By Herron Todd White
December 2019

At the beginning of the year, a few questions were posed and some market predictions were made concerning the central areas of the Gold Coast.

Overall, we anticipated the local market to continue to soften throughout 2019. After the first two quarters of this year, there were signs of the market cooling but generally speaking, it remained stable, if not at times being slightly inconsistent. However, there has been a noticeable change in the market particularly over the September/October period and it must be admitted, we did not expect to see such encouraging signs at the moment.

Central Property Updates

Our predictions were that prices in suburbs such as Burleigh Waters, Mermaid Waters and Broadbeach Waters may have reached a peak as the market was quite heated at the time. Almost twelve months later and these areas have remained resilient. Local agents are still reporting strong levels of demand for housing in these suburbs and price levels have not weakened. Due to a lack of stock in these areas, neighbouring areas such as Miami have benefited as buyers look for an alternative option as a result of the shortage. There are no signs of market activity easing in these areas moving into 2020.

In early 2019 it was expected that there would be a slowdown in construction and sales activity, particularly of new highrise projects around Surfers Paradise and this seems to be the case, however, there appears to still be quite a bit of action around the Broadbeach precinct and towards the southern end of the Gold Coast.

We also made a safe bet that suburban housing in Benowa and Ashmore would remain stable throughout the year. Current feedback from local agents indicates that lately there are still good levels of demand for detached housing and that’s in all price brackets, and also for units, but in the more affordable price range. A positive upswing in the local market has also been noticed here in a couple of months. Again, it was reported that stock levels remain low and properties are selling within a reasonable marketing period.

The Mudgeeraba housing market also appeared quite heated at the start of 2019. The market here did appear to cool temporarily for a very short period but the latest evidence suggests that the slowdown was very short-lived and demand, particularly for housing priced below $700,000, has ramped up again according to the latest agent feedback. Detached suburban housing remains the most popular property type with buyers, with many properties at the moment reportedly selling within two weeks of being listed on the market.

Overall, all central suburbs appear to be holding their values, with perhaps the exception of the investor-driven market segment of the unit market in Surfers Paradise. The prestige waterfront dwelling market has also remained fairly stable and this has been underpinned by buyer confidence in this market sector, a steady volume of sales activity over $2 million and a low-interest rate environment.

North Central Property Updates

Generally speaking, the market has stabilised across most sub-property categories. Perhaps the best performer has been the vacant land parcels and particularly canal frontage and golf course allotments (price points $600,000 to $1.2 million). As well developed blocks have become scarce, demand has intensified. Several sales of canal front blocks in the Fairway Island estate have demonstrated very good capital growth over very short periods of time.

At the other extreme, the lowrise investor markets through the Southport, Labrador and up to Hope Island estates have fallen quite dramatically.

The analysis we have conducted has shown that values for one and two-bedroom units have weakened significantly. It appears that this segment has now stabilised albeit at levels 10 to 15 percent lower than say 2017. The values of three and four-bedroom units generally appear to have eased or at best maintained their values.

The canal estates have eased slightly with sales activity down from the previous two years. We are now seeing a noticeable disparity between the values of vacant land sales in these estates as opposed to the sales of those properties improved with dwellings, with the value gap between the two getting closer and closer. Something must give here.

A good performer in the market over 2019 has been the typical family-style home, say the four-bedroom, two-bathroom with double garage detached dwelling in the price range of $500,000 to $950,000. Generally speaking, this market has been steady to strong through all north central suburbs. A recent good performing and stand out suburb has been Arundel (market range $450,000 to $650,000). Earlier in the year, Helensvale went through a good period of demand.

There now appears to again be some market behaviour changes in play. Fuelled by the lower interest rates, we are now seeing some apparent lift in activity at the upper end of the market. Modern duplex units in Paradise Point seem to be in good strong demand with a sudden jump in values. We are certain that the local market will always keep us guessing. 

Southern Gold Coast/Northern New South Wales Property Updates

The far northern New South Wales and southern Gold Coast became a segmented market towards the end of 2018 with mixed results continuing into the first half of 2019. Across the majority of the market, agents had advised more stock levels and longer selling periods, but nonetheless, relatively stable prices were seen along the coastal areas and only minor evidence of weakening further west from the coastline. We saw far more stability across these markets as 2019 progressed, with some evidence of growth in the northern New South Wales coastal areas of Kingscliff and Casuarina, as well as areas on the southern Gold Coast such as Coolangatta. It was becoming more apparent towards the end of 2018 that the Sydney and Melbourne buyers are not as abundant as they were six to twelve months prior and this, as well as tighter lending policies courtesy of the banking Royal Commission, proved to impact overall market values.

As anticipated, in the case of Kingscliff where the new Tweed Valley Hospital is under construction, agents have advised of an increase in buyer interest in the area due to the new infrastructure and job creation with the new build over the coming years. It would appear a slight spike in investor activity has occurred across the board with the easing of lending policy post the Royal Commission, as well as a spike in domestic migration to the southern Gold Coast and Tweed Shire.

Speak with a Gold Coast Mortgage Broker today.

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