Gold Coast February 2018

The month in review: Gold Coast

By Herron Todd White
February 2018

The Gold Coast, Tweed, Scenic Rim region is presently a two speed market – coastal versus fringe.

At a high and simplistic level, the majority of recent sales activity is heavily in favour of owner-occupiers as investors are being impacted by loan and lending issues for both resident and overseas buyers.

The past three calendar years has been just short of a frenzy for beachside and canal front housing from Surfers Paradise right through to Cabarita Beach. The flow on has dragged prices up in all suburbs east of the M1 (what most locals call central Gold Coast) and some to the west of the motorway. As a result, there are not too many areas that we see as being good value or affordable at present.

Statistics are already showing price declines or very slow growth plus falling auction clearances in the Sydney and Melbourne markets which has usually been a leading indicator for the Gold Coast. The historical “sell our house in Sydney for $X million and buy a waterfront property on the Gold Coast, plus a boat and have $300,000 plus in the bank” is probably no longer a reality as Gold Coast prices have increased dramatically. Add to that the measures targeting overseas ownership and we are less likely to have Chinese or interstate buyers pushing up our market. The current rate of interstate migration, strong tourism numbers, rising rents, low vacancy rates and relative affordability will prop up the local market enough to offset the reduced investor activity and avoid slipping into a decline for at least the first half of 2018. That is, provided there isn’t an influx of locals listing homes to hopefully cash in on the Commonwealth Games boom (Is there such a thing? Some seem to think so, but not us).

Other than the departure of Chinese mainland investors, the restrictions on domestic investor and interest only lending appear to be having a significant impact with lower transaction volumes evident. Unless the APRA policies change, we expect this trend to continue with increased scrutiny on lenders around loan serviceability making it more difficult for borrowers to secure credit. This is most evident in the outer housing estates where valuation volumes of house and land packages have fallen by circa 40%.

Aside from the legacy of the Commonwealth Games new and upgraded sporting precincts, light rail stage 2 is up and running, connecting heavy rail to Southport, Surfers and Broadbeach. The Games Village is complete and the unit sell down process, whether in-one-line to an institution or as individual lots, will be have an impact on supply and prices.

Other new, large infrastructure projects that are going to have a strong influence in 2018 are described below:

  • Jade and Spirit highrise developments are very high end and sales prices and volumes are a closely guarded secret. The level of success achieved will be under the microscope.
  • Queen Street Village on the old Gold Coast Hospital site will commence in the first half of 2018 by the developers responsible for James Street and The Barracks urban renewal projects in Brisbane. The mixed use development with retail, retirement, student and residential accommodation based around the light rail station has the potential to be a boon for the area if executed to the same standard as the projects they have completed in Brisbane.
  • Hope Island Marketplace has also broken ground and will give the large and growing suburb an additional retail hub that is likely to be well received.
  • Coomera Town Centre is also under construction to service the northern corridor.
  • Tweed Heads has a new hospital on the drawing board and the lucky location of the three proposed (Cobaki Lakes, Kings Forest or Chinderah) should see immediate benefit in the housing market.

While the pace of growth will be nothing like we have seen over the past two to three years, the Gold Coast will still be considered a relatively strong performer when compared to some other major markets in Australia that seem set to continue a gradual decline over the first half of the year. Our prediction is flat to maybe 2% growth over the first six months before a decline late in 2018 or early 2019.

Looking for expert advice on your mortgage on the Gold Coast? Smartline provides mortgage broker services to all areas throughout the Gold Coast. Find your local 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.