SEVEN years after the global financial crisis knocked the wind out of the Gold Coast’s billowing property sales, the area has started racking up double digits again.
And that has some analysts excited over what that momentum could do in a market that’s experiencing not just a jobs turnaround but resurgent tourism activity.
Buyer’s agent and industry analyst Simon Pressley of Propertyology said of 550 city councils across the country, his firm expected the Gold Coast to be in the “top echelon of property market stars by the end of 2015 and for the next couple of years”.
“Gold Coast is about to flex its property muscle,” Mr Pressley said.
“A pipeline of major projects bigger in size than several capital cities has resulted in an incredible transformation” in the job market. Net jobs growth of 19,662 for the 2013 calendar year was blown out of the water by the 181,856 net jobs in 2014.”
Mr Pressley said big projects had added to excitement including a new $1 billion Coomera Town Centre, a $2 billion Commonwealth Games Village and $700 million Pacific Fair Shopping Centre upgrade. Three other significant developments were also believed to be toying with $1 billion values, including the reviving of the massive Maddison Estate project that went bust in 2013 but was expected to be rejuvenated under a new owner. There was also a proposed Pacific View Estate at Worongary and the stimulus of Jewel Hotel and apartment complex at Surfers Paradise to contend with.
As it was, Mr Pressley said, “property sales volumes have been strong with increases of 11 per cent (houses) and 39 per cent (apartments) from two years ago. Median house values have increased by 11.2 per cent during the last two calendar years”.
Louis Christopher of SQM Research has the Gold Coast in one of his top three picks for growth this year because of a multitude of factors including the low dollar, high rental yields and steady supply at present.
“We think the low Australian dollar will help the Gold Coast tourism economy. When the dollar’s down, tourists come and house prices rise, it has a multiplier effect in the local economy,” he said.
“The downturn the area suffered from 2010 to 2012 is well and truly over.”
In some parts of the Coast, Mr Christopher said, rents have been growing faster than house prices, pushing up rental yields up to a “pretty attractive” 5 to 6 per cent.
The Gold Coast was also expected to see a surge of Asian buyers, according to Knight Frank head of research and consulting Matt Whitby.
He said after heavy investment in prime office building and yield compression in “gateway cities” Sydney and Melbourne “Chinese investors have begun to look increasingly at opportunities in other key cities and other property sectors” — which included the Gold Coast.