Over the September quarter the Gold Coast’s median house price remained relatively stable, down just 0.6 per cent compared to the previous quarter. The median house price for the 12 months ending September however was up 4.8 per cent compared to the previous year, the second highest annual result recorded for all major centres in Qld.
Sales activity was also up for the quarter, up 12 per cent compared to the June quarter and up 16 per cent compared to the September quarter last year.
Properties priced in the $500,000 to $1 million price bracket have recorded strong demand, with preliminary sales up compared to the previous quarter. Local agents report healthy increases in property values for this segment of the market.
The prestige market is also improving, with local agents noting that mortgagee sales are now minimal and bargain buying opportunities are dwindling. Such opportunities seen 18 months ago are now fewer, seeing many property buyers missing out on well-priced properties.
Sales market indicators from RP Data are also indicating improving price growth with vendor discounting for houses and units down more than 2 percentage points compared to a year ago. Average days on market and total listing numbers are also much improved, with local agents reporting buyer activity continuing to increase, particularly in the detached housing market.
With the tourism sector continuing to improve, job prospects are following suit and as a result general optimism in the market place is on the up. The opening of the Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport has been a significant contributor to improved confidence levels and with construction for the Commonwealth Games well under way, the outlook for the region is very positive.
Construction of the new private hospital adjoining the university hospital has also now commenced, which is providing further job opportunities.
The unit and townhouse market on the Gold Coast saw a decrease in its median price over the September quarter, down 2.9 per cent to $335,000. There was a strong increase in sales in the sub-$250,000 market as investors begin to re-enter the market, most notably interstate investors. Rental returns are reportedly beginning to stack up along with improving capital growth particularly in the high rise market.
Sales numbers are on the improve, with preliminary figures showing an increase of 13 per cent compared to the June quarter, and up an impressive 30 per cent compared to the September quarter last year.
Strong performing suburbs include Surfers Paradise, Southport and Robina, where sales numbers were up significantly over the 12 months to September compared to the previous 12 months.
Rental market conditions on the Gold Coast have taken a turn towards tighter vacancy rates, recording 2.2 per cent at the end of September. Down from 2.6 per cent at the end of June, local agents are reporting increased tenant demand thanks to improved job opportunities in the tourism and construction sectors.
Lower vacancy rates are yet to impact asking rents with the recent RTA figures reporting steady median weekly rents for both two bedroom units, unchanged at $350 and three bedroom houses down $10 to $410 per week. Rents are however up on the September quarter 2012.
Agents report minimal demand for affordable units coupled with continued oversupply, whilst demand for houses is most prominent in the $500/week plus bracket.