Gold Coast August 2018

The month in review: Gold Coast

By Herron Todd White
August 2018

As we look back over the past 50 years on the Gold Coast there is definitely a cultural shift throughout the housing types and evolution of the area towards lifestyle. Whether it is beachfront, boating, suburban or the hinterland, everyone is catered for with a vast array of housing options across the region.

Gold Coast 1

It wasn’t uncommon 50 years ago to look up the coastline of the Gold Coast and not see a highrise near the ocean until Surfers Paradise. As the Gold Coast became more than a holiday destination, property also started to become a lifestyle choice. Development close to the coastline included unit development, canal estates, and suburbia.

In 1978, you could buy this quaint shack for $103,000. With not much more than a paint and a new kitchen, it recently sold in October 2017 for $5 million. Don’t we all wish we’d had the foresight to buy on the beach!

Beachfront cottages have evolved over the past 40 years from small 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom fibro shacks to prestige quality, two level, 4- or 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom homes with all the latest technology and highest quality fixtures. The architectural style of these luxurious homes has also evolved. Mermaid Beach cottages have been replaced with large, rendered homes and in more recent years, the Hamptons and beach style has emerged as the preferred style.

Beachside of the Gold Coast Highway is very strong at the moment and has outpriced the majority of the market. This has resulted in an increase in value for those properties just west of the Gold Coast Highway, especially in suburbs further south including Palm Beach, Tugun, Coolangatta and in to northern New South Wales.

Moving away from the beachside suburbs, there are a number of smaller hubs being created around main shopping facilities and services. Access from main roads caters for owners and renters who want to transit easily from work to shops and facilities. Medium rise unit developments, townhouses and the redevelopment of standard house lots with modern duplex units are being undertaken within close proximity to large shopping facilities such as Harbour Town, Robina Town Centre, Pacific Fair and the under construction Coomera Town Centre. These shopping centres are within close proximity to the main Gold Coast and Pacific Highways and offer a destination for shopping rather than a quick stop. In the more suburban and growth areas of Pacific Pines, Ormeau and Pimpama, there are a number of smaller retail centres anchored by a Coles or Woolworths that give their surrounding localities ease of access for grocery and general shopping.

Housing on the Gold Coast has definitely spread over the past 50 years and more recently we have seen the growth corridor between the northern suburbs of Coomera and Oxenford expand towards Beenleigh. These markets have been primarily driven by investors, however affordability has also attracted numerous owner-occupiers to these areas. The inclusion of green spaces, linking pathways and parks and a shift towards providing lifestyle benefits has aided the growth in these areas whilst also enabling the retraction of lot sizes.

The introduction of the master planned community has also seen urban growth in traditionally rural areas. Yarrabilba to the north-west of the Gold Coast and Flagstone Estate in the south-west Logan area have provided affordable housing options which include small lot houses, traditional housing, townhouses, villas and duplex units. These estates have been planned to be developed over a long program of up to 25 years with the infrastructure required for this growth constructed in line with the release of the stages. Affordability is the main driver of these estates for both owner-occupiers and investors.

An overview of the Yarrabilba master plan and development to date (first sales occurred in June 2012) shows the speed at which this master planned community is expanding and growing, but also how much is still to be completed.

Gold Coast 4

Southern Gold Coast/Northern New South Wales

Residential property prices in the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales areas have shown steady growth in the short term with continuing steady demand reported by local selling agents, particularly for property in the sub $750,000 range. We notice an increased presence of younger owner-occupier families in some areas of the Tweed Shire which can provide a more inexpensive alternative to some central Gold Coast suburbs nearby.

Gold Coast 5

As a result, we are seeing a trend for smaller, more affordable allotment sizes in newer developments in the area and an increase in medium density subdivisions. The above photo indicates the preference for small lot housing compared to the traditional (albeit smaller than the quarter acre blocks) that were being subdivided in some of the newer estates. We notice a cultural shift towards unit living, particularly in areas of the southern Gold Coast and an increase in transit oriented developments and the future extension of the light rail to Coolangatta. Ease of access to the workplace combined with lifestyle balance has been a main driver for the northern New South Wales location being within close proximity to the beach and having good road infrastructure for commuting.

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