By Herron Todd White
September 2020

Gold Coast South

Spring generally sees more buyer enquiry and also a surplus in listings which in turn produces more activity throughout the property market. People want new property to live in for summer, so there seems to always be a flurry of activity coming out of the cooler winter weather

The start of the year throughout the southern Gold Coast was steady with supply and demand ticking along and no urgency in the market. Then we had the onset of COVID-19 which put the brakes on the market with reduced listings and a dramatic decline in activity. Since Queensland moved out of restrictions, we have seen the level of activity bounce back. For the first time in over 12 years, most agents are saying they only have between two and five listings left with some not having any and they are going back to the days of doorknocking and targeted transactions. This is resulting in many off-market transactions with numerous houses selling via private databases or as part of a targeted communication.

Whilst listings decreased, the southern Gold Coast market held steady with no apparent decrease in value levels and all current activity is pointing towards a strong spring selling season with shorter selling periods. With a surplus of buyers, the market will continue to be strong in this area.

The single dwelling and duplex market in Robina, Burleigh Waters and Miami are going to be the strongest in the coming months. The Robina market in the $600,000 to $750,000 price bracket for houses has been strong and predominantly underpinned by first home buyers and renovators. The duplex market in both Burleigh Waters and Miami continues to achieve strong sale prices due to location and close proximity to the beach.

As a whole, the southern Gold Coast is still highly sought after and there is no prediction of large market movements throughout the spring period. There is some perception that a price ceiling has been reached, however the market will continue to perform strongly as long as listings are still available. If it remains a seller’s market (where demand outweighs supply), potential buyers may look to purchase in suburbs further north where there are more available properties at a lower price point.

Gold Coast West/Scenic Rim

The western M1 corridor from Nerang to Oxenford and the Scenic Rim region has seen improved demand levels over the past three to four months since the sharp decline in enquiry levels during March and April. Local sales agents are all providing the exact same feedback, noting high buyer enquiry for all market segments and price points, however very limited levels of stock while owner-occupiers and investors choose to sit and wait out the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the local market.

Acreage and larger rural lifestyle properties still seem to be some of the best performing property types as owner-occupiers seek their own private escape from the more usual suburban areas of the coast due to large numbers of the workforce now having changed to a work from home scenario. Agents marketing these properties are reporting strong buyer enquiry with limited stock levels. Examples of this can be seen in the suburb of Kooralbyn in the western Scenic Rim precinct where properties normally sit on the market for lengthy periods of time (six months to up to one year). A recent sale in this area saw time on the market of 45 days – a noticeable decrease from the norm and evidence of improved demand currently prevailing in the area.

Spring is generally a busier time in the Gold Coast west and Scenic Rim property markets however this year will be heavily dependent on economic conditions from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is our belief that we will continue to see a steady to slightly improved level of sale activity heading into the later months of 2020 with a large majority of buyers being from interstate (Sydney and Melbourne) looking for a lifestyle change.

Gold Coast North-East

In the Gold Coast north-east, from Southport to Hope Island and out to the M1, buyer activity has been varied. Overall demand levels have improved in recent months since the initial COVID-19 outbreak and with agents reporting limited supply levels, values have remain reasonably stable in most parts of the north-east.

The majority of demand has come from owneroccupiers and first home buyers, however in recent weeks we have seen a re-emergence of investors, mainly from interstate who are looking to move to south-east Queensland in the short to medium term, reportedly once COVID-19 is over.

Spring has proven in the past to be an active time in the property market and in the tail end of winter, activity has been building with a number of properties being sold with shorter days on the market and in some cases well above asking price. A sale in Helensvale in August for $110,000 over the asking price was due to a number of prospective purchasers bidding up the price, with the winning offer being accepted at $1.335 million.

Areas of strong demand with good levels of transaction in the Gold Coast north-east area include Labrador, Paradise Point, Runaway Bay and Biggera Waters, largely due to their access to schools, shopping centres, public transport, canal frontage and Broadwater access. The unit market in areas such as Southport and Hope Island is still performing poorly due to lack of demand.

We do note that there remains an underlying level of uncertainty in the Gold Coast north-east market due to the unknown effects of COVID-19 that have yet to be realised due to the quick government stimulus response in conjunction with deferred bank payments.

As a result, the spring season is going to be reliant on the evolving economic conditions, bank lending policies and COVID-19 restrictions. We expect to continue to see similar activity to recent weeks from owner-occupiers, first home buyers and interstate investors over the spring period and through to the end of the year.

Regardless, property will continue to remain a strong asset class and properties with good elements of owner-occupier appeal, location scarcity and quality improvements will always have a decent level of buyer demand.

Northern Corridor/Southern Logan – Leah

Suburbs within the northern corridor of the Gold Coast and southern Logan areas traditionally present a slightly more active market during springtime. Data from CoreLogic reveals an increase of five per cent in the number of sales in these localities during spring, however feelings of apprehension are beginning to rise for property owners as the economic effects and restrictions of COVID-19 are not easing. Local agents in the area are struggling to find stock as a result of concerned sellers even though demand remains strong from buyers. Many agents are of the opinion that we are experiencing a property bubble which will burst, but perhaps not for another six months.

While sale prices have so far remained steady in this area, we are starting to see an increase in the number of contracts falling over due to finance not coming through for buyers. In many cases, following an unsuccessful contract, vendors are having to accept a lower offer second or even third time around.

For example, a rural residential dwelling in Jimboomba transacted in June 2020 for $805,000 and after a lengthy settlement period along with finance extensions, the contract fell over. The second contract on the property was for $785,000 in August.

Moving into spring, it is likely that sale prices will remain relatively steady as there still seems to be a good level of demand in this area, however the combination of cautious buyers and sellers, strict bank lending policies and the weakening economic climate is likely to present ramifications; perhaps longer listing periods and reduced listing prices in achieving sales towards the end of 2020.

Janine Rockliff
Director

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