By Herron Todd White
November 2020

Despite the majority of the nation’s real estate sector feeling the impact of the pandemic, the Gold Coast prestige market has unexpectedly shown resilience with factors such as lower interest rates providing a positive influence in the market. The Queensland border remains closed to anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days, however this has not stopped cashed up interstate buyers who have played a notable role in the strong market, with a string of multi-million dollar purchases completed in the second half of 2020. Notwithstanding the high demand and increased buyer urgency, especially for prestige property located in beachside suburbs, agents are reporting very low stock and a competitive market to win listings as vendors are now chasing record prices.

The central Gold Coast and beachside suburbs have been strong in recent months, with a number of agents reporting properties above $2 million selling prior to market or within the first week of listing and some selling sight unseen. As previously mentioned, demand has ultimately been driven by activity from cashed up interstate buyers, which has mainly been Melbourne buyers active on the Gold Coast and Sydney buyers active on the Tweed Coast.

The following are just some of the standout sales during 2020 which is testament to the strong prices being achieved on the Gold Coast.

River front transactions included 15 Southern Cross Drive on Cronin Island at Surfers Paradise which sold for $12.45 million. The 1666 square metre, four-level residence was designed by renowned Gold Coast architect Bayden Goddard and provides seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom accommodation with a six-car basement over a 1,239 square metre, north facing block with 70 metres of frontage to the Nerang River. 1 – 3 La Scala Court on Isle of Capri at Surfers Paradise sold for $11.75 million and comprises a 1655 square metre Balinese resort style, architectdesigned dwelling situated on a 2623 square metre, south facing block with 91 metres of frontage to the Nerang River. The dwelling provides six-bedroom, seven-bathroom accommodation with a six-car basement and extensive ancillary improvements including a full-sized synthetic grass tennis court, pontoon jetty and timber jetty, boat ramp, inground pool, water features and a Bali style bungalow with an outdoor kitchen.

Iconic, canal front trophy home, 1525 Riverdale Drive, Hope Island, sprawls across a 4982 square metre block within the Hope Island Marina precinct on the northern Gold Coast and sold for $5.75 million in September. The high-end property features a whopping gross floor area of 1646 square metres and is an architect-designed, two level, Mediterranean-inspired home providing four-bedroom, four-bathroom and four-car garage accommodation. The property appreciates 192 metres of canal frontage, occupying the largest block within the exclusive Rosebank Gardens estate. The property is unique in nature and was expected to undergo an extended marketing period, however Nikki Dunlop from Vertullo Real Estate was able to secure a deal within 82 days on the market via expressions of interest.

While there were limited sales of prestige beachfront properties on the Gold Coast during 2020, those that exchanged hands were for strong prices.

These include the sale of 187 – 191 Hedges Avenue at Mermaid Beach which is currently under contract for $22.5 million. This property previously sold for $16.5 million in August 2017 and comprises an architect-designed, multi-level dwelling with high quality fixtures and fittings throughout, sprawling across three beachfront land holdings totalling 1,214 square metres with 30.2 metres of frontage to the beach.

243 Hedges Avenue at Mermaid Beach exchanged hands for $11.25 million in early 2020 and comprises a part-three-level dwelling currently undergoing extensive renovations situated on an 809 square metre double block with 20.1 metres of beach frontage.

Another interesting sale was well known former AFL player and Breakfree founder, Tony Smith and wife Simone’s beach front house at 2 Heron Avenue, Mermaid Beach. The property was purchased by the Smiths in 2014 for $12 million and comprised an old unit building at the time, which was demolished a short time later to make way for a very large, two-storey, Hamptons-style dwelling. 2 Heron Avenue is currently under contract for $25 million to Dean Pask, son of the late property developer magnate and founder of Pask Group, Nev Pask, and managing director of the Pask Group. Not long after the sale became public, speculation began circling over the future of the property holding when it was revealed that Gold Coast architect Bayden Goddard’s firm, BGD Architects, had lodged a development application for eight luxury apartments to be built on the site. Notwithstanding the media coverage around the future of the beachfront holding, no further information has been released to the public by the vendor, buyer or sales agent.

There has been a notable surge of prestige holdings comprising larger land sizes. More recently, sales have been strong within the awardwinning Jabiru Estate, offering contemporary acreage living within the central Gold Coast. The estate’s natural beauty has shown appeal which is greater than ever to interstate purchasers looking to move from the city to a regional lifestyle escape. The past three months have seen reported and settled sales, all with strong prices. The exclusive estate offers few listings and they have shown to sell very quickly with multiple offers and in many cases within close values of the asking price. This reflects cashed up buyers who are actively seeking rural residential property and has resulted in an uplift in land values for the majority of similar rural residential property.

2019-built and architecturally-designed 3 Lagoon Way sold for $4.6 million to a local buyer prior to auction and holds the record sale price within the estate, previously held by 11 Jarema Drive which sold for $3.7 million in February 2018 and is currently under contract for $4.15 million, an increase of $450,000 in just two years. Michael Kollosche reported extraordinary interest in the luxury, elevated property, 11 Jarema Drive, which was listed for expressions of interest and sold within 38 days. Comprising six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a ten-car basement, this home is a striking blend of luxury and family living. The 9800 square metre block boasts private living in a secure rural residential, central Gold Coast estate. There’s 1057 square metres of living with extensive outdoor living areas and full-size tennis court. This property is a prime example of the excellent demand for rural lifestyle properties.

On the far western Gold Coast, a prestige, rural property located at 128 Guanaba Creek Road, Guanaba sold for $3.85 million two days after being listed on the market, with the sales agent reporting both local and interstate interest. 871 Gilston Road, Gilston received similar interest and went under contract to a Gold Coast buyer for $1.9 million. The agent reportedly had a back-up contract to a Melbourne buyer, site unseen

In our 2019 year in review for prestige property, we mentioned riverfront property Te Moana at 249 – 255 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters would be a listing to watch, with an asking price of $13.75 million. We can now report that this property was contracted in August 2020 for a whopping, $12.5 million. 26 Knightsbridge Parade East on Sovereign Islands at Paradise Point was the other property we mentioned would be one to watch, listed at an asking price of $45 million and aiming to break a Gold Coast record. Whilst a sale hasn’t been successful just yet, the property is going to auction on 17 October 2020.

Listings to keep an eye on include 662 Pacific Parade, Tugun, a 2019-built, multi-level, architectdesigned dwelling with expansive beach, ocean and coastal views, marketed for offers over $10 million. 3 – 5 Sir Lancelot Close on Sovereign Islands at Paradise Point is back on the market asking $16 million which is $4.95 million more than the July 2018 sale price of $11.05 million. The land holding for this property is so large (2,103 square metres with 50 metres frontage to the Broadwater) that the property shares the street with one neighbour on a 740 square metre block. On the central Gold Coast, listed for $11.95 million is 30 Seafarer Court, Paradise Waters, Surfers Paradise, which comprises a four-level, six-bedroom, six-bathroom dwelling with a seven-car basement.

 Prestige Apartment Market

The Gold Coast prestige apartment market continued to strengthen over the second half of 2019 through to early 2020, reflected in shortened selling periods and the firming sale prices. There were however reports of reduced demand following the onset of COVID-19, with a heightened level of uncertainty experienced within this market segment. It has been circa nine months since COVID-19 was declared a world pandemic and during this time, Queensland has been seen as a somewhat safe haven to the residents of our major capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

Late January 2020 saw the sale of two prestige, whole floor apartments within Katie Page’s Main Beach beachfront development M3565. Unit 2 was purchased for $4.5 million ($14,286 per square metre of living and outdoor) whilst Unit 3 transacted for $4.75 million ($15,032 per square metre of living and outdoor). Both sale properties provide four-bedroom, four-bathroom accommodation with very high-quality fixtures and fittings throughout. Interestingly, four of the seven apartments within this 2018 built development remain unsold, with Unit 5 currently listed on the market for $5.85 million. Within the nearby boutique development Sea Main Beach, an additional two sales were achieved during 2020. Unit 2 sold in June for $5.35 million ($14,305 per square metre of living and outdoor) whilst Unit 5 was purchased in May for $5.5 million ($14,946 per square metre of living and outdoor). Each apartment occupies an entire floor, providing three-bedroom, three-bathroom accommodation and luxury finishes throughout.

These apartments are considered to represent the extreme upper end of dollar per square metre sale rates currently achievable on the Gold Coast, further reflecting the premium price attached to the Main Beach location.

It appears that two-storey Broadbeach penthouses are proving a popular investment option for buyers seeking larger floor areas whilst remaining within the central coastal suburbs. The four-bedroom, four-bathroom penthouse of 19 The Boulevard transacted in July for $5.05 million ($11,026 per square metre of living and outdoor) whilst a threebedroom, three-bathroom penthouse within the Oracle building has recently gone under contract for $3.95 million ($6,966 per square metre of living and outdoor). Similar to recent reports of interstate buyers purchasing properties site unseen, we are advised that the purchaser of the Oracle penthouse is a Melbourne family who have only undertaken inspections via FaceTime. We note that both units are provided with four basement car spaces, which are continuing to be recognised as being of significant value as the densities of our city centres increase.

One recently completed development to keep an eye on is One14 at Miami. This boutique, high quality, one per floor, esplanade front development recently released Unit 3 and Unit 4 (penthouse) to the market with asking prices of $3.675 million and $6.375 million respectively. Should either of these apartments be sold at their asking price, each will set a benchmark in their own way. Unit 3 would analyse to a dollar per square metre rate of $16,781, surpassing the recent Main Beach sales discussed earlier, whilst the penthouse would also be the highest recorded apartment sale on the Gold Coast since February 2019.

Whilst there may currently be a limited amount of apartment stock on the market, there are numerous prestige apartment developments either proposed or currently under construction in the central and southern suburbs of the Gold Coast, many of which are achieving very high sale rates. For example, the 17-storey, high quality, 33-apartment development Natura is being constructed on the esplanade at Burleigh Heads and reportedly sold 80 per cent of its stock over the first weekend launch.

Southern Gold Coast Market

Similar to a number of central suburbs of the Gold Coast, 2020 has seen prestige suburbs on the southern Gold Coast experience an increase in value levels. In particular, the prestigious beachfront Jefferson Lane at Palm Beach has provided a great example as to how tightly held positions and a shortage of supply can cause a significant jump in prices.

On 11 June, 265 Jefferson Lane was listed on the market with an asking price of $3.295 million. 24 hours later, the 55-year-old, two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage had sold to an Australian family relocating from New York for $3.125 million. The level of demand currently being experienced within this market segment is further reflected in the recently reported off market transaction of 171 Jefferson Lane. We are advised that this property has changed hands for $5 million, an excessive $1.3 million (35 per cent) more than its prior sale in February 2019. The property comprises a prestige six-bedroom, three-bathroom, two-car garage plus single car carport dwelling and is two spot shorts of the street record of $5.9 million.

Agents are currently reporting increasing interstate buyers and advise that should Sydney and Melbourne buyers continue to compete within this market, they predict prices will continue to rise.

Rentals

A review of recent rental listings on the Gold Coast indicates that there are currently some premium rental prices being paid for large, prestige dwellings. In particular, in July 2020 a lease agreement was entered into for 67 Commodore Drive at a weekly rate of $4800. This high quality, Nerang River front dwelling comprises ten bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a ten-car basement garage situated over three levels. The property also includes an inground swimming pool and pontoon jetty whilst appreciating local, Nerang River and city skyline views.

It appears that premium rents are not only being achieved in our prime central suburbs, but even our western suburbs are proving they are able to secure high rents. A very large, 14-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion located at 31-35 Red Oak Drive in Tallai has achieved a rental of $5,000 per week. This 3.21 hectare private estate is improved with a heated swimming pool, sauna, spa and full size tennis court whilst being provided with expansive hinterland and distant Gold Coast city skyline views.

As the Gold Coast continues to be perceived as a desirable sea change for many interstate buyers, it will be interesting to see whether we will experience an increase in prestige dwellings being leased at high rents to buyers moving here pre-emptively before the purchase of their future home.

Weird and Wonderful

A large highrise development site at Rainbow Bay (Coolangatta) has recently become quite the conversation topic. The developer had little regard for the site’s 38 metre height allowance and potential to develop up to 157 bedrooms. Rather, the approved development will comprise of 16 fourbedroom, architecturally designed, high quality, free-standing beach homes each provided with individual freehold title. The development, Freedom Beach Homes, is located within a highly desirable position, with very close proximity to world renowned beaches and Coolangatta’s commercial amenities. Lot sizes range between 200 and 250 square metres, being roughly half the size of a typical block in this area. This unique, boutique development has been welcomed by the market, with the majority of the lots already sold. Land sale prices range from $1.07 million to $1.35 million and the development of the project will be undertaken by way of a house and land package with set building contract prices.

It is often said that location and aspect are the two most important components of real estate. Therefore, we can understand why the property owner of Solara at 202 Pacific Parade, Bilinga has no intentions to leave his desirable north-east facing, esplanade front position. However, as more and more esplanade front sites at Bilinga continue to be purchased for redevelopment of high quality apartments, a unique opportunity arose for this land owner. The owner has entered into an agreement to sell his 506 square metre block for $2.5 million and will use his equity to purchase one of the luxury apartments to be developed on the site. This proves a great way for individuals who like their location to improve their lifestyle by obtaining a new product with less maintenance. It will be interesting to see whether surrounding neighbours will follow suit, adopting a similar approach to this beach shack owner.

Janine Rockliff
Director

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