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International and interstate buyers cannot physically inspect the properties for sale, but a Gold Coast real estate agent says “activity is enormous” in its residential market — despite the pandemic.
Harcourts Coastal’s Vikki Plehan said “the lure” of record low interest rates and the Australian dollar had been attracting buyers from as far off as Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.
“They’re cashed up, so they’re trying to secure property so when they can come back to Australia they’ve got something here,” Ms Plehan said.
“It’s growing every week. From week to week we’d probably increase [buyer interest] by 5 per cent.
“Buyer activity is enormous, we just don’t have the stock.”
While Queensland’s border restrictions mean interstate residents are unable to enter the state without strict exemptions, Ms Plehan said buyer activity from Sydney and Melbourne had also been “phenomenal”.
Pandemic and politics ‘a big factor’
Ms Plehan said “a big factor was the international market” with many expats looking for a lifestyle change.
“They’ve been gone for 20 years, they’re dealing with the pandemic over there, in lockdown, and they’re living in a smaller, confined space,” she said.
“Especially Hong Kong with what’s happening over there with the pandemic and the political agendas over there, they’re keen to come home.”
Real estate agents say growing buyer interest in Gold Coast properties extends to most areas of the city. (ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale)
Ms Plehan said while some in the industry expected coronavirus to cause “a lull” in the residential market, the opposite had occurred.
“It’s something we haven’t seen before and they predicted that we wouldn’t get,” she said.
“It’s up and down our coastal shores, people are looking for all sorts of property. “They’re all wanting what we’ve got.”
Southern residents looking for a change
Managing director of Ray White Surfers Paradise, Gregory Bell, said “south-east Queensland is looking very attractive at the moment on an affordability scale”.
“[It’s] the age bracket of 55, 60-year-olds saying ‘We want to buy a lifestyle, we can sell here for $3–4 million and buy up in the Gold Coast for $1.1 million, $1.5 million’,” he said.
“There are a lot of [those] buyers around.”