They may quote slightly different numbers, but real estate market watchers seem to agree that the Sunshine Coast is starting to feel some of the heat from the Lower Mainland’s exploding housing prices.
Some analysts have also suggested the Sunshine Coast market, as well as markets in places like Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Victoria, is being driven by more than just high demand. They’ve seen a demographic shift, as aging baby boomers “cash out” of their high-priced Lower Mainland properties.
Gary Little, a real estate agent who’s been closely tracking Sunshine Coast market statistics since 2009, says that matches what he’s seeing.
“In general, most of my clients tend to be in their 50s or more,” Little said. “That’s actually been quite common for some time. But I can tell you the last few deals I’ve done, the clients came from Vancouver, Port Moody, Delta and North Vancouver.”
Little also believes it’s driving up prices to their highest levels in years, with more properties going for prices above asking than before.
“They [Vancouver-based buyers] came over here and sort of caught us by surprise. They initially took up the best properties and the inventory goes down. And, there’s more people coming and they’ve got money, so it drives the prices up … I see it day-to-day,” Little said.
“What we’re seeing now is the asking price is starting to inch up, we’re seeing activity, we’re seeing quick sales.”
Realtor Kenan MacKenzie told Coast Reporter his experience has been a little different. He said he’s definitely seen a spike in activity, high prices and even bidding wars. But he’s not convinced older baby boomers selling expensive Vancouver real estate and using the profits to buy here is the biggest reason behind it.
MacKenzie said he’s seen younger buyers bypassing the overheated Lower Mainland market altogether and looking to the Sunshine Coast for more affordable options, and the hottest market segment is properties under $500,000. MacKenzie also said other factors are coming together to drive the Coast market higher.
“I think we’ve set ourselves up for the perfect storm,” he noted. “We have Chinese investors on the Sunshine Coast who have bought into business and are buying homes to live here, you’ve got young people trying to move [here], you’ve got the boomers trying to move [here], you’ve got Americans potentially coming back into the marketplace.”
Both men agree that the market conditions are unprecedented and it’s largely a case of simple supply and demand. MacKenzie and Little estimate the stock of detached homes on the market right now is about 300, which is fewer than needed to fill the needs of potential buyers.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s latest numbers show the benchmark price of single-family detached home on the Sunshine Coast hit $399,600 in February, up 13.8 per cent over last year. Little uses a slightly different method to crunch the data, and his analysis shows a median price (meaning half of the sales were higher and half lower) of $451,000 in February, with a “12-month rolling average” of $427,026. No matter which number you use, it’s a significant increase.
“In 21 years as a realtor I’ve never seen a market as active as we have now, because basically there’s more buyers than we have product for,” MacKenzie said.
According to Little, one key difference between the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast markets is the motivation of the buyers. He said the fears over speculation being seen in the Vancouver area aren’t being reflected here.
“They’re actually moving, I don’t think we’re seeing any speculation over here. I don’t think anybody’s buying over here and saying, ‘I’m going to sell again in three months for more money,’” Little said. “Most people are coming over here to live.”
While an influx of buyers of any sort is good news for people with property to sell, the possibility that the trend-behind-the-trend is accelerating the growth of the 60-plus demographic on the Sunshine Coast creates challenges.
Projections from BC Stats say the proportion of people over 60 on the Sunshine Coast will hit 39 per cent by the end of this year, compared to 33 per cent in 2011. By contrast, the percentage of people 30 to 59 is expected to drop from 41 per cent in 2011 to 36 per cent by the end of this year.
Anne Titcomb of the Sunshine Coast Seniors Planning Table told Coast Reporter the demographic shift is something recent Vital Signs reports have predicted, and getting ready for it was one of the reasons the Planning Table was formed.
Titcomb said while the obvious impact is a need for more services for seniors and planning approaches that take an aging population into account, the change could also affect the younger demographic the area is trying to attract.
“With the rise in the cost of housing that seems to be happening here now, I worry about the tipping of the scale – it’s never good to have a big imbalance in population – but I’m more worried about the ‘worker bees’ being able to afford housing now,” Titcomb said.
“We want to have people available to support seniors.”
That’s a worry for MacKenzie, too. As increased demand leads to more construction, he said, builders could see a shortage of workers in the trades, and those who move here to fill the gap could have a hard time affording homes.
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10 QLD suburbs that smashed records in 2017/18
THEY are the state’s high achievers.
The suburbs that have outperformed their peers in the residential property stakes; breaking records for sale price, number of sales, days on market or for smashing through the million-dollar median price ceiling.
Benchmarks have been beaten in blue-chip areas like Ascot, Sunshine Beach and Surfers Paradise, as well as suburbs on the rise, including Kalinga and Underwood.
Records were smashed in at least 10 suburbs across the state in the past 12 months— an indicator of a shortage of stock and increase in demand in a number of competitive markets.
Here are some of Queensland’s benchmark busters of 2017/18:
The standout record-breaker in Brisbane was the sale of the trophy home of Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij in Ascot.
The $11 million sale price of 27 Sutherland Avenue in March set a new record for the inner-city, blue-chip suburb.
It was also Brisbane’s highest sale of the past financial year.
Patrick McKinnon of Place Ascot, formerly of Coronis Hamilton, brokered the deal and said Mr Meij sold after receiving an off-market offer from a buyer who had fallen in love with the property.
Set on a sprawling 2024 sqm, the lavish home has six bedrooms, six marble ensuites and a jaw-dropping outdoor entertaining space with resort-style gardens, infinity-edge pool, pool house with outdoor kitchen and verandas.
The fastest selling suburb in Queensland is Brendale in the Moreton Bay region, where the median house price is still an affordable $461,000.
It takes, on average, just 11 days to find a buyer, according to CoreLogic.
According to the latest Census data only 14.5 per cent of properties in the suburb are houses. With so few houses available, demand can be strong when something new is listed.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland suburb had the highest number of houses change hands in 2017/18, with 573 houses selling in the 12 months to May, according to CoreLogic.
The owners of a majestic property at 10 Orme Rd, Buderim, that once hosted royalty have embarked on a new push to sell it.
With all the focus on the royal newlyweds of late, it’s only fitting this heritage-listed Queenslander now holds extra appeal, given it was the residence of choice for the Duke of Gloucester during a royal visit in 1934.
The grand residence on 6315 sqm was built circa 1913 on the highest point of the northern slope of Mt Buderim, overlooking the Maroochy coast and river valley.
This Gold Coast suburb made the million dollar club for the first time in 2017/18, with its median house price now $1.05 million.
The sale of a waterfront mansion at 8-10 Marseilles Court this year for $9 million also broke the suburb’s sale price record — trumping the $8 million sale achieved in 2009 for a house in the same street.
The resort-style home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms and is on a huge, 2703 sqm riverfront block.
REIQ Gold Coast Zone chairman Andrew Henderson said the new record was not surprising given the Coast’s strong market and he was confident property values would continue to soar.
Andrew Stone and his partner, Naomi Freney, recently bought a five-bedroom house, which they renovated, in Bundall for $620,000.
Mr Stone said he considered it a bargain given how tightly-held the suburb had become and the increase in house prices.
“I think we probably hit pot luck with that place,” Mr Stone said.
“People had been saying that area was going to go up 20 years ago and all of a sudden, it’s growing and there’s not a lot of turnover anymore.”
Ben Latimer of LJ Hooker Southport said Bundall’s transformation into a record-breaking suburb had happened gradually.
“It’s desirable because it’s so close to everything and there’s a good mixture of waterfront and dry blocks,” he said.
Paul Nikolas agrees.
He’s been buying, renovating and selling homes in Bundall for the past six years.
The last house he sold there earned him a profit of around $700,000.
He’s now selling his latest project at 19 Donegal Crescent for a cool $3.995 million.
“I’ve found a niche market here — nice, older properties on the water,” Mr Nikolas said.
The inner Brisbane suburb achieved a new sale price record when a landmark house sold for $5.025 million just last month.
Designed by architect Eric Trewern, the English-inspired home known as Thongabel at 4 Welwyn Crescent captures views of the entire Brisbane City skyline.
The five-bedroom, three storey house had been renovated with architectural features including Tulip Oak timber floors, Italian tiles and travertine.
Other highlights included a library, gym, climate controlled wine cellar, formal office, heated lap pool, heated horizon spa and outdoor space for kids to play.
Just 4km from the CBD and with a number of good Catholic and private schools on offer, Coorparoo has become one of Brisbane’s most sought-after suburbs.
The median house price sits at $875,000, according to CoreLogic.
The tiny, up-and-coming suburb in Brisbane’s inner north made it into the million dollar club for the first time in 2017/18.
Its median house price broke through the $1 million barrier in late 2017 and currently sits at $1.04 million.
In November, 2017, records show the offmarket sale of a house at 119 Nelson Street for $4 million set a new price record for the suburb.
Brisbane’s bayside is a sleeping giant only held back by lack of stock, according to one of Manly’s leading agents.
The suburb set a new sale price record for both houses and units in the past financial year.
Marc Sorrentino of Place Manly recently sold a unit in the seaside suburb for a whopping $1.2 million — smashing the previous record price paid for an apartment there by $345,000.
A couple from Sydney snapped up the luxurious three-bedroom, two-bathroom pad at 301/177 Melville Terrace, which had been advertised for offers over $1.1 million.
The median unit price in Manly, just 15km from Brisbane’s CBD, is $485,000, according to property research firm CoreLogic.
Late last year, Mr Sorrentino sold a family home on a huge, waterfront block at 497 Royal Esplanade for $3.9 million — smashing the suburb record for the sale price of a house.
“I keep saying it’s Australia’s best kept secret, but you watch. The prices are just going to keep going up and up and up,” he said.
“There’s just been a lack of good stock.”
The sale of a beach house in Sunshine Beach for $18 million in March set a new price record for the entire Sunshine Coast region.
The seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom property at 21-23 Webb Road was bought by David Russell, the owner of private equity group Equis Energy.
Just streets away, former tennis star Pat Rafter’s beachfront home sold for $15.2 million to Betty’s Burger founder David Hales, within weeks of the Webb Road sale.
A whopping 1398 units were sold in the Gold Coast’s glitziest suburb in the past financial year — more than any other property type in any other suburb.
It seems only fitting then that the most expensive penthouse Queensland has ever seen is under construction in Surfers Paradise.
Priced at a whopping $41m and spread across two full floor levels, the highest home in the $1.2 billion Spirit 89 building easily tops the list of Queensland’s most expensive penthouses.
The 1899sq m sky home will also be one of the largest in the country, almost twice as large as Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung’s $7.95 shell of a penthouse in the Soul building, and just a fifth smaller than the hyper-exclusive Boyd Residence above ANZ Tower in Sydney — which at $66m is Australia’s most expensive penthouse.
“Without the spire on Q1, it is the tallest residential building in Queensland,” agent Julian Sutherland of Ray White Projects told The Courier-Mail.
The working class suburb in Brisbane’s south experienced the highest capital growth in Queensland in the past 12 months.
The Logan suburb’s median house price climbed nearly 25 per cent to $601,345 in the past financial year.
Underwood’s median house price also jumped a massive 65.6 per cent between May 2008 and May this year — the highest growth of any Brisbane suburb in the past decade.
CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher told The Courier-Mail it was “a bit surprising” given the suburb’s location, 17km from Brisbane’s CBD, but its affordability and access to the highway and Gold Coast made it attractive.
“But its median (house) price is now up over $600,000, so it’s not really that cheap anymore,” Mr Kusher said.
SEQ begins big push for a billion-dollar City Deal
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Treasurer Jackie Trad are pushing for a City Deal for south-east Queensland.
Photo: AAP/Dan Peled
Political delays dogging infrastructure projects will be history if talks on Tuesday morning cement a new billion-dollar 15-year City Deal for south-east Queensland between all three levels of government.
Such a deal could benefit 3 million people catching trains and buses, driving on highways, building businesses, looking for housing, and finding school and universities between the Sunshine and Gold coasts and west to Toowoomba.
Deputy premier Jackie Trad and Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk will on Tuesday morning outline how close the 10 south-east Queensland councils – Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley – are to signing Australia’s largest City Deal with the federal government.
Australia now has three City Deals backed by the federal government: Townsville (2016), Launceston (April 2017) and Western Sydney (March 2018).
Cr Quirk, the chairman of Council of Mayors (SEQ) that represents the region’s local governments, described a City Deal for the area as “a dramatic change”.
“The power of aligning the efforts of all levels of government and securing a long-term program of investment in our region will be a game changer,” Cr Quirk said.
“For the first time, all levels of government will be working in unison to protect and enhance the prosperity and liveability of south-east Queensland.”
Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk begins a campaign for a City Deal funding package for 10 councils on Tuesday morning.
Photo: Fairfax Media
A City Deal binds the three levels of government — federal, state and local — as a group to agree to a 15-year rolling funding program of infrastructure projects that a fast-growing region needs.
As projects provide a lift in land value, that financial uplift is identified, captured and then re-invested into the infrastructure funding pool, under a model first identified in Manchester in 2012 and then in Brisbane in 2014.
In April 2018, Cr Quirk and Ms Trad met the federal government’s new Cities and Urban Infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher, when they first put forward the SEQ City Deal.
All parties described those 2018 talks as “positive”.
Cr Quirk and Ms Trad will begin the public push for the SEQ City Deal at a business breakfast at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.
“We secured Australia’s first ever City Deal in Townsville, which is paying dividends with projects like the North Queensland Stadium, delivered through the City Deal,” Ms Trad said.
“That is under construction and on track to be open for the start of the 2020 NRL season.”
Townsville’s City Deal is a 15-year arrangement, while Launceston’s is a five-year deal and Western Sydney’s is a 20-year deal.
The federal government is tipped to announce City Deals for Geelong and Darwin by September 2018, allowing planners to work on Hobart, Perth and south-east Queensland over 18 months.
How could it help?
It locks in project funds over 15 to 20 years, moving them away from political promises, which are subject to election outcomes. It could remove election squabbling over the same project.
It sets out a timetable for projects allowing the private sector to invest more confidently.
It could help the next generation of infrastructure projects, after the Pacific Motorway, Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro projects were all delayed by politics, angering voters.
It has also been mentioned as a way of funding Moreton Bay’s new university campus at Petrie and breathing life into the Brisbane River’s Resilient Rivers proposal.
What is Townsville’s experience after 18 months?
The Townsville City Deal was signed on December 9, 2016. It is a 15-year agreement.
Work has begun on stage two of the 25,000-seat $250 million North Queensland Stadium. It will be finished for the 2020 rugby league season. It is funded by the federal and state governments, and Townsville City Council.
The Queensland government has promised $250 million for new water supply for Townsville.
A business case for new Townsville Port facilities is almost finished and the Queensland government has pledged $75 million for port upgrade.
Townville mayor Jenny Hill said choosing the right projects was essential to make a City Deal effective.
“The City Deal provides a roadmap for delivery that breaks the political cycle so it is very important to choose the right projects or areas for reform that will make the biggest difference to a city or region,” Cr Hill said.
“All three levels of government also need to buy into the key priorities of the local area that are included in any City Deal.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill on top of Castle Hill with Townsville in the background.
SEQ City Deal – the background
- May 2012: Co-funding model idea began in United Kingdom.
- June 2015: Queensland prepares its own case for City Deals after Ms Trad looked at the UK City Deals idea in Manchester.
- 2016: Council of Mayors (SEQ), Queensland Property Council and the Queensland government put a plan together.
- November 2016: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed a memorandum of understanding with prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in November 2016 to develop “tailored City Deals” for Queensland.
- February 2017: Ms Trad and Cr Quirk wrote to then-federal cities minister Angus Taylor, agreeing to a joint submission.
- Late 2017: A Cities Transformation TaskForce established in Brisbane.
- June 2018: Queensland’s major contractors called for a City Deal.
Interstate migrants are moving to QLD … but they’re not coming to Brisbane
Less than 5 per cent of interstate migrants during the 2016-2017 financial year settled in Brisbane, according to data from the ABS. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Interstate migration to Queensland is booming but analysis shows most new residents are bypassing Brisbane for other regions in the Sunshine State.
Buyers’ agency Propertyology analysed ABS data, which showed there were 17,246 internal migrations to Queensland in 2016-17. But out of those, only 846 relocated to Brisbane, which equates to less than 5 per cent.
Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said the lion’s share went to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Cairns, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim.
“We’ve read a lot about interstate migration to Queensland lately and it’s been growing each year, which is great,” he said.
“The thing is, people automatically think Queensland means Brisbane but when you actually look closely at the numbers, they tell a very different story.”
As a proportion of total population growth over 2016-17, the biggest beneficiaries of interstate migration were Tasmania (22.5 per cent) and Queensland (21.9 per cent).
House prices in the regions with the most internal migrations have mainly increased — house prices on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts have increased by 7.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively over the past 12 months — although Mr Pressley said the correlation between population growth and house price growth was often overstated.
“I know logically it makes sense — if an area has a big surge in population, house prices should go up — but there’s much more to it than that,” he said.
“Jobs growth is a lot more important than population growth, so is wage growth, [and] affordability is also extremely important.”
REIQ Gold Coast zone chair Andrew Henderson said each of those factors was connected and all had contributed to the Gold Coast’s house price success in recent years.
“Our local economy is strong but it’s also changed. We’re no longer solely reliant on the tourism industry. The diversity of our job offering has changed,” he said.
“With new infrastructure like universities and hospitals, we’ve got people moving here from interstate into jobs who would have never been able to move here 10, 20 years ago.
“So the age of the people we’ve got moving here has also changed. We’ve always had a lot of retirees but we’ve noticed a surge in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s – people moving their whole families up here. Around Mermaid Waters and Clear Island Waters there’s a really strong southern presence.”
Andrew Campbell of Ray White Redcliffe said the influx of interstate migrants buying up locally in the Moreton Bay region had become apparent more recently.
“We noticed a dip in the interstaters for a while but recently they’ve started to come back and it’s about affordability. All the properties around that median price are really moving so quickly,” he said.
Domain Group figures show the median house price in Moreton Bay is $456,000.
“There’s a lot of first-home buyers who fly up here for the weekend from Sydney. They know they can’t afford to buy there so they’re moving here because they see you can buy a house for under $500,000, get the lifestyle and still only have to drive 40 minutes to work in Brisbane,” Mr Campbell said.
But Mr Pressley said interstate migrants were being “pushed” to Queensland, rather “pulled” as they were during the mining boom.
“People have always wanted to come to Queensland because of the good lifestyle, weather and affordable housing,” he said.
“In the past they came for those things but also because we created more jobs year after year than everyone else. Now, we’re not dragging here through job growth, they’re coming here by default.
“To me, that’s why interstate migration hasn’t translated into property prices yet … and that’s why only minimal people have gone to Brisbane.
“I anticipate that in the next 12 months we’re going to see another really strong year of interstate migration into Queensland; if our economy improves, then it could translate to property prices for Brisbane and all over Queensland. Overall though, this is a good news story for Queensland and Brisbane as well. It’s looking positive.”
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