Gold Coast

The Gold Coast powers ahead, but what about after the Commonwealth Games?

The Gold Coast market is the one of the two biggest powerhouse markets in Queensland, adding growth consistently to median house and unit prices for the past four to five years.

The March quarter was a bumper period, with some high-end sales and more than 1370 houses sold for the quarter, pushing the quarterly median up 4.2 per cent to a record $615,000.

The Gold Coast unit market is the largest unit market in Queensland and it has performed very well over the past 12 months, growing by 5.2 per cent to an annual median of $405,000, according to the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor report.

Watch our Gold Coast market wrap for a summary of this thriving market.

So, the GC market is performing very well at the moment, which is reassuring if you own property in this region.

The factors behind this performance include the most obvious, such as construction for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games, along with infrastructure projects such as the Light Rail, University Hospital and major road upgrades. These drive jobs and attract workers to the region, which drives demand for accommodation.

This is also why the Gold Coast rental market is tight, with vacancy rates generally hovering below 2 per cent for most of the past two years. This means rentals are harder to find and landlords can be picky about the tenants they lease their property to.

We understand that tenants are struggling to find rental accommodation and this certainly fits with the data and the picture that we have of that rental market.

Our expectations are that this situation will loosen up considerably in the post-Games period. A significant level of accommodation is being built to house tens of thousands of short-term visitors (athletes, games officials, and spectators) and once that circus leaves town much of that accommodation will potentially be re-purposed to become rental and student accommodation.

There has been much written about how well major cities cope in the aftermath of an Olympics or Commonwealth Games boom and it seems to be down to how well everyone planned for the legacy era from the outset.

In the post-2012 Olympics period, London renamed its Olympic Village East Village and developers Lend Lease created a funky 14 hectare site that includes bars, offices, shops, and even schools.  The apartment towers offer a blend of affordable and social housing. The precinct is a thriving, lively hub for the community with markets and an activated local economy.

In Sydney, the 2000 Olympic Games Athletes Village was one of the largest athlete villages ever constructed and in the post-games period the 90-hectare site was converted by developers to accommodate 900 townhouses, 700 apartments and more than 300 homes.  The population of the suburb in the 2016 Census is almost 2000 people and the median unit price is more than $700,000.

Melbourne has leveraged its 2006 Commonwealth Games event by attracting major sporting events that use the Games-built sporting infrastructure, turning itself into a sporting city and adding to its tourism economy in the process.

For the Gold Coast, the legacy of the Games will be down to how successfully the Legacy Advisory Committee and all levels of government plan for the city and re-purposes infrastructure appropriate to the community’s social, economic and housing needs.