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New Gold Coast high-rise boom fuels fears of another crash

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New Gold Coast high-rise boom fuels fears of another crash

In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games, high-rise apartment development on the Gold Coast is ramping up again, fuelling concerns about another crash in values, as happened between 2010 and 2012.

Apartment values fell about 25 percent during the two-year period – a combination of oversupply, overpricing and a drop in tourism – with high-rise projects like Soul ending up in the hands of receivers.

This time around, The Australian Financial Review counted more than 1400 apartments across a dozen projects about to flood the glitzy strips of Surfers Paradise, Southport and Broadbeach over coming months, with a potential end value of about $1.5 billion.

Major projects include developer Citi marks $200 million Markwell Residences, a 46-storey tower with 210 units on Surfers Paradise Boulevard, the $220 million Signature Broadbeach, a 264-unit project by Little Projects, the $250 million Chevron One development on Chevron Island with 247 units and Sunland’s $200 million Hedges Avenue high-rise.

Record lows

With rental vacancy rates at record lows – just 0.9 percent, according to SQM Research – rents rising and values starting to rise as well, developers have sensed the opportunity to make money again on the Gold Coast.

Local municipalities have supported their endeavours, approving more than 11,000 new apartments in the past three years, compared with fewer than 5000 in the previous three years.

But investment adviser Terry Ryder believes history is about to repeat itself in a market notorious for its booms and busts, labelling the Gold Coast high-rise apartment market a “no-go zone” for investors in 2018.

“Once Gold Coast construction projects for the Games are completed, demand will undergo a readjustment, as construction workers leave the area,” said Mr Ryder, founder of hotspotting.com.au.

Capital restrictions

“Couple this with new restrictions on the capital flow out of China and the 3 percent stamp duty surcharge which now applies to foreign investors in Queensland, and demand is likely to fall short of developer expectations.”

Not everyone agrees with Mr Ryder’s assessment of the Gold Coast’s prospects, with property valuer and analyst Anna Porter listing the location as one of her six investment hotspots in 2018 due to the infrastructure projects underway.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher is also bullish on the Gold Coast market, writing in his November 2017 Boom and Bust Report that it has a more diversified economy than the Sunshine Coast and was benefiting from the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games, efforts to reduce crime and “just a tad better” road infrastructure. He expects the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast to outperform the Brisbane market in 2018.

Buyers have also bought into the Gold Coast rebound story, with a CoreLogic suburb report for Surfers Paradise showing that apartment sales have risen 60 percent in the past three years, averaging around 1600 a year.

Prices steady

However, the median price for a Gold Coast apartment was $422,000 in September, according to CoreLogic, almost unchanged from five-years ago when the Prodap Report put the median unit price at $419,000.

Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell said he did not see any sign of the roadblocks that had derailed the Gold Coast’s property market so spectacularly in the past, with strong sales figures recorded recently.

“We’re not seeing rampantly rising interest rates, high unemployment or recession,” he said.

“None of these things is happening and all indications are that interest rates are likely to remain stable for most of 2018.

“There is tremendous confidence in the city due to its economic stability, the quantity and quality of local jobs on offer and steady population growth.”

Originally Published: www.afr.com

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Opinion

Queensland is the next property hotspot, experts say

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Queensland is the next property hotspot, experts say

As New South Wales and Victoria continue to experience weakness. Queensland is expected to take the lead, a National Australia Bank (NAB) poll of property professionals revealed.

According to the survey, industry experts project house prices in Queensland to increase by 0.7% next year and 1.3% in two years.

Some areas seen to perform strongly over the next year include Brisbane, Cairns, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. Out of the suburbs, Coomera and New Farm are expected to realize robust gains.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s rental market is also poised to enjoy an upward boost, growing by 1.3% next year and 1.9% in two years. This is despite the stricter rules on housing investment.

The respondents of the survey also expect Queensland to retain foreign buyer interest. In fact, the share of foreign sales hit a four-year high of 22.8% over the previous quarter.

The results of the survey go against NAB’s own projection of the market. For instance, the bank expects house prices to remain flat in Brisbane over the next three years. Unit prices, on the other hand, is seen to fall by 4.5% over the next year.

NAB chief economist Alan Oster said Brisbane’s housing market seemed to be going sideways and its unit market still creates concern.

“It hasn’t peaked yet, so that’s good. We’re seeing quite strong economic activity in Queensland, so that always helps,” Oster said, as quoted by The Courier-Mail.

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Opinion

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland

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Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland

The Gold Coast has recorded the strongest growth in house prices in Queensland over the past 12 months.

GOLD Coast house prices are leading the way in Queensland, up six per cent in the past 12 months to an average $620,000.

The latest figures by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland show homes on the Glitter Strip are $35,000 more on the same time last year.

Unit prices are up 1.9 per cent to $428,000.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
REIQ data reveals houses on the Glitter Strip are worth $35,000 on the same time last year.

REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor for March said the strong population growth came on the back of infrastructure projects such as the $550 million Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct and M1 upgrades.

“The property market has been one of the big winners from the sporting event as the $1.5 billion infrastructure investment has boosted confidence and demand for housing in the region,” the report stated.

“We expect house prices will show an upward path in 2018. However, this growth will most likely be more moderate.”

A quiet real estate period leading up to, and during, the Commonwealth Games likely contributed to a slight drop (-0.3 per cent) in the March quarterly median sales price, the report reveals.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
Andrew Henderson says a growing population and employment opportunities were contributing to a strong property market. Picture: Jerad Williams

REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said he expected interstate migration to continue to benefit the city.

“I expect the market to remain strong,” he said.

“There is a heavy amount of interstate buyers moving here.

“I was at an auction recently where the winning bidder was from Sydney and the underbidder was from Melbourne.”

Mr Henderson said growing employment opportunities were also attracting homebuyers to the city.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
The Gold Coast property market is expected to remain strong.

“We have some of the best health facilities in the country and our universities are world recognised.

“Those two things alone complement the tourism industry and the lifestyle aspects that the Coast offers.”

The report found the fastest-selling suburbs on the Coast included Worongary, Merrimac, Highland Park, Mudgeeraba and Carrara.

It also revealed the rental vacancy held tight throughout the first quarter of the year at 1.1 per cent.

Gold Coast house values record the biggest growth in Queensland
Andrew Bell says the Coast had evolved from a tourist town into a vibrant city with an expanding economy. Picture Mike Batterham

Ray White Surfers Paradise Group CEO Andrew Bell said the Games heralded the next chapter for the Coast, as it evolved from a tourist town into a vibrant city with an expanding economy.

“The city’s property market is riding the irreversible momentum that has now come to the Gold Coast in terms of economic diversity and with more employment options we will need more housing options for people,” Mr Bell said.

“We are no longer going to be subject to tourism upsides and downsides as we were in the past because our economy has well and truly diversified beyond just tourism.”

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Opinion

Australia’s golden triangle of opportunity

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Australia's golden triangle of opportunity

It was great to be back on the Gold Coast for the 21st annual Australasian Real Estate Conference (AREC), attended by over 4,000 of Australia’s best industry professionals.  While I was there I was once again reminded of how much potential the South-East Queensland property market is offering both sea changers and investors at this stage in its market cycle.

In my view, Brisbane is the best market in Australia currently for short to medium term price growth, with the value gap between it and the other big East Coast capitals as large as I’ve seen it in many years.

When you factor in the key drivers for future growth – liveability, affordability, scale and future economic prospects, they all suggest that Brisbane is a market to invest in.  Check out the latest statistics from CoreLogic below.

Value gap – median house prices 

Brisbane $536,286

Melbourne $821,006

Sydney $1,019,093

Value gap – median apartment prices

Brisbane $385,121

Melbourne $573,673

Sydney $749,765

I’ve been bullish on Brisbane for many years and in hindsight, I called its next growth phase a couple of years too early. It’s had some growth in recent years but there is a lot more to come over the next few years.

According to McGrath’s top prestige agent in Brisbane, Alex Jordan, one of the dominant trends today is downsizers buying up luxury apartments.

Alex says: “Despite the reported oversupply in Brisbane’s inner city apartment market, we are seeing great strength in the prestige apartment sector.

“The luxury apartment market ($1M+) is driven by owner occupiers, particularly baby boomers and empty nesters, who are attracted to less maintenance and better accessibility.

“Popular suburbs include New Farm, Newstead, Teneriffe, Kangaroo Point, South Brisbane, St Lucia, Paddington and the Brisbane CBD. These areas offer a desirable lifestyle with an abundance of shopping, dining and entertaining precincts at their doorstep.”

South East Queensland has so many options for asset-rich, cash-poor southerners. Many of our customers in Sydney and Melbourne are looking closely at South East Queensland both for investment and a potential sea change. I believe its affordability will continue to attract record levels of interstate migration.

If you live in Sydney or Melbourne and you’re struggling with the mortgage and cost of living, Brisbane is a fantastic alternative. It offers big city job opportunities, high quality education options and the chance to transform your financial future.

The boom delivered Sydney and Melbourne home owners a capital gain of up to 75% – that’s enormous new equity that could be cashed in to fund an amazing new lifestyle with far less mortgage stress up north. Plus, you’d be buying in just before Brisbane’s next wave of price growth. It’s the perfect scenario.

I believe the area from the Gold Coast to Toowoomba and up to the Sunshine Coast is Australia’s golden triangle right now.

Toowoomba, with its expanded airport facilities which have opened up easy access to the south, is the perfect and affordable treechange destination. Known as Queensland’s Garden City, about 2,300 people moved here from Brisbane last year for its cheaper house prices and enjoyable regional city lifestyle.

Both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are also appealing sea change options benefitting from a raft of new infrastructure that will drive further population growth and generate more local jobs.

Brisbane is one of the world’s great cities but I don’t think this is fully realised as yet. If you haven’t been to Brisbane for a number of years, get on a plane. This is a thriving city that offers many of the lifestyle amenities you love about the southern capitals but at a much cheaper price.

I think Brisbane will also become very attractive to migration and investment from Asia in the years ahead.

South East Queensland is offering opportunity everywhere for both owner occupiers and investors alike. Now’s the time to consider what Australia’s premier lifestyle market can do for you!

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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