The month in review: Gold Coast

By Herron Todd White
March 2018

Central West/West

The central west and western areas are typically outside the central inner circle and more so considered to be the outskirts of the Gold Coast locality. Carrara is the closest to a middle ring suburb where prices have slowly increased (with a range of dwelling quality and price points ranging from $470,000 to $900,000 for dry products and typically $1 million plus for waterfront holdings).

The suburbs bordering the western side of the M1 (e.g. Pacific Pines, Nerang, Gaven and Oxenford) and being the middle to outer ring have dwellings around $400,000 for original mid 1990 built homes typically with 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and 2-car garages on between 400 and 700 square metre lots. Prices rise up to $900,000 for more modern dwellings in larger allotments. These suburbs are in close proximity to the M1 and appeal to commuters and are also less than 20 minutes from the beach and large regional shopping centres.

Given the vast variety of property in the central west and western areas, the middle markets aren’t necessarily price point indicators, more so, it varies suburb to suburb depending on the characteristics of the properties and recent sales. This being said, Pacific Pines has seen a recent increase. This is believed to be a result of the construction of the hospital at Parkwood which has made access to medical services more accessible and thus earning Pacific Pines a more inner circle status and is a good indicator of a middle market for the serviced area.

Although sales volumes slowed within this middle ring area, value levels remained the same, if not, slightly increased. Investors seem to be less prevalent in this market as owner occupiers, families, and young couples and first home buyers realise the value for money and affordability factor, opposed to other price points and sale prices for higher quality or better locations within the inner circle.

We envisage that prospects remain steady in the short term as the area remains affordable for families at the price point. However, as the market begins to slow, the activity level and in turn prices will decrease and as economic factors begin to affect borrowing and confidence, this is an area that will be more volatile.

Rental and owner occupier demand is up in the middle ring as a result of a strong market to date. Vacancy rates are declining as this product is purchased by young families or those downsizing.

The middle rings in the central west and western regions are typically well established with facilities and services. This area is well serviced with regard to infrastructure and shopping facilities with easy access to the M1 for commuting, albeit at peak travel times this does negatively impact the appeal of these localities. New stock within developing estates will also be competing with established product and the price gap differential makes the second hand product more appealing from an owner occupier perspective.

The current middle ring sectors of the north-west and western Gold Coast should remain steady over the coming years. This market is currently the highest growth area on the Gold Coast and is primarily driven by migration, both intra- and interstate. Newer product will be affected by any further changes to APRA policy and investment lending practices by major financiers.

Central North

The middle ring heading north would contain Parkwood which is approximately five kilometres from the Southport CBD. This is a large suburb with two distinct estate areas, the first surrounding the golf course and the second in the western part of the suburb. The Parkwood Golf Course area mainly comprises 1990s built, conventional styled, 3- to 5-bedroom dwellings on parcels typically ranging between 600 and 800 square metres. Average price points range between $525,000 and $675,000, with the higher price points achieved on golf course front properties. The western part of Parkwood contains slightly newer development with a more modest standard of dwelling, typically 3- to 4-bedroom project style homes on a more typical lot size of 450 to 650 square metres. Average price points range between $450,000 and $625,000.

Demand for Parkwood is mostly driven by the family demographic. It is seen as a more affordable area compared to suburbs closer to the broadwater, canals or ocean.

This locality performed strongly throughout 2017. The well presented properties sold quickly and sale prices achieved indicated an uplift in values from 2016. This is a strong rental area fuelled by proximity to the Gold Coast Hospital and Griffith University campus.

Whilst this market has performed well, it is predicted that during 2018 there will be a period of slow down and stabilisation with the possibility of reduction in values in the short term.

Rental demand is good due to the proximity to the hospital, university and the extended light rail. Appealing and driven by families, the area is also sought after with regard to student accommodation. This strong demand is predicted to continue.

In recent years, Parkwood has benefited from the recent opening of the second stage Gold Coast Light Rail project with two new stations in Parkwood linking the suburb to the Gold Coast tourist strip and the Helensvale retail and commercial precinct. Parkwood has good arterial road links with easy access to the M1 motorway, is built around a golf course development, is home to the Titans (national rugby league team) training and sports facility and is in proximity to the Gold Coast Hospital and Griffith University campus.

This area has good longer term prospects and as the Gold Coast continues to spread to the west and north, demand to be that bit closer to the CBD will underpin this market for years to come.

Gold Coast South

Currumbin Waters can be described as a middle ring suburb between the beachside suburb of Currumbin and acreage suburb of Currumbin Valley. It is well serviced by most facilities, has good access to transport links and is still close to the beach. Average property types include semi modern style brick and tile dwellings on dry blocks between $550,000 and $700,000. Average units range between $350,000 and $500,000. Canal front properties range between $750,000 and $1 million.

Currumbin Waters is primarily a family and owner occupied demographic generally being more affordable than coastal suburbs such as Currumbin and Palm Beach.

Typical properties include 1990 to 2010 built dwellings comprising 3- to 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and double garage situated on standard size allotments of between 600 and 800 square metres, ranging between $550,000 and $700,000.

The overall Gold Coast residential market performed strongly in 2017 and Currumbin Waters was one of the middle ring star performers. Rental demand remains solid and is anticipated to remain solid throughout 2018.

The start of 2018 has been a continuance from 2017 performance, which is anticipated to continue into mid 2018, albeit at a slower pace than 2017. The second half of 2018 could see a slowing of sales activity and price growth.

Given the location, facilities and access to transport, there should be good long term prospects for Currumbin Waters.