How Gold Coast real estate became a ‘gold mine’
HOMEOWNERS are sitting on real estate gold mines as the Gold Coast defies a nationwide slowdown of property prices.
The Gold Coast was one of just two regional cities in Queensland to post an increase in both house and unit values over the past year.
CoreLogic's regional market update to December 2017 revealed house values rose by 7.6 per cent to $634,423, while the median unit value increased by 5.8 per cent to $411, 229.
It was second only to the Sunshine Coast.
Brisbane house prices rose only 2.8 per cent in the 12 months to November 2017, and Sydney was up 7.7 per cent. However, latest figures show a slight drop in the market down south.
"It's a good sign for the Gold Coast market," said CoreLogic head of research Cameron Kusher. "We are finding a lot of migration to southeast Queensland from New South Wales and it seems more people are choosing the Coast than capital cities like Brisbane.
"The city is growing, there's infrastructure investment, flights are better and it's more reasonable to be able to base yourself here and work interstate."
However, buyers and sellers be warned - a capital city slump could have a ripple effect on the region's market.
"Sydney and Melbourne are slowing and evidence is suggesting Brisbane is slowing so it might cause markets like the Gold Coast to record a slower pace," Mr Kusher said.
"If you want to sell, now is a good time to think about selling," said Mr Kusher.
"If you want to buy, if the expectation is values will continue to climb then it is generally better to get in earlier."
But according to CoreLogic data, most homeowners are holding on to their properties, with dwelling sales activity down 11.4 per cent over the past year to November 2017 - the biggest fall in regional sales activity.
Nearly 18,750 homes changed hands, compared to 21,155 at the same time the year before.
REIQ Gold Coast zone chair Andrew Henderson said the lack of supply had led to a "seller's market".
"There are more people staying in their homes, refurbishing, renovating, improving or extending to make the dwelling best suit their needs versus selling and moving," Mr Henderson said.
"It's definitely a seller's market because there's more buyers than sellers and a distinct lack of stock on the market for sale."
Properties that did sell on the Coast were snapped up quicker than the year before, with the average days on market for a house reduced by one, while units were selling eight days faster.
The rental market was also positive, with rates improving up to 3.9 per cent for houses and 2.5 per cent for units, although indicative rental yields remained at a similar level for both types of properties.
According to CoreLogic's current market trends report, buyers are leaning towards unit sales with Helensvale, Coolangatta, Benowa and Hope Island recording the biggest change in median unit price, markedly higher than any shift in median house prices across all suburbs.
"Apartments in those suburbs are new product and they are not high-rises, they are lower to medium-rise developments which are more popular with owner occupiers," Mr Henderson said.
"It comes down to getting to the stage where people are very happy to reside in apartments where they don't have to worry about maintenance and what goes with it.
"And there's the affordability price point, the median price is less than houses and there's a lot of apartments being constructed too."