Queensland is without question one of the most popular holiday destinations for those in the colder south of the country. The weather, the lifestyle and the spectacular natural attractions have made it a globally recognised paradise and for good reason. So why keep struggling to buy a tiny and expensive piece of land in a southern city when buying property in Queensland offers so much variety and opportunity?
The diversity alone is enough to keep you busy searching for weeks – Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast? The beaches of Far North Queensland, or the rugged outback in the centre of the state? Your choice will of course come down to personal preference and budget, but a good start would be to look at those areas currently forging ahead where property is concerned and right now the hottest ticket you can buy is to the Gold Coast.
Tourism has long been the foundation industry for the Queensland economy and the Gold Coast can definitely take some of the credit for the state’s success in this area. Infrastructure and facilities have improved considerably over the last decade and the ever-expanding skyline continues to be populated with new chic apartment towers, helping the coast move away from its long-held image of being only a destination for schoolies and low budget family holidays.
These major developments, have certainly improved the Gold Coast’s appeal, a fact not overlooked when it was chosen as the host city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. As is the case with any major event, the Gold Coast is now undergoing a major makeover and will be transformed in a practical sense to accommodate the games crowds. The event will last just a few weeks though so much of the development has life beyond the games in mind for the region. The popular Pacific Fair shopping complex is being expanded, as is Jupiter’s Casino. Most notable though is the multimillion dollar Gold Coast Light Rail project that has just moved into stage 2 of construction and is on track to be completed in time for the games. The major works are providing the city with some long-awaited updates, as well as a host of new jobs, opportunities and undoubtedly a boost to the economy that will pan out well beyond the games.
This has already started to manifest in greater demand for housing in and around the Gold Coast, with median house and unit prices rising and rental demand also peaking. Property analytics group CoreLogic recently published figures in a piece about the rising values in regional areas. It stated that the Gold Coast is currently experiencing more rapid growth than Brisbane and demand from southern buyers looking for lifestyle properties has contributed to the increase. Median house values on the Gold Coast showed an increase of 7.5% in the last 12 months, and median unit values increased by 6.2%.
David Hamilton, Director of First National Palm Beach, The Pines & Burleigh has been tracking the impact of all of this action over the last twelve months and says things are busier than ever. “All the construction has been underway for a year or more. Now it’s hard to get tradespeople, so there’s plenty of work around for those looking for jobs.” The increased flow of cash through the community is also making buyers bolder it seems. “There are so many people with jobs now, that the high mortgages aren’t frightening them” says David. “A couple in their 30’s will saddle up for a $600k plus mortgage and still manage to go out and spend.” Locals aren’t the only ones getting on board either. With more and more buyers getting priced out of the southern inner-city markets, the relaxed lifestyle and great climate of the Gold Coast has become a hot option. David explains, “right now we have people from Sydney and Melbourne prepared to buy here sight unseen because they think it’s cheap and love that we’re so close to the beach”.
For those not wanting to relocate themselves, there is no better time than now it seems to invest in a rental property on the Gold Coast. With low vacancy rates across the board, increased rents and queues of tenants waiting for available properties, you barely have to lift a finger to make a tidy little profit on a Gold Coast investment. First National Palm Beach, The Pines and Burleigh are working at full speed to keep up with the demand, with more than 1,000 enquires logged for the month of August and almost 300 people inspecting the 15 properties that were let that month.
“The rental market is tight, with low vacancy rates and rents are up across the board. Demand for properties is really high and rents are increasing in line with property values,” says David. “There are lots of people looking, record numbers of opens and we are processing record numbers of people every month.” Property Manager Dot Hamilton also commented on the increased activity. “We have properties at the moment that we have already processed and approved tenants for and those rentals haven’t even been listed yet. Our team is spending a lot of their time looking for new properties for the rental market.”
Buyers have their pick of idyllic locations on the Gold Coast – from the hinterland to the sea and everything in between - and a relatively small population to share it with (around 600K for the greater Gold Coast region). If you are unfamiliar with the Gold Coast then book yourself a holiday immediately and start exploring! Failing that you can also contact any of the Gold Coast First National offices for advice about buying property in Queensland. They can advise you on the local market and provide tips on where to look, what the lifestyle options are, and how quickly you can get your mail redirected to paradise.