain somewhat fickle due to larger supply levels however should the market continue to show signs of improvement, we could potentially see the unit and townhouse market perform more consistently in terms of capital growth.

 

 

Ashmore to Hope Island

For many months now the press and agents alike have been reporting that things are continuing to improve in the property market. At ground level, contact directly through buyers, vendors and agents,indicates that this region as a whole is improving.

 

Prices are not going up at a crazy speed like they were in the boom period which ended in early 2008. Instead, now after falling to very low levels, 2013 saw a turn in the market and prices and general market activity increasing.

 

There doesn’t appear to be one or a group of particular employers in this region that is having a big influence. It’s more that the market is being driven by interstate buyers mostly from Melbourne or Sydney and a large number of Chinese buyers. The Gold Coast as a whole still represents good value to them when compared to what they can buy in their own markets.

 

Parkwood and Southport are two notable suburbs that have had good increasing prices in recent months. Some of the reasons for this are the massive infrastructure that has been built in Parkwood such as the new hospital, light rail, expansion of Griffith University and the new private hospital (currently under construction).

 

Southport however has been very active in the market with the new planned changes such as Chinatown, plans to make Southport the new CBD and most importantly the new Southport PDA Development Scheme which is promised to allow greater flexibility with development applications

and allow much more scope for proposals. The local government hopes that this will have investors drooling.

 

The improvement in the property market over the last 18 months would never have started unless the interest rates hadn’t fallen to current levels. We owe a lot of the credit for the improved condition and performance of the property market to the present RBA chief. In the past, the RBA has increased or decreased interest rates in reaction to the market conditions, as they should, but then changing rates further only a month later without allowing enough time for the market to react to the previous change in rate. It seems that the RBA in recent times has found the virtue of patience.

 

Southern Gold Coast – Miami to Pottsville
Some of the general signs that the market is moving forward in the southern areas of the Gold Coast include the lack of stock available on the market and the short turn around time between when properties are listed for sale and generate a sale. Agents who market property in this area are continually stating that they have a number of qualified buyers in a position ready to purchase and

that there is a lack of stock and listings available to show the prospective purchasers. A number of properties, mostly in the sub $700,000 price bracket, are generating multiple inspections, offers and contracts in the early stages of marketing which has not been seen since the GFC in 2008.

 

Due to this lack of available stock and increase in buyers in the market place, a number of properties we are inspecting are selling either at the listing price or in some cases, above listing price. This has been most evident in areas such as Varsity Lakes and Palm Beach, both of which have vibrant café  and retail precincts which are appealing to a vast range of buyers.

 

This market does not seem to be directly influenced by one or two major employers, but mainly on the back of more confidence that the southern Gold Coast market still provides good value in relation to other areas on the Coast and also interstate.

 

Major infrastructure such as the Varsity CBD, Bond University, Robina Town Centre and surrounding schools are appealing to a vast range of families and also investors who are looking for positive returns on their investment.

 

Speaking with a few local agents over the past month and asking their opinion looking forward over the next two to three years, most believe that the market on the southern Gold Coast will continue to improve until 2018 when the Gold Coast hosts the Commonwealth Games and some are of the opinion that post Commonwealth Games, the market may take a turn for the worse.

 

The number of cranes in the sky from Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta shows that developers are far more prominent now than they have been over the past five years. There are a number of low and

medium-rise developments occurring from Palm Beach to Coolangatta and also new subdivisions in locations such as Palm Beach and Tallebudgera. We can only hope that the market continues to improve gradually rather than at a rapid pace which may not be sustainable.

 

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October 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Gold Coast and Tweed Coast

 

Northern Corridor between Gold Coast and Brisbane

The majority of properties situated in the northern corridor would fall into the about average category of the family home, ie 3- to 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and a double car garage. Demand has remained steady and after the initial increases in value experienced over the past 12 months, values appear to have levelled.

 

The average investor still favours new house and land packages or townhouses. Prices for a new 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with a double car garage range between low $400,000s and high $400,000s in suburbs such as Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau. Discrepancies still exist between sale

prices and assessed values in some estates so it is still prudent for the purchaser to do their due diligence. Both dwelling living areas and allotment sizes have trended towards decreasing in size as developers attempt to maximise the profitability of development sites.

 

The average owner occupier tends to favour similar product, with 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwellings the most popular. However, owner occupiers tend to stay away from investor heavy estates. Activity has been heavy all the way through the low $400,000s to low $600,000s for this style of property depending on size and standard of finish.

 

It can be estimated that the rest of the year will see prices continue to stabilise with demand remaining strong.

 

Central Gold Coast

Taking Mermaid Waters as an average suburb, average buyers appear more willing to take on properties which are dated or tired as opposed to 12 to 18 months ago when properties needing work sat on the market for quite some time.

 

Dry block (ie non waterfront) homes start around $475,000. There have been two recent sales at this price of part renovated houses with pools, both on busy thoroughfares.

 

Houses in quiet street locations with 4-bedrooms and a pool start around the mid to late $500,000s.

 

Canal front houses are generally over $700,000 with price determined both by the quality of house and water frontage.

 

For example, 16 Pilot Court, Mermaid Waters sold in May 2014 at $740,000. A single level, circa 1985, semi-modern, brick, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with concrete tiled roof and 2-car garage. Partly updated and has a covered outdoor area. Northerly aspect to the canal with average water views available. Approximately 18 metre frontage to the canal. Ancillary improvements are of an average standard and include vehicle gate and inground swimming pool. The property has fair external condition and fair internal condition. Land area is 666 square metres.

 

The market over $1 million is still somewhat soft. Buyers in this range are usually looking at a large house with good water frontage and views. In the more outlying suburbs such as Carrara and Merrimac you can still buy a house under $400,000 east of the Motorway.

 

Nerang is more affordable with plenty available in the low to mid $300,000s. Entry price level is still circa $300,000, for 3-bedrooms and 1-bathroom.

 

In Pacific Pines entry level for a house is now circa $380,000. This suburb offers great facilities for, parks, shopping, schools, transport, motorway and train at Helensvale.

 

In central Surfers Paradise owner occupiers are competing with investors for a standard 2-bedroom,  2-bathroom unit. Both buyer groups are still wary of high body corporate fees. Agents are reporting increased investor activity.

 

Entry level here is circa $300,000 however due to the wide variety of product available there is no real average. Nevertheless, you can still get a 2-bedroom unit opposite the beach with ocean views for under $400,000.

 

Agents are reporting increased interest in Broadbeach, Surfers and Mermaid Beach for low-rise units with low body corporate fees.

 

Demand for this type of property has firmed since late 2013 with agents reporting good demand from tenants and investors.

 

Overall the market for detached housing is stronger across the board, with entry level product in each suburb showing good buyer interest.

 

'Units with higher body corporate fees are still struggling'

 

Coastal North Gold Coast

The average owner-occupier is generally looking for a house and land package or second housing as they appear to offer greater value. The unit market appears to have somewhat of a negative stigma on the Gold Coast. Therefore owner-occupiers and investors generally prefer the detached housing market.

 

Cova Estate at Hope Island offers a small lot housing option. Typically, the average house and land package in the estate ranges from $450,000 to $500,000. The typical house in the estate is either a 3- or 4-bedroom rendered brick dwelling with 2-bathrooms and double lockup garage on an allotment ranging from 388 to 490 square metres.

 

A middle type suburb would be Labrador. The typical entry point for houses in Labrador ranges from $340,000 to $380,000 and for a 1-bedroom unit $140,000 to $170,000.

 

There is no average in coastal north as the area consists of a mixture of socio economic classes, with prices varying greatly between suburbs.

 

RP Data has recently released data showing there were more than 18,000 property sales on the Gold Coast during the 12 months to May this year, a number which hasn’t been reached since 2010.

 

The property market has been recovering generally from late 2013, with agents advising an improvement in sales volume and shorter selling timeframes. We believe the growth in the property market is sustainable to a degree, but will fluctuate in the coming years.

 

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September 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Gold Coast and Tweed Coast

The age old fundamental of location, location, location always hold true on the Gold Coast for safe
property buying. For owner-occupiers, the prime fundamental is a safe and quiet location in close proximity to transport, shops and schools. For investors looking for capital gains as opposed to returns, these locations should provide a reasonable level of growth in the medium to long term. Generally rental demand remains quite strong for houses and firm for units.

 

The upper north developing residential suburban areas of the Gold Coast such as Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau depend on the convenience of nearby facilities such as schools, shops, transport and parkland due to being located further away from the CBD (between the Gold Coast to Brisbane corridor). Generally these developing suburbs are well planned providing necessary infrastructure and facilities within close proximity. Community living is not unusual within these modern suburbs and developers differentiate themselves to create enticing and unique suburban community lifestyles.

 

These suburbs also benefit from being located close to the M1 Motorway, providing an easy and direct commuting distance to both Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

 

"As these suburbs grow and become more established, steady capital gains would generally be realised in the medium to long term and investors will therefore continue to appreciate a good level of interest from potential tenants." 


The market in these areas is partially driven by interstate investors. Most of these areas are affordable when compared to the inner Gold Coast suburbs which provide limited new product. Generally townhouse units located close to major facilities such as schools and shops provide reasonable rents ranging from $320 per week to $380 per week with a good level of tenant interest. However dwellings have also continued to show popularity among tenants and investors alike where rents for a new dwelling range on average between $400 per week and $450 per week depending on various factors. On average, a brand new dwelling can be purchased within the mid $400,000 range.

 

The opening of the new Woolworths and speciality centre at Pimpama has already become a popular destination for nearby residents and will facilitate future residential estates within the area.

 

Closer in, two stand out suburbs within the M1 West precinct are Oxenford and Upper Coomera which remain popular because of their relative affordability, proximity to convenience shopping and quality schools.

 

Within the past 12 months, Oxenford has seen development of the Global Plaza site providing a McDonalds, Bunnings and more recently BCF and Amart Sports. Similarly, Upper Coomera is about to welcome a new Dan Murphys and tavern at the Coomera City Centre on the corner of Days and Old Coach Roads.

 

Residential owners and tenants often note to our valuers the impact of the significant improvement in facilities over the past two years. In addition to primary schools, Upper Coomera has three high schools (two of which are private) that are well regardedand patronised. 

Underpinning these facilities is their accessibility by public transport. 

 

Real estate agents in Upper Coomera report very low vacancy rates and limited stock available for
sale. With access to the M1 being a major drawcard, Upper Coomera and Oxenford will continue to be popular suburbs for owner-occupiers and investors. It is expected that facilities will further improve and residential development will continue. Developers note limited development land available which may in the short to mid-term put some welcome upward pressure on values. In both suburbs, sales remain steady in the $350,000 to $450,000 price point to owner-occupiers and investors from interstate.

 

The northern suburbs of the Gold Coast which include Southport, Labrador, Biggera Waters, Ashmore and Parkwood have all enjoyed a healthy rebound over the past 12 to 18 months driven by low interest rates, positive market sentiment and big ticket infrastructure coming online. These areas are affordable and in close proximity to major and community shopping areas, schools, parks, the Broadwater and Griffith University and Health Precinct including the new hospital.

 

With much fanfare the light rail has finally kicked into action and at this early stage (and excluding some wayward elderly drivers) has exceeded expectations.Returning trams from the university and hospital are often full at the end of the day, alleviating concerns that the light rail would go unused. Further extension and integration with the heavy rail is in early planning at this stage but this would be a fundamental driver for capital growth and rental demand in the central northern zone. 

 

Cranes are back in Southport and Labrador with a number of new medium and high rise unit buildings either recently completed or under construction. These include Sapphire, Coast and the final stage of Brighton on Broadwater which is a 55 storey mixed residential and retail tower. Increased population in these hubs will drive the success of the restaurant and café precincts around the Broadwater and the overall appeal of the suburbs.

 

The central suburbs of the Gold Coast between Miami and Robina through to Broadbeach and Beach Waters and Isle of Capri are the mainstays of the Gold Coast to many and are central to all services, Pacific Fair and Robina Town Centre, Bond University and numerous cafes. All are attracting strong interest with price rises of $50,000 up to $500,000 on some luxury properties. One house on Isle of Capri sold for $1 million more than 18 months ago.

 

The light rail also touches some of these suburbs and its extension is paramount.

 

The southern Gold Coast has also seen an improvement in construction projects over the past two years. There is high rise construction at Coolangatta and a large development has been approved at Palm Beach. The Salt Estate at Kingscliff and Casuarina have also seen strong construction activity over this time frame. All these factors should ensure that these areas have continued capital growth in the future.

 

On the southern Gold Coast there has been a strong resurgence in the property market in 2013 and 2014. The suburbs which have seen the most sales activity and improvement in value levels are Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads and Burleigh Waters. The main drivers for these suburbs are their proximity to beaches, shops and cafes and transport. They are also within close proximity of Gold Coast Airport, John Flynn Hospital and Southern Cross University.

 

For owner-occupiers and investors, there are still opportunities in these suburbs and also other coastal suburbs further south, as they are seen as being very family friendly away from the hustle and bustle further north.

 

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August 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Gold Coast

The market is now coming off the bottom of the property cycle and is generally considered to be at the early stages of the rise. However, this improvement seems to be slightly volatile with an apparent and most recent slowdown coinciding with the recent federal budget.

 

Despite confidence returning and generally improving market conditions, buyers still need to be cautious when it comes to some property market categories being generally typical of market conditions across the entire region. We have identified some of the most likely investor pitfalls.

 

Notably are some of the new unit developments including low-rise, medium and high-rise developments. A large proportion of new unit product on the Gold Coast is sold to interstate and to a lesser extent, overseas investors at price levels considered to be in excess of local market values. We caution that there is often a premium paid for new product as opposed to second hand units, however, this premium is likely to result in a depreciated value depending on the condition of improvements and future market conditions and is not always sustainable on resale.

 

There is currently an oversupply of second hand medium and high rise units on the Gold Coast. Gluts or oversupply can occur in different locations for certain product. For example the release of new unit developments can cause an oversupply of a certain unit category. We have seen an oversupply of one bedroom units causing downward pressure on the values of those units.

 

Buildings and complexes that have high or excessive body corporate fees are often slow and difficult to market and are generally overlooked by investors. Some units have body corporate fees of more than $350 per week.

 

Investors need to be aware that the unit market on the Gold Coast can become quite fickle as some complexes fall out of favour and demand due to new and more desirable competition (new complexes) being released.

 

Serviced units have fallen in value and appear to continue to fall despite the general market improvement.

 

Quality of property management is an important issue for many complexes. Complexes can become mismanaged and quickly lose appeal and value.

 

Generally speaking, those properties on the Gold Coast with southern aspects (mainly units and water front properties) are less desirable because of the winter conditions when there is no direct sun and they are exposed to the colder southerly winds. Local informed investors will typically avoid properties with these aspects and in market downturns these properties can fall quicker than those with preferred aspects.

 

"Properties in slightly isolated geographic locations can also fall sharply in demand and value during periods of market downturn as reflected during the GFC downturn."


Supply appears to be rising in some more favoured central areas that are being redeveloped such as Robina, Bundall, Benowa, Labrador, Palm Beach and Hope Island, where new sites have been acquired by developers to build townhouses and medium rises. Demand may drop off in the secondary suburbs such as those west of the highway and to the northern Brisbane corridor. This may be due to location and oversupply of stock.

 

Tweed Region
It appears that we have turned the corner in the Tweed property market with more buyers now in the market place and sellers generally more realistic about what their properties are worth. In general prices have improved slightly from the end of 2013. 

 

In the Tweed area at present, the poorest performing sector of the market is the serviced apartment sector. Serviced apartments are generally found in Tweed Heads and in the southern Tweed Coast communities. These properties have taken a hiding with regard to value levels with units now selling at prices well below initial sale prices in 2003.

 

"A 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom serviced apartment in Salt can be purchased for around $150,000 today."


Generally these properties show a very poor return to the owner (high body corporate fees and poor occupancy rates) and the fact that these properties cannot be lived in has also significantly affected value levels.

 

We believe the serviced apartment market in the Tweed will continue to be soft in the short to medium term unless:
1. occupancy rates improve,
2. body corporate fees are lowered,
3. occupancy restrictions are somehow changed.

 

Despite the warning bells, we note that some of the sub property categories on both the Gold Coast and Tweed Coast that were the hardest hit during the GFC are now offering good potential for capital growth.

 

As the market improves, buyers will again compete for properties and those negative attributes can tend to be overlooked.

 

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July 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Gold Coast and Tweed Coast

Across the central Gold Coast there are opportunities for the astute investor or owner occupier to purchase property and feel like they have made a good investment. The question to ask oneself is what to look for, is it to invest for a return or capital gain. In terms of achieving capital gain on the Gold Coast it primarily comes down to how long you can hold the property for. Buyers looking for capital gain in the lazy half million price range might consider looking for houses in well located affordable areas such as Robina, Varsity Lakes and Carrara. The actual growth is extremely hard to predict and dependent on a lot of factors, but generally if a well located asset is held for the long-term, a good level of growth can potentially be realised.

 

For the investor the level of return is the key. Due to the higher price point for detached housing in the central Gold Coast area, a potential investor with $500,000 to spend may look to purchase two or more affordable properties to add to their investment portfolio. Multiple one bedroom or studio units in the Surfers Paradise/Mainbeach/Broadbeach area can provide a good level of return due to holiday letting. Generally these units are around $150,000-$200,000  mark can have a potential for double digit return rent. Further afield investor may look for townhouse properties in areas such as Nerang and  Highland Park with two or three bedrooms priced around the $200,000-$250,000 mark. An investor can potentially buy two properties and expect a rental return between 5% and 10%.

 

Upper northern Gold Coast areas such as Ormeau, Ormeau Hills, Pimpama, especially Coomera and Upper Coomera have shown good and stable growth within the past six months. This growth is mainly focused on the $500,000 market value range and is expected to be steady to steadily improving accommodated by further future development and population growth targeted within these emergingareas. As previously mentioned capital growth is mainly seen for long term investments and well located properties.

 

From an investment point of view a recently completed 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom and double garage dwellings in Ormeau purchased for $400,000 with an estimated market rent of $400 per week shows a steady rental return of approximately 3 to 4%. Similarly a semi modern 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom and double garage dwelling in Coomera purchased for $500,000 with an estimated market rent of $440 per week and a modern townhouse unit purchased for around $335,000 with a market rent of $360 per week provide a similar estimated rate of return of 3 to 4%.

 

The investor might see some tax benefit and potential capital gain however similarly to an owner
occupier a long term investment would see a steady return. As these emerging communities grow the low interest rates, good population growth and increased infrastructure continue to provide steady to good future capital growth for owner-occupiers and investors alike.

 

On the northern end of the Gold Coast half a million dollars can get you a choice. The most popular choices it seems at present are new house and land packages in the developing Hope Island estates or Parkwood and Arundel areas. For example half a million in Parkwood could get you a semi modern 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house on a reasonable 700 to 800 square meter block. However in these areas the home will be in mostly original condition which is ok for investment purposes or perhaps you would prefer to cross over to Arundel where for the same money you will get a similar newer home by roughly ten years.

 

In recent months Parkwood, Arundel and parts of Labrador have been the best performing suburbs which have almost certainly been on the back of the ongoing development of the ‘Health and Knowledge Precinct’. Arundel entry level price point is circa $375,000 and Parkwood circa $425,000. In both of these neighbouring suburbs this will get you a semi modern, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom detached house in original condition. Detached housing in these areas appear to be the hottest ticket item with astute investors making some serious returns and in somecases up to a staggering 10% for renting each room to students.

 

In the last few weeks around the release of the federal budget the market seems to have slowed, we envisage the growth will continue but at a slower rate in the short term. 

 

On the southern Gold Coast, we have seen continued strength in the property market in 2014, from the lower end of the market to the upper end. There has been a solid level of capital growth for most properties, but not all, in most locations. It would be unrealistic to expect the same level of capital growth in the next 12 to 18 months as in the last 12-18 months. However, all things being equal, investors should still be confident to invest in property at this point in time.

 

"The best strategy would be to purchase residential properties in the under $500,000 price range in well located areas such as Burleigh Waters, Palm Beach, Currumbin, Tugun, Bilinga, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads."

 

The rental vacancy rates for housing in these areas remains very low and there are still opportunities in these areas in the under $500,000 price bracket. There are also opportunities in these areas to purchase duplex units, townhouse/villa units or lowrise units, which can range between $200,000 and $450,000. Rental demand for these types of properties is less than for housing so it would be prudent to factor in a certain level of vacancy.

 

As you move to the western side of Tamborine Mountain and in to the Scenic Rim and lower Logan
City Council areas, there isn’t too much that a lazy $500,000 won’t buy at the moment. In line with other Gold Coast markets, the questions to ask are the same, is the purchase for lifestyle, capital growth or investment return.

 

With a few Mortgagee In Possession properties being taken to market in the past months, along with the budget, any perceived gain in the confidence of purchasers has waivered.

 

The rural market presents a good opportunity for owners that want to establish their rural holding with a 38 hectare partly cleared rural lot selling for $361,000 at Biddaddaba. A blank canvass suitable for a number of different lifestyle uses or a similar sized lot with a “habitable shed” at Flying Fox for $410,000. Maybe Lucerne production and a hobby farm is more of interest and if you head south of Beaudesert, a 50 acre cultivation block will cost you between $350,000 and $400,000. These properties are more suited to the owner market, with the fall in the rural market being up to 30%, astute purchasers are buying these land holdings for more long term nvestment with the view to relocate further down the track. However, lending ratios and criteria can be a stumbling block and purchasers need to be aware of all of the requirements prior to pursuing this property type.

 

For purchasers with foresight and wiling to invest more than the initial purchase price, the MIP
purchase may tick the boxes for both capital growth and investment return. For example a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house on a 10 acre property at Jimboomba sold at auction for $374,000. Whilst the dwelling was in poor condition and required immediate repair to the front and rear deck and updating throughout, once finished this property would return around $490pw in rental income and an improvement in the underlying value.

 

For the investor, choices are abundant with some investments options including a 3 bedroom townhouse in Canungra selling for $265,000 and returning $290 per week, or an older 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom house in Beaudesert for about the same outlay and return. But be wary, newly constructed houses in Beaudesert selling for around $400,000 are only returning $340 to $360 pere week with buyers geared towards the tax benefits of ownership rather than capital growth or rental return.

 

A ‘lazy $500,00’ within the Yarrabilba estate covers most property types within the estate from
a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, single garage townhouse style unit starting at $270,000 (no rental figures available), a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, double garage home on 400 square metres for $365,000 renting for $410 per week to a duplex pair with one 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom and double garage and one 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom and singe garage duplex unit for just over the $500,000 mark achieving a combined rental income of $670 per week. Agents report very good interest for each property style with up to 30 applications for each property. Any increase in value within the estate has been generated from the underlying land cost which has been steadily increasing throughout each stage release. This seems to be a win-win area for both the owner and investor.

 

Overall the south east Queensland and north east New South Wales areas have shown good and steady growth over the past six months with some recent slow down due to economic factors such as the federal budget. However once market confidence picks up again and the interest rates remain low, these areas will provide a good and steady long term investment return and a variety of choice for the astute investor or owner-occupier willing to spend a lazy half million.

 

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June 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Gold Coast and Tweed Coast

The Gold Coast real estate market has rebounded strongly compared to 12 months ago. Sales volumes for January 1 to April 30 have increased 30% compared with the same period in 2013.

According to our research, the price bracket spread reveals that 89% of sales are for properties less than $750,000. The following table breaks up the brackets:

 

2014 year to date:

Price Bracket

% of sale volume

0 - $300,000 

22%

$300,001 - $500,000

48%

$500,001 - $750,000

 19%

$750,001 - $1,000,000

5%

$1,000,001 - $1,500,000

4.1%

Over $1,500,000

1.9%

 

Over the same period, the greatest growth in volume of sales has been between $500,000 and $750,000 as follows:

 

2014 year to date:

Price Bracket

% increse of sale volume 2014 vs 2013

0 - $300,000

30%

$300,001 - $500,000

27%

$500,001 - $750,000

36%

$750,001 - $1,000,000

11.5%

$1,000,001 - $1,500,000

4%

Over $1,500,000

16%

 

While the stronger sales volume is building confidence prices have not grown in all suburbs. Our Valuers have given a snapshot of the territories of the Gold Coast they specialise in below.

 

Tweed Heads

Overall, the general feel in the Tweed region is a positive one. Market conditions have been quite strong in the area since the beginning of 2014 and there seems to be a lot more positivity in the air.

 

There also appears to be more buyers in the market actively seeking residential property, being both investors and owner-occupiers. This is because of the record low interest rates and the relatively cheap housing prices. 

 

The under $500,000 price bracket across the board is the best performing sector in the Tweed market. Local agents advise of very strong buyer demand for both houses and units under $500,000, often selling properties within a week of listing. We have seen the coastal areas such and Kingscliff, Casuarina, Cabarita Beach and Pottsville experience increases in value since the beginning of the year.

 

The market in the Tweed region could be described as somewhat overheated. It will be interesting to see what happens to the property market if interest rates were to rise at the end of the year. We may see a slowdown in buyer activity and possibly a slight decrease in value levels in those coastal areas which are currently ‘running hot’.There are definitely areas of the market which should be treated with caution. A prime example of this is the land market in Casuarina and Salt which is currently flying. We have seen an increase in land values of up to 20% from 18 months ago. If interest rates were to rise, I predict this market to slow considerably.

 

M1 North Western

Confidence seems to be on the rise in the region. Sale prices since the start of the year are showing growth, particularly in the sub $500,000 price point for both new and existing dwellings. Owner-occupiers are becoming more impatient and worried about missing out on a preferred property hence we often see premiums being paid. For investors, particularly those from interstate the Gold Coast market is representing comparatively good value hence it is in hot demand. Agents are reporting sales generally within seven to 14 days. In a growing number of instances properties are being sold prior to being listed on the internet.

 

Notably, the sub-$350,000 price point in Tamborine Mountain is showing signs of mild decline, the reasons for which are unclear. The market has suffered significant declines since the GFC and was starting to show promise, however lower value sales are demonstrating a softening at the lower end.

 

Anecdotally, the market appears to be at risk of peaking too quickly with a steep downward curve. With interest rates being at low levels, purchasers are given a false sense of confidence. As employment and infrastructure remain fairly weak it is difficult to comprehend what is underpinning the rise in prices other than low interest rates. The worry is that history will repeat itself when interest rates firm again.

 

While lifestyle properties are currently very popular resulting in strong prices, this market is at risk of significant fluctuations should rates rise. Areas such as Wongawallan, Maudsland and Willow Vale have seen steady growth particularly in land values, however this has the potential to be short lived.

 

 

Northern Gold Coast
The overall feel of the property market is quite buoyant and has continued to improve throughout
2014.

 

The property market under the $850,000 price point is on the move on the Gold Coast. Paradise Point, Southport, Labrador and Ashmore are the areas that have shown the most improvement in the past five months, with these suburbs having a general positive feel about them. The unit market is moving in a positive direction but at a slower pace. Overall the property market in the $850,000 and under is on the move in a positive direction but has begun to level out in the past two to three weeks on the northern central Gold Coast.

 

I think the growth in the property market is sustainable to a degree, but will fluctuate in the coming years.Hope Island vacant land market needs to be treated with caution as the market has jumped up by 25% in some cases in the past 14 months, as illustrated by the sale below. The growth cannot be sustainable at that level:

 

• 2209 Taromeo Ct, Hope Island. Under contract for $900,000, April 2014. The lot previous sold in February 2013 for $720,000 reflecting approximately a 25% increase.

 

Overall the market on the northern central Gold Coast is trending in a positive direction with
increased sales volume and price increases at this mid-year point. People should consider that the Gold Coast property market is volatile.

 

 

Central

Market activity continues to be strong in the more central areas of the Gold Coast, particularly for residential property below the $1 million level. Real estate agents are commenting that a shortage of stock levels is creating some urgency in the marketplace and in many cases properties are selling within a week of being listed for sale.

 

Detached housing in suburbs such as Broadbeach Waters, Isle of Capri, Sorrento, Benowa and Robina is currently highly sought after and buyers looking to purchase in these spots will need to be prepared to make quick decisions or they will miss the opportunity. There is also an increasing trend where the buyer is paying list price just so they don’t miss out and do not want to waste time knowing that there are many other buyers prepared to negotiate quickly!

 

Sales activity for waterfront property in Broadbeach Waters and Sorrento has been very strong in the past couple months and there is no sign of demand and market activity easing anytime soon. Value levels have risen quite sharply in the past six to 12 months and buyers should be cautious that it may be difficult to find a property where they negotiate hard on the price.

 

"The entry level price for an older style 3-bedroom dwelling with canal frontage in Sorrento appears to range between $650,000 and $700,000."

 

Again, agents have reported that there have been quite a few canal font properties which have been auctioned in the past month and selling under the hammer. As for waterfront property in Broadbeach Waters, buyers will most likely find it difficult to secure any detached housing with canal frontage below the $600,000 as an entry level price. Buyers are also showing confidence in the market over the $1 million level in Broadbeach Waters which was not that prevalent in early 2013.

 

The unit market in the central areas of the Gold Coast continues to be steady and investors will more likely find a bargain buy in this sector at the moment rather than buying a detached house. There appears to be a good selection of stock available in all price ranges.

 

****

 

May 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

Central and Northern Gold Coast

Over the past 12 months the number of first home buyers in the central Gold Coast is fairly moderate however we are aware of first home owners buying to the western suburbs and generally to the cheaper estate pockets such as Parkwood, Helensvale, Arundel and Coombabah. We are also aware of some entering into the market by buying lower end units in the Southport and Labrador area. A typical first home buyer may have a price point of circa $175,000 to $400,000. However an investor could have a price point of say $500,000 or even $1 million plus in some cases.

 

In the northern Gold Coast first home buyers are leaning towards house and land packages. A strong market has made existing homes less affordable and this has made building more attractive. A typical price point for a first home owner building on the northern Gold Coast would be $380,000 to $430,000. As per usual it depends on the estate, the land size, house size, etc. but a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house on a 450 square metre lot in a new estate would be priced at $400,000. In the past few years first home owners have been better off buying an existing home but due to a stronger market many first home owners are leaning towards building.

 

The unit market in central areas close to the beach has been subdued for a number of years with a recent firming in price levels. This appears to be driven mainly by investors. In this market under $350,000 first home buyers are competing with the investor with agents reporting the investor is wary of higher body corporate fees which drive down the net return on investment. Stand-alone housing in the central areas (such as Mermaid Waters, Broadbeach Waters, Bundall and Benowa) has firmed in recent months for entry level housing rising from the high $300,000s to very low $400,000s into the mid to high $400,000s with first home buyers being driven out to the more outlying suburbs such as Nerang, Gilston and Carrara where it is still possible to get a home for under $400,000.

 

First home buyers are competing with the investor market, however typical investors often have higher points price points. Generally the central Gold Coast is becoming quite heated and is now a sellers’ market with properties selling quickly and buyers competing to secure deals. This is currently putting significant upward pressure on values. Investors are clearly winning with many not having to get finance pre approval (i.e cash buyers, foreign and interstate buyers).

 

It should be pointed out that a lot of interstate and Chinese buyers are buying house and land packages on the northern Gold Coast for investment purposes. Sydney buyers are taking advantage of their increased equity in a strong Sydney market and purchasing in a cheaper Gold Coast market, compared to Sydney. While this is placing upward pressure on demand, local buyers can still enter this northern corridor market due to building costs been fairly stable and land values in this area only increasing marginally. There is enough englobo land and new estates getting developed in the northern corridor to cater for the increased demand from both first homebuyers and investors.

 

In summary, investors are winning the race in central Gold Coast but in the northern corridor we believe first home owners are still competing with the inflow of funds from investors.

 

In Gilston there have been recent increases in activity for house and land packages both to local first home buyers and non local investors. In general the non local investor is paying more both for the land and for the building contract. For example two sites in the same estate recently sold. The first was to a non local investor who for $476,500 purchased 146 square metres of living area in a 4-bedroom; 2-bathroom house with double garage on a sloping 600 square metre block. The local for $473,000 purchased a more level 700 square metre site with a 213 square metres of living space, 4-bedroom house with double garage without landscaping or fencing. In this instance the local was a clear winner. However the land cost was higher due to non-local investor activity.

 

First home buyers are fairly active throughout the Gold Coast, however the confidence and expectations have taken a hit in recent times due to the strong market. For example take a standard 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in a suburb such as Ashmore or Parkwood. If this sort of property was placed on the market about 12months ago for say $450,000, then you would expect moderate interest with maybe one or two offers 5% below the asking price in a one to two month period after listing. Now however one could list that same property for $475,000 and you would expect a lot of interest with multiple offers very close to the asking price within two to three weeks of listing.

 

First home buyers are defiantly still in the market place but due to upward pressure on demand and prices some have been priced out of the market or are waiting for things to cool off.

 

While grants help first home buyers and those that build, we believe that under the current framework the values of typical grants are often lost by over inflated developer land sales. However the grants available do assist first home owners and without them we would see a fall off in demand in places such as the northern Gold Coast where many first home owners are now buying and building.

 

The first home buyer market will be stimulated by greater employment opportunities and higher salary levels in the area (i.e. improvement in local economy). 

 

• Open up grants to existing properties;
• Raise the gran;t
• Axe stamp duty charges.

 

We have seen first home buyers joining or syndicating together to buy their first property to try and help raise more funds to buy completed product as they compete with investors and drive prices up.

 

With house and land packages, the first home buyers are opting for less in the contract i.e. they might choose to supply the appliance at a cheaper price, or opt out of the fencing or landscaping or floor coverings, etc. to reduce the initial cost to get into the market and aim to complete these items over time.

 

Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast

Across the southern Gold Coast suburbs investors are favouring the higher yield low to medium end units towards the beachside suburbs around the $200,000 to $400,000 mark.

 

First home buyers are generally wanting a house at entry level around the $350,000 to $500,000 mark on the western side of the highway in locations such as Reedy Creek and Elanora. Both investors and first home buyers have been active in the northern NSW coastal subdivisions within Kingscliff, Casuarina and Pottsville. The rental returns are steady and the lifestyle (excluding the commute) is family and beach orientated. Both completed homes and house and land packages are similar in price to Coomera which has the same commute time to work but is 30 minutes from the beach.

 

First home buyers appear more active at present. This is possibly a result of pent up demand while nervously observing the market and looking for the bottom with the market being depressed for so long, this recent spike in sales we have experienced has persuaded them to jump in and join the wave of activity.

 

The media has contributed in creating this recent jump in the market with a lot of talk about the market turning. However across the southern Gold Coast suburbs, signs indicate that this jump over the last few months is slowing down.

 

The run of short weeks, Easter and school holidays may again lead to a build up of sales for May which is generally the busiest valuation month we experience.

 

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April 2014

Opinion by Nicole Marsh - Buyers Agent and Business Owner - Eureka Property Buyers Agents

 

Gold Coast
Among other drivers of the market, the strengthening Brisbane property market has influenced the Gold Coast property sector with investors looking to the Gold Coast for a good investment that is set to strengthen.

 

Demand for most residential asset classes has firmed, however, it is apparent many property owners who are re-financing have expectations that values have increased. Unfortunately this is not the case in most bar the inner sought after suburbs, and in part, is a result of public mis-interpretation of sometimes overly positive media and/or agent information.

 

Interestingly there has been a decline in property listings which has created increased buyer demand and on occasion, offers over the listed price. Prospective buyers have less power to negotiate the listed price while agents are experiencing shorter marketing periods. Agents also report that in some instances vendor are increasing the asking price of their properties mid-campaign which is jeopardising potential sales.

 

The first home buyer market (houses sub $500,000) is particularly active at the moment where it is not uncommon for properties to sell within 24 hrs of being on the market, and with multiple offers. These vendors are then upgrading to the $500,000 ++ range and this is putting upward pressure on the higher price brackets. 

 

The Gold Coast rental market is tightening and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures show vacancy rates have fallen from 2.2% in September 2013 to 1.9% in December 2013. This is mainly due to the strong population growth and job growth in the construction and tourism industries making new accommodation high in demand. The upcoming Commonwealth Games have also created new jobs within the infrastructure industry. 

 

Local agents are reporting that they are seeing signs of strengthening demand for residential housing in the central areas of the Gold Coast and sales activity has improved considerably over the past six to 12 months. It appears that a lack of listed stock and increased buyer activity is putting upward pressure on property values in some locations.

 

Some of the areas which seem to be fairly sought after or could be considered as ‘hot spots’ at the moment are Burleigh Waters, Broadbeach Waters, Isle of Capri and Benowa. Residential dwellings in these suburbs have traditionally always been in good demand, however, at this point in time, local agents have noted that opportunities to purchase a home are quite limited for buyers and it is quite evident that demand is heavily outweighing supply. Due to the strong interest in these areas, it almost appears that finding a ‘bargain buy’ might be quite difficult.

 

In general, most property classes from Mermaid Beach to Main Beach have improved in demand recently with the exception being detached housing over the $1.25 million level and highrise units over$850,000. Buyers seeking property in this price range seem to have more time to assess the market and conduct out their own research prior to entering negotiations. 

 

From an investment perspective, investors are preferring to purchase affordable units in the beachside locations. The typical entry level for a second-hand 2-bedroom unit can range between $250,000 and $350,000 within Surfers Paradise. The market for new units has struggled over the 
past few years but seems to be stabilising due to the limited stock available now.

 

The options for investors in the northern boating/Broadwater suburbs are many and varied, limited only by the borrowing capacity of the individual investor. Most property classes are experiencing good levels of demand with the only exception being higher density development of lowrise and mediumrise apartments around Hope Island, Paradise Point, Hollywell and Runaway Bay. There is some hope for these types of units, however, stock levels remain uncomfortably high.

 

The looming completion of the Gold Coast light rail and recent opening of the new Gold Coast regional hospital has focussed the attention of many investors around the hospital precinct (which is also to contain the upcoming Commonwealth Games athlete’s village) and along the route of the light rail. Astute investors have been paying up to $300,000 to $350,000 for duplex units and $425,000 for modern townhouses and villas in these areas. Housing is being purchased in a wide price range depending on age and quality, generally up to $500,000. There may some cheaper properties still available however most vendors are well aware of the growing demand and are able to achieve good prices.

 

Second home buyers have a good choice of property depending on their requirements. Most growing families needing room for children etc., if looking for a bigger yard and a more bedrooms will have to be prepared to pay between $450,000 to $700,000 for a detached house built from 1990 onwards in the Coombabah-Hollywell-Runaway Bay areas. Cheaper and older housing is available in Labrador-Biggera Waters-Southport areas with more emphasis needed on potential renovation and/or extensions. For more well healed second home buyers, Hope Island offers
good quality housing for a price.

 

The housing sector is currently outperforming the unit sector within the affordable Northern M1 Gold Coast to Brisbane Corridor.

 

A good example of this is a semi-modern dwelling in Eagleby is expected to achieve a price range of $300,000 to $330,000 with a rental range of $360 to $390 per week. Agents have also experienced dwellings above the $500,000 price range starting to trade up within areas such as Eagleby, Mount Warren Park and Beenleigh.

 

Sale contracts sighted indicate that first home owners are purchasing dwellings in the $350,000 to $450,000 in Oxenford, Maudsland, Upper Coomera, Eagle Heights / Mount Tamborine and undertaking new builds to the same levels mainly in Upper Coomera, Oxenford and Willow Vale. Interestingly the new builds tend to be on smaller lots (circa 400 square metres and smaller).

 

In the second home buyer market, acreage is very popular with existing homes generally achieving $550,000 upwards depending on land contour, dwelling size, condition and extent of ancillary improvements eg pool, tennis court, paddocks, dressage arenas, stables, dams, bores. Those purchasing land on which to build see blocks typically ranging from $350,000 to $500,000. Once dwellings and ancillaries are added to the land purchase extent values can comfortably top $800,000 plus. For standard dwellings, those upsizing tend to be spending $530,000 plus now, with recent sales showing circa $630,000 which would have been
unheard of even 18 months ago.

 

Investors are demonstrating a preference toward re-sale, secondhand properties. This price point ranges from the early $200,000 to circa $450,000. Townhouses and villas are more affordable (body corporate levy dependant) but re-sale duplexes and dwellings appear more sought after. Many of the investors are from outside the Gold Coast with a perception that the value for money appears to be significantly better than in their markets. Locals tend to shop for the more affordable duplexes and dwellings inside the M1, so closer to employment and the beaches. 

 

Generally speaking, prices are growing steadily at present, however, all buyers should not feel pressured to “buy or miss out”. Making a poor choice out of haste is not the way to go.