How this laid-back sunny locale went from backwater to property hotspot

A record-setting year of property price growth has pushed the state of play in the nation’s sunniest state to scorching hot, with unprecedented rates of interstate migration fuelling a property boom of pandemic proportions over 12 historic months.

Once dismissed as a backwater where Sydneysiders spent four weeks accruing a tan and a penchant for XXXX beer from the comfort of a scarcely used holiday home, Queensland is now emerging from four quarters of ground-breaking real estate germination that saw thousands of southern buyers make a permanent move north – shooting some suburb medians up by 50 per cent.

17 Webb Road, Sunshine Beach sold for $34 million.
17 Webb Road, Sunshine Beach sold for $34 million.CREDIT:DAMIEN DAVIDSON BUILDERS

The jaw-dropping year of growth was further annexed to the news Brisbane collected the winning Olympic bid for 2032, placing the once sleepy capital on the international stage while its coastal little sisters to the north and south – the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast – made headlines on their own for being two of Australia’s most sought-after places to live.

For the latter, buyer demand pushed past insatiable to famished, leading the Sunshine Coast to smash Queensland’s house and unit price records to smithereens, with the $34 million sale of 17 Webb Road, Sunshine Beach, in June this year – and the $16.1 million transaction of 5/81 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads, in October.

Both sales were collected by Tom Offermann Real Estate and both homes were reportedly snapped up by interstate buyers.

For Tom Offermann, director of his eponymous real estate firm, the two landmark transactions were merely headline acts to an award-winning year of property performances that saw median house prices in Sunshine Beach leap by more than 47 per cent to $2.665 million, according to the Domain House Price Report for September.

5/81 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads sold for $16.1 million. 
5/81 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads sold for $16.1 million. CREDIT:TOM OFFERMANN REAL ESTATE

It was a year that also saw 11 Sunshine Coast suburbs join the million-dollar-plus median club, with the hot spot of Minyama ranking sixth nationally for annual growth after prices skyrocketed by 54.4 per cent to $1.66 million.

“It has been a once-in-a-career year … with over 200 auctions selling under the hammer (within our team so far in 2021),” Mr Offermann said.Advertisement

“Most agencies here have turned over double the value of property since about April 2020 … and the uplift in interest in property caught us all by surprise.

Queensland has been drawing interstate homebuyers looking for a relaxed lifestyle.
Queensland has been drawing interstate homebuyers looking for a relaxed lifestyle.CREDIT:DEPARTMENT OF STATE DEVELOPMENT, INFRASTRUCTURE AND PLANNING.

“We probably saw a 30 per cent increase in buyers coming from Sydney and Melbourne … and I think about 40 per cent of all buyers came from Victoria with 25 per cent from NSW and the other 35 per cent from Brisbane and locally. Victorians suffered the worst lockdowns, and they’ve always had a love affair with Noosa, so the pandemic has pushed a lot of people over the edge to make that decision.

“Apart from the increase in the number of people interested in purchasing in Noosa, the major trend change has been that people are looking for somewhere to live and work from rather than just holiday homes and investment.”

The trend was mirrored across the Gold Coast, with house prices exploding north of 40 per cent in a handful of suburbs amid reports interstate migration doubled in 12 months.

In October, sales data accrued over the preceding 12 months revealed Surfers Paradise collected the gold medal for most sales across the country.

Auctioneer and long-time agent at First National Real Estate Surfers Paradise, Bob Rollington, said the city’s relative affordability in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne propelled the boom – with dozens of multi-million-dollar sales clocked in 12 months, including the $24 million transaction of 5 McMillan Court, Southport.

The sale, collected in March this year through Amir Prestige, fell just $1 million shy of the Gold Coast house price record (which was also the previous Queensland house price record).

“A lot of this (growth) is playing catch up. Where the Melbourne and Sydney markets have doubled, the Gold Coast real estate market, up until 18 months ago (had plateaued),” Mr Rollington said.

“I think people realised what good value it is here, and I also feel that due to COVID people are realising they can travel (and live) anywhere.

“So southern migration doubled over the last year … and with house price growth we saw 20 and 30 per cent across the board … and for apartments, they were the underdog star performer.

Gold Coast apartments have been in demand.
Gold Coast apartments have been in demand.

“Just 18 months ago and they were tough to sell for $450,000. But now, they’re collecting $550,000 to $600,000 and that’s just for the basic two [bedroom] units.

“The Gold Coast isn’t just a little country town anymore. You’re buying in a premier high-profile location … the spotlight is shining on us now … and we’ll just continue to shine over the next few years.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Queensland clocked the highest number of interstate arrivals, as around 28,500 people migrated north.

In Brisbane, quarter-on-quarter price growth pushed property medians in some inner-city hot spots – such as Norman Park and Indooroopilly – up by 36 per cent in the year leading up to September, the Domain House Price Report revealed.

Brisbane real estate prices have pushed higher this year.
Brisbane real estate prices have pushed higher this year. CREDIT:MATT DENNIEN

The tectonic shift in appetite for homes in the Sunshine State capital also led to almost 20 suburbs joining the $1 million median club – a club that’s expected to further expand following the announcement in July that Brisbane would host the Games.

“One of the things about Brisbane and the south east corner of Queensland is we can go in at one speed and come out at another. So, we went into Christmas at a fairly hot speed in 2020 and came out even hotter in 2021,” said Ray White New Farm principal Haesley Cush.

“And there were some moments where people pushed pause (on purchasing property) and that cost buyers dramatically. The high-octane Brisbane market saw 30 per cent rises in just a six-month period (in some areas) but the big highlight for the year was the announcement of the Olympics coming in 2032.

“Even if the market was not in good shape it would have underpinned a good forward outlook that pushed things up.”

Mr Cush said the sheer level of interstate activity also bolstered the city’s rental market – which sank to its lowest annual vacancy rate in years during 2021, according to Domain data.

“A highlight for us was that we sold six properties, sight unseen, within a six-week period to interstate buyers and four of those were over four million bucks,” he said.

“From the rental side of things … in the last two weeks over 50 per cent of the applications we’ve had have come from people interstate … and logic suggests that they are going to rent and look around before they purchase.”

Despite the city’s house price record remaining at $18.48 million – set for 1 Leopard Street, Kangaroo Point, in 2017 – numerous suburb house price records were smashed over the year, including a riverside mansion at 78 Jilba Street, Indooroopilly, marketed by Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige, which fetched $12 million late last month.

The jaw-dropping sum smashed the previous record by almost $6 million.

“All ends of the market (have performed) … and I think that’s because Brisbane has got this great reputation of being the lifestyle capital,” Mr Cush said.

“It performed to the script over the past year and everyone living here (during the pandemic) still got to go to the beach on the weekend, and they still had an affordable place to live.”

Original Article – https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/how-this-laid-back-sunny-locale-went-from-backwater-to-property-hotspot-20211214-p59hem.html

Join the conversation