Gold Coast October 2017

The month in review: Gold Coast

By Herron Todd White
October 2017

North West Region Property Update

In this area we have noticed that housing development for home owners and investors alike is becoming uniform and generic in design. In this region it is very rare to find new houses which are architect designed or unique in any way. Typically in this region we have a mix of rural residential acreage estates and standard residential estates. Without a doubt, over the years residential estates in this region have seen lot sizes become more and more compact reaching sizes we never thought possible.

In recent months we have valued some detached houses on a 170 square metre site which are only 50 millimetres apart as seen in the photo below.

goldcoast Property Update oct 2017

Traditionally the dual occupancy sector of the market was more common in rural residential locations, however in recent years in the region there are a lot more owner-occupiers buying standard residential lots around 800 to 1,000 square metres with an established semi modern or older style dwelling and adding a second fully detached dwelling for family accommodation. There is very little resale data on this property type so it will be interesting to see how they are received by the market.

Investment in this region is showing stronger growth in dual occupancy with a lot more duplex pairs being built. Traditionally, duplex pairs were corner lots of 600 square metres or more and commonly both units would have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms with double lock-up garages. In recent years we see duplex lots of mostly 400 to 450 square metres with different size units and due to the smaller narrower lots only a single car garage for each unit. These products are very popular with interstate investors who can see the benefit of higher yields compared to a single dwelling at a similar price.

Northern Corridor – East Of M1 –  Property Update

The majority of estates in this sector of the Gold Coast have sprung up in the past ten years or so, therefore there is not the depth of history that there is in more established Gold Coast suburbs. However, one consistent theme has been the reduction in size of both allotments and dwellings. While the typical 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom onground dwelling would generally be situated on a 600 to 800 square metre allotment in the early 2000s, block sizes have incrementally reduced in size to the present where below 400 square metre allotments are now the norm. A previously unseen property type, semi-detached dwellings on extra small allotments, has also started to enter the marketplace in certain estates in Pimpama. The below picture depicts a semi-detached 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling on a 121 square metre allotment. This type of product is constructed on a slab independent of the adjoining allotment and is classified as a single unit dwelling despite appearing to be in a townhouse/duplex configuration. This product type has appealed to both investors and owner-occupiers as it represents an absolute entry level example of a new property priced in the early to mid $300,000s.

Further evolutions in the northern corridor are the trend for townhouse/duplex units to reduce car parking from double lock up garage to single lock up garages. Unit complexes are also seeing reductions in common amenities in order to keep body corporate charges low. Not all the shifts have been negative though, with increases in the standard of finishes to new properties becoming commonplace, for example stone bench tops to bathrooms and kitchens, airconditioning and recessed lighting.

With construction of the Westfield Coomera Shopping Centre underway, residential density classifications have been changed in the surrounding land holdings to allow for high density developments. After seeing the incorporation of high density apartment units in the areas surrounding Robina Town Centre where single unit dwellings were the dominant property type, it can be hypothesised that a similar evolution will occur in this area of the Gold Coast. The only question will be when the on completion value of such properties will make these higher density developments viable.

Central Gold Coast Property Update

Robina has seen a recent boom in new medium density housing developments in the past few years. Typically these are either a townhouse or medium rise apartment building style development proving a mixture of 2- and 3-bedroom accommodation.

The terrace house style developments have a much smaller land area than was common ten years ago. Typical site areas now range from circa 115 up to around 170 square metres per unit.

The quality of fittings has increased with stone bench tops usual and air conditioning to the main living area and master bedroom and high ceilings to the lower level becoming the norm.

These developments typically have no on site manager and minimal common facilities which helps to attract investors by reducing body corporate fees.

The medium rise developments typically have the higher quality fit out but are smaller in living area than was prevalent ten years ago. For example Tower 1 of the Boheme development currently nearing completion provides a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit with 99 square metres of living and a 15 square metre balcony. These new medium rise developments are still providing the usual range of common facilities including on-site manager, secure entry, pool and BBQ facilities.

Conversely, in central Surfers Paradise the recently completed Rhapsody building also has smaller units than was usual ten years ago. One stack in the building is a 29 square metre bedsit style unit with no separate bedroom and no allocated car space. These units are considered to be aimed at the investor market for holiday letting purposes. The building has 176 car spaces to accommodate 223 units.

In the rural residential market large new homes are still being built commonly with living areas ranging from circa 170 square metres up to 280 square metres.

In the more central areas with the stronger housing market we have seen a resurgence of knocking the old dwelling over and rebuilding either a duplex pair or a modern prestige dwelling.

For duplexes, each duplex is often bigger than the demolished original older style dwelling. For example, a new fully detached duplex on a rear lake front parent site in Avanti Street, Mermaid Waters recently sold for $1.3 million. It provides 4-bedrooms plus study, 2-bathrooms and a double garage with high quality fit out, its own plunge pool and good wide water views. The living area is 238 square metres, the garage is 37 square metres and the outdoor area is 32 square metres.

North-West Gold Coast Property Update

Traditionally, investors and owner-occupiers have wanted housing of brick/rendered brick construction with tile or colorbond roofing. This has been widely accepted as the norm in these areas. In suburban areas, blocks of at least 600 square metres were considered to be a minimum adequate size allowing installation of pool or shed to the rear yard and room to kick the footy. In the rural suburbs such as Beaudesert, Canungra and Tamborine, demand from owner-occupiers has and generally remains for acreage allotments with these owners preferring to have sheds, pools and stables.

More recently blocks of 350 to 600 square metres have become the norm with residential lots bigger than 600 square metres being considered large and rare. Dwellings on such allotments are being constructed a lot closer to the boundaries which is not deterring purchasers. On smaller lots, more innovative or two storey designs are being utilised to maximise internal accommodation. The preference for new and proximity to parks and amenities seems to be outweighing the traditional need for larger homes on larger allotments. Swimming pools, sheds and sizeable back yards tend not to be front of mind.

Price point and lifestyle considerations seem to be driving demand and acceptance of attached housing. The preference for new or newer product with good common facilities located in well regarded suburbs and close to amenities is evident. Construction includes rendered brick and rendered Hebel. In central locations such as Carrara and Benowa, baby boomers and generation X and Ys are purchasing and renting townhouses and units in order to minimise the maintenance and upkeep associated with a freestanding dwelling while enjoying close proximity to shopping and eateries. Most of these properties have at least one car parking space with larger units providing tandem or side by side configuration parking.

Due to scarcity of land and lifestyle factors, smaller lot and strata living is expected to become more widely accepted in the urban areas. It is noteworthy that the outer regional suburb of Canungra has recently had townhouses constructed which have enjoyed good interest from owners and investors. When designing such product, developers must continue to ensure their product offering exceeds expectation as there are numerous options across the Gold Coast.

Southern Gold Coast/Tweed region Property Update

In recent years, the beachside suburbs of Miami, Palm Beach and Burleigh Heads and Burleigh Waters to a lesser extent have seen an increase in knocking down older houses with zoning permitting the construction of duplex units. The product is usually similar in design and layout in the sub million dollar market. The units typically have 3-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and either a single or 2-car garage or carport.

The above mentioned suburbs have also seen the knocking down of older dwellings on dry or waterfront allotments being built with modern prestige dwellings.

We have noticed in established and new estates in the Tweed region such as Fraser Cove in Banora Point, Seabreeze in Pottsville, Seaside in Kingscliff and Hundred Hills in Murwillumbah all have allotments with a land area of 450 square metres or less. The norm for estates in the Tweed region before circa 2014 was a land area greater then 500 square metres. Dwellings constructed within the above mentioned estates by both owner-occupiers and investors can be similar in design and presentation. The two images below are of two recently constructed houses in the same estate at Pottsville.

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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.