Gold Coast

The Smartline Report – September Edition

The month in review: Gold Coast

By Herron Todd White
September 2016

Coastal North Gold Coast (Southport to Hope Island and taking in western suburbs including Parkwood and Helensvale)

The strongest demand in this area for homeowners has generally been for detached dwellings. Values for units have strengthened recently but demand is still somewhat fragile and fickle as developers continue to release new stock onto the market.

The Gold Coast is a relatively new Australian city with Southport (the recognised CBD area) established circa 1890s. Early settlement homes of small cottages and Queenslander style dwellings in Southport are very few now. In many instances, these are being carefully restored and will often reflect premiums for their character and central locations. Most of the original settlement area has long made way for modern and semi modern development.

The Gold Coat Bungalow
There was a significant population growth period just after World War II on the Gold Coast. Bungalow style dwellings built between say 1945 and 1965 still dominate many of the streets in Southport and the adjoining suburb of Labrador through to Biggera Waters. Typically these dwellings are chamfer board, brick or fibro cement sheet clad with tile, metal or corrugated asbestos roofs built on timber or masonry piles or stumps. Dwellings usually consisted of a simple 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom floor plan with a detached single lock up garage. Typical land size is 500 to 550 square metres. These dwellings now have become iconic for the area.

Demand for the typical Gold Coast Bungalow spiked in 2016. They are not only popular with home owners but also with investors who are motivated by the proximity to the CBD and Broadwater. Additionally, re-zoning of these areas now permits higher density development and has underpinned rapidly improved land values. Agents report that investors are buying these properties and land banking them for medium term investment opportunity. A typical mainly original bungalow will fetch between say $420,000 and $480,000 in the current market.

The Semi- Modern Dwelling
As the population has grown on the Coast development has pushed out to the north to Hope Island and beyond and out to the west. More inner suburbs such as Ashmore, Hollywell and Coombabah now feature semi-modern style dwellings. Typical dwellings consist of low set brick and tile on concrete slab construction with 4-bedroom and 2-bathroom floor plans with single or double lock up car garages. Many of these properties have swimming pools. The typical land area is 600 to 800 square metres. Demand for these detached homes has also spiked with these suburbs affording perceived good family style accommodation in well located areas on good sized family allotments.

Price range is say $525,000 to $650,000

Demand for bungalows and semi modern dwellings has improved and continues to be strong. With the scarcity of centrally located residential land, the Gold Coast continues to expand outward mainly to the north and west. Coupled with medium to high density re-zoning of these areas the medium to long term investment in these properties looks very positive.

Tweed Shire
Murwillumbah is an older established residential and commercial locality in the Tweed Shire in northern New South Wales. The main property type in this locality comprises single residential dwellings with very few units in the area.

The main dwelling type comprises older style, mid to high set, Queenslander and bungalow style dwellings with timber walls and corrugated metal roofing.

In recent years, a number of older homes have been  refurbished which has improved the overall appeal of
the locality. There has been good growth in the past six month  in prices in the area as buyers are now looking for older and run down product and hoping to renovate and on-sell for a small profit. Entry level housing for
a basic 3-bedroom home is approximately $275,000 to $300,000 depending on the quality, condition and
location of the property.

There have been a few new subdivisions within  Murwillumbah in which properties are now being improved with modern, single level, brick and tile dwellings ranging from 3- to 5-bedrooms, 1- to 2-bathrooms and 1- to 2-car garages. The average price for a brand new, lowset, brick and tile dwelling with 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and a double lock up garage is around the $450,000 mark.

For the renovated Queenslander style dwellings the average price depending on location and position is in the mid to high $400,000 mark.  The older homes are the main type of dwelling in the area and until recently, there have not been many modern homes in the area, which is why they have appealed to buyers.

Central Gold Coast
The standard home in Gold Coast’s central areas would normally comprise a semi-modern (1980s to1990s) face brick and tile roof house on a block size ranging from 600 to 850 square metres. These were the standard houses in suburbs such as Mermaid Waters, Bundall and Broadbeach. Half of theses houses would now have been renovated. Along the beachside suburbs such as Mermaid Beach, older 1960s fibro dwellings can still be found in original condition.

There has been a recent change since circa 2010 towards new large duplex developments appearing in the central suburbs where old houses are being redeveloped on both dry and waterfront allotments (see photo below). These duplex prices range from $800,000 to $950,000 for dry duplexes and $1,000,000 to $1,600,000 for waterfront duplexes. Long term investors are attracted to walk up units along the beachside with low body corporate fees. These unit rents have increased recently by circa 7% making the unit investment appealing. Some of these units have also had the potential to be bought out by developers. We have seen this in Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise for large parent parcels with a small number of units. The walk up units should maintain their steady rental returns with a rental shortage in the Gold Coast central market.

North Western Corridor
Traditional homes in this corridor generally comprise semi-modern through to modern brick veneer dwellings. Suburbs such as Oxenford, Maudsland and Pacific Pines are still relatively new in historical terms. Many of the more basic, entry level dwellings on standard residential lots (500 to 800 square metres) were constructed by volume builders targeting a very price sensitive market made up of investors and owner-occupiers. Still comparatively young, many of these dwellings are in either original or part renovated condition with entry level price points now circa $430,000 to $490,000.

In these suburbs there is an increasing number of higher price point dwellings being constructed and sold. These properties tend to achieve prices of $650,000 to $850,000 which is encouraging. Aimed at the owner-occupier market, these properties are defined by dwelling size, standard of finishes and inclusions, contemporary design and floor plates, ancillary improvements, views and oversized garages.

There are a large number of townhouses, villas and duplex units in Studio Village (old section of Oxenford) all predominantly constructed pre- 1995. These are also of brick veneer construction, comprise 2- or 3-bedrooms and generally have a single garage. Being well located to amenities, demand for these properties tends to be consistent with price points for villas and townhouses ranging from $230,000 to $290,000. The higher end of
the range reflects prices paid for properties with a degree of renovation. The target market for these properties tends to be investors and first home buyers. Additionally, duplexes in this location are achieving $300,000 to $350,000. The absence of body corporates and a more compact floor area continues to make them attractive to investors and owner-occupiers (including empty nesters).

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