After a tough couple of years, the Gold and Sunshine coast property markets are experiencing some welcome time in the sun with prices and activity strengthening.
According to REIQ March quarter median house prices, the Gold Coast’s median price increased 0.7 per cent to $455,375 over the period. The numbers of house sales were also up 18 per cent compared to the December quarter last year to be the highest activity levels recorded for more than a year.
REIQ Gold Coast zone chair John Newlands said while activity remained fairly spasmodic, there were some segments of the market starting to move.
“Properties priced under $500,000 are experiencing the most activity, and we are also starting to see more sales in the upper-end of the market,” he said.
“Properties around the $1 million-plus mark are the subject of renewed interest given there has been a significant softening in prices of prestige properties.”
Recent investments by high-profile buyers were also a sign that the Gold Coast market was near the bottom of its cycle, he said.
“These significant investments are a signal to buyers that we are at, or very close to, the bottom of the market so we are likely to see increasing levels of demand in the months ahead,” he said.
“Lower interest rates, our new council, and the recent reductions in the Aussie dollar are all positives for the Gold Coast market.”
The Sunshine Coast’s median house price increased 0.6 per cent to $430,000 over the quarter. The preliminary numbers of house sales increased 26 per cent compared to the previous quarter to also be the most house sales activity in more than a year.
REIQ Sunshine Coast zone chair Lloyd Edwards said there had been an increase of buyers through open homes as well as growing numbers prepared to make offers.
“We are starting to see a slight tightening of stock, especially for properties priced between $400,000 and $500,000 where demand is greatest,” he said.
“An interesting trend is a possible paradigm shift for buyers in the $1 million-plus price bracket. Whereas before many weren’t prepared to pay over the $1 million mark, many are now open to paying $1.2 million or $1.3 million if it secures the sale.”
Mr Edwards said confidence started to improve following the State Election and was continuing to positively impact the market.
“We are starting to get an inkling of multiple offers, which have been fairly absent over recent times,” he said.
“Property prices at this stage are still solid and this is attracting educated buyers who want to get in before prices inevitably begin to increase again.”
A solid performer over the March quarter was Coolum Beach which posted median house price growth of 8.1 per cent to $425,000.
By Nicola McDougall, media and communications manager, REIQ