By Herron Todd White
July 2019

The Gold Coast, Tweed Coast and Lower Logan areas offer many opportunities in the sub- $500,000 bracket or the lazy half million. With everything from acreage to beachfront units, there is something for everyone! So, let’s take a look at what each region has to offer.

North West Region Property Updates

Taking in the northern growth corridor on the western side of the M1 and out to Jimboomba, there are many options for someone who has a lazy half a million dollars to invest in this region. Across most suburbs an average quality, modern, four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in good condition and ready to rent will be less than $500,000 and on a smaller lot even as low as $340,000 for a six year old, four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on a 400 square metre lot in Yarrabilba! The main issue when trying to pin down a good investment option is that the market throughout the region has eased in recent times, predominantly due to APRA investment lending regulations and reduced buyer confidence. We do hope however that with the recent interest rate cut, it might improve market confidence and we may start to see some growth again.

The best performing properties can be split into two categories. First, rural residential small acreage properties in the western locality of Jimboomba have been growing slowly and bucking the trend of the easing property market. Secondly, the more preferred locality closer to the M1, the Gold Coast-Brisbane Railway and the recently completed Westfield Coomera, is Upper Coomera with the property market over recent years increasing strongly and only starting to ease a little in the past two months or so.

A neat, 14-year-old, modern style, four-bedroom, two-bathroom brick and tile dwelling with double garage transacted in May 2019 for $480,000. This showed good growth from the previous sale of $438,000 in July 2016 with no substantial work undertaken to the property.

This example shows a ten per cent return in three years. This property would rent for $480 to $490 per week with good demand for rental properties in this suburb mostly attributed to the location of the property and proximity to the facilities as noted above.

Upper Coomera has always fluctuated short term, but over the medium term it has always had steady growth which would be considered reasonable to any property investor.

We consider the duplex unit market going even stronger than the housing market in recent years in this location. Take a look at the following example:

A part two level, 2008 build, rendered brick, weatherboard and tiled roof duplex unit with double garage at 1/9 Wendy Court, Upper Coomera sold late last year for $433,233. Previously, this property sold for $372,500 in February 2017 and $328,500 in March 2012.

This example shows a 16.5 per cent return in under two years. This property would rent for approximately $420 per week. The duplex market has been a lot more popular recently with first home buyers and has continued to be of strong interest to investors as it always has.

Finally, the suggestions we gave last year performed exactly as predicted. The investment market estates in this area have an oversupply and were not achieving the rental returns expected. As a result, prices in these estates such as Yarrabilba have eased up to ten per cent in the past 12 months, particularly the second-hand product. Established houses in the older areas have held up better in this downturn.

Central North Region Property Updates

From Southport to Hope Island and out to the M1 presents a few decent opportunities for property purchasers with a lazy half million. The market has eased over the past six months in a number of areas and as a result there have been a few sales that present as decent value in comparison to 2018. Below are a few examples of purchasers with a long-term view capitalising on a weaker

A neat duplex unit at 1/33 Nakina Street, Southport built in circa 1992 and comprising three bedrooms, two bathrooms and single lock up garage sold in June 2019 for $340,000. The duplex has an assessed rental of $390 per week. A great entry point property for a first home buyer or investor as this market has eased over the past 12 months. Comparable sales in the area present this as good value, with a similar duplex selling 12 months ago for $360,000, being of similar condition and size, however in a slightly inferior location along a busy street.

A circa 1992, part two level (brick/tile) townhouse with three bedrooms, one bathroom plus downstairs toilet and single lock up garage located at 1/146 Central Street, Labrador sold in May 2019 for $302,500. Sales within this complex indicate this product has decreased in value since the previous sale at $365,000 in October 2018 of a similar unit, albeit in superior condition with plantation shutters and tiled living area.

In the more centrally located area of Southport, a unit within a low rise complex transacted for $240,000 in May 2019. Unit 5/43 North Street, Southport is a circa 1982, ground level (brick and tile) unit with two bedrooms,

one bathroom and single basement garage. The unit had undergone some upgrades and presented in a good condition with updated floor coverings, kitchen and bathroom. This property would achieve a rental of $330 per week. Previously purchased in December 2012 for $219,000, the unit has had minor upgrading of the flooring. The sale represents a gross yield of 6.6 per cent based on a 48 week year with four weeks of letting up allowance.

Now that the election is over, we are seeing more enquiry and reported interest volumes from agents, resulting in a stabilising in values after a drop throughout 2018 and 2019. Whilst we cannot predict the bottom of the market, it certainly is not at the top and for those investors with a long-term view on the Gold Coast market and finance ready, decent purchases are available with less competition.

Central Region Property Updates

If I was to invest $500,000 in today’s market in the central region of the Gold Coast, the obvious choice for me would be to buy a two-bedroom unit in a beachside suburb. Mermaid Beach has been a hot spot over recent years and there are still some opportunities here at this price point, however lately, it appears that it is getting harder to find properties in this suburb at $500,000 or less that represent really good value for the money.

An alternative beachside location to take into consideration is Main Beach, located just north of Surfers Paradise. Main Beach is a popular, established, good quality, beachside, residential, holiday and local commercial and retail locality. The Main Beach area is a popular tourist destination due to its beachfront location, its restaurant and retail precinct (Tedder Avenue) and close proximity to The Broadwater, The Spit and Surfers Paradise. The area also caters for a strong component of permanent residents.

All properties in this suburb generally have good accessibility to the beach, whilst many also are within walking distance of the light-rail system. There are solid investment opportunities available in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range, however, be mindful that stock levels in this price bracket are reportedly quite low at present.

Typical examples of these properties which have recently sold in Main Beach are highlighted below.

41/1 Cronin Avenue, Main Beach – sold in March 2019 for $410,000.

A single level, circa 1988, two-bedroom, two-bathroom low rise strata unit, with one basement car space and a living area of 85 square metres (including a balcony). The strata unit has an easterly aspect with local views. Some cosmetic updates were completed over the years including new carpets. The complex includes a common swimming pool and barbecue facilities.

32/11 Breaker St, Main Beach – sold in February 2019 for $444,000.

A single level, circa 1988, two-bedroom, two-bathroom low rise strata unit with two side by side basement car spaces and living area of 83 square metres. The unit has local views and fair presentation. The complex includes a common swimming pool and barbecue facilities.

7/8-10 Peak Av, Main Beach – sold in Jan 2019 for $465,000

A single level, circa 1988, two-bedroom, two-bathroom low rise strata unit with two basement car spaces. The unit was refurbished internally and has a northerly aspect with local views. The complex includes a common swimming pool.

For those wanting for a really safe, long term investment option, look for the circa 1970 to 1990 built two-bedroom apartments with low body corporate fees as these can generally achieve a weekly rental value of $420 to $500 per week.

One thing to be aware of is that Main Beach is known to have many developments which have higher than average body corporate fees, so it is best to avoid those units subject to high body corporate and management fees.

North-East Region Property Updates

Investing $500,000 in the current market conditions in the north-eastern growth corridor would be a new product in an owner-occupier estate such as Gainsborough Greens at Pimpama. Builders such as Plantation Homes and DBC Homes offer a ready built product for houses and duplex units with prices of $410,000 to $500,000. There is a strong rental demand for that estate and always strong resales. The new product will also offer depreciation for investors and no body corporate fees.

Another option if investors were after more rental yield investments would be the more affordable areas such as Eagbleby where three-bedroom, two-bathroom, one and two car garage homes sell between $210,000 and $240,000, and achieve rentals of $320 to $360. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, one car accommodation older units go for as low as $150,000 and achieve rents of $220 to $250 with very low body corporate fees. There is high demand for cheap rentals close to schools, shopping, parks and highway. With $500,000 you could possibly pick up a few of these properties and have a solid return.

Typical examples of properties which have recently sold are highlighted below.

3 Butterleaf Crescent, Pimpama, QLD, 4209 – Sold March 2019 for $490,000.

Comprises a circa 2018, onground, single level, four-bedroom, two-bathroom, detached modern dwelling brick veneer walls, colorbond roof and two car garage. The property has good external condition, good internal condition and good presentation. Total building area is 207 square metres. The property has standard ancillary improvements for the area. Land Area is 375 square metres.

89 Great Sandy Circuit, Pimpama, QLD, 4209 – Sold March 2019 for $494,900.

Comprises a circa 2018, onground, single level, four-bedroom, two-bathroom, detached modern dwelling with brick walls, colorbond roof and two-car garage and living area of 164 square metres. This is a recently completed home built by Plantation Homes with typical finishes for a dwelling in this locality. Land area is 375 square metres.

1/24-28 Albert Street, Eagleby, QLD, 4207 – Sold March 2019 for $173,000

A circa 1989, three-bedroom, one-bathroom semi-modern townhouse with brick veneer walls, concrete tiled roof and one-car attached carport. The living are is 68 square metres and provides a basic kitchen and modern bathroom. Rental is $260 to $280 per week.

4/202-206 Fryar Road, Eagleby, QLD, 4207 – currently under contract for $237,500

A circa 2009, three-bedroom, two-bathroom modern townhouse with brick and fibrous cement sheeting walls, colorbond roof and two-car garage. The townhouse has a westerly aspect with local views, an original interior throughout with split system air conditioning. It was purchased in 2009 for $316,500. Rental is $350 per week.

Tweed Shire Property Updates

There is plenty available in the Tweed Shire for a lazy $500,000 – it just depends what you are willing to compromise.

After a house close to town? Something with a bit of character and that has views?

You will need to head inland to Murwillumbah and the surrounding villages and there is plenty to find. Although there are some good buys around that come already completely renovated, there are also quite a few that will need a bit of updating.

9 Mooball Street, Murwillumbah – sold 16 April 2019 for $487,000

A circa 1910, high set, two-bedroom, one bathroom, renovated, detached older dwelling with timber walls, metal roof and two-car accommodation. Agents advise that the living area is 119 square metres and outdoor area is 40 square metres. Features include an overall renovated interior with renovated kitchen, split system air conditioning, period style features, polished timber floors and high ceilings. The property is an irregular shaped, easy sloping, inside lot positioned below road level. The lot faces south with hinterland views and has frontage to non-residential uses. Ancillary improvements include driveway, fencing and landscaping. The property has good external condition and good presentation. The land area is 1,087 square metres.

7 Wade Street, Murwillumbah – sold 18 March 2019 for $490,000

A high set, circa 1940, older style, fibrous cement sheeting, three-bedroom, two-bathroom, dwelling, with metal roof and one-car detached garage. Features include polished timber floorboards and high ceilings. The dwelling is located on an easy sloping, irregular shaped, inside lot situated below road level with hinterland views. Ancillary improvements are of an average standard. The property has good external condition and good internal condition, with the kitchen and bathrooms having been renovated. The land area is 809 square metres.

10 Old Convent Road, Uki – currently under contract for $475,000

A circa 1975, split level, three-bedroom, one bathroom, detached semi-modern dwelling on concrete footings and slab, brick piers foundation with brick and hardiplank walls, metal roof and one-car detached carport. The property has good external condition, good internal condition and good presentation with living area of 108 square metres, outdoor area of 12 square metres and 15 square metres of car space. The property is an irregular shaped, easy to moderately sloping, inside lot with a suitable building site which is cut levelled and positioned above road level. The property is cleared and faces north with no significant views and has frontage to a creek. Access to the property is easy and direct. Ancillary improvements include a concrete driveway, concrete, paved and tiled paths, timber decking, established landscaping, established trees, garden walls and retaining walls with rock construction. Land area is 816 square metres.

Or perhaps you’re after something a bit more coastal? A lazy $500,000 will get you an older duplex, townhouse or unit if you want to be within a few kilometres of the beach.

2/7 Gibson Street, Kingscliff – sold 14 February 2019 for $500,000

A circa 1980, part two level, semi-detached, semi-modern brick, two-bedroom one-bathroom duplex unit with tile roof and one-car attached carport. Agent advises that living areas are 103 square metres, outdoor area of 33 square metres and car space of 17 square metres. Ancillary improvements include driveway, fencing and landscaping. The property has fair external condition, fair internal condition, fair external paint condition and fair main roof condition.

2/8 Coucal Street, Pottsville – currently under contract for $535,000

A circa 2008, three-bedroom, two-bathroom modern duplex unit situated in a two-unit complex on a concrete footings and slab foundation with lightweight composite clad and bagged brick walls, metal roof and two car garage. The property has fair external condition, good internal condition and good presentation with a living area of 139 square metres, outdoor are of 16 square metres and car space of 35 square metres. The property has a southerly aspect with no significant views. Ancillary improvements include exposed aggregate driveway, partially enclosed yard of colorbond panel construction, exposed aggregate paths, established landscaping, established trees and rain water tank(s) of polythene, slimline construction. The strata land area is 399 square metres.

26/40-48 Kamala Crescent, Casuarina – sold 5 March 2019 for $500,000

A circa 2006, two-bedroom, two-bathroom modern strata unit, situated on level two of a three-level, 45 unit low rise complex on a concrete footings and slab foundation with rendered brick walls, metal roof and one car basement car space. Living is 89 square metres with outdoor area of 24 square metres and car space of 16 square metres.

The property has good external condition, good internal condition and good presentation. The strata unit has a northerly aspect with local views. Ancillary improvements include concrete driveway, partially enclosed yard of mixed construction, paved paths, established landscaping, established trees and common improvements include on-site management and caretaker, barbecue facilities, passenger lift and resort pool. The property has good external condition, good internal condition and good presentation. Investors may look inland for better yield as the coast does not return the same. Most buyers are owner-occupiers and the Tweed, particularly secondary locations inland, is much cheaper than areas such as the neighbouring Gold Coast and Byron Shire, however, there has been some easing since the beginning of 2019 and some better bargains may be available down the line.

Speak with a Gold Coast Mortgage Broker today.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.