By Herron Todd White
September 2019

Gold Coast West and Hinterland Property Updates

To the west of the glitter strip of high rise units, canal estates and beaches is the hinterland of the Gold Coast and the Scenic Rim. For many years these areas have contained large greenfied sites ripe for subdivision into housing for the economically displaced. As housing costs on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane have been driving upward, those on a limited budget were forced away from increasingly expensive home ground and had to look at options further afield in order to take their first step on the property ladder.

A brief history lesson is required for some context. In the early 1990s, the offerings of housing in the southern extremities of Brisbane around localities such as Jimboomba and Logan Village consisted of new acreage estates (too expensive for developers to build in sewer and water infrastructure for such remote locations back then) which set buyers back a cool $50,000 to $60,000 for 4,000 square metres or so of land. (The current price for similar land is now getting awfully close to $300,000). Toss in a relaxed covenant allowing modest sized houses and your desperate first home buyer could be all in on a new house for around $140,000 to $160,000. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, in the early 1990s, Jiimboomba and Logan Village had very little to offer In the way of schools, shops, or services. Acreage estates were the norm back then.

Fast forward to 2019 and with population and price pressure continuing to grow apace, the market for housing in the Jimboomba and Logan Village area has split in two directions. Where you read Jimboomba and Logan Village, include the now developing areas of Flagstone, Yarrabilba and Gleneagle. With increasing population in the area, infrastructure has followed in the form of large supermarkets, P-12 schooling including private schools and some good local employment opportunities.

How has the housing market split in two directions? First home buyers and now investors are being catered for in new, master planned estates such as Yarrabilba which look, more or less, like any other new estate on the outer fringe of any large city in Australia. What is interesting though is how the acreage market has evolved. Formerly the domain of desperate first home buyers, acreage land has morphed into an up market destination for the more well heeled and established second, third or fourth home buyer who wants the quiet life or room for the boats, bikes and vans. Typically a new house on acreage wiil cost $600,000 to $700,000, whilst one recent sale on Peppertree Drive, Jimboomba was over $1 million for a former display home.

Of note is the growing trend in these new acreage estates of extended families taking up residence in purpose-built dual living houses. Such is their growing popularity that many mainstream builders are offering project style floor plans ready made for multi-generational households. This small but growing part of the market may be driven by the previously mentioned affordability issues but may also be driven by issues around our ageing population. One only has to look at the revelations coming from the aged care Royal Commission to appreciate the concern that some people have over the future care of their loved ones.

By combining financial resources across two generations, a dual living acreage home gives the younger generation a better standard of housing and lifestyle than they might otherwise have afforded while giving the older generation more certainty around their future care.

The rapid development of the Scenic Rim south from Brisbane and west from the Gold Coast has, however, outstripped the demand for employment in the area meaning many working age residents are faced with a daily commute along transport corridors that were never designed for the increasing traffic load. In the longer term, upgrading roads or the establishment of more businesses in the area will benefit present and future residents.

North West Gold Coast/Lower Logan Region Property Updates

This region has a mix of out of towners, those who are moving for work and those who are trying to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Locations such as Ormeau, Pimpama and Beenleigh have always been popular with families or couples where one of them may work in Brisbane and the other the Gold Coast, or one partner works locally and the other is required to commute.

The large number of developing estates in this region would have to be part of the broader plans of government to spread the population growth and combine with the ability for developers to create cohesive estates that offer higher density living close to amenities such as transport, larger shopping centres and neighbourhood facilities.

There are some definite benefits for different types of buyers to these localities. First home buyers will see increased affordability from more affordable land prices the further they travel from major transport routes or regional centres. These markets also allow some people to enter the property market where, if they continue to live in the cities, they may not reach the point where they can afford a property big enough to suit their specific needs.

The developers in these estates are identifying this need and have responded with cheaper offerings. For example you can get a brand-new, threebedroom, two-bathroom, detached house with a one-car garage from around $300,000 within one hour of the city. In the city you would be looking at a one or two-bedroom unit which may not include a car space.

Due to the supply of land, infrastructure and master planning of regional areas including the development of satellite cities, the north-west will continue to be a growth area for many years to come.

Southern Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales Property Updates

Residential property located in the coastal suburbs of the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales have increasingly become an attractive option for those searching for a more relaxed coastal lifestyle without forgoing employment opportunity. The area is seeing population growth and new development (including the redevelopment of sites for more intensive uses), particularly in suburbs such as Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach, Coolangatta and Casuarina. The area is attracting new residents – local and interstate as well as international. With increasing population, the area has seen a growth period in the past five years, easing throughout the final half of 2018 and first half of 2019.

Casuarina and Kingscliff have seen large numbers of new homes and land subdivisions, resulting in new local commercial hubs including shopping precincts and cafes. Longer term we are looking at the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales areas being a growth area for many years to come.

Buyers within these localities are typically not first home buyers, more so those who are well established financially and are looking at lifestyle options rather than the affordability first home buyers seek. These areas are well located for commuting, both interstate and internationally from the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta with a number of buyers using their properties as weekenders from their busy lifestyles in Melbourne or Sydney.

Gold Coast Central Property Updates

The central area of the Gold Coast offers a wide array of attractive lifestyle options for out of towners. We have definitely seen a healthy level of construction activity across the central region in the past couple of years, however more recently it appears the local economy has been somewhat subdued. The Gold Coast is heavily reliant on the tourism and construction industries and it is assumed that population growth will steadily increase in this area provided there are still good job opportunities available, particularly in these industries. We have noticed over recent years that people are willing to move away from the area to find greater employment opportunities if necessary when new jobs become scarce.

It appears that out of towners have had a greater preference for the southern end of the Gold Coast in the past twelve months as noted previously. It has been reported that new residential projects are still receiving good levels of buyer interest from this sector of the market compared to projects further north, but given the proximity to the beach, infrastructure and amenities and the lifestyle choices available, the suburbs which encompass the central Gold Coast will always be a strong growth area in south-east Queensland.

Speak with a Gold Coast Mortgage Broker today.