Gold Coast market update

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The Gold Coast’s median house price decreased by 1.1 per cent over the June quarter. However over the 12 months to June 2013, the median house price, based on a higher number of sales, increased by 3.0 per cent representing a significant yearly median house price growth the Gold Coast has not seen for quite some time.

In addition, a review of preliminary sales results suggests that house sales for the June quarter have increased by 26.9 per cent and 45.2 per cent compared to the previous March quarter and June quarter 2012 respectively.

According to REIQ accredited agents, the Gold Coast property market has entered its next phase, after lying on the sidelines for far too long. These positive results no doubt are a result of confidence within the region, which has been steadily increasing over the past six months. Time on market and average viewings are at healthy levels, although distressed sales still exist in some parts.

The increase in sales activity has started to affect the level of stock on the market, particularly in the $450,000 to $550,000 range where demand is highest. Residential construction such as the northern-end of the region and Royal Pines in Banowa development, look set to benefit from this.

Benowa recorded a June quarterly median house price increase of 23.2 per cent, representative of a rise in the amount waterfront properties sold for in the area. Similar suburbs such as Paradise Point and Runaway Bay also saw good sales of waterfront properties, resulting in such large median price increases over the June quarter.

The unit and townhouse market on the Gold Coast saw a slight decrease in its median price over the June quarter, down 0.9 per cent to $341,500. This segment of the property hasn’t seen much improvement in recent periods, however is expected to slowly recover on the back of improving home sales.

Recent periods have seen a re-emergence of interstate investors, as Gold Coast property represents a better return on investment than Sydney or Melbourne while first home buyers are slowing returning to the market, after weighing up whether to buy or rent given current interest rates.

Given how the property market is performing, it is no surprise then that the Gold Coast economy is also seeing a turnaround in fortunes. Recent news indicates that the tourism sector is doing well, as both international and domestic airport traffic has increased.

Construction is undergoing a revival also as works are underway on the Commonwealth Games and light-rail projects. Further to this, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has shown additional interest in the sector, with changes to headworks costs and a review into the construction of affordable housing.

The opening of the Gold Coast University Hospital is another positive, set to create over 2000 more local jobs and adding some diversity to a local economy that has traditionally been reliant on the tourism and construction industries.

The rental market in the Gold Coast region remains relatively unchanged, having recorded a 2.6 per cent vacancy rate for June. Houses as usual are in strong demand, particularly in the $500 to $700 per week price bracket, as are properties within the coast’s beachside suburbs. According to recent RTA figures, the median rent for a three bedroom increased by $5 to $420 per week, after increasing by $15 per week during the March quarter.

Apartments however are still slow to lease in some areas due to an oversupply. Over the June quarter the median rent for two bedroom units remained unchanged at $350 per week.

Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor