Sunshine Coast market update

Sunshine Coast market update

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SALES MARKET

The Sunshine Coast’s median house price decreased by 1.3 per cent over the September quarter to $440,000, while over the 12 months to September 2013 improved by 2.3 per cent to $430,000. Sales activity however continues to grow, with preliminary house sales numbers up 10 per cent compared to the June quarter.

According to REIQ accredited agents, market conditions continue to improve with buyer and vendor confidence up. Buyers are reportedly feeling antsier, aware that the market has changed, resulting in buyers taking less time to make a decision on buying.

This is also reflected in RP Data’s sales market indicators with average days on market down to 105 days and total listings also down compared to the same time last year. Average vendor discounting is also down, now sitting at 7.4 per cent.

Sales activity has reportedly seen a notable increase since the Federal Election. First home buyers continue to make up only a small proportion of the market, however investors are slowly returning with due to strong indicators in both the sales and rental markets.

The outlook for the Sunshine Coast is very positive particularly with construction in the 19-hectare Kawana Medical Precinct under way. Surrounding suburbs are set to benefit as medical staff begin to move to the area. Tourism on the Sunshine Coast is also likely to benefit from the new hospitals, with local agents predicting a trend in “medical holidays” where patients are either waiting for or recovering from surgery.

The development of the East/West runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport in Marcoola, will also be a major boost for the region with the new airport expansion set to accommodate international flights and provide up to 5,000 new jobs.

The Maroochydore CBD is also going under a major renewal, with lifestyle precincts, including a farmer’s markets precinct, set to be a major draw card for residents and tourists.

In the unit and townhouse market, there are reportedly minimal new projects coming online, seeing the vast majority of sales activity focused on the established unit market. Prestige unit sales are holding steady, with retirees, including international investors, being the main buyers in the upper end. At the affordable end of the market, budget buying continues to be popular for first home buyers.

Preliminary sales numbers were up 9 per cent on the previous quarter, while the median sale price for the Sunshine Coast Regional Council area eased 2.3 per cent to $320,000.

According to local real estate agents, the unit and townhouse market continues to be price driven while the house market is moving into more about what buyers can get for their money.

RENTAL MARKET

Vacancy rates continue to tighten across the Sunshine Coast with REIQ accredited agents reporting increased tenant demand and limited rental stock. Minimal new developments and limited investor activity is compounding the supply issue.

At the end of September, the vacancy rate was  1.3 per cent for the region – the lowest the Sunshine Coast has recorded in over five years. The hinterland region recorded near full capacity with 0.6 vacancy. Agents report increased demand from new tenants moving to the area.

Latest data from the RTA shows that median rents for both two bedroom flats and three bedroom houses increased by $5 to $315 and $385 per week respectively.