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QUEENSLAND is in hot demand with COVID refugees from southern states flocking to the sunshine state – some without even inspecting their future home.
Victorian and New South Wales buyer interest in Queensland has risen 18 per cent in the past six months.
Fresh data from realestate.com.au reveals 4 per cent are ready to buy now, 14 per cent are considering a move, and 22 per cent are simply browsing, possibly considering a longer-term lifestyle change.
It comes as the nation’s top social experts say COVID-19 has accelerated interstate migration into Queensland and predict even more Sydney-siders and Melbournites will make the move to the Sunshine State, once border restrictions are eased.
Leading demographer Bernard Salt said the pandemic has shifted people’s priorities about where they wanted to live.
“I do think there will be a new driver in the 2020s … you’ll have people who feel uncomfortable with the congestion of living in the city whereas previously the congestion of the big city was seen as a positive, a drawcard,” he said.
“The bright lights have dimmed a bit and they don’t have the same allure now that we’ve had full exposure to a pandemic.
“A lot of people have decided to reassess their lifestyle and their location, and Queensland looks pretty good on both of those fronts, in terms of affordability, climate, security and non-congested lifestyle.”
Coastal locations are at the top of shopper’s wishlists, with eight of the top 10 most searched suburbs on the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise the most popular.
Tolemy Stevens of Harcourts Coastal on the Gold Coast said that while interstate inquiries had always been strong, volumes had gone “through the roof” in the past three months.
“I have never seen this level of demand, specifically from Melbourne and Sydney buyers, with such genuine voracity to secure properties yesterday,” he said.
“These aren’t people who are toying with the idea of buying. These are people coming to me and saying, ‘I have $1-2 million or $4-5 million, find me a property and I’ll buy it’.”
In Brisbane Judi O’Dea of Ray White Paddington said her level of inquiries from southern states had doubled during COVID-19 and properties were changing hands in all suburbs at all price points.
“I’ve got clients from Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles and Hong Kong,” Ms O’Dea said. “They’re all trying to get to Brisbane and are all chasing as large a land size as possible because they have been holed up in apartments, and they are fed up,” she said.
“Brisbane offers them something that is affordable. What has become apparent is that anything on a sizeable block that is family friendly is selling like hot cakes.”
The phenomenon is happening across the state, according to Scott Louis of McGrath estate agency on the Sunshine Coast, who recently sold two homes in Caloundra for record prices to separate Victorian buyers.
“People are realising they should live the life they want to live now, and so are speeding up their life plans, he said.